Cleveland, Ohio, Lake Erie

At one point Cleveland was one of the most polluted cities in the Great Lakes and was infamous for its "River of Fire" when the river flowing into the harbour was so heavily polluted with chemicals that it caught fire and burnt for days. Much has changed since those days and Cleveland is a transformed city with a harbour that is as clean as any in the world. Lake perch, caught just off the harbour entrance, features on the menu of many of the city's excellent restaurants and for anyone sailing on Lake Erie, Cleveland is a must not miss destination.

With a 4 mile long breakwater protecting the harbour, it is one of the most sheltered harbours on Lake Erie and the northern and central entrances can be used in most conditions. The narrow and shallow southwestern entrance is more problematic in an onshore wind and probably best avoided in anything other than calm conditions.

There are a number of marinas that lie inside the harbour breakwater, but of these the excellent Edgewater Yacht Club Marina is possibly the best choice for visiting yachts. The entrance to the Edgewater Basin has been dredged in recent years and there is more water than shown on the chart. 4 years ago entering the basin in a yacht drawing over 2.0m was marginal. As of 2016 it presented no great difficulty.

The Marina prices are extremely reasonable ( 1 dollar per ft - pay for one night and get the second night free), the facilities are good including a swimming pool on the Lake edge, and the club is extremely friendly and welcoming. The patio bar is very popular and serves excellent value informal meals.

The club is also well situated for exploring Cleveland on foot and public transport. A pedestrian/cycle walkway has recently been completed linking Edgewater to the historic Gordon Square area of the city, from where one can link up with the urban public transport system to other parts of the city.

Like many other historic parts of Cleveland, Gordon Square has undergone a renaissance in recent years and is now home to a variety of innovative and very high quality bars, cafes, restaurants and theatres, with a particular emphasis on 'farm to plate' dining.

There are enough sites to see in Cleveland to warrant staying for at least a couple of days if not longer. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame comes highly commended as do some of the museums.

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