Monday, July 11, 2011

July Cruise

This is me after 1-week of not shaving.

Ruth and I usually take a 2-week Lake Ontario cruise every year. This year we were blessed with no rain, and that meant no wind also. We also had our share of boat problems.

Here I am growling because I broke a part on the filter.

The first problem was having the motor die as we were pulling up to Brockport Yacht Club. My first guess at troubleshooting was right on target: The fuel filter was clogged. Trying to fix it, I caused the second problem by breaking off the plastic bleeder screw on the filter case. We sailed back to the creek entrance, and towed the rest of the way by the BYC Committee boat. Larry met us there and helped with the tools and part I needed to finish the repair.

Off to Canada for a great sailing vacation. The trip over from Brockport had 20 knot winds and seas 3 to 5 feet on our rear quarter. We ended up motor-sailing once again. Getting through customs and entering the Murray Canal was a blessing because it got us off the rough lake. We motored through to the CFB Trenton Yacht Club for the night.

The next morning we left for the Bay of Quinte Yacht Club for 2-nights. I spent the day washing the boat and walking the dog through the large park nearby. We also had a chance to watch a group of men sail their small radio-controlled sailboats, racing them right next to where we were docked.

After listening to the weather report, we decided that the winds were not going to help us along our journey, so we decided to back-track through the canal and head west to Cobourg. Once there, the westerly winds would help us cross back to Rochester. Cobourg is a nice place to visit with good facilities and the town nearby is an easy walk. We had lunch at a favorite restaurant and bought food at a store about 1/2 mile away. We watched the Dragon Boaters practicing out in the basin, and welcomed some fellow GYC members the second day.

After fueling up at Cobourg, we started off only to have our second problem. No water from the engine exhaust. This is a common problem for us in Canada with the weeds that proliferate there. My first thing to try was the water filter, but it was clean. What else could it be? I hoped it wasn't the water pump. Close inspection showed that the belt to the water pump was slipping. Tightening it up did the trick. Off we were to motor sail back to Brockport. The weather forecast predicted more hot and windless days.

Ruth having a little talk with Ernie.

We stayed at Brockport one night, and motored back to Rochester. What we hoped would be a good sailing vacation turned ot to be a motoring vacation. Oh well, there is always next year.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Five Miles Out

Yesterday was the third attempt to get a good sail in this spring. The forecast was positive for a breezy sail with 15 knot winds at the end of the pier. The wind meter on Water Colors indicated a little over 15 knots, so I decided to raise the mainsail in the reefed position.

All was good, and before you knew it, we were 5 miles north of the port. The winds had subsided, so I shook out the reefing and we came about. The wind slowly declined and that made our hull speed about 2.5 knots. It was nice though, and we enjoyed watching the racers returning from the GYC Scotch Bonnet Race.

I decided to furl in the jib when we approached the river. I pulled the furling line, and it sure did pull easy. Pulling the line and looking at the sail, I discovered the jib wasn't furling in. I went forward to investigate, and found that three screws that hold the furling drum to the rest of the furling hardware had somehow come unscrewed and were missing. That meant that the drum was turning, but not the top part of the furler.

I decided to just take the jib down to make it easy to get into the dock. Once docked, I found 2 of the missing screws in the anchor locker (the furler drum in located below deck in the anchor locker). I put the 2 screws in place and used a longer screw for the third. The jib rolls in nicely now.

One less thing to go wrong when we are cruising in July.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A good weekend for working on my tan, and oh yes, working on the boat. The essentials are done, having put the sails up as well as the cockpit canvas. The hot water tank is ready to fill and the refrigerator ready to turn on and fill with pop and beer.

Only a few inside jobs to finish. The woodwork on the outside needs a lot of TLC. Sanding, cleaning and applying Cetol will take time and patience. I hope that I can start that before the cotton balls are flying in the wind.

Next weekend is Memorial Day weekend and our GYC Fleet Review on Sunday with a picnic to follow.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Water Colors is launched

The clouds over Rochester finally parted, giving me enough time to perform my spring commissioning on Water Colors. We missed our original launch date because of the cold wet spring, and now, two weeks later we are in the water.

What I see now is more work ahead of me. The birds had a field day using my deck as a poop deck. A good scrubbing is in store for the near future. Then there are the usual things like putting the sails up and sanding the wooden trim.

Ruth and I have decided to do a little club racing this year, so I figured that I would practice with somebody that really knows how to race. I hope to crew with my friend Bill Thompson on Tuesday night club races. Ruth and I will race the more relaxed Saturday races along with the Thursday Pizza Races every so often.

I guess that is about it for now. Hopefully I will blog more often than in the past years.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Waiting to launch

Another year has passed. Looking back on my blogging history, I see that I didn't keep my promise to blog during the sailing season in 2010. Will 2011 be different? I hope so.

Last year I was busy as Commodore of the Genesee Yacht Club, and for 2008 and 2009 I was Vice Commodore. Those tasks were accomplished because I had retired from my real job at Harris RF Communications. However, the recession hit, and so was my retirement account. I went back to work for RF Communications over a year ago, and still working even though the retirement account is healthy once more.

The working interfered with everything else I wanted to do, including sailing. Ruth and I managed to take two weeks to get in some cruise time on Lake Ontario and some day cruises when we could.

Now I am free from the GYC duties, but still not free from work. I guess we will make it one day at a time; sailing, house jobs, and maybe a short vacation south. Hopefully, keeping up this blog will also be on my to-do list. Oh yes, I must also remember to include pictures.

Cheers, and have a great sailing season....... Ken