Haul out day. It was an adventure.

Sometimes I really don’t know why we bother checking the forecast.  It was Sunday, October 16th – haul out day.  The predicted 5-10 knot overnight winds had, in reality, been 15-20 knots and when we woke up in the morning they had increased to a steady 20+.  We literally had whitecaps in the mooring field.

Earlier in the week I had been thinking about launch day.  All I had wanted was for decent weather with light winds, and for Pegu Club to be facing bow out when she was splashed.  We went zero for three that day.  I knew that this time I would be motoring her into the liftout well, so I didn’t need to worry about backing her out, but I was still hoping for decent weather and light winds.  Well, it was going to be sixty degrees and sunny, but we had white caps in the mooring field.  The winds were worse than launch day and we were going to have to dock.  I was not happy.

Continue reading “Haul out day. It was an adventure.”

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.”

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.”

Memorial Day Weekend on Block Island: “I wish it was windier” said no one on Block!

This past weekend marked our fourth annual sailing trip to Block Island.  We had spent the prior windless Saturday installing our solar panel (the subject of a future post), and Sunday was mostly windless so we continued doing small projects and getting the boat ready for our mini-vacation.  We were psyched because the weather forecast for the holiday weekend looked great and we were going to be hosting our friends Vanessa and Kurt for two nights – our first overnight guests of the season!

Jeff and I had taken a few extra days off to get a jump start on the holiday weekend, so on Wednesday we drove down to Shenny.  It was a sunny, warmish day with great winds, and we were really looking forward to seeing how Pegu Club would do. Continue reading “Memorial Day Weekend on Block Island: “I wish it was windier” said no one on Block!”

Maiden Voyage

The forecast was mixed for the weekend, but Saturday looked like it would be a great day.  Temps would be in the 60’s with bright sunshine and moderate winds – perfect conditions for our first sail on Pegu Club.  As an added bonus, we were going to be joined by Jeff’s good friend Jeff O.  Jeff O. was the person who introduced Jeff to sailing when they were growing up, and we were psyched to have him along on our maiden voyage. Continue reading “Maiden Voyage”

Splash!

Since I was able to take a few mornings off from work, Wednesday the 4th and Thursday the 5th found us at Shenny bright and early to try to finish up some final tasks.  Priority number one was to put two coats of bottom paint under the poppets.  The weather had made it difficult so it was down to the wire, but by 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday we had crossed it off of the list.  Everything else from that point on would be gravy.

We were so busy that everything is pretty much a blur, but I do remember that we were finally able to get Pegu-teeny in the water on Thursday:

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Doesn’t she look spiffy sitting there?

We were scheduled to launch at 8:00 a.m. on Friday the 6th, and I was hoping for three things: the weather would be decent, the winds would be light, and Pegu Club would be placed in the water with her bow facing out so we wouldn’t have to back out of the slip.  We went zero for three.

Continue reading “Splash!”

Two important projects complete (no, not the painting).

Another cold weekend.  Temperatures were in the mid-forties on Saturday with rain coming in during the afternoon.  Although Sunday called for a high in the upper 40’s and sunny, a strong cold wind put the wind chill in the upper 30’s and was most unwelcome.  Winter was warmer than spring has been, and once again we were not able to get any painting done.  With less than three weeks to go, it’s starting to get down to the wire.  However, the forecast for this weekend is starting to look promising, so maybe – just maybe – we can finally start putting the barrier coat on soon.  In the meantime there were plenty of other tasks to accomplish, with one job even more important than painting. Continue reading “Two important projects complete (no, not the painting).”

So I like sanding – yes, this makes me weird.

Now that we’ve finished scraping the bottom of the boat, it’s time to turn our attention to sanding.  Scraping doesn’t get rid of all of the paint, and before we put the barrier coat on the bottom needs to be paint free – down to the gelcoat.

We only had one sander, so initially Jeff gamely sanded on his own while I worked inside the boat.  The inside of the VHF cabinet needed to be cleaned, along with the area where the Origo is inserted, so I broke out our trusty Clorox Clean-up and got to work.  I was very pleased with the difference in the VHF cabinet (“before” is on the left”):

 

I also started working on wiring diagrams for our 12 volt electrical system. We still are complete novices when it comes to all things electric, but bit-by-bit we’re learning.

It was clear after a few trips to Shenny that we needed to get another sander if we wanted to be finished any time in the near future, so after the obligatory trip to Home Depot we were back at Shenny last weekend ready to get back at it.  This was going to be my first time sanding, so Jeff showed me the ropes and we got to it. Continue reading “So I like sanding – yes, this makes me weird.”

What a sail!

