Friday, November 14, 2014

Closing a chapter

So it has been a while since I have posted anything. Had been busy sailing and working on selling the boat. We did OK this year with the racing. We went form DNF, to TLE, to actually finishing. We have a fall series called the Commodore Cup. Saturday morning races around the lake. We were able to do two of those this year and even though we finished in the rear, we actually could see boats. I know, its the little things. Anyway, the last race we did was a beautiful fall day. Was just Ben and I but we did OK. Unfortunately we hit a spot of zero wind and that set us back quite a bit but, we had fun.The fall colors had just started to come in as well.

After we came in and I drove home I realized that that could very well be the final sail on my first boat. Yes, there have been trials, tribulations, great times, and lots of fun on that boat but it was odd to think that was going to be it. A week or two later she was hauled and back in the driveway. I had a couple coming up from Wisconsin to have a look. They liked the O'Day 25 but were going to look at others too. My friend Clay, who sails the First 260 you have seen me sailing on at times, especially late fall, had been talking to a young guy at SailboatOwners about his first boat. So he got us connected and lo and behold he bought my boat. I towed it up to his parents' place about an hour north and that was that. 

Did get a nice fall sale in on Blue J, First 260, a couple weeks ago. Was blowing 15-18 and peak temp was about 55F. Spin run on the way back, fire in the fire pit at the club, great people, how could you go wrong?

I am currently boat-less.... is odd pulling in the drive way and nothing is there. I do have my eye on a couple of First 235's and I am pretty confident one will become "Next Boat". They are great boats and would do us well in our club racing. No more excuses though, can't blame the boat for being slow, we as a crew will have to be stepping up our game.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Securite, Securite, Securite

For the last near 30 years, the company I work for has sent employees to the Omni Resort on Amelia Island north of Jacksonville, FL for your 10 year anniversary. My trip was September 11th through the 14th. I was actually more bummed about traveling on my daughter's birthday than the significance of the 11th to everyone else. Anyway.... They provide everything from airfare to all food and drink, unlimited. We have a choice of multiple activities, one of which is sailing. So of course that is what I chose to do as golfing, Segway tours, or spa days are really not my style. No significant others, just spouses, so I went alone.

So after some corporate "team building" the morning of the 12th, we had lunch and then were sent off to our chosen activities. The charter company was Windward Sailing. A smaller company with 3 boats, I believe. They do classes as well. They have a Hunter 340, a Hunter 280, and a Beneteau 265. Really wanted to get on that 265 as there is a possibility that will be "Next Boat" but, alas, no such luck. My group went out on the 280. There were 2 couples, me, and the charter captain on the boat. We sailed around the Cumberland sound area not going very far north. The wind was a bit light. Starting out at about 5-6kts and building to about 10kts towards the end of the day.

To the north of Cumberland Island is King's Bay Submarine base. The US Navy has both fast attack subs and nuclear armed boomers based there. The hangers looked huge from 7 miles away even. The folks that went out that day on the 340 along with the people on the fishing charter got to see a US Navy submarine surface. Yeah, I was really wishing I was on the 340 that day. Did see a couple of F/A-18's heading to the Naval Air Station though, so that was cool.

Each of us guys on the boat took turns at the helm, I did some trimming on the jib, and we just kind of puttered about. Nothing really all that exciting though, we did see 3 dolphins in the river on the way back in. No pics of those and below is the only pic I took that day. Not really a fan of the 280, decent for sailing around but that's about it.

Sailing on Saturday was in the morning and the forecast looked like a motor around as opposed to sailing. Got to the marina and there was some wind but not a lot. Two couples, me, and a gal from Chicago were on the boat this time, the 340 so there was ample room. As our charter captain was backing the boat out, was Tony the owner, he asked if there were any sailors on board and I was the only one who raised their hand. After he got us turned around and heading out in to the Amelia River which, is part of the Inter-coastal Waterway, he looked at me and said "Take the wheel and go that way." So I started helming the boat. Which, came to be for the entire 3.5 hours we were out. No one else seemed to want to make an effort to take the helm. Fine with me. 

So we sailed out in to the Cumberland sound for a while. Wind was really light, we were sailing downwind with an apparent wind speed of about .5 to 1.5kts at times. We sailed north and in to Georgia state waters as we were that far north in Florida. We took a left and sailed for a bit down the St. Mary's river. We then tacked back around and started heading towards the the exit out to the Atlantic between Cumberland Island and Amelia Island. Soon after we were in the area between the islands, a small Navy patrol boat with an unmanned M60 machine gun on the bow zipped past and headed out in to the channel the subs use to transit the entry and exit of the area. He came back a few minutes later. Our charter captain was on the binoculars quite a bit checking back towards the sub base to see if anything was going on but, nothing yet.

