The season comes to an end.

I like to think that our season lasts until mid-October, but I’m slowly having to admit that it’s not necessarily the case.  Last year we hauled our Pegu Club in August so we could get to work on her, but I remember in 2014 we were able to get very few sails in after Labor Day.  Typically as temperatures get cooler a series of northerlies start to drop down.  Throw in an occasional hurricane threat and nor’easter, and it seems like more often than not we end up not heading down to the boat at all.

This year between work obligations, a lingering head cold for poor Jeff, the threat of Hurricane Matthew, and some ill-times northerlies and general rainy weather, we ended up with a repeat of 2014.  We’re going to have to do some thinking about our haul-out date next year.  If we haul out early we may miss some good sailing.  If we haul out late, we might get lucky and have a few good weekends but we’ll have no choice but to work on Pegu Club when it’s cold.  Maybe the solution is to simply to permanently untie the lines next fall!  Ha!  I wish.

So the last post left off with the weekend of September 24th and our skill building sail.  On the weekend of October 1st, it was raining on Saturday, and we both had to work on Sunday, so unfortunately it was a no-go for the boat.

The weekend of the 8th (Columbus Day weekend) had us hoping to spend the long weekend in Essex.  Hurricane Matthew gave us some gray hairs until he decided to change his track, but Mother Nature still didn’t cooperate.  As of Friday night things looked great, so we packed our bags.  Just before leaving the house on Saturday morning I did a last-minute weather check.  Good thing I did.  Now we were going to get rain beginning in the middle of the afternoon straight through until Sunday night, followed by a small craft advisory for Monday.  Sigh.  However, we were really missing Pegu Club, so we decided to drive down on Saturday anyway to hang out until the rain started.

Continue reading “The season comes to an end.”

We built some skills on this sail.

With Jeff and I both needing to work on Sunday, the weekend of September 24th was going to be a short one on Pegu Club.  We made the most of it though, with a fun four-hour sail with wind conditions that made us very glad we didn’t have a specific destination to get to.

Now that fall has officially arrived the temperatures have definitely gotten cooler, but with bright sunshine warming our all-black clothing, we were quite comfortable.  While I prefer sailing in t-shirts and shorts, I have to admit the cooler temperatures definitely opens up the water a bit more.  People start hauling their boats out right after Labor Day, and as each weekend passes we see fewer and fewer people on the water.  It’s substantially more peaceful than it is during the height of summer.

Continue reading “We built some skills on this sail.”

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.

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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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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.”