Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Kelly signs on for an afternoon cruise

One of our old neighbors from Durand drove over to take her first ride on a sailboat. Terri and Keenan also tagged along this afternoon. The weather was a bit dismal and overcast, but the predicted rain never did show up, and the sun almost came out at a few points in the afternoon. The wind was fairly reliable out of the NW, and we were able to generate some decent speed with only the headsail. We mostly tooled around Lake Muskegon, going just past the island channel marker on the way to downtown and the summer fest, and then tacking our way over to the channel to give Kelly a peek at the big lake. The waves, as predicted, were a bit high on Lake Michigan, so we just poked our nose out there for a few minutes and then did a U-turn and headed back for home. The ride back was easier than the ride out this time, and we managed to generate nearly 5-6 knots on a run, and managed to sail down the channel as well. (battery 1)

photo above: Forgot to bring our camera with us today, so Terri took this snap with her cell phone of Kelly's brief flirtation with handling the tiller

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Midweek Getaway

(photo above) almost out to the shipping lanes (photos below) Tim & Terri at the helm, and the rest of the crew kipping on deck

Me and Terri took advantage of a break in our busy June schedule to sneak out for a Tuesday afternoon sailing excursion. The wind was predicted to be 13 mph from the SSE, but it felt more like 15-20, with very choppy waves on Lake Muskegon when we got there. We quickly readied the boat, letting the engine run just a little to check on that 'overheating problem' that we experienced last time out, and made a flawless exit from the slip, and, once past the mooring balls, we opened up the headsail and headed for the channel on a broad reach doing about 5-6 knots. We did a quick jibe just at the channel entrance and sailed down the channel at possibly a record speed for us (with only a slight slowdown around the submarine where it always seems to get a little flukey).

Once out on the big lake, we found a comfortable beam reach tack and headed straight out away from shore, and reached 7 knots at one point according to our handheld GPS. My goal was to try and sail for a hour straight away from shore to see how far we would get, but we only got about 4 miles out after 35 minutes, and Terri was beginning to get a little nervous (not sure why, the waves weren't bad, the sailing was comfortable, and we weren't the only boats out here - a couple of small fishing craft, and a big tanker that crossed in front of us a few more miles out) - so I compromised and we turned around and headed back towards the now tiny Muskegon lighthouse.

Heading back wasn't quite as effortless as the trip out. The wind and waves conspired against us in making a direct route towards our destination, so we had to do a few tacks once we got close to the channel, and then, once in the channel, the wind was almost directly on our bow, so we had to motor the rest of the way back.

We misjudged the power of the wind in re-entering our slip this time, and I had to abort our first attempt, turn around and try again, to the hoots and yells of some of the yard workers, but on the second attempt I hit it dead on and we were tying up just as one of them was running over to help us, who gave us a nice compliment of 'great recovery' before heading back to work. A beautiful day on the lake, hope it isn't another two weeks before we can get out again. (battery 2)