Little Wing's Log

Went to the marina for a skippers meeting for the frostbite race.   There were not enough boats for a race, and the weather was misty.   The race was cancelled.   I decided to sail anyway.   I had my foul weather gear, so I wouldn't get wet or cold, so I cast off the lines and off I went.   On the ride down the river it rained a light drizzle.   The seat cushions were wet, but I was dry.   On Lake Michigan there was a 5-7 knot wind, but the rain had quit.   I headed South on a port tack, close hulled course.   The wind was ESE.   I stayed close to shore, and went about 4 miles before the wind started to veer.   It was flustrating for about 15 minutes the wind would swithch from S to WSW to no wind at all.   Finally it filled in again from the South. I truned to the North and put up the spinnaker.   It pulled nicelyand I was doing around 4 knots.   The wind did veer several times again from S to SW and back to S again.   I practiced gybing 5 times.   Fianlly I ended up on port and blew right by the piers.   I went about another mile and a half before dousing the chute, harding up to close hulled again, and hoisting the jib. I tacked a couple times to get back to the river entrance, took down all sail and motored in.   It was an excellent sail of about 13 miles.
Sailed by myself in ligh wind and mixe water (from all the power boats' wakes).   It was a nice, sunny, warm day, and everyone who has a boat is out on the water!   Moved along nicely on a beat at 4 - 4.5 knots.   I got offshore and South of Oval beach, but turned around too late.   The breeze is only very light now, not enough to keep the gennoa full on a broad reach.   So, up goes the spinnaker, but my progress was still very slow.   About 1.5 miles form the pierheads, I dropped all sail and motored in just a the sun set.   I followed Big Daddy up the river all the way to my slip.   Sailed about 6 miles, maybe more.
Took Jolene, Kari, and Allen out for a sail.   Sailed about 4 miles total, two miles out, and two miles back.   Wind was about 10 knots from the NNW.   had a nice time with the Viercants on the boat, and then a nice meal with them at the butler.
Sailed the last race of the season with Mike Kenny.   It was a light air affair, and then only after a 30 minute delay waiting for the wind to show up!   The committee decided to nix the triangle course and opt for a windward / leeward course due to the light wind.   We had a good start, tacking onto starboard just seconds before the start, after ion passed us on starboard, and just as Sail-la-vie squeezed inbetween ion and us as they blew the start horn.   The three of us crossing the line about a second after the horn blew.   Ted was also on the line at the horn at the starboard pin end.   We did well in the race in which the wind varied from time to time and place to place around the fleet.   Little wing beat 3 boat to the finish, including a division 1 boat.   We finished 3 in a 6 boat fleet, but corrected out in second, just a minute behind Top Cat, and a minute ahead of Sail-la-vie.   It was a good way to end the year.
Hit the Big Lake around 5 PM.   Light NNE wind verring 5 degrees either way all night long.   A couple of sprinkels appeared early on, but only lasted a couple minutes. Sailed a beat Nw-NNW until about 84 feet of water.   This looked to be 3 miles off shore and about 3 miles up the coast line.   Nice sail - flat water!   Turned around and put up the spinnaker on a thight broad reach heading SSE.   The wind is light but I am still moving.   Sails stayed full except for one 5 minute lull.   Dropped spinnaker and tightended up on a close hulled course, heading for the piers at sunset.   Never did see the sunset, only a fire red strip on the horizon.   The last 1/2 mile the wind went light, and it started to rain.   I donned the foul gear.   I stayed dry.   1/2 way up the chanel it quit.   Nice sail in flat water.   Sailed about 9 miles.
Race Day.   Did a make up race and the commadores race.   Did well in both.   Beat Arcturus and Holy Cow in both races.   Arcturus beat me to windward mark both races, but I passed him on offwind section.   Sailed about 8 miles.   Swam while waiting for Holy cow to finish the second race, and after the 1st race while waiting for Holy cow to finish that as well.   I got hit by a water balloon from Arcturus as I passed them in the 1st race.   I notified committee, who broke out the heavy artillury after the 1st race and did a sailby armed with the supersoaker on Arcturus.   rrr.   It was a hot sunny day close to 90 degrees with wind from the South.