By now the wind was picking up. Sailing with and against tides was new to me. It was somewhat of an adjustment as I have only lake sailed. There aren't tides on Lake Superior either. So we got out far enough for me to say I sailed in the Atlantic Ocean. Whoo hoo!! OK, not that far but still, for me, it was a cool deal. The winds even picked up to 14kts and we actually got moving. We had to turn around and head back as we did not have enough supplies or time to sail to Morocco. 

Our captain kept up with the base check and I continued to sail with him doing the trimming. Was pretty nice actually. So he checked the sub base again as the wind was dying down. Was getting all flukey and switching directions. He said he saw some activity. So I was all excited now as I really wanted to see a sub. Then the radio piped up;

"Securite, Securite, Securite. This is US Navy Security, attention all vessels in the Cumberland Sound area. We are escorting a deep draft naval vessel. You are required to stay 500 meters away at all times. This is US Navy Security. Securite, Securite, Securite".

Yeah, that got our attention. So we moseyed to a spot that was far enough from the channel they would use but we could still see. Then we heard "Pleasure vessel 'name of boat'. This is US Navy Security off your port bow, blue light flashing. Over." They responded and decided on a different place to have lunch on their boat.

So eventually time began to run short but we did get to see the aforementioned "Deep draft naval vessel". Below is a crappy cell phone pic and a pic of us "heading out to sea" while sailing. 

 After much usage of the Googs, I found what submarine it was. It is the new generation British fast attack submarine, the Astute class. There are two commissioned and one launched, still going through commissioning. So this was either the HMS Astute, HMS Ambush, or HMS Artful. More information on these subs can be found here.

So all in all it was a good two days on saltwater. I got to sail, got to see a few dolphins, and got to see a submarine.

Boat is still on the block but have a very interested party, Crossing fingers on that.

Friday, August 22, 2014

So far.... so OK.... decisions...

It has been a while since I have made a post to the old blog. All we have been doing is "racing" on Thursdays. Saturdays, and Sundays. It has been OK so far. The boat sails, sort of. Due to the CB being stuck up in the trunk. Not sure at this point if it is the trunk or the new CB or the installation or a combination of all. The first race after launch was around Big Island. Went to undo the CB line and nothing. Decided that I would sail it with the board up, "cruiser style" and then deal with it next season, if I kept the boat. I even had a friend that is a certified SCUBA diver dive on the boat and he couldn't get any leverage to pry it out. Fine, F-it, leave the damn thing up.

I have regular crew this year. Pam has been a member of the club for about 7 years I think and knows what to do. She likes sailing on "Old & Slow" and the fact that we do not fly a spinnaker is a good thing as it is just the two of us. I also have convinced one of the new kids, yes he is 22 so he is a kid, at work to join as well. He seems to like sailing and learns quickly. We have had some success, finishing races, a few DNF's due to various reasons, a couple of TLE's but, hey, we are out there and learning and doing about as best we can with this boat.

With the CB up this thing sails like, well you know, in light air. Under say 8. Above that it does OK as the shoal keel actually starts doing something. 55-60 degrees off the wind sucks rocks when you are trying to make a windward mark. Yeah, its that bad. That's why I refer to it as "Cruiser Mode". When cruising around you wouldn't really care too much about it. That's why I love those statements about the 25's w/CB. "You can sail with out it". "Just glass it over, no real need for it". Umm yeah there is, hence the fact that it is there. It points like sh** without it.

Anyway, I hinted in my launch post on a decision that was needed. I have made said decision and S/V Papillon is up for sale. Here is the link to the Sailboat Listings ad.


They are fine cruising "Friends and Family" boats but, I want to do better in the racing I am now doing.

The next boat? Well, I still want some cabin area below as I want to be able to cruise around the lake with friends and maybe spend a night out. So I am looking at something with that and a bit more jump in her step. Boats on the list include, Beneteau 235, S2 6.9 & 7.9, Rangers, maybe Precisions.... you get the idea I am sure.

So I now have owned a boat, 3 years now, and now I am selling a boat. If I have Papillon next season then so be it. I don't really want to have 2 boats.... at all. One thing for sure, when I launch next season, going to pry that damn thing out, find a spot where it drops and then sail with it down like the designers intended.

So if anyone knows of anyone that would like a nice cruiser, point them my way. If anyone knows of a nice racer/cruiser $10K and under, let me know.