Last Saturday’s forecast looked great – bright sun, 69 degrees on the water, and the promise of good wind in the afternoon.  Now that I had decided I was going to take advantage of all wind conditions short of a small craft advisory, I was raring to go.

We settled in on Pegu Club and proceeded to wait.  The promised wind wasn’t arriving (it was under 5 knots), so I hung out on the foredeck with my Kindle.  Just when I was starting to fret that the wind would never arrive, it started stirring.  We prepped the boat, cast off the lines, and headed out.  Little did we know that we were going to have one of our best sails ever on Fishers Island Sound. Continue reading “What a sail!”

Sigh. The season comes to an end.

Yesterday was a sad day – the marina e-mailed to tell us that Pegu Club is out of the water for the season.  The only good thing about it is that I don’t have to check the hurricane forecast any more.

The last few weeks of our season was a bit of a disappointment.  After we spent the weekend in Rochester I took Monday off and we headed down to the boat.  The winds were scheduled to be frisky – approximately 15-18 mph – but after all of the windy experience we gained on our vacation we weren’t concerned. It’s funny.  At the beginning of the season 10 mph made us apprehensive.  🙂  There’s no doubt that we’ve gained a lot of confidence during this season.

When we got to the marina Jeff noted that there were an awful lot of whitecaps out on the Sound, but we decided to head out and simply turn around if necessary.  As we were getting ready to cast off the line Tom and Carolyn (from the O’Day that I went on earlier in the summer) arrived at their boat to go for a sail.  We exchanged hellos and started motoring out, waving at Sheldon and Nancy (fellow sailors on a nearby mooring) as we went by.  They were hanging out in their cockpit, relaxing.

As we neared the entrance to the Sound and began leaving the protection of our cove, the waves started picking up.  A lot.  As we kept going it was getting more and more “entertaining.”  They were approximately 2-3 feet, right on the nose, and around 2.5 seconds apart.  It wasn’t the height that was the problem – it was the set.  If they had been 5 or 6 seconds apart it would have been fine.  Instead we started bobbing up and down, the outboard cavitating regularly, and between the cavitation and the wind the boat started getting shoved towards the lee shore (and the rocks).  Jeff and I quickly agreed that it was time to “Run away!” in the words of Monty Python, so I turned the throttle up hard and we were able to turn around and motor back.  We passed Sheldon and Nancy who waved, grinning widely, and motioned for us to come over for drinks once we had the boat squared away.  Tom and Carolyn were still at their mooring when we returned – I think they were waiting to see if we high-tailed it back or not – and we gave them a report.  They wisely decided to stay on the mooring and do boat projects instead.

When we arrived at Sheldon and Nancy’s boat, Sheldon said that the wind had been blowing 20+ all weekend. Ahhh – that explained it.  We’ve discovered that when the conditions are like that for a few days, it takes a day or so for the Sound to settle down.  Sheldon said that as they watched us motor out they looked at each other and said, “They’ll be back.”  Honestly, if we had known that it had been so windy all weekend we likely wouldn’t have bothered going down to the marina on Monday at all, but then we would have missed having a lovely visit hanging out with Sheldon and Nancy and getting better acquainted.  Any time on any boat is a good time, even if we aren’t sailing.

The following weekend Dad and Nikki were in town.  We had all been looking forward to going for a sail together, but Saturday was rainy on the shoreline.  A check of Sunday’s forecast showed that the north wind that had been steadily blowing for a few days was going to clock around, which meant that it was going to die for several hours as is typical.  Unfortunately, it was going to die during the afternoon when it would be “warmer” (mid-50’s).  Morning temperatures were going to be in the low 40’s, and while Dad and Nikki were troupers in being game for temperatures in the 50’s, the 40’s were pushing it.  So no sailing.  The four of us ended up in Boston instead, where we took a Duck tour, so we ended up spending some time on the water after all!

The weekend after Dad and Nikki’s visit was our last chance for a sail.  But once again, mother nature wouldn’t cooperate.  Saturday had wind in the 20’s and Sunday had equally high wind combined with a small craft advisory.  You know what that meant for Monday – whitecaps and 2 second sets for the waves.  So Monday was a no go.  We ended up down at the marina taking down the sails and the boom so the yard guys could haul her, and although we weren’t sailing it was still nice to spend one last day on the water.  We even saw a submarine coming back into New London!  This was our second submarine sighting of the season, and I was just as excited the second time around.

Eventually it was time to say goodbye to Pegu Club as we motored away on the dink, but I told her not to worry – we would see her next weekend on the hard.  As Jeff says, the sailing season has come to an end, but the working on the boat season is just beginning!