Friday, September 19, 2008

Sailing season is not over

Wednesday was a great day for a sail!  Winds out of the south-west at 10 to 15 knots and little wave action.  Ruth had to help my son with his photography business, so I had the afternoon to myself.  I decided to finally carry through with a promise I had made to take one of our friends from GYC out for a day-sail.

Ed is a sailor with no boat, having sold his sailboat after knee surgery, and having a difficult time sailing single-handed.  Now he relies on his friends to take him out to enjoy his passion.  This was the first time I have taken Ed out sailing, and he was like a kid at the wheel.  We beat into the wind for the first half of the trip, heading towards a couple other sailboats off in the distance.

Once we were close to them, Ed suggested that we come about and have a race.  It really wasn't much of a race with the other boat flying only a jib and us with main and jib up.  The speed of Water Colors reached 7.2 knots at one point, about the best my Hunter 33.5 can do.

We reached the Rochester Harbor piers and decided to take the sails down before entering the channel.  It was that point that I began to wonder about bringing the boat into her slip.  Ruth is always at the helm when leaving and returning to our dock.  I am the one on deck managing the dock lines.  Now I needed to bring the boat in, only the second time this year, with Ed volunteering to grab the one dock line I have set up at the piling, and then throw it over the winch to stop the boat.  I came in nice and slow, and Ed worked the line like an old pro.  Once we were stopped, I stepped off to the dock and set the bow lines.

Like I said, it was a great day for a sail, and a great day to be with an old friend.  He said that I am on his "A" list now, and he feels safe sailing with me again.

Monday, September 1, 2008

September 1st...Already!

Are you ready for the sailing season to end? I know that I'm not.

We received the annual paperwork from Shumway Marine asking for a haul-out date. Last year I hauled around October 1st. I think that I wanted to be on land a little early so that I could get a coat of Poli Glow on the hull and get to the bright work that I put off all summer.

Do I try to cover the boat this year? Every year that I try to cover, it doesn't last the winter. Too much snow and wind either collapse the cover or break the framing. One year I had to replace one stanchion and have two others repaired when the wind blew my cover and wooden frame over.

This year I think that we need a little more time on the lake. The water levels are high so that I don't have to worry about getting stuck at my slip (I hope). I can't believe that we didn't visit Sodus Bay this year. God forbid we miss a chance to dock at the yacht club and have the waves beat us to death. They sure could use a break-wall there.

Yesterday we had eight boats rafted up for a short time on Lake Ontario just east of the Summerville Pier. The waves from the power boats knocked the hell out of us, and we were forced to break the raft after an hour or so. Many of us met at the club afterwards to enjoy a nice cookout.

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Cheers and have a good Labor Day!
Ken Palmer