boat posts

about mine and Paul’s sailing adventures on the USS Pyewhacket and any other seagoing vessel I may find want to write about.

Went on a riverboat cruise down the Cuyahoga. More industrial and history focused than cruises I’ve gone on in the past, which were mostly wildlife focused. Learned plenty of interesting things about the history of the river, bridges, shipping, the steel and other industries there, the fires and pollution, and the park and restoration plans. We got to see some of the steel operations including an ore bridge in grabbing and dropping stuff for a blast furnace. The operator saw us and did a demo pick-up and drop right by the river. It was pretty cool. Also saw a kind of heron I’ve never seen before. We went along almost the entire six miles from the lake to the end of the shipping route. I was there with my parents, brother, and his girlfriend in celebration of my brother’s looming birthday.

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my first sailing race

I went on my first sailing race today. It was with Jim, two of his friends, Paul, and his friend Jen. I had met Jim and his two friends on the 4th of July while I was up there for a family gathering and fireworks. Jim owns a boat down towards the end of the dock and races every Wednesday. Paul has raced with him numerous times now and even joined him on a multi-day cruise out to the islands.

I was worried that we’d be late, but arrived well before Jim’s two friends. We were in fact heading to the race without them, when we saw them walking down the dock. We turned around and went up to an empty dock to pick them up, then headed out late for the race.

The winds near the start of the race were very low and we were moving quite slowly while also drifting to the side quite a bit. Though we didn’t look that far behind the other boats and even came pretty close to some, we didn’t cross the start line till 22 minutes after the start of the race. We continued moving very slowly for quite some time, and eventually found ourselves way behind.

I really had little idea of what was going on. I kinda figured out by observation. There was a motorboat at the starting point. We had to go on one side of a marker near the start, then head to a marker which we couldn’t see but had the lat long coordinates of. The GPS guided us there. We had to go around the marker on one side, then head back in to port around one side of the break wall and finish by passing a buoy.

Though close to some boats near the beginning, a few tacks put us well behind. Boats started heading back towards us, downwind, some with spinnakers, well before we were near the turnaround marker. We got pretty close to a couple of those boats as we passed and were unsure whether we’d have to turn. I’m amazed how close those boats can get and how easily they maneuver to avoid each other.

We started on the low side to force some heel to speed us up, but the winds eventually picked up and we were able to go much faster and heel a good bit with us on the high side. Still, the other boats were quite far away when we finally made it around the marker. It was getting dark quick. The last other boat rounded the break wall while we were still quite a ways away. We called in by radio, but the motor boat had gone in, told us just to call in our time when we finally passed the finish line.

The whole time I did very little to help. I sat more toward the front, as there was little room in the back. When tacking and jibing, I mostly just slid underneath the boom and later the jib, letting others do the work. I was unsure of how to help, but hopefully my observations of how things are done will help in the future.

It was quite dark well before we passed the finish line. We decided to forego the call in. We were at least 40 minutes after everybody else, probably a good bit more.

We enjoyed some appetizers in the marina restaurant afterward.

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Two more trips

Went on two more trips after over a month of no boating. This was a while back, in August probably, so I don’t remember it perfectly now.

One trip contained me, Paul, and Jamie. There were a ton of sailboats out there, so much that it seemed to me, who was steering, to be like an obstacle course. Most were out a ways from shore. We headed out to them, and when we got near the big array of them, the wind died down a lot, so much that we could hardly move until occasional gusts came along. We saw boats back near shore moving along just fine, so we headed back there. Indeed, there was a much stronger wind. It got rather strong at some points, and we were really able to move along. We saw a windsurfer well out from shore. I’ve never seen one near that far out before. At one point he fell over. He was very hard to see from afar, so we went over by him. He was struggling to get back up, but after several attempts, finally made it. We soon went back in, as Jamie needed to go I believe.

That was Sunday. The Thursday following that, me, Paul, Beth (Paul’s girlfriend), and Ally all went out. It was mighty chilly and windy. I was very glad I brought my windbreaker, but everyone else hadn’t, I believe. They were quite layered though. Beth and Ally both went inside the cabin for a while as we were heading back in. It was a short trip, as we went out late and it got dark quick. We did get to watch the sun set. A racing group went out just ahead of us as we went out. There was a lot of them, and they all went around doing various things. Most of them had spinnakers up at one point. We ran pretty close accross ones path when it was heading back in. As I sayed, it was rather windy, and we were really cruising and healing with both sails up. At one point while I was at the helm, a gust combined with a slight turn sent us tilting quite far over. Beth said the rail was in the water. I quickly let out my sail and Paul scrambled to release the jib. We then lowered it down. This reduced our speed a ton and removed almost all the heel. The way back in was rather dark, which always makes it hard.

