Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Repairs and Renovations

Came out on Sunday to take a look at the engine to see if we could figure out why it overheated the last time we were out. Easy enough. Both ends of the coolant hose were broken, so we replaced the hose and clamps and it seems to be running smooth once again. Not enough available time to go sailing (although the weather looked nice), so we headed down to PJ Hoffmaster for a quick swim in the lake (something we have been neglecting these past 8 years since buying the boat), and then home to meet Candy for dinner.

The following day, Tim came down in the afternoon alone to work on the woodwork, and got the rest of the toe-rail sanded down, and got started on the cockpit brightwork. Next time out we can start varnishing the toe-rail, and perhaps get some stripper to aid in getting the old varnish off the rest of the cockpit.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sunday Afternoon Sail

Sunday afternoon, we took the Jonkers (Bev and Nate) and Bud out for a sunset cruise. Winds were a little brisker than they were on our GH trip, and both lakes were fairly choppy, but the boat did quite well with little sail flying. We tacked back and forth for a while on Lake Muskegon and then worked our way out to the big lake where we got out a picnic snack while rolling on the 2-3 ft swells, then turned back around 7:30 or so, and managed to sail most of the way down the channel before the wind died in the usual spot. We turned on the engine and were contemplating motoring all the way back, when the engine overheated, and we had to sail back on a run while Terri went below to check the engine intake filter and cooling system. The wind was quite cooperative however and we never did switch the engine back on, but was able to sail into our slip at the marina (twice now the Jonkers have witnessed this feat, and only twice that we've done it), and watched the sun go down as we polished off two bottles of wine and a small bag of chocolates. A beautiful evening sail, despite the technical difficulties. A good sign, that we've managed to sail more often in the past three to four weeks, than we managed to do all last summer. Hopefully this trend continues.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Grand Haven Overnight

We headed out on Thursday around noon for an overnight trip to Grand Haven. Winds were light from the southwest, and we managed to get two hours of sailing in, tacking back and forth and getting up to 3.5 knots at times, but after those two hours we found ourselves still within sight of the Muskegon light house and just north of the Mona Lake channel (not even halfway there), so we gave up on the sails and turned on the engine to head south. We motorsailed with the main up for a portion of the way, until it began to be a problem with the wind direction, and we flaked the sail and simply motored the rest of the trip. We both got way too much sunshine, and ended up with burns (me on the tops of my feet and neck, and Terri on her arms and chest and face and places on her legs and feet where we weren't as cautious as we should have been with the sunscreen). We managed to find our slip in Grand Haven on our own, and tied up without help in a fairly competent manner. Al drove down and picked us up and we spend the majority of the rest of the evening over at my mom's place eating dinner and playing cribbage. They dropped us off around 10 where we caught the 'musical fountain', had a few sundowners and tucked into the vee berth for a peaceful night's sleep.

The next morning Tim was up by 5am with an idea that if the wind were in the same direction and just as light that we might be able to figure out the spinnaker on our own, but after monkeying around with the sail and the sock, and trying to read sketchy instructions out of our sailing book, he gave up on the scheme. Tim took a long walk down to the pier and back, then up to the coffee shop for a bagel when they opened at 6:30. We realized that Tim's sunglasses and hat were left at Mom's place, so we called them in the morning and they met us down at the DeeLite for a small breakfast on the patio, with Lady whining all the time because she had to stay outside the 'fenced in area'.

We left Grand Haven around 11 and the wind had shifted overnight to be from the northeast, so we were stuck with the same sailing scenario as the day before, except with slightly lighter winds, so we motored most of the way home, using 'robosailor' to keep us on a straight course while we enjoyed the ride under our golf umbrella trying to keep out of the sun and away from the flies (which weren't too bad as long as we were motoring and the apparent wind was up). Near Mona Lake, we gave sailing another try, and it was kind of slow going at first, with speeds of 2.5-3 knots and doing a lot of tacking back and forth, but eventually, we were able to get that up to 3.5-4 knots and started making some real progress towards the Muskegon light, and then Terri took over at the helm, and she managed to get us up to 4.5-5.5 knots on a pretty good heel at times, and we eventually got into the channel around 3, and sailed on a beam reach all the way down the channel, only slowing down once we got past the submarine. The flies and the sun were getting to be real annoyances at that point though, and once on Lake Muskegon, the wind died way down, the heat started climbing, and we tried going on a run back towards the Milwaukee Clipper and our home marina (with the sails wing and wing), but the 2 knot speed felt like torture after 5 minutes, so we doused sail and motored back to the marina, with Terri pulling us into the slip and Tim manning the lines. The deck of the boat was so hot it burnt your feet, and Lady managed to burn her paws on the hot rocks of the parking lot and got scalded with hot hose water at the dog park, so we drove out to the 'dog section' of Lake Michigan beach to try and cool us all down.

Record heat wave today in Grand Rapids, and by the time we got home, the car thermometer was showing 100 degrees, and we were certainly grateful that we were out on the Lake today. Then it was time for Tim to put on his 'Jukejoint Uniform' (all black suit) and head down to Jukes for his gig.

No photos today, but we hope to be back out on the Lake on Sunday with Bud and the Jonkers.