Day 18: Leaving Erie
We woke early the following day - even though our intention was to leave late in the day so as not to arrive in Buffalo too early in the morning.
We spent the morning working on the todo list for the boat, and after our typical lunch of soup and bread we went looking for internet access point as the Starbucks that had been mentioned to us the day before had turned out to be a fair hike from the marina, further enquires led us to the local library nearby that had wireless access. They also had a second hand bookstore with quite a good selection of books for just two dollars each.
While online, we were able to reserve a car for Buffalo which we would use for transport while there, as well as for the return journey to Illinois.
Once finished in the library we returned to the boat and got ready to cast off. Once outside the bay and on a direct course for Buffalo I went below (out of the rain!) to make supper which we ate huddled under the dodger. Before night fell we decided on just a single reef and I headed off watch.
In the middle of the third watch a storm caught up with us and we were treated to ferocious winds. We decided to attempt a second reef and started the engine and tried to head up into the wind. While we were in the process of reefing a sudden gust blew up and broke the gooseneck! The sight of the boom falling towards you and being halted by the topping lift is one that sticks with you. This was the storm's last gasp however and it died down afterwards, leaving us to tie up the mainsail and boom as best as we would in the dark and to continue onwards with only the headsail.