Friday, July 29, 2005

Daysail, Repairs, Daysail, Repairs, etc

July 10 - Tim, Terri, Keenan & Grandma Carol out for an afternoon sail. Grandma took a turn at the tiller, we passed two freighters, sailed around for a while on Lake Michigan. Light winds, but enough to get a decent speed out of the sails. Returned back to the channel and anchored out in the lee of the breakwater. Tim & Keenan took a little dip in the lake, but the water was still very cold. Had a little lunch on the boat and then returned to the slip with Terri at the helm, pulling us in without a hitch. Sunny and warm, managed to use battery one this time although it was rough starting with it.

July 17 - Tim, Terri, Keenan & Lady out for an evening sail. Hot in the 90s and humid. Got here about 7:30 and stopped for KFC. Lady's first time wearing her 'fido float' life jacket. Battery 1 dead yet again. The shore power was unhooked when we got here. We motored out, stopped for a swim (just the boys, Terri don't like getting in the water), then ate our dinner at anchor. We were going to sail, but the weather was very hazy, with no good sunset likely, and powerboats all over the place. Got back in around 9:30 just getting to be dusk, and we have discovered that our starboard bow light isn't working. Fun to come out this evening for an impromptu sail, LOTS of spiders to kill.

July 21 - Tim & Terri came out to check on battery one after reading a distressing article in one of our boating manuals about how too much charging can actually be bad for the batteries. The engine started with battery 1 ok this time. Also took apart the starboard nav. light & found a replacement bulb & green plastic hood at the ship's store - still need to replace the gasket though, it is looking pretty raggedy and was probably the reason the bulb shorted out.

July 22 - Tim came out alone to try and fix the nav. light. Purchased a bunch of gasket material to cut a gasket, tried installing the new bulb & discovered that the bulb socket is faulty. Took apart the port light just to compare the one I was repairing with a 'functioning' light and discovered that the port light looks even worse that the starboard one, rusty, stripped screws. Damn it all, a wasted trip, a lot of supplies purchased, none of which did the trick, and absolutely nothing accomplished other than make things worse. Need to purchase completely new light assemblies now and replace the entire mess.

July 29 - Keenan is at Blue Lake now, Tim & Terri & Lady came out in the afternoon to do some more work on the boat. Tim replaced both the nav lights. Hooray! Progress! The port & starboard nav. lights are now once again functioning. Tim did some work on the teak, Terri helping out a bit with the sanding & varnishing. Upper 70s today with big clouds. We hope to go out on a sail this afternoon, but changed our minds and decided to spend the night and go out tomorrow if weather permits. We will be picking up Keenan ont he 31st for 'middle sunday visit', but we didn't bring any food for tonight. Around 4:30 went out for a sail - beautiful light air sail on Lake Muskegon, almost able to sail down the channel until the winds got flukey in their usual spot. Got out on the big lake and the waves were very VERY bouncy and almost cancelled out whatever slight forward momentum we could generate with the wind. We decided to head back to the little lake when *SNAP*
Terri: "What was that?"
Tim: "I dunno, what WAS that?"
Oh dear, the topping lift broke on the boom, and after much cursing and scrambling around & trying to keep lady out of our way, we managed to surf down the big waves enough to minimize the rocking and rolling enough to lower & flake the main & get the topping lift re-tied in a jury rigged fashion. By this time we were quite a ways south of the channel and had to motor back in. Headed back in around 7, perfect docking to make up for the fact that our exit was so undignified, once again resorting to reversing all the way out of the marina. Contemplating a 'night sail' to South Haven next week, weather permitting, and if we manage to get everything repaired in time.

Saturday, July 2, 2005

Fourth of July Overnight to Whitehall

July 2 - Tim, Terri, Keenan & Lady. Battery number one is still having problems holding a charge. Not sure what the problem is. Heading to White Lake for an overnight sail. Used battery 2 to start up but then switched over to 1 to charge it up. Left the slip at 12 noon, clear sunny skies and 72 degrees with very light wind. Leaving the channel we passed a big freighter (The 'Fred D. White Jr.'), plus there were a lot of spinnakers out on the big lake. Wish we knew how to use ours, might've come in handy on the trip. Sailed all the way to the White Lake channel entrance, averaging about 5 knots, and then motored across White Lake to get to the Municipal Marina, hoping to charge up battery 1.

Put it on shore power once we were moored (a fair to good job of tying up at the dock). Spent some time over at the Kroes compound, drinking wine, and the boys playing with bottle rockets. Then at around 7:30 we had dinner at Dog n Suds. Lady did great on the trip up here, makes a nice boat dog with her regular bathroom stops. Got a wafting odor of 'contraband materials' from the powerboat moored next to us, but otherwise they weren't particularly obnoxious. Pleasant evening, tired from a busy day. Cribbage and then to our berths.

July 3 - Exit from the marina wasn't so smooth, the boat didn't seem to want to cooperate. Still having problems with battery 1 even though it was on the charger all night. Are we doing something wrong? Could the battery already need replacing after only one year?? The sail south to Muskegon was problematic, poor wind, tried tacking back and forth but gave up and motored when we couldn't make any forward progress. Very hot today, sunburns, seasickness, some very tired puppies when we eventually pulled into Muskegon Lake. Have left the battery on the charger when we left.

July 9 - Tim came out by himself, worked on the brightwork, switched the battery charger to #2. The teak is looking mighty nice. Very hot and dry weather this year. Hard working in this oppresive heat.