Our longest trip of the season – too bad it was to haul out.

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.”

Settling in for the season.

It always takes me awhile to settle in at the beginning of the sailing season.  I suppose it’s only natural with a six month offseason, but I still don’t like it.  We’re always rusty, forgetting to do the little things, which contributes to a heightened sense of nervousness on my part.  Will there be an issue with the engine?  Does that powerboat see us?  That kind of thing.  Add in the fact that now we’re in a slip, and it hasn’t been the most stress-free start to the season.

After a while I always relax.  We get into a groove with the boat, I only notice the powerboats that are aiming right at us, and I don’t even think twice about Thumper.  This past weekend I took a giant step towards getting into my groove when we took Pegu Club on our first trip to Stonington for the season.  It was finally going to be sunny and warm for Saturday AND Sunday, and the weatherman called for 10-15 knot winds.  Well, at least they got the sun and temperature right.  The wind?  Not so much.
Continue reading “Settling in for the season.”

Docking on our own – and an engine decision.

The forecast for Memorial Day weekend promised more of the same that we’ve been experiencing this month – below normal temperatures, clouds, and rain, with the added bonus of little to no wind.  It’s getting really old.  Regardless, a weekend on the boat is better than a weekend anywhere else, so we drove down to Shenny bright and early on Saturday morning.

After stopping at Jan Electronics to pick up some terminals that we needed to replace for our wind instrument, we arrived at Pegu Club ready to finish rigging her.  Chuck from Sound Rigging had driven down during the week to reattach the forgotten block so now we were ready to put on the sails – hooray!

The mainsail went on easily, but we still need to put in the reefing lines.  We forgot to bring the pictures that we took last year so we decided to wait until next weekend for that.  Besides, it’s not like we were going to need to reef with only 5 knots of wind forecasted for the weekend.

The jib went on much more easily than in prior years thanks to our decision to get rid of our furler and switch to hank ons.  After we attached it to the forestay it took a bit of fiddling to figure out the best way to put it in the foredeck bag, but eventually we prevailed.  With virtually no wind, Pegu Club was officially all dressed up with nowhere to go, so we spent the rest of the day doing various boat chores and then finished it off with our first improptu social gathering with our fellow E dock boaters.

Sunday was calling for only 5-7 knot winds, but we were determined to get out for a sail.  At the very least, we needed to get away from the dock.  We hadn’t left since we splashed last weekend and I was anxious to give it a go without instructions from our friends. I was worried that if we didn’t do it on Sunday I would just continue to get more and more nervous about it, so we decided that even if there wasn’t any wind we would head out.  But first, a few more boat chores.

Continue reading “Docking on our own – and an engine decision.”

It takes a village to dock a boat.

High spirits filled the car as we drove down to Shenny last Friday after work.  After only a two week delay, splash day was set for Saturday!  Chatting with people at the Friday night cookout (and sharing my trepidation over docking), it quickly became clear that learning how to dock is a rite of passage that every boater must go through.  Offers of help were accepted (along with plenty of laughs shared about being this season’s dock entertainment), and we went to bed Friday night ready to tackle the next day.

We were scheduled to launch at 9:45 a.m. on Saturday, so we were up bright and early to bring the mast over to the lift well and get it ready (attaching the windex and wind instrument antenna, untangling all of the lines, stays, and shrouds, putting on the spreaders, etc.).  The yard guys were running ahead of schedule, and fortunately so were we, so by 9:00 Pegu Club was hanging in the slings and Jeff was slinging bottom paint under her keel and poppets.

It wasn’t long before she was floating on the water, still in the slings, while we checked to make sure there weren’t any leaks and that the engine would run.  After her mast was stepped and the shrouds and stays loosely attached to the chainplates, it was time to do this.  Let’s dock!  Gratefully accepting help from Michael who joined Jeff at the bow to provide an extra set of hands, we backed out of the lift well with only a bit of a hiccup and started motoring down the fairway heading towards slip E-45.

Continue reading “It takes a village to dock a boat.”