Sunday, September 23, 2007

Bonus Daysail

Getting near the end of the available season for sailing, but still managed to squeeze another short daysail in on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Just Terri and I today, leaving the dog home for a change (it's not so much the sailing that is the problem, but she can be so annoying on the drive over to Muskegon). The wind was predicted to be 10-15 knots (perhaps it was when we started, but it seemed to slack off a bit by the time we came in), and the water was fairly calm, especially on the little lake, but there were a few rollers out on the big lake (but not as big as last weekend). We got stuck in the slip, and our friendly and helpful neighbor Matt gave us some help in extracting her from the bottom by rocking us back and forth via the halyard. Speaking of the halyard, he came over to tell us that he tied up our halyard for us, because it was chaffing on some hardware on the spreaders, and I gave it a looksee, and yes it looks as if the line now has a bit of wear on one particular spot in the middle (yet another line to be replaced, looking forward to that bill.... not!).

We exited fairly smoothly, despite being stuck, and exiting crooked and backwards to a big audience, and raised the sails shortly after we cleared the mooring ball area. A nice little beam reach trip northward across Lake Muskegon, and then a couple tacks towards the channel (I had hopes of sailing partially out the channel, but the wind wasn't cooperating), and we motored the channel to Lake Michigan. Headed southward along the shore, and had a pleasant, but rolly sail out on the big lake south to the entrance to Mona Lake, then turned around for a leisurely close reach back to the channel against the waves (by this time, the wind seemed to be slacking a bit). We flaked the main on the return trip down the channel, and managed to sail the entire thing on a run with just the headsail (our third time doing this in 2007, after not being able to for the previous three years).

We took a slow crawl with just the headsail back towards the marina, hugging the western shore, and didn't realize it until too late, that we had inadvertently joined a sailing reggatta, and we sailed V.E.R.Y. S.L.O.W.L.Y. past the buoy between the tacking racing sailboats and the judge sitting at the corner watching the turns (he didn't look too happy with us, but I don't think we interfered with the boats in the race, at least I hope not). But it was very cool to see the crews scrambling around on decks, quickly dousing sails and raising others to shouted instructions from the helmsman, and all at very close quarters "Trim! Trim! Trim!" - - We continued slowly on our way back to our slip, and I nearly sailed clear into the marina before turning the engine back on (and in hindsight, we might've been able to sail right back into our slip, considering how the water level was so low, that we weren't really in danger of running into the dock with our bow, because we hit bottom before that could happen). A little help from Matt when we returned and tied up, and there were a family of prospective buyers looking at Capt. Jim's boat next door. A beautiful day, and hopefully we can get out one more time for the fall colors before she's pulled in late October. (battery #1)

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