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Gray Area July 16th

I took Mr Dwight out on the boat today. It took him a while to get over my house. We then took my car up to the dock. He didn’t like having to sit in the back, as I didn’t want him to have to crawl through, or to displace Mr Pink. Paul took out Linda, one of our neighbors, as she had never been on a sailboat either. When Dwight and I arrived, they were still out. I showed him our dock, but there was no boat. We walked to the end of the dock to see if we could see the boat. There were several sailboats coming in and out, as well as out on the lake. None of the nearby ones were it, and we couldn’t see the disntant ones well. We sat out on the dock for a bit. We discussed calling Paul on his cell phone, but neither of us had such devices (with service anyway), nor did I know Paul’s number. I had planned to write the number down before I left, but forgot. Two dudes came up and talked to us briefly. We contemplated asking them to use their cell phone. We finally decided to. The guy seemed a little reluctant, and made the call himself. We called Uncle Al. Unfortunately, no one was there. We let the guy go. After a bit longer, we decided to try to call Ally using a payphone to get Paul’s number, or to have her call Paul. We went to the car, but I had only one quarter. We then went to the marina, and got the last four quarters from the shop there. There was no visible payphone at the marina, so we went to one that was out at D dock. I checked our dock first, but still no Paul. Dwight handled the calling. After much trouble with trying quarters, he discovered that one could not call long distance with quarters at that payphone. He considered using a credit card, but it would have been quite expensive. At this point, he just wanted to leave. He was somewhat mad, and it was rather hot out. We went back to the car, but I had to leave Paul a note at least. I wrote a simple note that we had left, and we headed back to the dock.

To our luck, Paul had finally made it back in. The boat was all set up and all, but he wasn’t ready to go back out just yet. He suggested we go get some ice and snacks and by then he’d be ready. We went out and bought some rather sweet iced tea, some ice, and Dwight also got some swimming trunks, as by this point he really just wanted to swim rather than boat. We came back, and Paul drove by on his motorcycle. When we got to the dock, Linda told us Paul had gone to McDonald’s for a bite. She invited us to sit next to her under her umbrella. We talked for a bit, and finally Paul arrived. He had bags of food from McDonalds. He started eating and talking to Linda and me. He offered me and Dwight a double cheeseburger. I told Dwight he could have it, but he declined because of his lactose intolerance. I ate it instead. I don’t like ketchup, but it was barely tasteable. Dwight, who had wanted to be home early, really wanted to get going. We went over to the boat and set it up. Finally, Paul made it along to the boat and we headed off.

The winds had been low for Paul earlier, but they weren’t too bad at that point. The sails were both ready to fly up, so we took them up. We sailed out for a bit. As Dwight wanted to get home, we planned a rather short trip. He had originally wanted to get back by 7, but that was pushed back to 8, then 9. Paul told him he really needed a whole day devoted to sailing. We sailed out a bit, then the wind started dying down. At this point, Dwight started feeling a bit sick.

We turned around, and planned to go by the beach area near the docks. Dwight steered for a little bit as Paul told him a bit about sailing. By the time we got near the breaker wall, Dwight just wanted to go in. So we did. We sailed with both sails into the breaker wall area, then ran just the jib into the dock area. This was our first sailing into the dock area. We dropped the jib as we got close and ran just by motor. Paul was at the tiller. As we came in, we seemed to be coming at a rather sharp angle to the dock. The wind was giving Paul a hard time it seemed. As we approached the wooden dock to the side at a 45 or so degree angle, Paul steered to straighten out. This pointed us right at the cement peir part of the dock our dock was attached to. I quickly moved to the very front of the boat to kick off as we approached. I kicked off and one of our neighbors grabbed on from the dock and pushed, but we had enough force that we still ran into the peir and the electrical box just on it. The side of the peir was wood, and when surveying the damage, we had made a small indentation. The electrical box had flexed back a bit, but was quite fine. A small bit of paint was chipped off the bow.

As Dwight had to go and I drove him, Paul took care of closing down the boat. We went off with Dwight still feeling fairly sick. He really wanted to sit in shot gun, as he felt the back seat would make him feel more sick. We moved pinky and he climbed on in. As we took the hour and 15 minute drive home, he urged me to go faster. I tried to draft semis and other vehicles, as I usually do, but they never seem to like it. We made it back to my house at around 8:45, giving him 15 minutes to make the 30 minute drive back to his house. He said he never wanted to go sailing again.

