The ship was packed and every possible space in which a person could find repose was occupied. All night they traveled westward, the ship pushed by the wind and the schooner rocking from side to side. With so many people, so closely packed, many became nauseous. The next day, they traveled westward. As night fell on their second day of travel, they expected to see Sandusky in the morning. Everyone had just settled down for the night, when a commotion arose and a gale blew out of the southwest, nearly tipping the vessel over. If the schooner had not been ‘hove to’ and resting quietly, it would have been capsized. (Without shore lights, lighthouse, or modern navigation equipment, Captains would ‘heave to’ at night if they anticipated approaching land/harbor soon. This prevented them from running aground in the dark.)
Quickly the crew made the Catherine ready for the storm and let her drift before the winds. As daylight came, the captain was able to get his ship behind Presque Isle at Erie, where they rode out the storm for the next 24 hours. The winds persisted so fiercely that everything on deck was swept clear. The crew and passengers remained below deck in the dark, their supply of food gone. On the fourth day of his journey, the gale ended and they were able to resupply from shore. Setting sail for Sandusky, the hope was to make harbor by dark. Once again a gale of lesser force sprang up and pushed the vessel back to Presque Isle. Here, many of the passengers left the ship and hired a wagon for the two-week overland trip. On their next attempt to reach Sandusky, the Catherine made harbor without incident.