More racing this weekend and in the weeks coming. Just going to sail her as best she can and have fun. After all, I will be sailing.... 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Launch Day Commeth

Well after various logistical issues, see blog post on waiting, Clay and I finally were able to hook up and get good old Papillion in the water. Oh yeah, the T-Pins did finally arrive. They were shipped 2 day priority mail so of course it took nearly 7 days for them to get to me. Everything went pretty smooth too. After we got her up on the crane, I finished painting the spots on the bottom and keel that needed paint due to them meeting up with the trailer. it was a warm and humid day as we have been having a lot of rain around here. The lake is at it's highest level, ever.

Minnetonka is the headwater for Minnehaha Creek, which is quite, not sure if famous is the right word or what would be but, it flows to the Mississippi River and that starts here in northern MN as well. Well the lake is in a complete no wake restriction, we can sail as our wakes are not of consequence. Minnehaha falls are roaring as per the picture below. The dam on the lake for the creek is wide open and the water is still spilling over the sides. 

As I said, we did get her launched without much issue. Unfortunately we did not have time for a little shake down sail. The next day was a race at the club but, yeah, more rain and thunder. Funny how it takes 15 - 20 sailors looking at the same radar image and hearing the same thunder overhead an hour or so to make a determination to abandon racing for the night. Well 15 - 20 might be a little on the low side for the count.....

So Saturday the 21st is an around the island race. That will be the next attempt though... the weather will be clear but the wind? Possibly non-existent.... and Sunday, 40% chance of more rain and thunder......

Here are some exciting pics of a sailboat being launched....

Been doing a lot of thinking about some things...... this could very well be my last season with this boat...... Just need to do some deep analysis on what I have and what I want.... more on that later.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Waiting, waiting, and more waiting

As it is now the end of May I would have thought that I would have launched by now. I think I am the last member of the club to still be on the hard. The reason is as follows..... waiting for hardware to arrive. 
I ordered new open body turnbuckles a couple of weeks ago from Garhauer as they had the best price. They took a week to ship and then another week to show up as these things are never in stock apparently. They arrived yesterday and I went outside to start putting them on. Well, seeing as my boat is the oddest oddball of the oddballs, they would not thread on to the stud of the shroud/stay as mine are the opposite thread. Figured this all out from a conversation with Garhauer customer support. So seeing as apparently most boats have right hand threads at the stud and the t-pin is left handed, mine is left handed at the stud, if I unscrew the t-pin, the stud screws in nicely, and right handed at the t-pin. So after conversing with Doug at Garhauer and getting my mind wrapped back around how all this works, this is the conclusion we came to. 
I am now getting right hand t-pins sent to me on Monday as of course, they are not in stock, and they should be here by Friday. Next day air was cost prohibitive at this point. Most everything else is ready to go. I am pleased with the help from Garhauer as they are willing to do an exchange on the t-pins, so in the end it won't really be costing me all that much to do all this... just wish it was all done by now.
I will be detailing the bottom and stripe painting, compass install and other little projects in the next couple of posts. Which will be coming soon as I really don't have much else to do besides blog this weekend as the weather is supposed to be crap and my boat is in the driveway.......

Oh I suppose I should mow the lawn too...

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Current Conditions

Shivering here in MN in January is pretty typical. Though, we have been spoiled a bit the last couple of years with above "normal" temps. Currently it is 12:42PM CST with a sunny sky. Temp is a balmy -8F/-22C with a breeze of 15 mph/13 knots giving us a windchill of -26F/-32C. Here is a view of the docks at the yacht club. Those "shacky" things out in the frozen bay are ice fishing shacks. Not my idea of a good time but, to each their own right? 50 days until spring doesn't mean much up hear at 45 degrees North. Iceout is the real date we care about.... sometime in April if we are lucky. Though, who knows this year, even Superior is 53% ice covered......

Monday, January 13, 2014

Lacking Updates

I know, I know... here it is January of 2014 and the last post I made was before I launched in may of 2103. Well, this is what I did..... 

  • Recored the deck under the mast as it was fully rotted. Cut it out, put in new ply, epoxied the cut out glass back over. Very solid and seems to have done the job.
  • Sailed some. I didn't get out as much as I wanted to. Do we ever? I had issues with the centerboard being stuck up in the trunk. My friends Clay and Rob helped me pull her out sometime I think in July and I pried it out of there. She sailed better but still had a wee bit of lee helm. Old main sail was proven to be pretty worthless as well. Heck it was 35+ years old I think.
  • Bought a new mainsail and that helped a bit, lot, more. She actually sailed in lighter winds. Moved through the water, tacked and everything.... I know, I have high expectations.
  • Pulled the boat mid November and brought her over to a fix-it marina and had a new centerboard put in. Also got the trunk's who knows how long the crap has been in there dug out too. 
  • Figured a few other things out, like block placement for sheets for the new to me 145% jib. Needing to get the motor completely out of the water and the swim ladder as well.
  • Did some sailing with Clay & Pia on both Blue-J and Kestrel. Was nice to get back up to the Apostles and do some sailing.  
  • Oh yeah, ran aground and announced it over the radio to the entire fleet my very first race.... lee helm was bad as I said. So I got that out of the way in my sailing career now.