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Gray Area July 8th

This was the day of the dock owner appreciation day at the marina there. They had free food, drinks, and music. I had planned to go to that. Paul wanted to go sailing beforehand, so I went up early. I stopped to check out a recumbent bike and a camping/canoeing store on the way. I arrived shortly before Paul.

Paul brought two girls along, one a friend of his and the other a friend of that friend. They were new to sailing. We went out and put up the main, then the jib, with no problems. There was some wind, and we got moving along at 4-5 mph (our GPS reads in mph). Not real fast, but fast enough. There was some strange object off in the distance, so we decided to head for that. We went for quite a ways, but seemed to be getting no closer. The party that we had wanted to go to had already started by this point (5), so we decided to turn back towards port.

Paul and the girls wanted to swim. Paul went off with a life jacket tied to him. He said he was getting a good pull from the boat, but he certainly slowed us down a good bit. He stayed out for a bit, then climbed back aboard. We had no ladder or anything of the sort, making this somewhat difficult. We noticeably sped up soon after he was back aboard. They had some easy cheese and some crackers, then the girls went in. The one went in first, and seemed to be quite fine. After a while, the other decided to go in. They were each tethered to seperate lines. They slowed the boat down quite a bit, and made it difficult to steer. We were having trouble moving or keeping a course. For some reason the boat only wanted to run with the wind, and when the wind got low, I couldn’t steer her at all. The girls were enjoying themselves though. They stayed out for quite a while. Paul tossed them a couple of crackers for their eating pleasure.

Finally, they decided to come back in. The one girl had some trouble getting up. After two attempts, though, she made it. The other girls turn came up. She could not seem to get onto the boat. She tried numerous times, but couldn’t seem to pull herself up. We tugged her along, trying to figure out how to get her in. We suggested we all just grab her and pull her in, but she declined. Paul made her a rope loop ladder, but this didn’t work well either. Finally, she made a strong effort and swung her leg over the back. She was up.

We then set our sails better and were able to speed toward port more quickly. The wind started picking up again finally. It was coming straight from port, so we had to tack to get back in. I went too far before the first tack, so we had to go back a ways. We had to tack quite a few times, especially as we were going into the break wall. By then, the girls had gone below to lie down. This helped us out, as the deck was less crowded and we didn’t need to have them move back and forth so much. Paul manned the tiller and main while I manned the jib. I sat in the center so I didn’t have to move constantly. There wasn’t so much heel, so this worked well. We sailed on into the breakwall area, then dropped the sails and motored the rest of the way in. We had the one girl steer as we worked to put things away. Then Paul motored us to the dock.

Uncle Al and Aunt Jan were both on the dock waiting and talking to some neighbors. We pulled in no problem. Uncle Al and Paul fought a little bit about how to wrap dock lines and stuff, as they seem to a lot these days. It was 8:30, and we had definately missed the food, though music and dancing was still going on. We finished closing up the boat, then headed down toward the cars. Me and Paul went to the bathroom, going through the parrothead party with some live musicians. We then parted.

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A short trip with light wind

Me, Uncle Al, and Aunt Jan went out today. We raised the main and jib. There wasn’t a whole lot of wind, and it wasn’t at all steady. We weren’t going really slow, but still not that fast. We went out eastward for a while on a fairly straight course. Then made our way back slowly with lots of zig-zagging. There were quite a few boats out, many of them stopped and fishing. It was very hard to get any speed with anything farther from the wind than a reach. The wind directiion seemed to change a lot as well, as it often does when it’s low, making it quite difficult especially when close to jibing or tacking.

We went back in and ate dinner at the restaurant at the club. It was between lunch and dinner, so we had a limited menu available. I ate some pizza.

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Gray Area manuevering

I went out with Uncle Al last Thursday. It was quite windy. The lake was very choppy, so we decided to just stay inside the break-wall. We put up the main. I practiced manuevering around a buoy and just generally turning around inside the somewhat small area there. It was good and much needed practice. With the high wind, we were going quite fast. It was very easy to get a good heel going. We didn’t have the side of the deck in the water, but it still worried me. One thing I need a lot of work on is stopping the boat. The best and pretty much only way to do it that I’ve found is to turn straight into the wind without going through it. The sail seems to really luff a lot though in a decent wind, and the boom can swing back and forth dangerously.

