Sunday, May 30, 2010
Memorial Day Sail
Drove down to South Haven on Saturday to take in a 'Vintage Baseball Game' that my brother in law Alex was playing in, and it was played right at the park on the bluff by the South Haven beach, so I was tantalized by all the sailboats out on the water all during the game, and when I mentioned to Terri and Keenan that I really wanted to get out on the lake, they surprised me by suggesting we go out the next day.
We got out to the boat by around 1 on Sunday, and the weather was looking beautiful. Blue skies, hot and sunny with a steady 10 mph wind from the south. I almost wussed out when I discovered the 'engine kill switch' was inoperable (it looks as though the boat yard 'tried' to fix at launch, but ended up merely cementing the thing together and ruining it for good), but after some debate, we figured we could still kill the engine manually, and as it was, it really wasn't all that big of a problem (just took a little more foresight in delegating tasks for the crew).
A perfect exit from the slip, and then once out in the water, we raised the headsail for the trip over to the channel, but the flukey winds coming through the channel didn't allow us to sail it out, so we flipped the engine back on until we reached the big lake. Lots and lots of sailboats out on Lake Michigan today, and the wind was a little less than it was on Lake Muskegon, but once we got both sails up and adjusted, we had a beautiful calm sail on a close reach straight west from the channel.
I stated a goal of sailing until we were the furthest boat out into the lake, but once we got about 5 or so miles from shore, the wind started dying a bit, and with the dying of the wind, the flies started coming out, so we ended up turning around once we were one of the 5 furthest out. The ride back was a little more brisk once we caught the wind again, and we got to watch the Lake Express Ferry come from behind us and beat us to the channel, and then once we reached the channel, we were able to sail all the way through to Lake Muskegon (although the wind died a bit near the end and we were reduced to a snails pace for a while).
Keenan took over the tiller once we were in Lake Muskegon and he managed to get us to our top speeds of the day (according to the physical knot meter, which is rarely accurate, he got up to about 6 knots, which makes me think we were closer to 7 or 8) and got in a bit of the old exciting 'heeling' which he seems to enjoy. Once we got back near the marina, we flaked and hauled in the headsail and motored back to our slip for a neat and tidy return home. A beautiful day on the water, and now to see about getting that 'kill switch' taken care of.