Sinbad Jumps Ship

Trip Start Jul 21, 2001
Trip End Apr 22, 2002

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Flag of United States  , Ohio
Monday, August 6, 2001

Midnight in Mentor Harbour Yacht Club

"Wake up, Sinbad is gone!"
"Sinbad, took off after some animal and is gone into the night."
"What time is it?"
"I went after him but its very dark and he wouldn't come back when I called him."

Now I was awake but there wasn't much we could do but go back to sleep and hope the cat returned on his own during the night. At home, our cats are used to going out at night. Margaret, feeling sorry for them being cooped up all day on the boat, would often go out with them for a short while when it was dark. This was the first time one had jumped ship.

We were in a beautiful privately maintained harbour, one of the few on the Great Lakes. We were tied to a wall beside which was an immaculate lawn, shrubs, flowers, club house, showers, swimming pool, etc. A perfect place to tie up after a very long day of sailing. We had bypassed the port of Cleveland in order to gain a day and had suffered through some bad weather. Now with the cat's disappearance it looked like we might really regret our decision.

In the morning, we walked all over the grounds of the Yacht Club and surrounding area calling for the cat. We tried a number of times that day and just before dusk but had no luck finding him. Spending a second day at Mentor did enable us to meet some excellent people.

George Hayes, a local resident, kindly drove us into town to a grocery store and along the way filled us in on some of the history of Mentor Harbor. In 1926, a syndicate was formed to develop Mentor Marsh into a club and yachting community of fine homes each with its own boat well. George lives in one of the first of these homes. The club brochure states that: "By 1929, with an investment of over one million dollars, the Clubhouse, walled harbor and channels were completed. but with the effects of the Depression by 1934 the company became insolvent. Despite this, by 1935, there were over 200 members. Today there are 365 members, 98 powerboats and 175 sailboats". This is a very active club and I read in their newsletter that they hosted the Snipe International Sailing Competition with entries from over 30 some countries.

When we went looking for Sinbad, we looked under some very posh cars: Cadillac, Lexus, Mercedes, and one gorgeous Jaguar. At the end of one path along a canal we encountered a house on a bluff with a concrete boathouse in front, the roof of which was the sundeck for the house above. I imagine that they drove their boat into the boat house and then climbed a stairway directly into home. Yes, we saw many beautiful boats, homes and gardens but no cat.

That day we had met Roger and Lorraine Dewar aboard "Our Solitude", a beautifully restored and gleaming 1975 C&C 27. With them was Roger's father, Art, who is 82 years young. While we rode in air-conditioned comfort to the grocery store, he refused a lift and instead walked with another couple of sailors the mile and a half in sweltering heat and came back as fresh as when he had left.

In the evening, we were invited over to the boat of those sailors who walked with Art in the afternoon - Anna and Edward Marynowski. Edward is quite the handyman. He fabricated his own dingy davits, had installed a TV and Canadian Tire refrigerator on board "Rapture", a Tanzer 27. Quite a feat but as he explained essential so they could tempt their teenage daughter to spend more time with them on the boat. It was very interesting listening to them describe their time in Poland as they left it 15 years ago while it was still under communist rule. We had an excellent evening.

We said we wanted to try one more time to find Sinbad so at midnight we went back to our boat to prepare for another trek. We started at the boat by calling the cat and the first thing we heard from the distant darkness was a MEOW. Shortly afterwards Sinbad appeared sauntering down the grassy knoll beside the walkway as if he had just been out for a short stroll. We could scarcely believe it. Amazing!!!

The above true tale is written at anchor at Ashtabula Harbour and Sinbad is back in his usual place, safe beside me on the starboard berth.

Is that a smile I see on his face? No, couldn't be. Could it?"
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