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Gray Area had lots of visitors

Last Thursday, late at night, I picked up two of my other cousins, the Shury boys, and headed to the dock. I hadn’t seen Joey and Vince for a while, as they had missed a couple family get togethers. Vince was reluctant to go and so we left without him, but he called us up and we turned around to go get him. His parents had influenced him. We picked up some McDonald’s for Vince and Paul. Paul was at the boat waiting for us. The sky looked cloudy and it was mighty late, so we decided to wait till morning to go out. We set alarms for 7:30 (all but me using cell phones) and slept on the boat. It was difficult for me to get to sleep. The front of the boat had recently been painted and smelled strongly of paint. The boat was rocking and making quite a splooshing noise. Joey was snoring for a while. The mast was making a weird vibration noise for a while. Once I finally fell asleep though, I slept well.

At 7:30 it was raining. After shutting of several alarms, we went back to sleep. We finally woke up for good at 11:30 at the behest of Vince, who really had to go to the bathroom. After hitting the head, we headed out for breakfast and Paul’s house. As it was stilling raining, we were thinking there was a possibility of no boating for the day. We ate at Tim’s restaurant. We had to ask for the breakfast menus. They had some pretty good pancakes with real blueberries. They were very filling. At Paul’s house, him and Vince took a shower. I looked at a Campmor catalog.

We decided we were definately going back to he boat, as the rain had stopped and the weather forecast looked good enough. We got a few more life preservers to handle our larger crew. We headed back, me with Vince and Paul with Joey. Paul took a different route to pick up his friend who’s in the coast gaurd, Rem. I got a little lost, as our normal route was under construction. I beat in the general direction of the dock, and eventually met up with I-90, which took us to the right place. Paul beat us by just a little bit.

By this point, the sky was looking bright, though still overcast. We motored on out. There was a lot of wood and other debris floating by the mouth of the river from the recent storms, and some herons and other birds were making use of it for perching. We had to do some manuevering. Once out on the lake, we raised the main. The wind was not very strong and rather intermittent, making it hard to move. It would change direction a lot. We flew the jib as well to try to grab some more wind. The sky cleared and it became quite sunny. The wind slowly started picking up, and we got a little better sailing in. We contacted my brother, who was to also contact my parents to potentially all come up to the boat. Rem drank a bit of the alcohol collection we had aboard. We told them a little bit about sailing, especially about tacking and jibing. It’s somewhat hard to sail with guests who don’t know much about this, as the boom in the smaller boats we sail can be very dangerous, and so we have to be especially careful when doing it. I was striving to avoid doing it. We headed back in to port to get some food, drop off Rem, and pick up more party members. The landing was easy with all five of us there.

Jamie finally called back after we got to port. Him and his girlfriend Chelsie were coming up, but not my parents. Paul took Rem home and got his own food while I took Joe and Vince to McDonald’s. The guy there screwed up mine and Joey’s orders. He ordered a double cheeseburger, medium fries, and mcchicken sandwich. I ordered a double cheeseburger and value fries. He was given a double cheeseburger, mcchicken, and value fries. I was given a single cheeseburger, medium fries, and medium beverage. The guy overheard us and gave me a double cheeseburger in place of the single one. I’m still rather confused about the whole transaction, but the food was alright and filled me up for a bit. They guy also possibly snuck a hundred for the drawer, as the reciept of Joey’s said he gave 106 and was given change of 100.21. He had only given the guy six dollars.

Joey and Vince were making fun of Paul for how often and emphatically he mentioned that Rem was in the coast guard while talking about him. They continued to do this while not around him for the rest of the night. It made it more funny to me every time he said it.

We headed back to the boat, and Paul was already there. He had picked up his buddy Jeff, the guy who was on my last voyage, as well. We waited on the boat. My brother and Chelsie showed up walking along the main dockway. I ran to let them in. Chelsie seemed nervous about the boat from the outset. We motored out with the sun starting to set. Vince fell asleep in the bow and Jeff handled the music as me and Paul handled the boat. The wind had picked up pretty good over the lake, though it hadn’t seemed like it on the land. We raised the main. We were going along at perhaps 3 mph. We raised up the jib so we’d have it up before dark. The wind had picked up and now we were able to really go fast. We were able to get up to 7mph without much difficulty, though we maxed at 7.2 for the entire night. It was again fast enough that I was worried about controlling it. It was fairly easy to get a good heel going. Chelsie seemed fairly scared, especially while we raised the sails, heeled, and later when we tacked and jibed. We did probably one move across the wind with the jib up before taking it down. Paul took control for a little as well, but no one else would. I took the jib down, though it quickly became apparent that I needed a hand in the high winds. Jeff and Joey came to my aid, showing me the advantage of a larger crew. By then it was quite dark out.

