By Don Bamford
Freshwater background: A historical past of Sail at the nice Lakes 1670-1918
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Additional info for Freshwater Heritage: A History of Sail on the Great Lakes, 1670-1918
Map by Heidi Hoffman. and became the first of many grain carriers to ply the lake. In the first two weeks of January, La Motte, Hennepin and five others made a diplomatic visit to the Seneca (Hennepin calls them "Iroquese") near present-day Rochester. On January i, 1679, he preached to the Aboriginals in a small bark chapel. They negotiated for supplies and the blessing of their project, so that they might build their vessel above the Falls at the mouth of the Cayuga Creek (a small river in those days that empties into the Niagara just above the Falls on the American side) without harassment.
Even so, it is not without some trepidation that the prudent sailor sets out, know^ ing that the weather can change quickly, and that the seas can suddenly become boisterous or worse. As one who has sailed from one end of the Great Lakes to the other, including passages made on both Lakes Michigan and Superior, known to be more treacherous, I can readily recognize the problems faced by the adventurers in the Griffon without so much as any navigation chart at all. That they ever made it from the Niagara River to Green Bay, Wisconsin, unaided, is a miracle in itself.
As soon as La Salle and Tonty were out of sight, Luc and his companions anchored the vessel and clambered ashore to build a campfire and enjoy the relative comfort of sleeping in its warmth. They woke to a raging northerly gale. The boat was cast ashore and broke up, a total loss, though the crew managed to salvage part of her cargo. The site was named Cape Enrage or Mad Cape, its exact location 15 FRESHWATER HERITAGE unidentified. It must have been quite near the mouth of the Niagara River, for anchors and cables salvaged from the wreck were carried overland on the men's backs to the shipyard of the Griffon.