After a stressful week at work, I was more than excited to be heading off to the Annapolis Boat Show. This was our second go-around. The first time was five years ago after we took our sailing lessons but before we bought Little Bristol. During that visit we had fun wandering on the different boats and browsing in the vendor tents, so with some big purchases on tap for this offseason it wasn’t a hard decision to go check it out once again.
Honestly, we had fun the first time we went but nothing like this trip. As we have become more involved in the sailing community over the past five years, we have met many people (both in real life through Shenny and the Seven Seas Cruising Association, and on-line through Women Who Sail), we’ve read a lot of books, and we regularly follow several blogs and vlogs. Even with all of that, we didn’t realize what a small community it truly was until this show. Every few hours we ran into someone we knew, or had followed online. It. was. so. much. fun.
We flew down early Friday morning, dropped our bags off at the Air BnB we had rented (only a 7 minute walk from the show), and we hit the vendor tents hard. The plan was to decide on a windvane and a watermaker, along with some other purchases, and we had lots of questions so there was no time to waste. Continue reading “The Annapolis sailboat show – a three day party!”
Jeff and I have an ambitious offseason planned, hoping to knock as many #1 items off of our category one to-do list as we can. I took it as a good omen that our offseason began with a sunny, warm weekend. In fact, with temperatures in the mid-to-high 80’s, it was the warmest weekend we’ve had in a few months! Project number one was to glass over another thruhull. What were we getting rid of? Well, read on.
Continue reading “And so the offseason begins.”
Our decision to get a new engine this offseason unfortunately dictated an early haul out. We could have waited until our traditional mid-October timeframe, but we are having our engine replaced at Dutch Wharf Boat Yard in Branford. They do several repowers each offseason and it’s first come-first serve, so to speak. We didn’t want to wait too late and end up being last on the list which would risk a late start to next year’s boating season. So out she goes!
It was clear as the weekend of September 16th approached that it was going to give us decent weather, so we bit the bullet and decided to move Pegu Club to Branford on Saturday the 16th. Typical for the way this season has been, there wasn’t a speck of wind. Oh, we saw 4-5 knots for maybe a total of five minutes, but the rest of the time the wind instrument showed 1-2 knots, and that was only because we were motoring.
Regardless, we still had a good time. Shenny to Dutch Wharf is 40 nautical miles door-to-door, and since we knew we wouldn’t have much wind we were off by 6:45 a.m. to be sure we would arrive during the daytime. We have never taken the boat west of Niantic, so I was looking forward to a new adventure with different scenery.
Continue reading “Our longest trip of the season – too bad it was to haul out.”
Based on our experience in every single sailing vacation we’ve had, I’m giving up on making destination plans as long as we’re on a schedule. We have yet to actually go where we were planning or hoping, and this vacation was no exception.
Initially this was going to be the year we made it to Martha’s. But then we needed to have measurements taken for our new sails, and scheduling dictated that it was going to occur one week into our 11 day trip. Scratch Martha’s off of the list.
How about Narragansett instead? That would have been lovely, but the week was filled with repeated small craft advisories and we would have had to come back with the wind on the nose and 6 foot seas. Forget it.
Fine. We’ll go to Long Island. Nope. See the above small craft advisories with wind on the nose and choppy seas.
Continue reading ““You just can’t rush these things.””
We’ve been spending the past few weekends doing a mix of sailing and little projects. The weekend of August 12th we simply had to get away from the dock. Saturday was going to be windless (unfortunately the lack of wind has been a recurring theme this season), so on Friday after work we sped down to Shenny so we could head over to West Harbor for the weekend. We were all ready to go when we turned the key to start the engine and – nothing. Not even a click. Hmm. This was new. Batteries on? Yep. Has the wire come loose from the starter? Nope. Argh! Did this mean we were going to be stuck at the dock for yet another weekend?
Continue reading “This and that – and vacation prep!”
We decided to replace the deck fill hose that leads to the water tanks. It wasn’t something that we HAD to do – we had simply been filling both tanks through their ports – but it would make the task a little easier because we wouldn’t have to remove the v-berth cushions to get to the v-berth tank.
