Day 3: August 31, 2013
Sippin' by the Dock of the Bay

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This, my friends, is what a commodore should look like. I was aboard the Goodtime I again today for a return trip to Put-in-Bay. On the way out, Oliver Hazard Perry, as portrayed by Jeremy Meier, shared his memories of the Battle of Lake Erie on its fifth anniversary, September 10, 1818. The cruise was listed as sold out and a crewman, who remembered me from Thursday, said there were just about the same number of passengers both days, but things sure seemed a lot less crowded today. Whether the relative roominess was real or imagined, the Commodore was able to move freely about both decks as he delivered his fact filled presentation through a wireless microphone. Meier/Perry did not restrict himself to the one day battle. He talked of his preparation for the battle and even of the causes of the war. When a young passenger wasn't quite sure what impressment meant, Meier/Perry brought him to me and explained that I, an English ship captain, had identified him as a deserting sailor and that his denial meant nothing in the face of loaded muskets. He must sail off and probably never see his family again. Fortunately, all I had to do was stand there and look dumb. I nailed it.

Before leaving the dock area, I did what I should have done Thursday and did the onboard tour of the Niagara. This reconstruction of Perry's relief flagship was launched in 1988. It is an active training vessel where the adventurous can learn the skill of square rigged sailing. That's preservation of a different and vital sort.

Because it is a festival weekend, there is some extra fencing and a few extra vendors in the dock area but this place is always pretty festive so they're not all that noticeable.

This is just a tiny sample of the eating and drinking establishment in town. There are several choices at The Boardwalk with a nice view of the bay at the end. Inside Mojito Bay, folks are just singing and swinging in the sand. I initially thought it a little strange when I noticed the police station and brewery right across the street from each other then I realized that it would be nearly impossible to not have the police station next to a drinking place of some sort. Inside the crowded brewery, I could not manage a proper picture of the unusual brewing gear.

Rented golf carts line Delaware Avenue while the renters patronize places like the 140 year old Round House Bar or the 96 year old Kimberly's Carousel. Rental carts are everywhere and I envision a hot summer night in this place as something much like a giant Dodge 'Em ride.

The cannonballs mark the spot where the three British and three American officers killed in the Battle of Lake Erie were originally buried. In a surprisingly friendly post-battle meeting, the two sides gathered here and buried the officers side by side. The dead enlisted men had a less elegant burial in the lake. The officers now lie beneath the Perry Monument.

When I saw the word "Commodore" in large letters on this nearby marker, I assumed it had something to do with Commodore Perry. Not exactly. It's there in "grateful memory of the commodores of the Inter-Lake Yachting Association". Silly me.

Festival entertainment was now in full swing near the dock. I just caught the last song by Bounding Main. Wow! Had I known what I was missing, I wouldn't have. Their description includes "Beautiful Harmonies with a Maritime Flair!" and the harmonies I heard were certainly beautiful.

It was soon time to head back to Sandusky with an onboard soundtrack consisting entirely of Jimmy Buffet songs. Here are pictures of the thrill rides at opposite ends of the cruise.

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