I am looking forward to the upcoming season. Hoping to be in a slip this year but if I am back on a mooring, so be it. Hopefully there won't be any further sailing issues with Papillon, and if there are, I can get them worked out.

I have some projects to thin about doing for the boat, bottom paint being first on the list and then painting the deck as well. As you know, one always has a list of things they want to do but, getting it done is a different story.

Well, that's all I got for now. I will try to make more frequent updates this season as I know you 8 followers were really  bummed about the lack of posts last year.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Maybe we can launch..... maybe

Things have been very strange with the weather around here this "spring". After I took the cover off the boat we had no less than 4 major snow storms in the 3" to 8" ranges. Overnight, from May1st to 2nd, southeastern Minnesota got slammed again. A record 18", yes you read that correctly, 18" of snow fell in some areas. This is May for cripes.... The ice is officially off the lake and I have puttered around a bit inside the boat. So I guess that is a positive note. I just need a warm stretch to get outside the boat work done. Oh and today as I look out the window here at work, it is snowing.... the image below is a screen cap from a few minutes ago of the weather radar. Be nice if it was moving to the east but no, it is coming up from the south and moving due north...... Next week is looking like things will be back to normal.....


Friday, April 5, 2013

Spring has sprung

It is officially spring now and the weather hear at 45 degrees north is actually starting to behave. Its been above 40 for a while now and doesn't appear to be going below freezing at night either. Got the cover off the boat last night and poked around on the boat a bit. Things look like they weathered the winter nicely. I will be redoing the cover frame for the end of the season though. Need something easier to deal with. Will need a new tarp also as the one I have been using has got a few too many holes in it now. 

Tarp off and yes, still a little snow and ice left on the ground.

So the project list before launch is as follows;

  • Mount deck organizer and clutch to run halyards to the cockpit.
  • Refurbish startboard winch.
  • New halyards.
  • New mast head sheaves.
  • Mount the porta potti. Really don't want that to be mobile.....
  • Remount toe rails. Pulled them last year and never got around to mounting them.
  • Replace one, maybe two of the trailer tires. One for sure as it no longer holds air.
  • Possibly new name graphics but, not that high of a priority.

So also I had the son of the owner of Giulietta, a custom built 12 meter in Portugal, and he also owns the Anything Sailing website, do some custom name graphics and come up with a logo for my good old boat. Fred is 15 or 16 and is an aspiring graphic artist. I figured who better to do this for me. I want it done, he wants experience, and I even paid him! So below is what he came up with. I like them and that's all that maters.

Name Graphic

Logo. Cause I can.....

Anyway, all I need is a few weekends of decent weather and I can get my projects done. Then ice out on the lake and then splash. I will be at Wayzata Yacht Club this year and will be doing some PHRF racing too. I figure why not, will be great fun and I will learn a lot.

Lots to keep you all posted about over the upcoming season.


Friday, February 1, 2013

That time of year

Yep, its that time of year here at 45N lat that we really start looking forward to spring. It is February 1st, 2013. The air temperature right now is -13F, that's -25C for you metric folks. Yep, its damn cold out but what does one expect at this latitude at this time of year. Oh well, about 12 weeks +/- until we can launch. About the earliest here is mid April. 

I have made some progress on things boatwise and in the winter in MN, that means I have spent some $$ on the boat. Getting things together so I can run the halyards to the cockpit.  A few nice to haves like brand new fenders that I probably paid too much for but.... And a new Windex as I snapped the vane on mine last fall as I was puttering about. Might be an annual expense at this rate.

I will not be in Excelsior bay this season, I will be moving to Wayzata Bay on my lake and will be a member of the Wayzata Yacht Club. I will be trying my hand at racing this season. Yes I know what ya'll is thinking. He is going to race an O'Day 25 CB? Yep, why the hell not? Will be learning a lot and having fun doing it. I will still be on a buoy but, hell that's fine with me. So as you can see below, these are the current docks at Wayzata..... frozen and lonely.... But in a blink of an eye and some more boat bucks spent, it will be launch day before ya know it.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Last sail of the season.....