It seemed like an easy project. Take off the 40 year old hose, put on a new one. Shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours, max. When will we ever learn?
Continue reading “Boat Projects: Triple the time, double the cost.”
The week leading up to Friday, July 21st was hot and humid. Not that I was complaining about it. I may comment on the heat and humidity, but I’ll never complain because it beats the heck out of winter any day! Although it was a bit more mild on the water as compared to West Hartford, being on the dock didn’t offer much relief so the plan was to get the heck out of dodge.
Saturday the 22nd was a hot, humid, and windless day, but West Harbor on Fishers Island is always the perfect fallback in these situations. We can motor there in under an hour. Even I – the woman who hates motoring – can tolerate that, so that’s how we found ourselves dropping the hook for our first overnight anchor of the season.
Continue reading “Anchoring, and preparing for a big project.”
There was no wind on the weekend of July 15th. And when I say no wind, I mean none. Of course that doesn’t mean that we didn’t head down to the boat anyway. Skipping a weekend would be crazy talk!
So what do we do when there isn’t any wind? Take care of some boat chores of course. First up was to fix an issue with the support under the cabin sole that we had recently discovered. The supporting piece that holds up the sole hatch had sunk down approximately 1/2″, sinking the sole in that general area with it (but only a fraction of an inch). You can see Jeff’s pinkie finger under the trim piece.
The bulkhead wasn’t affected, but we suspected it was the source of a very loud creaking sound when we walked over that area, and we wanted to fix it before it got worse.
After getting some advice from the Bristol Sailboats Facebook page (including from a fellow Bristol 29.9 owner who had made the same repair), we got to work. Jeff used a lever to raise it and inserted some temporary shims to hold it in place so he could drill some new screw holes. It sounds like a quick and easy job, but of course it’s a boat. Our drill was about an inch too long to fit into the available space, so we borrowed one from the club “garage” which gave us about half an inch to spare.
After Jeff drilled pilot holes he successfully drilled in the first screw. Then while he was inserting the second screw the 40 year old wood cracked. Damn. Well that ended up being all for naught. After pondering what to do, we decided to insert plastic shims which we will epoxy into place at a later date. With that job finally done, we next turned our attention to the v-berth.
Continue reading “Hey! We CAN sleep in the v-berth!”
As we drove down to Shenny on Friday, July 7th we had already decided that we were going to Three Mile Harbor on Saturday to anchor out overnight. It was going to be a nice weekend and it looked like we would have some wind for sailing.
We wanted to catch slack tide at the Race so we left before the wind picked up and motored for an hour, but eventually the breeze started filling in so we turned off Thumper and settled in for a nice sail. As we sailed past Gardiner’s Island, the wind increased from the predicted 10-12 to a steady 18 knots and the water was getting choppy but we were quite comfortable on a beam reach. That day we learned something new about Pegu Club. When the wind hits 18 close hauled she definitely needs a reef, but it’s not necessary on a beam reach. Good to know.
The only problem with our sporty sail was that we were going to need to make a 45 degree turn to port and then sail straight for several more miles to Three Mile Harbor. Where was the wind coming from? Why the port of course. Continue reading “Let’s go to Three Mile Harbor! O.k., let’s not.”
Wednesday morning NOAA was calling for 8-10 knots as we prepared to head from Stonington to Shelter Island. Since the wind was going to howl on Thursday, the plan was to pick up a mooring at Shelter Island and spend the day in Greenport, then continue our journey on Friday. Not so much.
We were enjoying a nice sail through Fishers Island Sound with approximately 10 knots of wind, but when we were out of the shelter of Fishers Island the 8-10 knots turned into a steady 18-20. What the?? I suspect 18-20 is a lot more comfortable in other areas, but on Long Island Sound the water turns into a bit of a washing machine. Combine that with having to sail close-hauled, and this was not going to be our idea of a good time. In fact, it was looking like a repeat of last year’s slog from Block Island to Three Mile Harbor.
Continue reading “Vacation (part two): also known as the week I lost all faith in NOAA.”