Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Sci-Fi Marina

Who knew that an Illinois marina could be the beginning of the next best-selling sci-fi movie. Why, you ask, would I say such a thing? We just got back from the long 3 day Fourth of July weekend on the boat and it was the epitome of weirdness in the marina this weekend.

Chapter 1 of Boulder Sci-Fi weekend: it appears that the marina has been invaded by the fresh water equivalent of coral. Now while you may have just had a blissful visual of artistically colored reefs with fish of every hue in the rainbow, Carlyle Lake's variety is, very simply put, The Blob. Here's a picture from

They silently drift through the slips, just narrowly evading the propellers (well at least most of them. I think we multiplied one blob into a dozen...). I'm told if you pick one up that they stink (it's a fish repellent). They are truly a bizarre phenomenon.

Chapter 2 of the Boulder Sci-Fi adventure is the *&!#@&*! carp. Evidently carp feel that sailboaters grow algae on the bottom of their boats as a delectable appetizer just for them. Being nocturnal creatures, they bang on the bottom of the boat all night long to loosen the algae and then they suck it off. Great for the sailboat, bad for the sailors trying to sleep inside the sailboat. Just because I hear some of you saying, "How bad can a fish be?"...I actually took a video in the dark just so you could hear them. Turn up your volume before you hit play.

I'm told you can learn to block it out, but the race is on to figure out some way to defeat the carp. Maybe we need to see about inviting the Blobs down to our slip to give off some of that fish repellent! (See Chapter 1)

Chapter 3 of the Boulder Sci-Fi adventure: Boiling Bluegills. Carlyle Lake has been heavily stocked with fish to meet the needs of the incredible amount of fishermen that visit the lake each summer. One of the most popular fish is the Bluegill. As we were leaving the marina this evening the water in the slips along the walkway was literally boiling with Bluegills. We counted 7 schools that were just flipping over each other. It made the surface of the water look like a hot spring. Maybe they'll drive the carp crazy and make them seek out another marina on the lake!

Chapter 4 of the weird weekend: Drafting Bumble Bees. Who knew? If a bumble bee happens to be out in the middle of the lake and gets tired, what does he do? Evidently he seeks out the nearest captain of a sailboat and proceeds to draft behind him while he rests. We had one follow us about a foot behind Tim's back for a while. No attempt to land, he was just obviously resting. After a while he just took off with a little wing-rock, one pilot to another.

All in all it was a wonderful weekend. So much so that we found ourselves dragging our feet as we cleaned up and closed up the boat this evening. We sailed a good part of each of the three days, visited old friends, made new friends, sampled some new beer,did some simply awesome sailing with our drifter sail (see Tim's post for pictures), and had a tremendously restful, enjoyable weekend. We're starting to wonder if our 5 year plan to retire to a sailboat ought maybe to be a 3 year plan????

Here at long last are also some pictures of the finished screen project that we made. It's been a life saver for us in keeping the wasps out. (Oooohs and Aaaahhhhs are welcome).


pastormac said...


I'm jealous! You two are having too much fun!! Congrats!

Deborah said...

I read your blog every week to see what new sailing adventures your had. I just bought a sailboat about a month ago. I am dreaming of retiring on a boat,but one a bit larger than my 1975 Watkins 23XL.
My husband and I can relate to many of your experiences, like just starting out with the Jib!
Your blog is great!

polehiker said...

Very interesting and nice job on the screen, I would never thought of that. Looks good.