It was a balmy 30 degrees with NW winds at about 10 – 15 when we left the dock on what would be the last “Shackleton” sail of the season. Being that it was the 25th of November in Minnesota, one should not be surprised by the conditions. We sailed Clay & Pia’s Blue J, the First 260, southwest out of Wayzata Bay towards Excelsior Bay to dock at Maynard’s for a little warm up and then the plan was to sail back to Wayzata Yacht Club and haul Blue J for the season. Wayzata Yacht Club has their Shackleton cup which starts at the end of October and whoever makes the most runs to Maynard’s and back wins. Obviously this cup is named for Sir Ernest Shackleton, the Antarctic explorer. For more information on him and his exploits, you can find that here. Something fun to do when you are at 45 degrees North Latitude.

The three of us in Blue J and another club member Pontus, was sailing what we think is a Flying Dutchman but I have not been able to confirm that. Needless to say, he was sailing in a dinghy but a fast dinghy. We all had our PFD’s on and were wearing multiple layers as of course it was a bit chilly. The sail down to Maynard’s was pretty nice, not very eventful though there were a few gusts that hit near 20. Pontus kept up nicely with us and we never lost sight of him.
We got in to a slip at Maynard’s and headed inside. The Vikings were playing the Bears so the place was pretty crowded but, we found a table relatively quickly. I always find it amusing to enter that place from dockside in November. People look at you as if you just stepped off of the Space Shuttle or something. You over hear a few comments about us coming over via sailboat and you get a bit of a sense of “Damn right we did.” Anyway, we had some apps and we headed back out to the boats as the sun sets kinda early this time of year.

Pontus heading out of Excelsior Bay on Shambles.

We left pretty much at the same time with us ahead. As we got out of the bay and in to the main part of the lake, Pia looked back and said “Pontus is over.” Clay and I looked and his dinghy was turtled. We quickly furled the head sail and Clay got the diesel started. We dropped the main and headed back to assist. It only took us about 2-3 minutes, I think, to get to Pontus and his dinghy from the time we saw him over. When we got there he was climbing up on to his centerboard to try and right the boat. That did not work, so we grabbed a line and after two attempts got it over to him.
He wrapped the line around the center board and we slowly motored away to try and right his boat. I think I heard a small cracking sound but I am not sure, we knew quickly that this was not going to work. I am not really sure how but after we dropped the pull with the line idea, Pontus was able to get his boat on it’s side, but that was it. It was not going to right itself and I think Pontus had to be getting pretty cold even with all the layers, as his layers were now wet and the water temp was at a refreshing 45 degrees. He had probably been in and out and back in the water for about 10 minutes. As he was back in the water the decision was made to get Pontus on to Blue J and then deal with his boat later.
As we pulled Blue J around Clay told me to grab the small rope ladder from the starboard setee and clip it to the padeye at the stern. The First 260 has a partially open transom, enough room to slide a ladder or lines through but no way could a person fit. We got to Pontus very quickly; I would think that by now he would have been in the water about 10-15 minutes. As we got to him, Clay and I were at the transom and Clay told him to get a leg in the ladder and then we would pull him in. He struggled to get his leg in and as he was doing so all he said was “I am getting cold guys. I am pretty cold”. All he could do is pull himself  to the transom of the boat as his strength was going quickly as his body was going in to survival mode and pulling blood from his arms and legs to keep his core warm. We got him to the transom and I had his left arm pulled up as high as I could. Clay then came over and grabbed that arm as I slid over and reached down and grabbed his right. Clay said “OK I am going to just stand up as we pull.” Which I thought was a good idea as I was crouched over as well. We counted to 3, I think, and we pulled him up and on to the transom. I reached back and grabbed the bottom of his PFD and we hauled him in to the cockpit.
Pontus went below and I think Pia went with…. So many things happen in these situations you aren’t sure after the fact. Pontus got his boots off and said he was a little cold but OK and wanted to see if we could right his boat and then we would tow it back. We circled his boat a couple of times, even got the rudders hung up on the rigging but we were able to back off. At this point we were pretty much ready to just deal with the boat later and head back. I looked down in the cabin and noticed Pontus was shivering, I told Clay and it was decided then that we would head back to Maynard’s and get him someplace warm as quickly as possible.
Pia’s phone then rang and it was a friend of theirs that lives very close and I think had saw what happened. Clay made the smart call and called 911 to let them know that yes, there is a small sailboat on it’s side in Excelsior Bay but, no one was still in the water. So we headed for the Excelsior city docks which were actually a little closer than the docks at Maynard’s. Clay went below and stripped off a layer of his foulies and had Pontus remove some of his wet layers and put those on. Sean was waiting for us and helped us tie up at the city dock. There also was an Excelsior policeman at the dock and we let him know what was going on as I think someone may have called them or our call to 911 had him dispatched just to make sure all was well.
So Sean took Pontus to his place to get warmed up and we headed back over to his boat to see what it was doing. It was on its side and the mast head was touching bottom and probably a little dug in so it wasn’t going anywhere. This time of year it was not a hazard to navigation either. As we were motoring out to head back up the lake we saw the sheriff boat approaching. Clay tried to raise him on the VHF but that did not seem to work. We hung around for a while as the sheriff looked over Pontus’ boat and then we headed back.

