Tuesday, July 27, 2004

A Seamless Sail?

So, we left Burnham as planned at around 7:00 pm on Sunday to attempt an overnight sail to Milwaukee. We headed out at around 65 degrees which was more north than we expected. The seas were also more than we expected and although we have been in much worse we started to wonder if either of us could sleep the way the boat was hobby horsing and pounding into the occasional four footer. We sailed out about 8 miles and tacked. Now our course was around 330 to 340 degrees! Great! This would take us past B'hai easily. But...still the pounding and being saftey conscious we really began to wonder what trouble a really sleepy crew might get into. Steering was non trivial as we were close hauled and had to be very busy on the helm to maintain our course.

After about 45 minutes on this tack and the city still pretty near we decide to go back to Burnham. We got back in with no problem around 11:45. So, our experiment with an all night sail will have to wait.

On  Monday morning we headed out again with a new plan. We'd only go to Waukegan and creep north from there. Winds were about the same and we raised the main and then began to unfurl the genny. About half way out it stuck. I looked up and realized that the leach seam had ripped out and the leach line was wrapped around the sail and the forestay many times. ARGGGGGGH! We managed to roll it back up and, of course, headed back in. We took the sail down and inspected it.  It really was pretty ripped up along the seam. Luckily we took it the same day to Sterling Sails and he did the repair in 1.5 hours.

While we were waiting for Sterling we stopped by Crowley's to look at that Pearson 365 Ketch. Sue had never seen it. So we gave it a look for fun. It is way over priced but this boat is a pretty neat cruising boat. We found out, though, that there is another one just on the market that is more reasonably priced and in better shape. So our 1 week cruise has turned into investigating the possibilities of buying this boat!

So if the sail hadn't ripped...and so it goes.  The only happy crewman was Gracie the Cat!
Looks like Scott will be racing on Sunday afterall.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

This summer's little trip

This coming Sunday we plan to take 1 week cruise on Lake Michigan just to keep our cruising skills honed. We are going to leave Sunday night and sail through the night to get to Milwaukee the next day. We want the experience of doing a night sail with just the two of us. There will certainly be times in the future where we want to make a longer passage of say over 100 miles and will need to sleep and take turns handling the boat alone.

From Milwaukee we are goint to hop north to Port Washington and then turn back south and try to hit Racine and Waukegan on the way home. These are ports that we like but have not visited in a couple of seasons. We'll also try to find places to update the blog and post some pictures along the way. This too is good practice for the BIG trip to come. So visit this blog and see how we are doing!

Scott learns to race

On Sunday, Scott got to crew with Dave and Larry aboard Blitz for a MORF race...whatever that is. What fun! We had great plans for each of the various maneouver we were about to perform and yet when it came time to do it there was just a bunch of hollering and swearing! I looked up one time as we were rounding a mark and we could have easily stepped from the bow of our boat onto the stern of the boat in front. Larry at the helm seemed to think this was normal! We did ok though. Found out a couple of days later that after applying the handicaps we were second by 5 seconds! ARGGGGGGG.

I probably quadrupled my knowledge about sail trim in this one race and am looking forward to doing it again later today with Dave and Jeff this time. Hope the weather holds.

To Hammond and back

Saturday, Scott and Sue and their friend Kay realized a long standing plan. They finally sailed to Hammond to go out to eat at Phil Schmidts. The wind was out of the north and blowing about 20 kts! Not too bad going down as we rode easily on the 4 foot waves that were following us. In Hammond we met up with Gary and Sam who drove around. Scott and Gary each made a withdrawl at the casino thank you very much! Dinner was free!

We were undecided as to whether or not to beat back into those waves to get back to Chicago. When we returned to the boat though, we were greeted by the stereo blasting on the power boat next to us. They were apparently providing the music for the dock party 3 boats down! Our decision was made! I said I'd rather sink than spend the night next to those idiots. We motor-sailed due north pounding right into the waves that had only slightly decreased since our south-bound trip. When we got north of the Hyde Park shoals we could finally turn to the north west and get some wind in our sails and get an angle to the waves. Trip down took about 2.25 hours and the return trip tool 3.75 hours! Nearly twice as long.

We got back just before midnight. I knew it had been a rough trip when I opended a beer from my frig and it exploded!

Monday, July 12, 2004

Kaptain 'K'

We were lucky to meet our new friends, Bill and Linda who just bought Kaptain 'K'. Kaptain 'K' is the boat just off our stern in Burnham. Bill and Linda were excited about the boat but needed some instruction in sailing and other boat stuff. So, after a couple of sails near Burnham, Bill, Scott and Sue headed across the lake to New Buffalo on Sunday. Bill and Lind are keeping the boat there. It was a great sail! We sailed close hauled almost all the way across. We needed a little engine boost around noon and again to cover the last 3-4 miles when the wind pooped out. Kaptain K is a great boat and sails easily. Bill and Linda should have several years of fun on this boat.

Previous posts show some pics from the training runs and the crossing of the lake.

Max at the helm. Posted by Hello

Captain Bill scans the horizon in search of the Great White. Posted by Hello

The happy new owners of the sailing vessel Kaptain 'K' Posted by Hello

Linda enjoys sailing already! Posted by Hello

Friday, July 09, 2004

Teaching Sailing

Interesting twist for Scott this summer. I've been teaching high school Physics for 20 some years but this summer I've had a chance to teach sailing. What fun! I've been teaching 12 year olds sailing at the Des Plaines Park District in sunfishes. This has made ME think more about sailing itself and what might be some better ways for people to learn the basics. I also have the opportunity to teach a new owner of a 30 foot Beneteau how to sail. This is even more fun because there is so much more to teach a new owner and VERY novice sailor about boat systems, docking, triming sails, hove-to and so forth. I'm hoping that these experiences will follow me and serve me well as we sail south next year to the islands.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Work Continues...

We are busy upgrading Enee Marie (the boat) expecting her to make the trip next year south to the Keys. Yesterday we removed, scraped and repainted the alcohol tank. Re-installed it up on some blocks of wood so that the legs don't rust so bad in the future. We also removed a locker lid and scraped and repainted that. When the paint dries I'll install new hinges and new foam tape to make a better seal with the edge of the locker. No pictures as Scott left the camera at the Des Plaines sailing center where it will hopefully be found!

Another recent innovation is that we now support our little cockpit table using a chain led up to the boom. Scott put a pad eye on the boom and a cup hook under the edge of the table for this purpose. Now there is no leg to trip over as we had it before. Of course there will be no using the table while under sail either but we rarely did anyway.

As usual, Gracie was no help!