Drove out to Muskegon today to take the sails down, deliver the canvas cover skeleton, and generally get the boat ready for winter. Thought about possibly taking her out one more time, but the weather looked a little chilly out on the lake, and with the boat being thoroughly stuck in her slip, we decided it wasn't worth the trouble. Matt gave us a hand with flaking the sails, and I got a lesson in the proper way to do it (hell, we just wadded them or rolled them up in a ball before, not knowing any better). Much easier than last year, where we had trouble getting the headsail down due to a twisted halyard. But one surprise when we did get the headsail down, it was discovered that the shackle was unscrewed and barely hanging on to the top of the sail (that would have been a mess had it fallen off sometime in the summer, or on a trip).
Overall, a rather disappointing year. Not much use of the boat, other than an occasional daysail. Keenan only visited the boat twice all year, and both in the same week. We never ventured out of sight of the Muskegon channel this year, no extended trips, and only a single overnight stay. The one week we had planned for a trip, it ended up raining (about the only rain this summer, oddly enough). On the plus side, I got Alex out on the boat, took Candy for a few rides, and brought along her coworker Fred for a fun afternoon. We sailed completely down the channel for the first time this year, not once, not twice, but three times. We used the engine very rarely all year, mainly just for going in and out of the slip, and got a lot of close quarters practice out on Muskegon Lake. A lot more quiet 'me 'n the wife' sails this year, perhaps getting us ready for when the boy flies from the nest.
The boat will be hauled out sometime in the next few weeks, and we opted to let them install the cover this time. Not that it was all that difficult to do, but we neglected to ever collect the canvas cover from them after the boat repair work this spring, and they've been hanging on to it all summer (I'm sure we are going to see a storage fee for that one...). Probably won't need the oil changed, since we barely used the engine this year. Only filled up the diesel tank once near the end of the season, and it is still pretty full. I don't think we even used the head all summer. Will probably take another trip out there to inspect the haul out and winterizing job, but am hoping next year offers more chances to get out on the lake.
October 16 -- Got a call from the marina, our boat has been pulled from the season. Just in time, as a big windstorm swept through the area a few days later. Will need to take a drive out there to inspect the canvas cover installation.