Sailing back, the sun even came out for a bit.

We got the sails up and had a nice leisurely sail back to Wayzata, even the sun came out for a bit. As we came in to the basin where the gallows and crane are, there was a bit of ice floating about and it was moved and broken up a bit by us. So I guess for 15 seconds we were an icebreaker too.

Pulling in to the marina.

Andy was waiting for us with hot chocolate to help with getting Blue J hauled. I had a family engagement to get to so I could not help as much as I wanted too but we got the sails off and some other things. I really enjoyed sailing the last three Sundays on Blue J with Clay and Pia and want to thank them again for having me aboard. Hopefully there will be more next year and some racing.
This has also caused me to think about what gear to have on a boat and what I don’t have on mine. Extra blankets and some clothing for cold weather sailing I think is a must. Knowing where everything is and having what you need is extremely important as well. We all stayed very calm, which is also key. I wouldn’t even say “organized chaos” as it was not really chaotic at all. One other thing that was key, was that only one person was giving “orders” for lack of a better term, there was one clear voice and no one was talking over each other. Made communication much easier and things went a lot smoother because of it.
So that is how the season ended, a little more exciting than I think any of us wanted but, we did what we had to and everything turned out OK. Thankfully, not a news story and everyone is OK.
Here is some information in regards to water temperature and hypothermia.

I will add a pic or two later.....

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

So, who says....

you can't sail in Minnesota in November???

Well they are wrong! Clay, who I met via owns a Beneteau First 260 and is still on the lake. Same lake as me but at a different marina. So last Thursday I texted him and asked if he was still sailing or had he hauled yet. Well, he still had Blue J in the water and I was invited to come along. We would sail from Wayzata Bay to a local lake institution known as Maynard's on Excelsior Bay, where I had kept Papillon this past season, have a few apps and a beer and then head back.

So the night before it rained and then got nice and cold, below freezing cold. Also, on the way to the marina it was sleeting, drizzly, and a little bit of snow. The winds were 15-20kts and gusting to 25kts with an air temp between 30F and 35F. So yeah, perfect day for sailing. After getting the boat ready we headed out and damn, that was a spirited sail up the lake. I had the helm and Clay trimmed the main. Was some of the most fun I had on a sailboat in a long time. Was a lot of work too as I was not used to basically being in a race, there was another boat we were sailing with but we passed them of course.... She was a Santana 23 named Cyclone.

At the dock at Maynard's with the wind direction it was a little bit of work to get Blue J tied up and Clays GF Pia was already on the dock and helped us alot. I almost went in the lake but waited until I was on the dock to slip on the ice and eat it..... After I got up my $60 Spyderco decided to go for a swim and lept off my PFD and in to the lake.

Met some great guys from Wayzata Yacht Club that sailed up there with us and I am really hoping to be a member there next season. Was a great time at Maynard's. Got to see the rest of the Vike's game and a nice win over the Lions.

Pia joined us for the sail back and all I had to do was be rail meat. Clay and Pia race together on Minnetonka and Superior and they worked that boat like a well oiled machine. Was even better on the way back and we hit 8kts boat speed. Was a blast of a day and I can't wait to do it again. Below are pics and a vid of the awesomenes.

Snowy & icey dock.
Sweeping the snow off the deck.

My view  
Doesn't it look fun?

Me at the helm and Clay on the main.


See ya!

Check those speeds!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The things you see....

So I know I have been remiss this half season with the posts, I know all 6 of you are getting concerned..... Anyway, here we go with some stuff from the season.

Thursday August 9th, 2012:

I took a couple of hours of PTO and headed out to the boat. It was blowing about 13kts out of the North. I had yet to sail Papillon on my own and I had a few chores to do on the boat. I had lunch and got to organizing some things and puttering around in the cabin. I came up to the cockpit and looked out over the bow, towards the exit/entrance of the bay to the rest of the lake. I see a pontoon boat coming pretty much right at me. Luckily they turned more in to the bay away form me but they were still about 30 feet or so from me, so it was close. I looked down for some reason in to the cabin and I hear the sound of metal bashing in to metal.

