Wednesday, October 5, 2016

For Sale

This year we elected to not even launch the boat, and we listed it for sale with Torreson Marine. Here's the listing on YachtWorld. It is with mixed emotions that we do this, but the past few years have been less than enjoyable, and the cost of upkeep and mooring slip fees has made the boat more of a burden than a joy. We don't regret this adventure in the least. We learned a lot about sailing, and put it to good use in chartering in the Caribbean, and hope to do more chartering in the future. We loved our old boat, and had many fun adventures on her, but it is time to say goodbye to this chapter in our lives.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Most Neglected Year Ever

Got the cover off the boat in April, and managed to get the bottom painted before launch (but little else done in the way of repairs or upkeep). The boat was launched on May 1st, and I'm embarrassed to say we didn't get out on the water until June this year. We made an attempt in late May to take her out, but when we got out to Muskegon, Tim had forgotten to bring the keys, so we just spent some time on the beach with the dog. So our first official sail was on June 15 or 22 (I've already forgotten the exact date). We went out for a brief 2 hour sail back and forth across Lake Muskegon. We still seemed to remember how do it, but the exit and return to the slip was a little sloppy. Got a comment from a neighboring sailor to the effect of "I wasn't sure if anyone owned that boat".

In late July, we managed to get out for a 3 day weekend. The weather was not cooperative, but we sailed up to White Lake (or almost up there) anyways. The waves on Friday were 3-5 feet, so we just hung out on the boat and did some tidying up, spent the night and then got up and sailed on Saturday from around 10-3. The waves were still pretty big (I'd say 2-4 ft) and the wind was pretty steady at about 12 knots from the northwest. We managed an average speed of 3.5 on the way north to White Lake channel, and then once we got there, thinking we didn't want to get stranded up there if the weather got even worse, turned around and sailed back to Muskegon. The trip home was a wild sleigh ride, surfing the waves and getting up to speeds of 7.5 knots. The entrance to Muskegon Lake was a bit hairy, and we got a little snippy with each on the maneuvers, but the verbal storms quickly subsided as they usually do and we had a pretty uneventful return to our slip, a visit to the dog beach with Lady and then the tired crew headed home to recuperate on Sunday.

Another year of feeling like we've been neglecting the boat, and wasting money on this slip, and thinking it is time to sell this albatross. It just seems like a better use of the money, if we merely chartered from here on out, in more interesting locations, rather than keep shoveling money into Muskegon harbor. We keep talking about it, but I haven't quite pulled the trigger on a 'boat listing' yet. Lot of good memories in this boat from the past 11 years.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

British Virgin Islands

We chartered a sailboat in the BVI in December from the 17th through the 27th (our last time down here was in 2008). Here's an abbreviated account from our Facebook page:

 Didn't want to drop my phone in the ocean, so it spent a lot of time in a plastic bag below on the navigation station (and free wifi was pretty rare everywhere we went, anyways). Terri took a lot of photos with her waterproof camera, and may share them on her page. A brief run down on where we went: Flew to St. Thomas on the 17th, spent that night, and the next in a small family owned hotel near downtown Charlotte Amalie, took the Ferry across to Road Town, Tortola on Friday, spent the night aboard our charter boat 'Lil Moon', a 38 ft Beneteau, got our orientation Saturday morning and sailed across to Norman Island for our first night (one of three of our best sails of the week, getting up to 6.5 knots). Snorkeled the caves on the west side of the island, and did some hiking up into the interior in the late afternoon. Day two, we sailed/motored over to Salt Island and snorkeled over a shipwreck for an hour or so, then tucked in to the harbor on Cooper Island for the night (taking a dinghy trip to the southern part of the island for some beach combing). Day three, we snorkeled for a while around Cooper (saw our first barracudas here), then headed north with Keenan at the helm (nearing our speeds of the first day), then motor-sailed east to a marina in Spanish Town (showers and grocery stores and internet!), where we were told by the young man who helped us tie up, that we were only a few boats away from Morgan Freeman's boat (never saw Morgan, however). Took a taxi down to the south end of the island for some exploring at 'The Baths' for the remainder of the day. Day four, we headed west on a run with just the headsail (still making good speed, averaging about 5 knots), listening to Caribbean christmas music on the radio, stopping at Guana Island (specifically, Monkey Point) for some more afternoon snorkeling (saw a stingray here, and a small shark), and then continued west to Cane Garden Bay for the evening mooring. Day Five (Christmas Eve) we headed northwest to Little Jost Van Dyke (biggest waves and our top speed of the week, hitting 7 knots at one point), explored the area with a hike north to the 'Bubbly Pools', then took the dinghy over to Sandy Spit for some more snorkeling and beach combing. Saw our first sea turtles here (well, everybody but Terri, who kept turning to look at them just as they ducked underwater again). Day Six (Christmas Day) we headed over to Sandy Cay (a small island preserve just southeast of Jost Van Dyke), more snorkeling, beach combing and hiking the interior (multitudes of hermit crabs of all sizes, plus lizards and fiddler crabs). Then a short motor over to Little Harbor on Jost Van Dyke, a two mile hike over to Great Harbor, then back again for Christmas Dinner at a small beachside restaurant (Caribbean Lobster). Day Seven we motored south around the west end of Tortola and tucked into Soper's Hole for lunch and provisioning (Keenan spotted a 6 ft shark near the dinghy dock - much nicer than running into one while snorkeling), then motored east into the wind and against the current to Peter Island for our final night. Last sail on Saturday morning was a short jaunt across the channel back to Road Town with just the main sail at a leisurely 4 knots. Home again, and back to the grindstone.

