Sunday, December 29, 2013

new digs

We've moved! We are now about a block from a lake we hope to be able to sail on. The trick will be finding a good launch point away from rocks and just-under-the-surface trees.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

missed the boat

It's been quite awhile since an update, and I'll do a recap later today (hopefully) on sailing this summer. But, due to several things, it looks like we missed our fall sailing window. Woke up this morning and it was 40 degrees out. It'll get to 70, but since we've had consistently 40-50 degree nights, I think the water's going to be a bit chilly for sailing without wetsuits. Bummer.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Mike and I catching a moment to chat.
Last week we finished up our intermediate sailing class, which included four 2-hour sessions. It was both a fun and frustrating experience. Fun, because we were out sailing and we couldn't make schedule excuses not to get out to the lake. Frustrating, because we had some near-dead wind nights, and then we also had 6 people in the group at very different skill levels.

Our instructors are good people, but they do not always communicate well, which gets really frustrating. On top of that, I spent most of my time on the water trying to avoid other class members, but there were still collisions. A couple members seemed to forget what that the rudder is the steering wheel, and so when I would call out "I'm starboard, turn X!" they would keep the rudder dead center and then scream that they couldn't turn. But they could. So, I'd have to abort, and usually at that point there was only one way to go, and it would put me in irons.

We also had a chance to sail some Lasers in one of the lessons. Very different feel from the Sunfish and much tippier. I didn't tip, but I came close a few times. I'm not sure if I'm a fan yet, but Mike's interested in getting one down the road. We might take a Force 5 out before the season's done.

The best lesson was probably the last, because we were on the edge of a storm cell, so the wind was kicked up and steady across the lake, with some odd lulls and puffs here and there. We took long reaches across the entire lake, and I'm apparently fast. I'll loose a race on my tacks (I tend to overshoot or overcompensate and undershoot), but apparently I'm good about finding the right puffs at the right time. Our instructors told us that I don't look like I'm going fast, but then if they compare me to the other boats, I'm scooting along. Mike looks like he's sailing fast, apparently, but he couldn't catch me Thursday.

Hopefully we'll get out this week or weekend with Woody, and hopefully we'll get Blue and the second deck on the trailer before the season's up. It'd be fun to race our two boats, though the question is: Who gets the new, crispy sail?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Going big

Saturday some club members invited us out onto their Catalina 16, which they call a Buick. This is vastly different to the "scooter" Sunfish.

It was an interesting morning. The forecast had us at 16-20 mph wind, but we only sometimes got up to 16. Neverless, it was a fun morning with storm bubbles drifting over the water (but not rumbling or dropping rain or lightning on us). Another clubber was giving a lesson on his 22 ft boat (pictured), and so we "raced" a few times, but he's got a faster boat, so we could only take advantage when his student overshot a tack. Of course, they caught up to us in minutes after that.

Overall, a fun day, and of course once we docked, that's when the clouds broke and the wind kicked up. We still prefer our little dinghies, but we are considering a bigger upgrade down the road. Still want something smaller than the Catalina 16, simply because we feel less connected to everything on it, but it IS a great boat for having friends & fam aboard.

Intermediate sailing begins next week!

Mike manning the jib - our first!

Saturday, June 29, 2013


Blueberry and Woody hanging out while we ate a garlic butter burger at Crumbs.

Today our guest poster is our AMFlite 14 Woody. Please be respectful, this is her first time.

Hello, Internet. You may remember me from a previous sliming, when I found myself covering in green goo and NOT enjoying the waves. Since then, I've mostly been sitting in a concrete box wondering if my memories are but a distant dream and I'm not really something else. I thought I was a sailboat, but ... I had doubts.

Today I was carried out of the box and plopped on this green stuff, then put on a wheely thing for awhile. I had a nice but somewhat confusing chat with this blue car that introduced herself as Blueberry. I don't know what that is, but she seemed friendly enough and bounced on her wheels when I asked her if she knew about lakes. She said she would take me there.