I look over to Port and I see the No Wake buoy disappear beneath the previously mentioned pontoon. The lady at the helm slams the boat in reverse and it ain't going anywhere. She hit it perfectly, dead center. Now this is a rental pontoon which had some nice older ladies on it. As I tell folks, I think Gladys and the book/wine club went out for a day on the lake. Now a No Wake buoy is not small. They are about 3 feet tall and pretty damn dig around too. No idea how the hell no one saw it. Maybe that explains how the were heading directly for me and then saw me thankfully in enough time to change course, directly over the buoy.

Sitting on the buoy, its under them.....

So after a couple of minutes I shout over and ask if they are OK. They reply yes and that the boat rental place was on the way to tow them off. About 30 minutes later a power/ski boat shows with a couple of 20 something on it and they throw a line and tie on. The spin the pontoon and the wine club passengers around and the buoy underneath. The gun it and drag the buoy and the boat damn near me and finally the buoy tumbles out from under the pontoon. The guys (boys) on the power boat laugh about how far they dragged the buoy and I am kinda speechless as I am realizing when the wind changes to the south my boat will swing around and bash upon the newly moved buoy.

Its a little close now....
So I call the city and let them know what is up and they assure me that they will get out there ASAP to move the buoy. After that event the winds were building to around 18 and as I had not sailed the boat yet on my own orin those conditions, I figured I had had enough excitement for one day and headed home. I stopped by the boat a couple of days later and the buoy was back where it belonged.

As the title says, the things you see...... 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Launch Day!

Ready to go.

So here we are finally, launch day! I worked form home that morning and Jim came over around 1pm. My son was along too. We got to the marina maybe a little after two but, they were not busy. We prepped the boat and we raised the mast without any issues. I wish I had video of that going up but alas, I do not. I will blame the boy on that. He had the camera and I was on the boat after all. But we do have a few pics and videos of rigging and launching.....

Attaching the shrouds.
Me mounting the boom.


Getting her to the lift.
We got her rigged up and Mike, the owner of Shorewood Yacht Club, hopped in their bobcat and moved her around on the trailer to line up with the lift. He strapped her in and got her in the water, easy peasy.




 We start getting stuff on the boat and I notice that the quick release connection on the fuel line leaks where it connects to the gas tank. Oh joy. So we futz about a bit and figure we can hold it tight and the motor seems to be running OK. Seems to be......
In the launch and me dealing with the fuel line issue.

So all of you who have been following along have an idea somewhat of what is about to follow. My son and I back Papillon out of the launch and head through a small channel. All we need to do is go out in to the lake a bit, around some shoals, and back in to the next bay where Jim will be in the dinghy with the mooring gear to hook us up and then we can row back to shore, get in my vehicle and go home.

Well the motor dies as son as we clear the channel. I pump the bulb, spew fuel in the cock pit, swear a lot, it's OK, the boy is 17 and he learned from one of the best, my dad. So anyway, she starts again finally so I head out in to the lake a bit as I do not want to stall and then drift to run aground.

We get out in the lake and sputter..... she quits again. Yes I know you are yelling at the screen by now "Dan raise the damn sails!!!". Well we did and the boat promptly develops a serious case of lee helm and wants to head downwind, back where we came from. So I get the motor going again. Had a couple of chats with Jim via cell phone, and finally get out to the point.... near the shoals. And the motor dies again and now there is no wind whatsoever. 

Hell yes..... this is awesome!!!

So I see a nice sized sailboat heading our way as I had once again gotten the motor to suck gas and not air and I was in reverse trying not to run aground on the shoal. He offers help and of course I accept. He throws me a line and tows me over to my mooring. We are chatting as he and his wife are towing me and says "You didn't expect today to go perfect did you?". I just had to laugh.... Oh the boat that towed me? Well it was someone from the boat club on the O'Day 28 Adagio. A boat I sailed a lot last year, even singled handed her for an entire weekend. No the irony of this event is not lost on me....

The next day I bought a hose barb with a threaded end and rectified the fuel line issue.

On the mooring..... whew.

Anyway, Papillon is launched and on her mooring. Have yet to really sail her as the weather and schedules have not been getting along. But Jim and I did sail her for about 20 minutes about a week ago......

Don't I look Captainly?

More to come on a couple of low buck projects but you can wait a bit for those I figure.