Debated whether orf not to go sailing as Lake Kalamazoo was calm at 11:00AM.   Cast off the lines at noon as a little wind was building.   Nice, easy, flat sail in about 7 knots out of the NW.   Sailed to Douglass city beach.   Then beat on Port to almost oval beach, then tacked SW for about 1.5 miles.   Decided I need a swim.   Headed for the dunes by Holland again.   It was a long port tack to th beach averaging 3.5 knots of speed.   Anchored in 6.5 feet of calm water.   Swam for a good hour in 73 degree water.  Nice.   Now wind is more NNW.   Beam reached to 35 feet of water.   Put up the spinnaker for a tight broad reach home.   Made it a mile under the spinnaker and the wind is now dead.   took everything down and motored in.   Glad I went.   Sailed 22 miles, maybe more.
Slept well on the boat.   Woke around 9Am.   Cleaned and dried the boat.   Jolene, Nicole, Ashley, Lucy, and Luke arive about 10:10AM.   When we get to the big lake, the wind was light from WNW.   We beat towards the sand dunes by Holland.   We anchor in 5.5 feet of calm water.   Its a big play day at the dunes.   Water temp is down to 70 degrees, but it still feels great.   The sail home was a really broad reach which made too much motion for the landlubbers.   Jolene and Ashley got headaches and sea sick.   Nicole got tired too.   The young kiks still were full of energy, and were in the companion way and out the hatch, over and over, and over and over!   I tightened up to a beam reach for a more comfortable ride and then had to fall off to a run wing on wing, straight for the piers.   We made it back to the dock about 6:30Pm. Sailed about 7 miles.   Had to clean the boat again after everyone left.
I'm at the boat for three days and two nights, I'm on vacation, and it's my birthday!   I get on the Big Lake with about 12 - 15 knots of wind from the NW, and beat WSW for about 2 miles before tacking and heading for the sand dunes by Holland.   I drop the anchor in 6.5 feet of water.   The water temp is 75 degrees, and it's time for a swim and a cool off.   Now its nap time.   I wake to 20 - 25 knots of NNW breeze and 2-4 foot chop.   Weighed anchor and motored offshore to 35 feet of water.   Sailed under main alone, running in 3-6 foot waves.   It was a quick trip home with my max speed under main alone hitting 8.5 knots, and averaging 5.9 knots over 3 miles.   Sailed up the river still under only the main, almost to Saugatuck Yacht Service before motoring the rest of the way.   Sailed 12 miles.   Tiller collar is loose again.   I installed nylon locking nuts, and it seems tight again.
Went to race, but it was cancelled when Geza and Mel went and looked at the lake.   Too big of waves and too many white caps, and a small craft advisory.   The wind was blowing and gusting at the clubhouse!   I went and cleaned up the boat as it needed it.   The hull was very dirty and buggy and full of spider webs.   Ted decided to go out and see what all the hype was about on the lake.   He had his grandson and his grandson's girlfriend who were to crew if we would have raced.   They must have talked Grandpa in to going out.   When he didn't return after an hour, and my boat was white and clean, I decided to go out too.   I hoisted the main at the dock and put a reef in.   I got the 110 jib hanked on and ready hoist.   Then I released the bow lines and pulled in on the mainsheet.   The boat swung around pointing North.   I released the stern lines and zoomed away in a gust.   As I headed down the marked channel past all the piers, I met Ted coming in.   I yelled to him how was it.   He responded "It's something else out there!"   I ended up sailing in Lake Kalamazoo, kinda in a circle, from the piers to the boats anchored by Saugatuck, to the SW end of the deep water, and back to the piers again.   There were lots of gusts and lulls.   It was tricky sailing.   I had the rail next to the water several times.   After I got back and tied up, I had a snack and laid down in the v-berth.   Next thing I know it's 6:15 pm.   Wow, what a nap.   I woke to rain and sun and a cool rainbow.   I tidied up, emptied the port-a-poti, cleaned the inside, played solitaire the old fashioned way, and left just before sunset.   It was a great day at the boat.   I may have sailed 3 miles.
Allen, Les, Jeremy, and I went for a sail and a meal.   We sailed WNW course under autopilot for about 4 miles, did a 180, and returned.   We sailed up the channel about 1/4 mile before the wind got squirrelly.   We tied up at the yacht club and broke out some marinated pork steaks and hobo pie potatoes.   After all that sailing and couple beers, we were all hungry.   Les and Jeremy had a good first sail - no one was sea sick, no one fell in.   Sailed about 8 miles.
