Sunday, September 11, 2005

Late Summer/Fall Excursions

We finally broke down and had Torreson check our batteries. We had been struggling with battery one all summer, and it ended up being our own damn fault for installing them ourselves this past winter. The connections were loose and dirty. Cost us $60 to find out, but now everything seems to be working smoothly. I think we'll just have the marina handle our batteries from now on.

August 23 - Overnight trip to either Grand Haven or Whitehall, and we'll let the wind determine which one when we get on the lake. Tim, Terri, Keenan and Lady along for the ride. Cast off at 3:10, after giving the boat a bath and killing many a spider. Filled up with diesel at Harbortown and once we got on the lake, headed for Grand Haven. Got a call from one of my WSJ clients with a rush job while underway, but we brought Keenan's laptop with us, and hopefully we can find a wi-fi connection in Grand Haven to send the files. Arrived at Grand Haven at 6:30, made good time today, sailing most of the way. Used 'robo-sailor' and played eucre to pass the time. Got a slip at the GH Municipal, and ordered a pizza from a nearby restaurant and ate in the park. Walked down the pier, listened to a big band concert and watched the cheesy 'musical fountain' at dusk until it bored us to tears.

August 24 - Tim & Keenan played a game of putt-putt nearby in the morning. Tim walked downtown and sent some sketches at a local coffee shop with wi-fi. Check out was at noon and we left there right on the button with a flawless departure. Not much of a trip north. No wind, tried to sail for a while, until the wind completely died. Stopped for a swim, but then goofed up and forgot to bring up the swim ladder before getting underway again, and the ladder fell overboard and sunk like a stone. Dang, that was a handy piece of equipment and not sure if I can replace it all too easily. Back to Muskegon by 3:30, motored most of the way back (from about PJ Hoffmaster Park). Played more eucre on the way back. Already starting to think of winter storage, need to order a canvas boat cover.

August 27 - Tim & Terri came out to clean and work on the brightwork. Got the toerail completely refinished this summer all the way around the boat, putting on 3 coats of prep varnish in varying degrees of mix with mineral spirits, and then a few coats of pure varnish over the top. Looks beautiful, now thinking of moving on to the cabin side rails and the frame for the cabin hatch. I may bring home the hatch pieces and the tiller over the winter to refinish them.

September 11 - Tim Terri and Lady showed up for a late season ride. Been a long time since we've been out to visit the boat. Lots of wind today, and the water looks low. Fanny is stuck in her slip, got some advice from Captain Jim across the way on the student boat as to getting her out. We rocked the boat back and forth, hanging on the extended boom to work her loose from the bottom. Finally managed to get her out. We sailed all the way to the end of Lake Muskegon over by the power plants with just a reefed headsail, but then when we tried to sail back, we had to make so many tacks back and forth that we eventually switched to the motor for the return trip. Came back and did some more work on the teak work. Very hot weather in the 90s. Thinking of when we'll need to schedule the haul out for this season, but thinking we may have another month of sailing yet available.

October 2 - Stuck in the slip again! Lots of rocking and rolling to get it unstuck to get out. Nice day in the 80s, couldn't get back all the way into the slip due to the shallow draft, and had to adjust our docking lines accordingly. Need to bring this up with the marina if we have the same slip next year. Spiders everywhere.

October 15(?) - Terri and Keenan both working lots of hours at the Civic theater, hard to get them to come out to the boat this fall. Talked Candy into accompanying me for a duo boat ride, and to take down the sails for the season. Wind was a little gusty, we sailed for a short while on Lake Muskegon, and got up a good head of steam (so much so that it made Tim nervous). We got the sails down and stored below. Going to leave them aboard the boat this winter (we stowed them in the office at home last season).

Late October/November - Had a custom canvas cover made for winter storage of the boat. Kind of expensive, but from what we've heard, it is worth the investment, as they tend to last a good long time. We had Torreson do the initial covering and tie down as part of our haul out package this fall, and we figured we could go out and take notes on how to do it ourselves the following season. We also had the marina store our batteries this winter and winterize all the the equipment for us.

2005 Overview: Felt like a very short season this year. The initial enthusiasm of that first season, where we were out to the lake almost every single weekend we had a chance, has worn off a bit. Have a hard time convincing Keenan to come with us, unless we force the point. We did a lot more 'afternoon visits' as opposed to 'spending the weekend'. Some big accomplishments this year nonetheless. First overnight sail which was quite the adventure. Learned to use the AutoHelm, which is a big step forward in efficiency, and cuts down on fatigue on long trips. Introduced a new crew member, Lady. Visited a few new ports of call. Made some progress on the brightwork that seems to be holding up a bit better than the 'teak oil' of the previous season. Purchased a canvas cover for winter. Replaced the nav lights, the topping lift and furling line. On the downside, we still haven't solved the 'traveller stop' hardware issue, which I think I'll break down and give to Torreson to fix, we lost our swim ladder, which I am personally going to miss a great deal.