Are you kidding me!? Really???

Move forward 2 weeks to the 4th of July now. Gut is all healed up and I can have beer again. So the morning of the 4th my son and I rebed the deck hardware without any issues. Who knew that would happen. We get everything nicely tightened up and I am going to wait a few days to let the butyl settle and then a few more turns to finish it off.

The next week I call the marina that the boat club I was in is located and we schedule for 2pm on Thursday July 19th. On Tuesday July 17th I figure I better get the new WindX installed.... last minute deal. So I am up on my ladder with my drill in my hand and I start to drill a hole in the mast head.... Out come about 6 hornets, yes hornets and no I am not making this stuff up. I bail down the ladder, drill in hand, maybe even still running as I am not really caring if it is at this point. 

I get in to the garage and ZAP!! Right behind my left ear one of those f'g bastiges got me. As you can imagine, the tapestry of obscenities that I unleashed is still hanging over my garage..... It was almost artfull the way I pieced them all together.....

So the next day I got even... I wrapped the mast head in Saran Wrap and sprayed wasp and hornet killer into the mast via a small hole. I may have laughed maniacally like Boris as I saw they little bastards try to escape and be caught. Only to be smashed up on the aluminum of what they thought was to be their home. HA! I am the victor.....

I then proceeded to have a few beers with a couple of friends in the cockpit of the boat and stay up way too late but hey, I am launching the next day....

Not quite so fast......

Our little friend.
So now the mast is up, and down safely. Inside is looking good and the list is diminishing. So about a week after we get the mast down, I had left the cover of to see about my chainplate sealing and that was OK as we did get some rain. Well we got some more, and it was over an inch in an evening. I climbed up in the boat the next day and........ Son of a bitch...the bilge is literally full of water, the fabric on the interior of the hull is soaked... no leaks at the chainplates. A bright ray of sunshine there.... So we now have a delay in launching as the mast step leaks like crazy as do the toe rails and other deck hardware. Luckily I had already purchased a couple of rolls of Butyl from Compass Marine (Main Sail's gig) and so I just had to pull all the deck hardware, the toe rails, clean it all up with our friend Acetone, and rebed it...

Mast step bolts soaking in a bath of Acetone.

So my son helps me unbolt everything as you need one person to keep the bolt from spinning as the other loosens the nut. Didn't take very long to do that. The next weekend I spent an entire Saturday digging out the bungs for the screws for the toe rails, digging out whatever epoxy or sealant or whatever they put over the screws, removing the toerails, and cleaning the deck with, yep out friend Acetone. At least I was outside in nice weather.

So I clean all the hardware up, I redrill and repot all the holes for the toerails. Hey, I have this epoxy thing down now... I plan on rebedding the hardware, toerails can freaking wait, the morning of Father's Day weekend. Well I pull the cover off,have the man-child getting ready to come out and help, and I look to the west... Huh, looks like rain. I go inside and check the radar on the web.Sure enough, its going to rain in about 20 minutes. Well back on goes the cover just in time. It proceeded to pour all damn day. Well sometime this upcoming week then I am thinking.

Cleaning deck hardware.

I woke up around 3:30am that Monday morning in pretty good pain in my lower abdomen. Weeeeeee!!! Off to the doctor later that day and the CT Scan confirms that I am having a bout of Diverticulitis. I am able to go to work but as soon as I get home I am on the couch feeling like crap. Two awesome antibiotics as well. Had to cancel my son and I's trip to the IndyCar race in Iowa that following weekend too. 

There's two weeks more lost on the season.....

Mast Up!

During all this time I was working on Papillon, a neighbor from down the block had stopped by. Jim had noticed the boat in the driveway and decided to walk over and see what I was up to. Jim has about 20 years of sailing experience and he and his wife were starting to plan what the retirement boat would be. He volunteered to help me out with launching and getting the mast up and in general going out and sailing.

In the crutch.
Its up
So we went all over the web and cobbled together a mast raising system. We used the main halyard, a trailer winch attached to a piece of oak at the head of the trailer and with my guts all a twisty from nerves..... The thought of my mast crashing back down on the stern of my boat and roof of my garage was a bit much for me. 


Anyway, we started hooking up things and winching away. After a bit sure enough, the damn thing was up and we had it secured... Holy F.... well, you know. This was a huge milestone to me as it made me realize how close to launch I really was. What with the ankle fiasco and the Epoxy fiasco and all the work I had been doing. A couple days later when there was no breeze, we raised the sails to be sure all that was ready to go as well. Yep, so far so good. 

Damn, I need to call the marina and schedule a launching.