Dino, Mark, and Scott rode with me to the marina for a race.   There was plenty of wind, between 15 and 20 knots.   Plenty of waves too.   We raced with a reefed main and the 110 jib and still had to have everyone on the high side.   Mark and Scott stayed on the cabin top and rail, Dino helmed (his first race), and I bounced from the rail to the cockpit for trimming during the tacks.   We had one bad tack experience where we didn't get through the wind and a wave slapped us back down wind far and fast.   It was a fast race.   Ion blew everyone away when he tacked away from the fleet and beat everyone to the windward mark.   We finished last of 4 boats, but corrected out to second.   We sailed a little after the race too, totaling 6 miles under sail.
Went to the marina to do two makeup races.   I'm by myself today.   We had seven boats in the THYC fleet.   The first race was started in about 5-7 knots of wind.   All boats finsihed.   The second race was started in about 10 knots of wind and all boats finished quicker.   It wasn't real hot out, but it was sunnuy and my face got burnt!   I have crispy ears and sunglass shadow white contrasting against red tan.   What's sad is that I had sunblock on board.   When I finished the race, the wind was around 12 knots and crossed the finish line and headed for oval beach (about a mile away).   I passed oval about a 1/4 mile offshore, did a 180 and headed for the piers.   It was a great day of racing.   I sailed about 12 miles altogether.
I woke up in port sheldon about 7:30 am, rolled over opened my eyes and decided it was way too early!   I woke again at 10 am and it felt much better.   I opened the hatch and looked around.   It was sunny and there was a nice breeze.   I pulled up the anchor and stowed it, and off I went.   When I got on the big lake there was wind and waves from the NW!   Off went the motor, and up went the main and spinnaker.   There was 10 - 15 knots of wind and I was off to the races.   It only took two and a half hours to get home.   I hit 6.7 in a gust and averaged 4.8 over 14 miles!   That's pretty awsome for me and little wing!   I don't think I seen the GPS show a speed below 5 knots only a few times from Port Sheldon to Holland!   I had one close roundup - a little wing first.   It was a great sail both ways.
Left the dock at 3:30 pm by myself for an overnight somewhere.   I wanted to make Grand Haven, and even thought of sailing all night and see how far I could get.   There wasn't much wind on Lake Michigan, and what there was was patchy - areas of ripples, and areas of flat water.   I sailed North West from one patch of ripples to the next until finaly there was no wind. I was about 2 miles offshore and about 3 miles North of Saugatuck piers.   I was hot and the water temp was 73!   In I jumped!   After 10 minutes of swimming I dried off and made dinner, ate, and cleaned up the dishes.   When I came back out of the cabin there was building wind everywhere!   Up went the sails and off I went.   It didn't take long to figure out that now the wind was more South than West.   Down came the Gennoa, and up went the spinnaker.   I was making 3.5 - 4 knots.   As I passed Holland's piers a freighter the 'Manitowoc' passed 1/4 mile to the stern of me as it headed West out of Holland, turned NW cranked up her screws and headed off in the distance ahead and West of me.   There's a picture of it in the slide show above, along with Port Sheldon from 3 miles, and a picture of the power company structure and a nice trawler where I anchored that night.   Yes, I didn't make Grand Haven, but I could see it's green and red flashing as I entered Port Sheldon under a rising full moon (maybe I should have keep sailing!).   A quick motor through the chanel and into the lake where I dropped the hook in 25 feet of water at midnight, and that was that.   It was quiet with no wind on the little lake, and surprisingly no mosquitoes.   Sailed 16 miles.
Race day again.   Chris, Mike, and I leave the dock at 10:20 am.   No committee boat today, but Ted is racing his new boat - topcat - and it is decided to set a windward leeward course.   There are 6 boats racing and the wind before the race is light...maybe 5 knots.   At the 10 minute horn same wind.   At the 5 minute horn less than the same wind.   At the start - NO WIND!   Arcturus was the first over the line on port tack heading offshore in the South wind. I was still moving on starboard tack on what looked like a crash course with Ted and Geza both on port.   I made my first mistake and tacked on to port right at the line thinking I'd stay ahead of Sail-la-vie and Ted, and maybe be far enought in their lee to stay out of their wind shadow.   This might have worked if I'd had any wind.   I didn't.   My nose was over the line, but the 1 foot waves and the lack of headway pushed little wing way past the desired course coming out of the tack.   We couldn't go foreward, and we couldn't steer.   All we could do was watch as the wavelets pushed little wing's bow West and into the start mark.   I cursed as Ted crossed the line behind Geza and Mel. We gybed and completed the circle well behind the start line now back on starboard.   Again little wing crept to the line with alot of side slip.   We were just over the line again and in peral of hitting the other start mark!   I sculled the tiller and got us off the mark.   By this time we watched I-hauk hit the Starboard start mark just as we had done.   Ion was well behind the line and pointing in the wrong direction.   Sail-la-Vie was West of the start line but had not made much South.   Arcturus was on their lee side.   Ted was in the leed by maybe 100 yards.   We bobed for another 40 minutes when I on the East side of the course got wind!   It lasted long enough for me to take the leed by half a football field.   The wind came from the NE to which I could point straight to the windward mark!   I made way for about 3-5 minutes - alone!   Then the fleet bobed for another 10 minutes before abandoning the race.   yea!