But time went on and we weren't going anywhere. Old Blue also stayed in the concrete box, which was sad, but finally FINALLY! I was picked up and put behind Blueberry. And then we were rolling. I had terrible flashbacks of rough bumps and endless fields and concrete, because trust me, I've been there.

Then about 20 minutes later, I thought I sensed ... lake! The wind was whooshing and I could've sworn I smelled the waves, but then we stopped and my owners walked away. I don't know what they were doing just sitting under the trees at a table, but I wanted to goooo!

And then they came back.

And we went through these blue gates ...

There were several Cats and Sunfish on a beach and there were waves bouncing everywhere, and Blueberry sang "We're heeeeeere!"

Blueberry is a little weird, I think, but I like her.

Anyway, it happened. I sailed!

Woody hoping the wind would calm down.
It was really windy and going all over the place, but gosh, I was just so happy to be out there that I went with it! The wind was all over the place and gusting over 25 sometimes, so I liked going sideways, but I remembered I was boat and it felt sooo good being a boat again!

The loud roaring boats kept zipping around me, but that was kind of fun, too, because I could hop over their wakes. They aren't my favorite friends, you know, but I need to remember to share. And I was so glad I wasn't sharing the concrete box with Old Blue at that moment. I was free!

But the wind was getting a little too playful and, honestly, it was acting like a total spaz. Plus, some dark clouds were coming in, so I decided to head back to the beach. But the wind was coming from the north, so I had to zigzag in.

By that time, all the Sunfish were put away, which was sad, I think. They seemed like a fun lot. Apparently they teach teenagers how to sail. I don't know what that is, but they were kicking up the beach while I sat and waited, hoping to go out again. But the wind kept gusting and the clouds got darker, so I eventually had to get out of the water and join Blueberry.

I asked her what she did while I was out on the water. Apparently she was giving smack to the Mercedes parked nearby.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Ports DONE!

Over Memorial weekend we finished the ports. w00t! We meant to have it done before then and were actually ready to do it last weekend, and then we realized we were missing some screws and the adhesive cures within 48 hours in the tube after opening, so we waited until we could get to Menard's for more.

I still have to get air in the dolly's tires, but it is otherwise finished. I will post pics once they are on. We decided not to paint it for now.

This weekend we'll flip Blue and Woody over so I can patch a couple of nicks here and there. I don't think Woody is bringing water in were he's got a couple chips in the hull, because he was bone dry when we opened him up. But I'd like to prevent leaks in the future. We think Blue's leak is coming from a crack/chip in the daggerboard trunk and another in the mast step, so we'll Marine-Tex putty all of those and see how things go. We can monitor water intake with the ports now and will have those open to air out after a sail. It's not the the "proper" way to do things, but we also bought bangers and would rather go sail. Blue sailed pretty well, even when she was damp inside, so I'm not too worried.

This weekend we'll also pull all the rigging out into our expansive lawn and get the sails on the spars, relearn our knots, etc. Maybe maybe we'll get out on the water, but it's been storming every day this week. And I've got a wall to paint.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

It's spring! Do you remember your knots?

The answer to that question is ... uh ... maybe?

Clearly, we are not sailing experts and have not fully utilized the winter as we had planned. Our winter was supposed to include a full inspection, clean up, and repair of parts, install inspection ports, and fix leaks.

What we have done so far:

  • Bought a sail
  • Cut some holes in the boats
  • Washed the boats
  • Nearly-completed a dolly
We derigged everything for winter storage, though only cleaned some of the equipment (lines, wiped down the mast and spars, cleaned the boats). This means we need to relearn our knots both for the rigging and for general purposes (bowlines, hitches, stoppers, etc.)

So, a quick Google search brought Animated Knot Tutorials. I'm excited! I'll grab line this week and start practicing, as well as doing inventory and, oh yes, getting the sails back on!