Monday, June 23, 2008

Sunset Cruise with Candy

After really being bitten bad by the sailing bug this weekend at my mother's 'wedding cruise' in Chicago, and wanting to do a 'shakedown cruise' with the boat before taking Jim out on Wednesday afternoon, in order to work all the kinks out of the rigging, I dropped Candy an email in the afternoon on Monday to see if she could accompany me out to Muskegon for a 'sunset cruise' after work. She had to skip Tai Chi, but I promised her plenty of stretching and uncomfortable positions to make up for it.

We got out to the marina around 7ish, and proceeded to tidy up and get the boat 'shipshape', putting away various items below, and installing the new headsail sheets. The exit from the slip was a little undignified, and came uncomfortably close to scraping her on the dock, then reversing most of the way out the marina, then doing a tight circle in the entrance to cruise forward (battery #2). We headed east of the mooring balls and then, with Candy at the helm, I raised the main. We sailed around Lake Muskegon mostly, attempting a few 'coming about' maneuvers. Rather sloppy all over, it feels like I've forgotten how to do most of everything, and my 'sailing terminology' has left the building, I keep referring to things on the boat as "that thingamajig" or "the doohickey over there". We tried sailing down the channel, but only got about halfway before the wind stopped cooperating, and then once we got past the submarine, the wind off the big lake was considerably more gusty and uncomfortable, so I did a quick u-turn and we headed back to the little lake.

At this point, the traffic on the lake was a lot less crowded, and it was nearing sunset time. I had noticed many little tweaks that needed to be done to the rigging, so we dropped sail in the middle of the lake and drifted for a while, so I could attend to some corrections. The headsail furler was wrapped in such a way, that we were unable to completely roll up the genoa, so I did a little tweaking on that (could still be better, but at least it now wraps up all the way). I also noticed that the clew on the mainsail was all twisted up due to the hardware being attached in the wrong way, so fixed that. The reefing lines were screwed up, so I had to do a little rearranging there too (although I'm still not completely happy with the arrangement, I think I need to switch the 1st and 2nd reefing lines, because for some reason now, the white one doesn't reach a cleat to tie it off when it isn't in use).

Once the rigging tweaks were taken care of, and with Candy at the helm we did a bit more sailing while watching the sun go down, and then drifted slowly back to the marina with just the headsail while I flaked the main. The return to the slip was a bit less lubberly, and then we tidied up and headed for home. Frosties at Wendys, and a couple deer sightings on the drive home.

(photos) (top) The sunset over Lake Muskegon (middle) Candy at the helm as we head for the channel - you can see how sad the brightwork is looking this year.

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