Jolene, Barbra, Mike, and myself went sailing on a wine and cheese sunset sail.   I went to the boat early, and Mike brought the girls out later.   The boat was filthy and mildew had set in and was prospering!   I fought the mildew and the boat was bright white when they arrived.   We hit the big lake and there was plenty of wind - around 10 knots.   I put up the 110 jib and full main and we moved offshore on a beam reach in the North wind.   We had a great time with our neighbors!   Good juice and snacks, nice converstion, excellent sunset, and a good sail - maybe just a bit too much heel for the girls, but they were troopers.   Sailed approximately 4 miles.  
What a difference a day makes.   The lake is flat, the wind is light.   Jolene, Nicole, Chris, and I do a solstice sail - yes we signed up with the   We sailed about 2 miles down to Douglass city beach and anchored in 7 feet of water.   Water temp was 66 degrees, and Nicole went swimming.   As it was later in the day and a pesky line of clouds were persistent in keeping the sun hid, she was the only one onboard to swim.   I cooked brats, dogs, and Itialian sausage for everyone.   The wind picked up around 7 pm and we weighed anchor.   We sailed back to the pierheads in flat water doing about 3.5 knots in about 5 knots of wind.   Nice sail with the family.
Went to do the Solstice race with Dino, Heather, and Dino's kid, David.   We hit the big lake early with plenty of West wind.   The rain from the previous week was finding it's way down the river and the West wind piled up plenty of 4 - 8 foot waves at the end of the river and out in fron of the pier heads.   Sailing was excellent with the 110 jib and full main.   The 11 Am start was nearing and only 4 boats made it out - Sail-la-vie, Ion, Arcturs, and us in Little Wing.   The committee boat turned around in the river!   By 11 Am the fleet was not in position to race, and Heather was green and laying below at the dinete.   With no committee and no course set, the call was made to race to Holland - again.   I returned the call and said Little Wing would bow out due to sick crew.   The race was cancelled at this point as no other boats wanted to race to Holland and back, and with only one division 1 boat and two division two boats, it wouldn't have been too much of a race. The seas were awsome...2 - 4 foot waves with three or four 4-8 foot waves every few minutes.   Fun sailing but only with experienced and un-sick crew.   Even then there was alot of force on the rig and boat, and alot of slamming, and alot of heeling!   The ride back in was easy and Dino got some great pictures of the seas in front of the pierheads.   We sailed in wing on wing with the motor running a little more than Idle. Huge waves would come up behind us and surge us ahead. We sailed for about an hour. and only about 2 miles.
Went sailing with Mark after work.   Mark's on vacation this week - lucky dog.   We get to the big lake and find a fresh 10 -12 knots from the West.   I head for Holland.   There is a NW swell, and Westerly chop so it is a rough ride.   We make it within a 1/2 mile of Holland's piers and turn around.   The wind dies at dusk, but then builds to around 7 knots by the time we get back to Saugatuck piers. It was a great sail - check out the sunset on youtube   Sailed about 11 miles
Sailed the club's Marcy Weston Cup race with Scott. Only 5 boats in the fleet.   We did a down wind run to Holland in about 5 knots.   Afgter the race we anchored at baldhead dune and yes! we jumped in.   We both were hot, tired, and burnt.   From there we motored a bit, and then sailed the rest of the way back to Saugatuck. Sailed 12 miles.

