We've spent three years cruising to the Bahamas on Pegu Club, our Bristol 29.9. Time to switch it up a bit and head to Southern California for the winter, tent camping our way across the United States.
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.
As far as the wind goes, this has been a frustrating season so far. We’ve either had no wind or too much (as in, 25-30 mph too much). While we wouldn’t mind getting some practice in some 20+ winds, we’d like to get a bit more familiar with Pegu Club first. There’s also the issue of the waves on Long Island Sound when it gets very windy because they get quite close together which is hard on the boat and its sailors.
The weekend of June 11 and 12 was a perfect example of what we’ve been experiencing. Saturday was a nice day, but there was zero wind. We spent the day relaxing on the boat (Jeff even took an afternoon nap), and we also worked a bit on our mast wiring. For some reason the mast lights weren’t working even though they had worked when we tested them over the winter. Jeff put on some new connectors which did the trick, except for the spreader light which is blinking on and off. Fortunately it’s the least important light for the moment. Continue reading “Finally! A day with some decent wind.”→
The weekend of September 12th was fairly low-key. Jeff had pointed out that we needed to build in some occasional down time where we simply stayed home. It’s easy for me to get hyper-focused and go-go-go, so I knew that he was right. As a result, we decided that we would go to the boat on Saturday only.
Saturday the 12th found us at Shenny bright and early to help remove the sailing school boats for the season. Many hands made light work, so next it was off to Defender and Home Depot for our weekly visits. Once we were back, Jeff sanded the four fiberglass patches and filled and faired them. All that was left to do was to put a few layers of epoxy resin on each patch and this big project would be finished! We needed to wait for the filler to cure before adding the resin, so it wasn’t going to be officially finished until the following weekend, but it still felt good.
Labor Day weekend gave us spectacular weather – 3 days of sunny skies and moderate temperatures – perfect for fiberglassing over the four unused thruhulls that we we were left with after removing the head.
The previous weekend had been semi-relaxed. Jeff had to work Saturday morning so we decided to stay home that day, wash the jib, and kick back for the rest of the afternoon. We were able to go over every inch of the jib as we washed it, and we noted a few areas of loose stitching that would need repairing before next season. This wasn’t an unexpected surprise given that sails get a fair amount of wear and tear. I’ve been lusting after a Sailrite sewing machine for awhile, but they aren’t cheap so I was planning on waiting until next year before pulling the trigger. After Jeff pointed out the money we would spend to send our sails to a loft for repair, he was finally able to convince me to get one this year. Yay! Once the first good sale comes along I’ll be ordering that bad baby up and repairing the jib will be project number one.
The big weekend had finally arrived. Pegu Club was getting hauled out and we could get to work on her.
We spent the previous weekend removing her sails, boom, lines, etc. in preparation for the haul out, but we also spent a lovely afternoon just hanging out in the cockpit on the water and getting comfortable on her. The weekend of August 15 and 16th was promising to be sunny and dry, and we were raring to go.
As I’ve been alluding to in previous posts, Pegu Club has a new home. After much discussion between Jeff and I, we decided last month to join Shennecosset Yacht Club (“Shenny” for short).
I have a co-worker who is a member of Shenny (and my boss was a member back when he had a sailboat), and they both spoke highly of the club from the moment they discovered that we had bought a boat. There were a lot of weekend activities which appealed to us, but with Jeff working on Saturdays it didn’t make sense to join. Once Jeff got his new job and we started having weekends off together, we decided to revisit the subject. We attended an open house and met several nice people, and it was clear that it wasn’t stuffy at all. As one member told us, “No pressed pink pants are allowed.” We hemmed and hawed for a while, crunched the numbers, and finally decided to join. Continue reading “Shenny”→
With school out for the summer Jeff has a new early-morning schedule. So on Friday, June 19th, we were able to head down to the boat after work for a true full weekend on the boat.
We were able to start the weekend by attending our first Friday Night event at Shenny. Every Friday evening during the summer the club holds “Friday Night.” People bring three dollars, a dish to share, and their own drinks. The club provides hotdogs, hamburgers, and all of the fixings. Typically more than 75 people show up each Friday, so we thought it would be a good opportunity to meet some more people. We arrived a bit later than we intended because Alex from our old marina dinghied over to chat for a while, but we still had a good time and met a few people, including a couple that had spent a year cruising in the Bahamas. Very cool.
Saturday was cloudy with temps in the upper 60’s, and after lounging around the boat for the morning we headed out for a sail. Winds were in the low teens and we didn’t have any real destination in mind. We were simply going to sail. We practiced tacking quite a bit, trying to see just how close to the wind Pegu Club could get (answer: not very), and just generally enjoyed being out for a few hours and 10 nm.
When we had left for the marina on Friday we weren’t certain if we were going to stay for the whole weekend. The remnants of Tropical Storm Bill were forecast to come through on Saturday night, and most of Sunday was supposed to be a washout. After we came back from our sail though, we checked the forecast and saw that Sunday might be salvaged after all. It was going to rain hard starting late Saturday afternoon and all night, but the skies were supposed to clear by Sunday at noon. Reasoning that it would be good practice for our future cruising life (which, after all, won’t be sunny blue skies every day), we decided to stay. Yay! Continue reading “6/20 & 6/21 – A two-sail weekend”→
As much as we’d like it, not every weekend ends up with a sail. This last weekend was looking like a bust wind-wise, but that wasn’t going to keep us from heading down to the boat. Nope, it just meant that this was going to be a weekend for some boat chores – and apparently two trips to Defender.
We stopped at Defender on our way down to pick up 75 feet of dinghy line for the new dinghy slip. We’ve joined Shennecosset Yacht Club (the subject of a future post) and they have some sort of pulley system for tying the dink into the slip. I’m sure there’s a name for it, but my Google searches so far haven’t helped me to find it. I can’t even describe it well, so a picture will have to suffice. Continue reading “Boat chores.”→