Monday, July 4, 2011

Are we there yet?

My daughter and son-in-law and grandson came to visit us on Kintala this long holiday weekend.  They had been here before for the infamous mast raising extravaganza but this would be the first time that they spent the night away from the dock.  The original plan was to sail to Cole's Creek Friday night and cove out there and then make the rest of the trip to the dam on Saturday, but due to the oppressive heat (100+ heat index) we opted to stay on the dock and enjoy the air conditioning.  Christopher entertained himself with the wheel and added another item to Grampy T's maintenance list, dealing with the squeaking wheel.

Saturday morning we were pleased to sail nearly all the way to the dam before succumbing to the iron genny, a nearly perfect sail.  We anchored out in Cove 1 for the evening's festivities and fireworks display and waited for the rest of our crew to arrive, enjoying an unusually refreshing swim in the lake while we waited.  Unusual, because the normal depth of the lake at 8ft means that 100° weather turns it into a jacuzzi in no time.  Since it's now 20ft deep, there's a cool layer below the warm one and all those folks in the water were really mixing that cool water in.  Unfortunately the day's festivities were dampened slightly by the antics of some drunken [insert your favorite derogatory noun here] on a power boat bent on showing a group of sailboaters just who had more testosterone. [ed. Tim will not be so gracious in describing this incident...]

Kristin, Brian and Christopher on the way out of the channel

Christopher's 4th of July swimsuit - he's very proud of it

Teddy stole Grampy T's hammock

Early Sunday morning the kids headed out to the dock so they could drive back to St. Louis to visit with the siblings and their kids.  This involved a jet ski ride complimentary of Jeff.  In spite of the fact that Christopher had asked for a ride all day Saturday, when the time came I think he was a little nervous because he was clinging on for dear life.

After the kids left we took off up the lake and had one of the best sails we've had so far - full cutter rig flying and doing 6+ kts in 12-14 kts wind.  The cutter rig was just what was called for because it got us a knot and a half extra speed and 15° extra pointing - very important when you consider the storm that we narrowly missed.  When we arrived at the channel entrance we were hit with a gust front making it impossible to enter so we circled for a while till the initial gust settled down and then made our way to the dock.  It was the first time we docked just the two of us but we had several people on the dock to take our lines and it was textbook. 

It's been a big jump from 27 to 42 feet but after only 5 times of sailing Kintala I feel like we're adjusting well. My goal post for knowing we've made the transition is the first time we dock the boat without anyone else's help on the boat or on the dock.  That's going to take a little figuring because of the cramped space here.  This marina was built for 30-32 footers, not 42 footers so the channels between the docks are just a tiny bit too narrow.  We're having to learn to use dock lines for what they're intended and I'm spending a good bit of time in The Annapolis Book of Seamanship docking chapters, but I think we'll get it figured out soon.  Yesterday, no one was docking without help due to the storm, and some even had a great amount of difficulty even with all the extra help.  All in all it was a great day.  Good friends, good sailing weather, safe just doesn't get any better.

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