Went for my weekly sail this week on Sunday afternoon.   It's a sunglasses only, sunny day with light winds forecast from the WNW gradually shifting to WSW.   I hank on the 170 gennoa at the dock, get the main ready too.   After motoring past the piers I can't wait anymore.   I hoist sail! With the motor killed, all's quiet as I fall off on a beam reach across lake Kalamazoo.   I do a u-turn and head back South close to the shore.   After rounding the log obstruction (will somebody please remove this?), I head back towards Saugatuck and right down the river under full sail.   I sailed all the way to about a couple hundred yards from the Sheriff's boat when I lost the wind.   Gennoa down, motor on.   The big lake was easy sailing and I headed NNW.   It was clear and when Holland's piers looked as close as Saugatuck's piers, I eased off to a broad reach to Holland.   Here's where I tried the new spinnaker pole, and poled out the gennoa using up haul, down haul, and the sheet.   The tiller pilot made this an easy, warm sail in about 5 - 7 knots of wind.   The wind seemed to lighten considerably about a mile from Holland piers.   I took down the pole and tightened up to a beat heading due West.   I couldn't really see them, but I took a bearing on Saugatuck piers and figured a lay line.   I tacked, and headed for home.   The apparent wind in my face on the beat was enough that I was reassured that I would make it back home under sail power.   The last couple of miles I was hand steering to take advantage of the wind shifts of as much as 50 degrees, but mostly about 20 degrees every couple minutes.   I was sailing by the tell tales.   I didn't stand the piers and had to tack away, but not till after I noticed a small boat under sail closing me but sailing in what should be a no go zone as compared to my wind angle.   They crossed behind me and I heard their motor, and seen crew dropping the headsail.   My tack had me heading for another cross with them, but I was ahead of them enough that I made my clearing tack and headed for the piers.   As I headed up the mouth of the river, I eased off on a reach.   The other boat was mad cow, and motored past me straight up the middle as I had made my way closer the South Wall.   I sailed all the way across the pond, and around the bend before dropping sail and motoring the rest of the way to the slip. This was a nice easy sail..:) I also re-oriented the porta-potty to a more Man functional orientation, filled the fresh water tank, and the porta-potty water tank. I have water again!
5/9/09 Cancelled a sail with Mark and Scott that we planned on Monday due to too much wind.   There is a Gale warning from 11A till 5P. I head to the marina alone on the bike at 4pm just to make sure the boat rode the blow out alright at the pier.   All was well when I got their and the wind was down on Lake Kalamazoo.   The radio had 7 foot wave as the South Buoy on the Big Lake.   I decided to do some reaches to Saugatuck and back.   After 5 fun, gusty blasts back and forth I dropped sail and head for the slip, so much for this week's sail.:(       ...       even a short sail is better than no sail.:)
5/1/09 Went sailing with Joe Jr. Fixed the tiller collar, well, it's better than it was. Had to call my haircut appt off from the boat using joe's cell phone.   No way I would have made it in time!   Sailed about 12 miles total.
2nd sail of the season.   I did some deck cleaning and waxing in an almost 80 degree sunshine while working on a tan - multitasking - for a couple hours while gust after Southerly gust blew down my pier.   The forecast is a small craft advisory for today, tonight, tomorrow, tomorrow night, and Sunday with possible thunderstorms Saturday and Sunday.   Today's forecast seemed the least furious so here I am!   I did a short sail around lake Kalamazoo with a reefed main and the 110 jib.   The gusts are fun, like God is reaching down and grabing the top of the mast holding it down for a few seconds and then letting go.   After a mile or so of this I dropped sail and motored down the river.   Spring sailing is different, no boats, no navigation markers, and cold water.   When I made the big lake there was maybe 12 to 15 knots of wind and 1 to 2 foot waves. It didn't seem like a small craft advisory was necessary.   I kept the reef in the mainsail and the same jib and sailed closehulled on a SSW course.   Soon I was under some nasty looking clouds, and it sprinkeled for 5 minutes, 5 minutes later it was sunnny again. I went off shore about 2 miles and the air temp was 52 degrees and the water was 43 degrees.   It's much colder out here!   The wind is blowing harder too, probably 15 to 20 knots. There are gusts, but their force isn't a whole lot more than the sustained wind.   My last beat towards shore left me South of the point and 3.5 miles from the pierheads.   The wind increased again for about 5 minutes - it blew hard, I was heeled over hard and had to head up and start to stall my jib.   Boat speed with the reefed main was between 5 and 5.3 knots the whole day on the beat - both tacks.   Not bad for old girl!   Finally I turned down wind for the pierheads, dropped the jib, and raised the main all the way.   I was still doing 5 knots!   I decided to put up the spinnaker - I couldn't resist.   After a twisted launch and quick douse, I got a good launch and off I went.   My course was dead down wind at first, and I really didn't pick up the speed I thought I would, I was only doing 5.5 -5.8.   I tightened up to a broad reach and found a few 3 -4 foot wave sets to push me along and hit 6.8 on the GPS, but it keep shutting off due to dead batteries, and I think there were a few minutes of greater speed that I couldn't verify.   Anyhow it didn't take long to get back to the pierheads.   I doused the spinnaker and got a rope burn from the haylard - ouch!   When I turned for the river and hardened up to a beam reach I realized the wind was blowing!   It had to be 20 knots or more and the waves had also grown quickly.   I motor sailed past the piers and when the water got calmer I shut off the motor and continued up river under mainsail alone and at a good clip.   The motor came back on when I rounded the bend and headed South.   The mainsail came down.   Lake Kalamazoo had 1 foot wavelets and was as rough as I've ever seen it.   Docking was hard too.   I tied up the stern from the cockpit, but the nose blew down wind and was pointing towards Saugatuck (I'm the end boat).   I finally got the rest of the boat tied up in its proper orientation.   What a great day of sailing!
