Cleveland – February 2019 – Frozen, but Thawing

As usual in winter in the midwest the weather is all over the place. Last week was sub zero Fahrenheit, and by Sunday it was nearly 60 degrees.

Lake Erie tends to ice over quite a bit in the winter, and this year has been no different. Followers of this blog will note the main photo is the iced over Cleveland Harbor lighthouse after a particularly hard winter.

For this day the ice was melting somewhat, but still providing some interesting sights. The photo below is a security fence that was iced completely over, but has melted enough to be translucent.

There was some ice cover near the shore, but with large wet spots that seemed to attract the seagulls. The water provided a nice reflection.

While taking photos of the ice and water, I noticed that this shot got a perfect ‘T’ of airplane contrails in the sky. My assumption is an east-west flight had recently passed at altitude, and the northbound flight had just reached where the east-west contrail was present.

A close up of the birds on the ice.

Despite the look the water inside the breakwater wall is frozen and beyond it is open water.

The wall at Voinovich Park had some ice on it, but with perfect symmetry with the concrete.

The lighthouse has a bit of ice on it, but nothing like the main blog site photo.

The harbor in front of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame still had some light icing on it.

The life preserver is ready if needed.

Meanwhile over at Edgewater Park, the beach had a lot of ice on it.

The ice was very chunky.

The birds clearly congregated near the water, even if it was just pooled on the remaining ice.

The amount of seagulls all along the lake shore was staggering.

Our last stop was along Rocky River. Each spring (or thawing in winter) results in significant flooding in the valleys with the ice jams.

The ravine walls provided a small waterfall. It was a nice day for checking out the melting ice with a different look that the stark white normally associated with the winter ice on the lake (and river)

Cleveland – September 2018 – US Sailing Championships

A late September sunny, cool & breezy Saturday was the perfect setting for the US Sailing Championships in Cleveland. Held near Edgewater Beach, the event features teams of 6 competing together in 3 boats.

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The headquarters for the event was the Old Coast Guard Station at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River.

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We had visited this location before, but never had the chance to go inside. The boathouse was fantastic, and on this day actually being used as a boathouse.

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The action took place inside the breakwater.

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As they would sail around the harbor, the boats would tip steeply, forcing the crew to quickly jump to the other side to balance them out.

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There were a variety of great backgrounds to shoot. From this view the Edgewater Marina sailboat masts framed the small crafts.

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A freighter was offloading coal nearby.

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The apartment buildings along the Gold Coast in Lakewood is directly across the lake from the Coast Guard Station vantage point.

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While we watched the Nautica Queen passed by.

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At times it appeared to be more like roller derby than sailing.

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Their routes around the harbor took them near one of the lighthouses at the mouth of the river.

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Clearly having the boats pitched side to side was the fastest way around the course.

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They race identical boats provided by a local sailing group known as the Foundry. Most had sails with a giant Cleveland logo on them.

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The Chamber of Commerce moment number 1 – Sailboats with Cleveland sails going past the art deco Coast Guard building.

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Most of the teams were male/female, which is apparently how you get to the ideal maximum weight of 290 pounds for the crew.

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The Chamber of Commerce moment number 2 – Sailboat with a Cleveland sail going past the lighthouse.

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The racing was continuous with numerous heats constantly coming and going.

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More close action. Amazingly nobody went into the water, but these are some of the best sailors in the country, as the teams came from all over for this event.

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This event was one of the best photography moments I have had in some time.

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Cleveland – July 2018 – A Day in Town

Having come to Cleveland for the Fuel Cleveland event, we had enough time to check out a few other sights.

I had recently read they had a velodrome in the Slavic Village neighborhood, so on the way into town we went to check it out – only to find that the freeway was closed due to construction.

Never fear – we eventually made it there.

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Amazingly there are only 28 velodromes in all of America.

When we arrived late morning there were a few people practicing.

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The track had a steel structural frame with what appeared to be layers of plywood for the track.

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I was surprised at how steep the banking is.

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We watched them run a few laps and headed out.

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After the motorcycle event, we headed over to Edgewater Park and Wendy Park, where the restoration of a classic old coast guard house continues.

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With a warm July day watercraft of all sizes were out.

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Many seemed content just to park and hang out.

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The railroad lift bridge was down for an extended time, causing a backup of boats – but the trains over-rule pleasure boats every time.

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A sailboat with the high rise apartments in Lakewood in the background.

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An interesting mix of old an new – the newer apartments and Lakefront Rapid (light rail) framed by the old Shoreway Bridge and some of the older buildings that have been restored.

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A mix of skyscrapers downtown.

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Look familiar? It is the light house on this blog’s home page – just not covered in frozen mist.

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I am always amazed that the kayaks will get in the same water as the massive ore boats. Note a view of a portion of the Cleveland Browns Stadium on the right.

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The top of a Cleveland landmark – the Terminal Tower.

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A lift bridge and a skyscraper.

