Friday, June 10, 2005

Early Summer Mini-Excursions

Memorial Day Weekend - Sunday, a beautiful day, light winds 5-10 knots. Practiced some 'Lake Muskegon Close Quarter Drills' back and forth across the little lake, Got a little cloudy by the end of the tour, overcast and chilly. A fun day for the parents, Terri estimates we did 4 round trips of the lake, and had to avoid a regatta going on in the middle of the lake, which made it kind of challenging. A smooth exit and entrance to the slip - it DOES seem to be getting easier this year. I had many nightmares this winter of completely forgetting everything we learned the previous summer. Keenan seems so very bored, lots of audible sighs, and its all we can do to coerce him into participating in anything other than staring glumly at the horizon.

June 4 - Saturday evening sail. 10-15 knot winds. Came out for a sunset cruise - 7-9:30ish. Beautiful sailing, 6 knots in speed and a pretty sunset. Big flock of swans (12-15?) in the channel. Sailed the big lake mostly on a beam reach out & back & out & back & out & back. We were worried because we couldn't find the GPS this spring either in our 'at home boat supplies' or on board Fanny, but we finally located it in one of the cupboards today.

June 10 - Convinced Grandpa to come out for an afternoon sail. Left the dock at 11:30am and sailed for 2 hours. Battery #1 was dead (or not working, or something), so used #2. Terri at the helm as we docked, and was a little rusty (or nervous in front of Dad) and had to abort and take an additional run at the slip, did fine on the 2nd attempt. (Need to give her more practice at that, I have a tendency to take over the helm, just like I monopolize driving the cars) Hot temps today, in the 80s, but a bit overcast. Got up to 5.5 knots a few times. Dad seemed to have a good time, and seems to notice the boats more down in South Haven (or mentions them to us more in conversation lately). The neighbor at the SH house has a boat that he takes out singlehanded, and has asked Dad if he wants to go out with him, but I don't think he will. Dad seemed to have a bit of trouble getting in and out of the boat, and once he was aboard, he pretty much stuck to one spot.

June 24 - Tim came out alone to work on the woodwork, charge up the batteries and pick up the camera - Hot sunny day, worked from 2-5:30. Have given up on the Teak Oil, and am now taking the wood back down to bare and starting again with a 3-4 step varnish treatment. Looking pretty nice so far, and seems to hold up a little better than the oil. The bilge doesn't seem to be filling as quickly and as often as it was last year, I wonder if the relatively dryer spring this year has anything to do with it. Perhaps the water was coming down the mast whenever we had a heavy rainfall? Wish I had the nerve to single hand sail, but the wind looks a bit gusty. Perhaps I can convince the crew to join me tomorrow.

June 25 - Tim Terri and Keenan arrived around 1 with a new crewmember. We had gotten a new dog this month, an american pit bull terrier named 'Lady' and this would be her first introduction to the boat. I swore up and down I wouldn't be getting another dog, but I've really grown attached this pooch in a short time, and we're going to try and incorporate her into our plans. A few problems though are her fair skin which can sunburn easily, and the fact that she doesn't seem to like water at all, doesn't like getting her feet wet, even when the grass is dewy in the front yard.
Lady whimpered a lot on her innaugural sail. We sailed across Lake Muskegon then motored out to the big lake to sail out there a little. Lady did not care for the Jet Skis around the channel one bit. Extremely hot weather. Doing a few coats of varnish on the toe rail before we go. Used battery 2 again, when we would have tried to use 1 after I charged it yesterday, oh well, be sure and use it next time.

Some thoughts have been running through my head this spring regarding our original motivations for jumping into the 'boating life'. Family health concerns and Keenan entering his teenage years have planted a few seeds of doubt and given me pause to think. Dad's multiple myeloma is now in remission for the time being, but could resurface again in 5-7 years according to the doctor (an average mind you, could be shorter, could be longer). Mom's health is holding steady for the time being, but she's got heart problems that could go south with little prior notice. I don't know how these things will effect our ability to sail off into the sunset, but they are certainly weighing heavily on my mind.

Keenan, with the onset of the 2005 season, seems less and less interested in joining us out on the boat. I really probably should have seen it coming, he's getting to the age where hanging out with the " 'rents " is dullsville to the extreme and the boat doubly so. He'd much rather spend time with his friends, and has spent a lot of our early summer excursions moping around on deck, barely connecting with us, heaving great sighs and sulking. Not really that big of a problem with regards to mine and Terri's future retirement plans, but a bit sad to see his early enthusiasms wane. Compared to girls & friends, I imagine it IS pretty boring. I'd be happy to bring friends of his along for rides, but he just dismisses the suggestion whenever I bring it up. We'll still probably force him along on a few trips, but we may also make a few more trips with just me and Terri while he is occupied elsewhere this summer.