Well little wing is in the water and I now have sail number 1 compled for 2009.   It was 43 degree and drizzle.   There were about 5 -7 knot winds in Lake Kalamazoo.   I put up the boom, bent on the mainsail and jib, gased up the mercury, put out the proper dock lines, stoed everything that needed stoed.   The wind was blowing straight down my pier.   I'm the end boat, so I didn't bother with the motor, it will be a beam reach past all the piers.   I hoisted the main and set it for a beam reach, released the bow line.   The boat started to rotate down wind.   When it gybed, I released the stern dock line and zoom, I was off on a beam reach to the West.   Little Wing was sooo quiet as I moved past all the piers and into the bigger part of the lake.   I headed downwind towards Saugatuck, but hardened up to a beam reach again when I was about half way there.   I used a log as a turning mark, and headed back upwind on starboard.   As I got closer to shallow water I tacked, and soon tacked again.   My new foul weather jacked and bibs were well worth the money as I was dry, warm, and didn't feel the wind.   When I got back upwind close to the piers, I did 4 beam reach blasts from the West end of Lake Kalamazoo to the East most pier - the floating docks.   Back and forth until the wind went light just before dark.   I lined up for my slip, dropped the jib, then the main and coasted into the slip.   I didn't burn any gas today!   Its nice to be in the water again. :)
I went to the farm to knock the snow off of Little Wing's cover.   There was only one big chunck of ice, the snow had all melted.   Little wing looks real good!   I told her somewhere between 60 and 90 days she would have a wet bottom again!
I get my niece's husband Jake to go with me to the marina to take down Little Wing's mast and bring her home.   The weather is warm and sunny, but that is to change by dark, and the next few days are to be cold and wet.   The mast comes down quickly, and within an hour and a half we are pulling out of the marina with Little Wing in tow.   We make it home before dark, but the low dark clouds have moved in making it get dark quick.   We even seen some sprinkles as we were getting into Allegan.   I'm glad this job's done!   Now I just have to power wash the bottom and wash the hull, pump the bilge and add RV antifreeze to it, dissassemble the pressure water and drain the tank, take all the crap out of little wing that is non-essential, and transport her to the farm and tarp her down for the winter.   2008 sailing is over and it was a great year.   I can't wait for 2009 sailing, but for now I'm swithcing gears and getting ready for 2008 hunting!
Well, it looks like this will be the last weekend of 2008 sailing for Little Wing and I.   I get to the marina about 3:00 pm, after swinging by the family farm close to Bangor to pick up Little Wing's trailer.   I talk to the marina people who tell me where to drop the trailer.   Then I head for the boat with a bag of ice, lots of heavy cloths, a repaired spinnaker, a good steak, and other necessary supplies to spend the night aborad and sail for two days.   After stowing everything, I fire up the mercury and cast off the lines.   It's sunny out, and the wind is blowing around 7 knots.   I put up the main and big gennoa, and beat South.   I'm the only boat out there, and it's a great sail.   When I reach the point a few miles past oval beech, the wind is easing, and I'm thinking it is going to dye out by sunset.   I turn down wind and put up the spinnaker for one last ride.   There's just enough wind to keep the sail full except for the occasional larger wave that hits the quarter and rocks the boat.   That rocking is enough to shake the wind from the spinnaker (and main).   The wind holds out long enough to get me back to the pier heads, and I sail right on by.   But shortly after, I drop the spinnaker and turn back towards the piers.   It's almost sunset and I'm getting hungry for that steak!   I get back to the slip and fix that steak!   Why do things taste better on board?   After supper it's starting to get cold and I decide it is time to fire up the propane heater.   Pretty soon it is toasty warm, but that is when I realize I forgot the sleeping bag, and there are no covers onboard.   I decide to take off all the sheets on the spinnaker and I will use it as my blanket.   After a few games of solitare and reading SAIL from cover to cover, I turn off the lights.   With the radio down low, I can hear a loud roar from saugatuck and realize that it is a Friday night football game.   I heard Saugatuck made the playoffs.   They must have scored.   I wake up around 5:30 and it is cold.   I turn on the heater again and fall back to sleep.   About 7:30 I wake again.   The heater is still on but doesn't feel like it is kicking out all that much heat.   I shut it off and switch the cylinder back to the cooking stove.   I lit it to make some breakfast, but it only stays lit for about 2 minutes and then dies out.   I'm out of propane, and out of luck for breakfast!   I decide I've sailed enough and rationalize that if I don't go sailing today there will be just enough gas to get to the travel lift station for the hual out, besides what would I eat with out propane, and I've many things to do at home!   Ok, I talked myself out of sailing, besides last night's sail was sweet.   I button up the boat and head for home by 11 AM.