With the jib down again, we were going at a much more comfortable pace with little heel. Jamie even took control for a while, and we told him some of the basics of sailing. We sailed around a bit, then decided to head back so Chelsie and Jamie wouldn’t get home too late (Chelsie had to work at 10 the next morning). Jamie sailed her back. We went right up to the break wall under sail. We had trouble getting the main down. It was difficult in the dark with the high winds to fold it properly, so it became a bit of a mess. We motored on in and it was again rather difficult to see anything. Paul controlled us into the dock. It was hard to see at first, and the wind had quite an affect on our movement. Our first attempt failed, and we had to circle and try again. With all of us there to grab the dock, it was rather easy. Jamie and Chelsie left right away. Soonafter I left with Joe and Vince. Paul and Jeff planned to sleep the night on the boat there.

I took Joe and Vince back to their home and talked to Aunt Terry and Uncle Scott again for a bit. Their dogs were barking incesantly for a while though, making it hard to talk. I then headed off by myself. I somehow managed to go in the wrong direction, and found myself back at I-480. I decided to take advantage of my location by learning the roads a little better. I took an alternative route home: 480 east to 71 south to 21 to Brecksville.

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Three more Grey Area trips for me

I had a long day out on the sailboat today. I woke up at 8 or so, which got me to the Petty residence before 10:30. Uncle Al and I drove down to the marina. Uncle Al thought Paul was sleeping at the boat, but he wasn’t. We took it for a motor around just outside the break wall near our docks. I did some of the steering, which I need practice in in those close quarters. The motor was giving us trouble still, stalling out like it was lacking gas. The water was quite calm. I steered her back into the dock quite easily. Uncle Al chatted with one of our neighbors (he chats with all of them really, and most anybody), Tom Hopkins. He has a little powerboat near our dock. He has a shower and sun umbrella with chairs on his dock. He’s also having a graduation party for his daughter there tomorrow. We were just heading out back toward home when Paul drove in on his motorcycle. Uncle Al rode the motorcycle home and left us with the car (Ally’s car, by the way, which will become important later).

I went back out to the boat with Paul, and we headed out. He seemed to have a short temper there, especially with the motor that kept stalling out. We motored out, then cut the engine. We had planned to put the main sail up, but were unsure because of the very low wind levels. We finally decided to go ahead. It raised easily, and I soon found the rigging for back there worked fine the way we set it up the last time I was out, save for the addition of a small length of line to hold up the boom. This length of line isn’t totally necessary most of the time, and must be removed to swing the boom out beyond a certain point. We didn’t have enough wind to fill the sail, and were dissappointed with our slow speed. We decided to raise the jib as well. We weren’t sure of how to rig the sheets for that, but we just ran the lines through some pulleys and to the appropriate wenches. This worked just fine. We were hoping the jib was a genoa, to give us more sail area with the light winds, but it wasn’t. Soon after the jib went up, we started to get a little more wind. The Grey Area really cruised along at a good speed even with the still light winds. Paul had me stay on a reach by keeping the windex pointer over its fixed fins. I found this a little boring, but it did provide us with more speed. Then Ally called Paul on his cell phone. She had tickets to a concert that evening sitting in her car, which was at the marina. We had to go back in to give them the keys to the car. We sailed a good bit of the way, then dropped the sails to motor in. I found it rather difficult to try to fold the sails while keeping the boat going straight, so I eventually had to give up on our direction and focus on the folding. I took the tiller as we motored in. Paul wanted to park it a little differently then normal; we’d come in going forward, then spin the boat around from the dock to point it outward for easy exit. This confused me a bit and I came in differently than before. The landing didn’t go well and we nearly ran into both the dock and the adjacent jet ski. A police boat even came by and was eyeing us. But we finally got it spun around and in backwards.

Paul and our neighbor Tom, who had fixed similar engines for years, took a look at our engiine to attempt to fix it. A hose, which is connected to absolutely nothing at one end for some reason, was broken. Paul cut off the broken end and reattached the rest of the hose. They then cleaned and gapped the spark plug. All this seemed to improve the performance slightly, but it still stallled out regularly. They determined we should just take it to the dealer and get it fixed under warranty.

