Sunday, September 25, 2011

Weekend Abort

We had grand plans for taking the boat out for an extended weekend, but we both came down with colds on Thursday, and the weatherman didn't cooperate with us and doled out a rather wet cold series of days. Nevertheless, we decided to take advantage of a brief window of sunshine on Saturday and headed out for an afternoon sail. The wind didn't look promising, but there was a slight breeze, and we thought we might be able to pick up a little better breeze out on the big lake, so we quickly untied and headed out. We motored all the way out, stopping for a fuel up at harbortown, and once we got out on Lake Michigan headed north on a close reach (wind was out of the Northwest). We only went a short distance north because the tack was so uncomfortable, and we seemed to be heading closer and closer to shore, so I headed due west on a close reach instead, where we stayed for most of the afternoon. The weather was very strange, drizzling rain one minute, sunshine the next, with fog to the north, and dark storm clouds and rain to the south. After a while, I began to think to myself that it would be good conditions to see a rainbow somewhere out here, and sure enough, looking back at the channel we could see a double bow arching over the channel, with one end of it hitting the lighthouse. Terri was a bit disappointed, because she had opted to leave the good camera at home, so we had to make due with the cell phone for the shot above.
We got pretty good speed on a minimum of wind that afternoon, and eventually turned to the south on a run so we could prepare for a comfortable beam reach back to the channel, but by the time we made the turn back for home, the storm clouds to the south were intensifying, and occasional peals of thunder were making us a little nervous, so we turned on the engine and motorsailed back, eventually dousing the headsail as the winds picked up.
By the time we were in the channel, the rain had started in earnest, and Terri and Lady spent a great deal of the time down below keeping dry while I put on the rain slicker that we got from the Kroes' two years previous. Once back in Lake Muskegon, we shut down the engine and drifted so we could put away the main sail (raining pretty hard at this point, and we got soaked to the skin), and with the lightning flashing more and more often, it was a little nerve wracking. Back to the marina, tied up in a hurry and scurried to our car for a damp ride home (after a quick dinner at Russ' with some hot coffee). The rest of the weekend is looking pretty nasty, maybe we can get out one more time in October, before haul out.
(battery 2)

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