Sunday, October 31, 2010

Season's end...

...probably. Or maybe not, sometimes its hard to tell. This year, regardless of when the seasons actually ends in IL, Deb and I have the trip coming up in late Nov. across the Gulf Stream, out to our first (of many we hope) visit to the Islands, and back to Ft. Lauderdale.

Season over or not it is getting cold when the sun goes down, so we spent the nights on the pier plugged into heater power. Saturday was the lake's "Great Race" and it looked like a good one. Nomad, as usual, was going about her own business but the race fleet swept by at one point,

Deb got a bunch of pretty cool pictures, and it seemed like a good time was had by all. Well, except for the one boat we watched lose a spinnaker; a friend's boat who totalled their very expensive, racing main sail; and a different friend who broached a borrowed boat that put the mast in the water and sent the tiller extension to the bottom. Admittedly the winds were in the 15 to 20 knot range with gusts near 30, which (since racers like to step hard on the gas and loathe putting in a reef) may account for some of the carnage. Nomad suffers no illusion of being swift. With one reef in her main and the small jib hanked onto her tightened up forestay she was quite content, shrugging off the bigger waves while posting 5+ kts on the GPS all day long.

Over the weekend hundreds of pelicans swept over the lake, forming up and heading south. The clear, cool (almost cold) sky reflected blue in the lake. The Saturday night community fire warmed the bones in more ways than one. Toady's sail was equally as good, if a bit more tame. By weekend's end lots of boats were up on the hard and deals had made for those staying wet to bunch up around bubblers. Next weekend I'll be off traveling, the weekend after that we will probably need to winterize Nomad in the face of sub-freezing nights.

If this was the last weekend of sailing around here, it was a great way to close out our third year with little Nomad. She draws admiration from all who visit her, has taught us to sail her with some small amount of confidence, and has taken good care of us through a couple of storms and a lot of pretty days. What more could one ask of a boat, or a season?

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