I was hungry, and Paul wanted to take his friend Jeff with us, so we left to those ends. We picked up Jeff, my car, some Subway, and some chips and stuff. They planned to spend the night there. Paul had tried to get more people, but to no avail. We then went back to the boat. We rigged up a temporary connection for our mast light, cleaned and filled the cooler with their food, and headed out. The engine started and ran just fine there. Paul piloted and we went out beyone the break walls. I took the tiller while they raised the main. The wind had picked up quite a bit, giving quite a pull on those sails. It was also quite dark by then. We steered around at high speeds for a bit, then decided to put up the jib. They readied the jib for hoisting. The winds had continued to pick up and now were fairly strong. We deliberated about whether to raise the jib. We sailed under just the main for a bit more, then finally went ahead with the jib. It didn’t go up well. I somehow managed to head into the wind and then tack well this was going on, causing a sudden and quick swing of the boom and jib right into a very strong heel on the other side. We quickly scrambled to move to the other side and get out of that heel. I got the boat into a more comfortable position, but it still had a lot of power in the sails. It was slightly hard to keep her straight and we were going quite fast. According to the GPS, we were going 6 to 7 mph, and it had a high speed of 8.5, though none of us had seen it get near that high. I had Paul take over for a bit, then we had Jeff hold it a bit. It was Jeff’s first sailing adventure, so Paul was teaching him the basics. We took turns at the tiller for a while and listened to some Bob Dylan and Cars. We also set the VHF on scan and occassionally heard some bridge requests and the like. At around 10:30 we decided to head back. We pulled down the jib to make it all a little safer, as it was kinda scary with both sails up, especially our first tack there. We tacked easily with just the main and realized we’d have to tack repeatedly to get back to shore, as the wind was coming from it. We went for quite a while before we decided to tack again. We then found that we had gone far enough to allow us to head straight towards our destination on a close haul. A light house, many lights, and some smoke stacks helped guide us back to port. When we got less than a mile offshore, they dropped the main and we started the motor. It gave us trouble at first, but then did pretty good most of the way in. I couldn’t see much as I guided as back in, and found us headed straight toward a steel break wall. Paul then took over and took us in. It was quite hard to see as we came into the docks. We couldn’t see our dock at all until we started getting close. We were helped by the string of green lights Tom had on his boat. We killed the engine and then slowly coasted on in. Me and Jeff were easily able to get on the dock and gain control of the boat. As Uncle Al was mad that we put it in ‘backwards’, we left it the normal way. I then finally went home.

My day of driving cars was also quite long. I did 120+ miles myself, plus 40 or so as a passenger. My route home from the docks was particularly long, as I had no directions. I took 90, which took me all the way to Cleveland. I then took 71 south, which finally met up with the turnpike, which took me much more directly toward home.`

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The Grey Area: Our new boat’s in the water

Last fall, my Uncle Al got another sailboat at auction. This was a 24 footer, much bigger than the Pyewhacket, and also a racing boat rather than cruising. It’s the popular J/24, used by many racing enthusiasts around the world. We did some work on it during the spring to get it ready to go. We painted the bottom with anti-fouling paint, cleaned it up, put in mast lights, oiled the teak, …. Because of its size and the time it took to put the Pyewhacket in each time last year, we decided to get a dock. This one isn’t really ‘trailerable’. We went with the Spitzer Marina in Avon because it was the cheapest place we could find, though still quite expensive. It is right on the lake (a few break walls in between), so we can go right out whenever we want.

We put in Thursday. Uncle Al, Aunt Jan, Ally, Jonah, me, and Al’s friend John were all there. We paid to have it lowered into the water. They have a big vehicle that lifts the boat from its trailer, moves it over the water, then drops it down. We used their hand crane to put in the mast, making it easy but time consuming. The motor kept stalling out at first, and we’re not sure why. It gave us lots of trouble, but later ran fine. It also gave is trouble in another way, resulting in a minor collision with another boat. The motor is very hard to shift between forward and reverse gears, and we were unable to get it into reverse to slow us down before we bumped another boat head on. We hit it only with our metal pulpit thing and just scratched the other boat’s paint slightly, so it wasn’t a big thing.

We took it over to the dock. Uncle Al and I, the only ones left there by that time, looked at the boom to try to figure out how to rig it, but couldn’t quite figure it out. We could figure some parts out, but not enough to be able to use it. We are probably going to need help from someone. Luckily, Uncle Al found a guy who races the J/24s who would be willing to help us out.

Hopefully I’ll be out sailing soon.

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