Jolene, Jean Warren and I headed out for a sunset sail.   It was a last minute decision and we were fighting the clock the whole way.   We ended up missing the sunset by about 5 minutes due to the long, long train that went through Fenville.   There had to be at least 100 cars of coal!   Seriously, it took over 10 minutes.   When we got to the big lake there was a nice glow on the horizon that was purple in color and not too intense.   As time went on the horizon truned to bright red, before dimming out to black.   There was no wind on the lake and small waves.   I motored offshore and South.   I finally felt a wisp of wind on my face.   I put up the main.   It filled and kept us from rocking side to side.   We may have even been moveing.   Next I put up the 170 gennoa.   It filled and we were definately moveing. I tacked and headed towards the piers.   After about 20 minutes of some really slow sailing, the wind died again.   I took everything down and we motored in. I was amazed at how bright the 3/4 moon lit up the lake.   We had some brownies and hot tea on the way in, along with a good chat.
68 degree day, sunshine, just a beautiful October day.   I head towards South Haven on about 7 knot ESE wind.   I close reach at 5.5 knots with the 170 gennoa and a full main.   At about 5 miles South of Saugatuck piers, the wind dies, and after about 1/2 an hour comes out of the NW at about the same speed.   This wasn't forecast!   I decide to beat West. I went about 6 miles off shore and then tacked NNE.   I short tacked North staying off shore about 6 miles.   Once I was a bit North of the Saugatuck piers, I turned ESE and headed for the pier under main and spinnaker.   The wind was fleeting, and about a mile from the piers, I was only doing a little over a knot.   This is where I dropped and put away everything and turned on the trusty mercury. I had the GPS on the whole time I sailed and with a trip time of a little over 6 hours, I sailed 23 miles.   Max speed was 6.8 and average speed was 3.4 knots.   It was dark by the time I squared up the the boat, and although it was a bit cold, it was a nice bike ride home.
Spent the night on the boat last night.   Got to the big lake about 9:40 am.   I was met with 15 - 20 knots of wind from the north and 3 to 5 foot waves.   I beat North to the first dune South of Holland with a reefed main and the 110 jib.   The wind started to subside and back to the NW.   I was only about a mile offshore and I turned downwind and put up the full main and then the spinnaker.   It was a great run.   I went right past Saugatuck piers and all the way to the point.   Here, I turned off shore, took down the spinnaker, put back up the jib, beat again.   I tacked and headed for the pier heads.   It was a great sail and I was back to the dock by 2:15 pm.   Although I didn't turn on the GPS, I guesstimate that I sailed at least 15 miles, and maybe more due to the several beats.
