Monday, July 1, 2013
Last Sunday, Terri and I headed out to the Lake to check on the boat, and possibly sail if the weather was right, and go to the beach, if not. Winds were pretty stiff, and it looked like the few boats that were out on the lake were struggling, so we just did a little cleaning and organizing, and finished installing the new throwable, then headed out to the beach (where the water temperature was still a very chilly 55 degrees and the waves were crashing on the beach, much to the enjoyment of the several wind surfers in attendance).
The following weekend, we gave Sunday afternoon another try. Beautiful scattered cloud cover under a blue sky, with the wind about 10-15 when we left the slip (which we think freshened to 15-20 as the day progressed), and we got up to some pretty decent speeds with just the main sail across Lake Muskegon. Sailed all the way out the channel on a beam reach (winds from the north), and once out on the big lake raised our headsail and got our top speeds of the day of 7 knots, briefly, before realizing that we were a bit over canvased, and we had a short spell of verbal squalls while we worked out a way to reef the mainsail and shorten the jib (the adrenaline was flowing pretty good out on the big lake today). We got about an hour away from the channel, and the waves, which started about 1-3 started building to 2-4 and the breeze started picking up and the clouds started getting bigger and darker, so we turned around and headed back, getting up to 5-6 knots on the return trip and at times a bit white knuckled with our combination of heel and occasional 4 ft waves on our port side. Sailed most of the way down the channel (at 5 knots, doing better than most of the power boats), until the breeze died just past the submarine. On the way back to the marina we practiced a 'heave to' maneuver so we could flake the sail, and after a few tacks and getting tired and hungry flipped on the engine for the last little leg to the marina entrance. Lady got to try out her new hot pink 'boat coat', and the lake was as busy as I've ever seen it (at one point we were playing chicken with a thousand foot freighter and the lake express ferry coming from different directions), and the breeze was borderline 'too much' at times but we got some practice with various skill sets that have been a little rusty. Hoping to get out more in July.