First fog.

Saturday, September 10th saw us driving down to the boat with my parents who were visiting from Southern California.  They had been sailing on Little Bristol a few years back, but this was going to be their first time meeting the new Pegu Club and sailing on her.

The weather forecast was decent – sunny skies turning to cloudy, winds of approximately 10 knots, and temps in the upper 70’s.  Jeff and I hadn’t been back to Pegu Club since we had prepped her for Hermione the previous weekend, so we needed to put her back together before we could have some fun.  We left my parents to hang out on the beach house porch so we could have a 15 minute head start, and then we got to work.

As Charlie dropped us off on the launch, we were very pleased to see that Pegu Club looked just fine.  The boat next to us had a torn bimini and the mooring ball on the boat behind us was underwater for some reason, but other than that everyone’s boat didn’t seem any worse for the wear.  By the time we had reinstalled the anchor, the Magma grill, the outboard, and had taken the jib up to the foredeck, Charlie was pulling up with the ‘rents.

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Storm Prep

Before the season began I noted to Jeff that this was going to be our fourth season owning a boat and we had yet to truly worry about a storm.  I had a feeling that our luck would be running out soon.  As we proceeded to enjoy one of the hottest summers on record on the Connecticut shoreline, and the water got warmer and warmer, I was even more certain that our streak would end.  And so it has.  But fortunately, while Hermine was concerning, we didn’t feel that we would need to haul Pegu Club out of the water.

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A change of scenery.

After several weekends at Shenny, it was time for a change of scenery.  We tossed around different anchorages we could try as the weekend of the 27th drew closer, but by the time Friday rolled around it was clear that winds would be light.  Still wanting to go someplace, we decided to head off to West Harbor on Fishers Island.  At only four nm we could ghost there if possible, and at least if we had to turn on Thumper it wouldn’t be for too long.

We left Shenny by 8:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, trying to catch the last of the light north wind before it died.  We made it about halfway there before we were becalmed, so we fired Thumper up and motored the rest of the way to West Harbor.  After finding a good spot in the anchorage, we relaxed for the rest of the morning and watched boat tv.  We even got lucky enough to watch Aphrodite come into the harbor.

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A spontaneous after-work sail.

The thought of going sailing after work on Wednesday, August 24th didn’t cross my mind until my co-worker encouraged me to take a walk outside at lunch.  It. Was. Beautiful.  It was sunny and warm with low humidity.  Since I have a one-track mind during the sailing season, I immediately checked the Predict Wind app on my phone to see what the wind was like in Groton.  Hmm.  7-9 knots.  We could make that work.  A quick text to Jeff followed.  So it was that at 4:00 p.m., instead of sitting in my office, we were flying down the freeway to Shenny.

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Two consecutive days with nice winds in August? Hey, it can happen!

August brings warm temperatures and generally mild winds.  We were lucky the weekend of the 19th though, because the forecast was for two days of winds at about 10-15 knots and warm temperatures.  We were particularly pleased about Sunday’s forecast, because our friends Deb and Wendy were coming that day for their maiden voyage on Pegu Club.

Continue reading “Two consecutive days with nice winds in August? Hey, it can happen!”

Beating the heat.

The week leading up to the weekend of August 13th was hot and humid.  Temps were in the 90’s and it was thick-air-like-breathing-through-a-wet-blanket humid.  At one point I did a comparison of the temps and dew points between West Hartford and Sarasota, FL, and they were the same.  I’ll take it over winter any day, but with no air conditioning in the house I was looking forward to heading to the boat.  Unfortunately, work was interfering so heading down on Friday evening was out, but I went to work at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday in the hopes of salvaging some of the weekend, and by mid-afternoon we were driving to Shenny.

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Guests!

One of the things we’ve been looking forward to about having a bigger boat is the ability to host guests more comfortably and easily.  Since we’ve been back from vacation, that’s exactly what we’ve done.

During the weekend of July 23rd and 24th we hosted our friends Vanessa and Kurt for the first time.  They had been on Little Bristol a few times and had seen Pegu Club over the winter, but this was going to be their first visit with her all put back together.

The weekend called for sunny skies and breezy on Saturday with winds from the northwest overnight, then less windy on Sunday.  Northwest winds meant that our traditional standby anchorage of West Harbor on Fishers Island was out (too exposed), so Jeff and I had decided that we would anchor out at Ram Island by Noank.  It would be our first time there, but it looked nice and it was well-protected from the wind.

One of the many things that I love about Vanessa is that she truly enjoys spoiling us with homemade food when she sees us – whether it’s our house, their house, or the boat.  It doesn’t matter.  True to form, she and Kurt arrived on Saturday morning with a cooler full of scrumptious meals and snacks.  We sailed out towards Fishers Island with plans to sail along the coastline, round Latimer Light, and head back towards Ram Island.

A brisk breeze pushed us from behind as we went down Fishers Island sailing with just the genoa out.  I noticed the wind gauge and the whitecaps, but it wasn’t particularly pronounced sailing downwind.  Once we got ready to turn around towards Ram Island, however – whoa Nelly!

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Vacation, part 2: O.k. I guess we’re not going to Narragansett.

Tuesday, July 12th (yes, I’m behind on my blog posts) we set sail for Newport.  The winds were supposed to start off light and then fill in, so we ghosted along the coast of Fishers Island under the jib alone, and headed out through Watch Hill Passage.

The promised winds arrived, but unfortunately they were right up our bum so we were crawling along at 3 1/2 knots.  Upon turning into the wind to raise the mainsail so we could switch to wing and wing, we realized just how good the wind was so we made a command decision to bang a right and head to Block Island instead.  Sure it was the middle of the summer, but it was Tuesday.  How crowded could it be?

Continue reading “Vacation, part 2: O.k. I guess we’re not going to Narragansett.”

Vacation, part one: We’re going where the wind takes us!

As we drove down to Shenny on Friday, July 8th we were psyched. We were finally taking Pegu Club on vacation for 11 days!  Traditionally we take vacation after Labor Day when school is back in session and everything is much quieter.  Work changes meant that wouldn’t be possible this year, however, so a vacation in July was going to be something new for us.

The initial plan was to sail Pegu Club to Martha’s Vineyard, but since I really don’t like going to crowded places we decided Martha’s in July wasn’t such a great idea.  We decided instead that we would go wherever the wind blew us.  The hope was to get a lot of sailing in so we could continue to get comfortable with Pegu Club.  The only firm plans we had were for the first weekend, when we were going to Stonington with two other couples from Shenny.

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Fourth of July weekend: watching our first dragging boat – but fortunately not ours!

Fourth of July weekend arrived with sunny skies, warm temperatures, and on Saturday, a small craft warning.  Sigh.  We had planned to go for a sail around Fishers Island Sound and then anchor in West Harbor for the long weekend, but it looked like Saturday was now going to be set aside for small boat projects.  Beginning on Sunday, however, things were going to be looking up!

The main thing we wanted to get accomplished on Saturday was to come up with a way to make our swim ladder more user-friendly.  Pegu Club came with a nice removable swim ladder.  As I had unfortunately discovered last August, it was really hard to climb out of the water because the ladder legs are all the same length while the hull curves inward.  New ladders are pretty pricy, so we were hoping to come up with a cheap way to fix it.

Jeff (aka MacGyver) had a great idea using PVC and two tennis balls.  A quick measure of the outer diameter of the existing legs on the ladder, a short trip to Home Depot for the PVC with the inner diameter matching the outer diameter of the ladder legs  (we already had the tennis balls), a little sawing, and voila: Continue reading “Fourth of July weekend: watching our first dragging boat – but fortunately not ours!”