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From upper Edgewater the view across the harbor shows just how busy it was on the water.

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While on land some artwork makes for an interesting setting for hanging out.

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While we were there 4 different wedding parties came along for their photo opportunity. Running of the Brides Cleveland version.

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Sandusky, Ohio – July 2018 – Festival of Sail

Over the years we have had the opportunity to see a few ‘Tall Ships’ festivals, which is an event we always look forward to. This year they had a stop in Sandusky.

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Sandusky is the home of Cedar Point amusement park, as well as a departure point to the Lake Erie Islands.

One of this years event was the ‘World’s Largest Duck’, which dwarfed the island ferry boat.

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This festival had 5 ships: U.S Brig Niagara, Schooner Madeline, Appledore IV, S/V Denis Sullivan and the Nettie G. Howard.

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The Niagara is the largest, with an impressive main mast and crows nest.

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While all of the ships had professional pilots, much of the staff were high school students on a 4-5 week learning adventure.

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These ships always have an amazing number of ropes.

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The device below is not a table, it is basically used for leverage pulling heavy sails up and down.

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We had purchased a 90 minute ‘sailing’ on the Nettie Howard.

As we waited to board we were amused as one of the trainee crew members struggled to grab one of the ropes.

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Just before we left we were serenaded by an acapella group.

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Once on board the crew pulled up a couple of the sails.

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While others neatly stacked the ropes.

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Our exit from the dock gave a great view of the Niagara.

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The sails were impressive from the bottom.

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One of the professional crew had started out a few years ago as a volunteer, and liked it so much he has made it a career.

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Constant training occurred during our sail.

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Our 90 minute sailing was slow, we never even made it out of Sandusky Bay, but did have a nice view of Cedar Point.

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Before you knew it we were nearing the dock and the sails came down.

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And they threw the ropes to the dock hands to tie us up.

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Cleveland – August 2017 – Beach Day

The first weekend in August in Cleveland is traditionally ‘Beach Day’, a day they celebrate at Edgewater Park Beach with a Sandcastle Building contest, as well as other events.

While other Great Lakes cities such as Toronto and Chicago put their waterfront to better use, Cleveland still has a few nice lakefront beaches, which make for interesting contrasts.


The sandcastle teams were creative in their building techniques.

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The contrast of downtown Cleveland with Edgwater Park in the foreground.

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The view from upper Edgewater Park of the Centennial Pavilion was outstanding – the Metroparks are celebrating their 100th birthday in 2017.

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Any areas unprotected by the breakwater had 2′-4′ waves pounding the shore.

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The sandcastles were interesting, most included Cleveland themes (although this is a sundial).

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The holiday movie classic ‘A Christmas Story’ was filmed in Cleveland – including the famed leg lamp scene!

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The new pavilion was modeled in sand.

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Cleveland – May 2017 – Harbor Views

Cleveland is a major port on Lake Erie, with most of the large commercial ore boats traversing the narrow, crooked Cuyahoga River. There is however a port at the entrance to the river, as well as an old Art Deco Coast Guard station, all with great views of the river, lake and city.

A marina on Whiskey Island (actually a peninsula) is home to the tug boat fleet, as well as some pleasure boats.

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The vacant coast guard station is a beautiful art deco building that the city is now restoring.

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The harbor lighthouse leads out from the safe waters behind the breakwater to the often turbulent water of Lake Erie.

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The mix of huge ore boats and small sailboats is interesting.

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An amazing collection of bridges cross the Cuyahoga, some are small lift bridges (the foreground is a lift bridge for the railroad), as well as high level bridges.

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The harbor crane with a background of a downtown skyscraper.

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Buffalo – May 2017 – Downtown and Harbor Area highlights

Buffalo is an old industrial city that has had a declining population for 50 years. As a result of being a major city prior to 1950 they have a lot of interesting older architecture. As with many rust belt cities, they have also worked to reinvent themselves, sometimes in creative ways.

Buffalo had more grain silos than any city in the world, as a result of their position on the Great Lakes. Many are now abandoned.

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Some have been partially torn down and now serve as a restaurant setting, albeit a very unusual one complete with rebar. Next door on one of the standing silos is one of the largest climbing walls in the country.

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Some have been repainted as giant beer cans.

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The harbor has a mix of old and new, complete with lift bridges.

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Built in 1900, and serving Buffalo ever since the Edward Cotter is the worlds oldest active fireboat, and it serves as an ice breaker in the winter.

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Buffalo & Erie County Military Park

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Federal Courthouse – old and new.

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Grover Cleveland – Buffalo native

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Art deco Buffalo City Hall. Note the Canadian flag alongside the American flag. With Canada a mile away across the Niagara River nearly every place that had a U.S. flag had a Canadian flag.

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McKinley Monument at the location of his assassination.

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A cool old bank building.

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Amazingly for such a small city Buffalo has a train system.

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A great theater district.

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Finally the Liberty Building has twin Statues of Liberty.

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