I was especially pleased and proud to see how Keenan hadn't lost any of his sailing skills even though he really hasn't done any significant sailing since he left for college in 2008. We managed to get through the experience this time without any significant 'boo boos' or 'mishaps' (although having to back the boat into a slip on Virgin Gorda was a little embarrassing). Hoping to do more chartering in the future. Starting to get more and more disenchanted with sailboat ownership and upkeep.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Tucked Away for the Winter

Got out to cover the boat a little too late this year, and ended up having to shovel a bunch of snow off the deck. We had an unusual early snowfall in November, but we managed to get the boat covered before the big November blizzard hit (by about two days). Still hoping to sell the boat in 2015, and perhaps put the marina/haul out/etc fees towards more chartering vacations.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Saturday Sail

Tim Terri and Lady went out for an extended afternoon sail on Saturday. Got to the marina around 1 and finished up around 6. Winds were fairly steady from the SE around 9-12 mph, and Terri handled the boat from our exit out of the marina until we got out on Lake Michigan (mostly on a run with just the mainsail, and we managed to sail all the way out the channel), at which point we set up the auto helm (or what we call "robosailor") and headed approximately 3 miles out to the southwest, eating our picnic lunch and enjoying the light waves and pleasant breezes. Turned around and kept the robosailor at the helm for most of the return trip, and then raised the headsail for part of the return trip, getting up to probably our top speeds of the day around 5 knots. We were only able to sail halfway down the channel before the wind died on us, and then we had a slightly embarrassing moment when the boat did a 360 on us when the wind backfilled our headsail and the engine we had just turned on couldn't compensate for it, and then Tim took over the helm for the return trip, doing several tacks across Lake Muskegon before we hove to, flaked the main and sailed for a while on just the headsail, then furled that and motored back to our slip. A pleasant afternoon with very little diesel motoring, and mostly competent sailing. Had a few discussions again about selling the boat, and the concept of perhaps chartering up north a couple times a year instead of owning/paying marina fees/upkeep.

To be honest, not sure what we can get for our boat, it has several cosmetic issues (brightwork has not been kept up, starboard winch is functional, but probably needs some maintenance as it is a bit loud), a few deck leaks and cracks (mostly over the aft bunk), but on the other hand, it is a good vintage 'old plastic' that has the original sails, a newer diesel in good shape with few miles on it,and a brand of which there aren't a lot of on the water anymore. 1967, hull #10 Chris Craft Cherokee sailboat in Muskegon Michigan for sale. Make us an offer.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Afternoon with Bud

Finally made it out to the big lake this year. Me and Bud went out for a Friday afternoon sail. Winds were projected to be steady and around 10 mph all day (at least earlier in the week), but the morning projections were looking like 7 decreasing to 5 by the late afternoon, but we decided to risk it anyway. We packed a lunch and left the marina around 1pm. Winds on Lake Muskegon were light to nearly nonexistent with occasional small breezes and we slowly puttered our way across the pond, watching a sunfish regatta over on the west side. Eventually we gave up sailing and put on the motor to head out to check out the conditions on the big lake. Much better once we left the channel, with a steady breeze out of the north and we got our best sailing in on a trip about due west, getting up to about 5 and a half knots, and eventually ending up about 4 miles offshore. We broke out the 'robo sailor' for much of this trip, and ate our lunch. Once we were virtually the furthest boat out there, we turned around and headed back on a similar reverse tack. Sometime around halfway back to the channel, the winds started picking up, and we reached our probable top speed of around 6-7 knots, at which point I was starting to get a little nervous that we were overcanvased (the sails were straining and we were doing a pretty good heel on a beam reach). We doused the headsail and continued for the last mile or so on just the main. We ended up seeing the ferry boat pass us on both the return to Muskegon and then again as it exited the channel for Milwaukee. We were able to sail about halfway down the channel with both sails back up, but then again, it switched to too much wind, and then just as quickly changed direction so it was straight at our noses, so we hauled in the headsail once again and motored the remainder of the channel. Winds were once again very flukey on Lake Muskegon and in just the wrong direction to head back to the marina so we tried a few tacks back and forth, but it was very difficult sailing, and eventually put all the sails away and headed back to the marina via the motor. Got tied up and tidied up the boat around 7:30. We both got a fair amount of sun this afternoon, and I slept like a baby once we got home.

We had left the battery on since the last time we were here (on 1), so I started the engine on battery 2, and then switched over to one while we were motoring to charge it back up again. Made sure to turn everything off this time before we left.

Using my mapping software on my phone, I took a screen shot of our location just before we turned around (pictured below). The GPS wasn't working (batteries were dead) so most of our speeds were estimates. I may have to look into some GPS apps and maybe some charting apps for my phone for future reference.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Short Thursday Sail

Got out on the last day of July for a short sail around Lake Muskegon. Had better luck with 'heaving to' today, and our tacking and 'coming about' maneuvers were pretty smooth. A little bumpy coming in and out of the slip though.