I went to the marina to check out the boat, pump the bilge, and go sailing - after all there is going to be a full moon.   It is Monday, and at my house a mere 20 miles away, we got more then 10 inches of rain in the last 3 days.   The boat was fine upon arrival, but the bilge needed pumped, and pumped, and pumped!   I've still got a leak, even after grinding, filling, rebeding, and painting the whole deck last spring.   I think it may come in under the rub rail where the side decks are designed to drain at the back by the split in the toe rail.   After the long Monday of work, I didn't arrive at the marina until about 6:15 pm.   I cast off the lines at 6:45 and headed across the lake to the Saugatuck side.   There were two sailboat anchored close to Coral Gables and as I approached I noticed a torpedo in the water.   It turned out to be a 20 foot log which I had to change course to avoid!   That's when I notice the water was moving unusually fast.   As I headed down the river the channel markers looked like they were going to be pulled from their anchors, and each had a 6 inch to 1 foot wake wave from the current.   I turned on the GPS and found that a fast idle was moving me over 7 knots.   Where the river got a little wider, I decided to turn around and make sure I could get back up the river.   I couldn't at a fast idle, I had to motor at 3/4 throttle to do between 2.5 and 3.5 knots up river.   I turned around one more time in a more narrow part of the river where I was doing over 8 knots down river, and I was still able to go up river ok.   I decided to go sailing!   After getting around the dredging crew at the basin just before outlet, I raised the main and headed down the middle of the outlet. The waves on the big lake were in 1-3 / 2-4 range from the SSW, and with the big flow exiting into the lake the waves at the end of the pier were 6-8 foot - mean and confused, and did I say mean!   The up and down wasn't too bad, but the SSW swell bouncing back and forth from the North pier wall to the South pier wall caused the occasional two big swells to collide together into one huge mound, and then disappear leaving a deep hole.   This happened right in front of Little wing, and she dropped into the hole.   After motoring South and out of the river effluent as quickly as possible, I found 15 knots of wind and great sailing.   It was about 20 minutes before sunset, and I had the 110 jib and a reefed main and was doing high 5 knots on a close reach due West.   I tacked just as the sun was setting and headed for oval beech.   I made the South end of the beech and turned down wind in 18 feet of water and headed for the pier heads.   The moon had not rose yet, and it was getting dark.   I decided I should try to get back up river before it got dark.   My back up plan if I could not get up river was to point West, enjoy a good night sail, and call in sick to work from Racine WI some time Tuesday (hopefully before 7 AM), and with the wind I had, I'd done it before 7!   As I got closer to the pier, I dropped the head sail.   I decided to leave up the main - just in case.   I stayed close to the South pier, and heading North, crossed into the river effluent.   I headed for the middle and turned East. The big waves lifted the stern and pushed me forward.   I had the throttle about 3/4 and after the waves passed, little wing would stop, and maybe even head West moving backward for a second or two.   Then the next wave would push me East again.   After a minute or two of that I was easily heading up river.   I got the main down and plugged in the spotlight.   It was now pretty darn dark!   I was worried I would find the torpedo log with little wing's nose.   I did see some water breaking ahead of me and shined the spot on it.   It was a raccoon swimming across the river.   He was in the middle of the river when he crossed just astern of me, his little legs moving fast, and his coon tail straight behind him.   I didn't know they could swim!   After that I made it back to the slip uneventful just as the almost full moon was clearing the trees across the lake.   I sat on the boat for a while and enjoyed the night scene.   By the way - there were no other boats on the lake Monday.   Maybe I'm loco for going out, but it was exhilarating, and I was totally refreshed.   I say crazy like a fox!
I went out for a sail, the wind was forecast to be light.   There was plenty of wind at the marina, and I almost put up the sails for a couple of lake kalamazoo blasts but the wind was out of the South.   This would have made a down wind run towards Sauagatuck, but some really short, short tacks to get back to the marina.   Anyhow, I headed down the channel to Lake Michigan.   There was a wisp of wind on the lake in patches, and in other patches none.   There was a left over 1 to 2 foot choppy swell that tried and failed to get the best of me!   I motored out WSW about 3 miles away from the pier.   There were many sailboats with sails up, sails down, or just a mainsail up, either motoring, or flopping.   I was a flopping.   Flopping side to side, back and forth, and a little up and down.   I waited out all the other boats, and the daylight too.   Just at night fall a land breeze of maybe 2-3 knots came up.   Under spinnaker alone, I sailed about a mile NNW, and then took it all down and motored in under a 1/2 moon that was quickly blanketed by some dark clouds that appeared on the horizon at sunset from the West.   I made it back to the marina without getting wet, and cleaned up before leaving.
Chris and I raced two races today.   The wind was out of the SSW and about 8-10 knots with 1 foot waves.   The first race we were about 30 seconds from the start at the gun.   This made for a long race, and in the end we finished last.   We did move up one place on handicap time.   The second race we were first over the line right at the gun!.   I didn't have the headsail sheeted as tight as I should of and we didn't point as high as we should have.   By the time I mad the correction, any gain from the good start was lost.   After that, I thought we raced a good race, but in the end we finished last again, just behind Arcturus.   We ended up ahead of them on handicap.   After the race we took down the sails as we watched the committee boat pick up the marks.   We trailed a couple of pfd's on a couple of lines, and promptly jumped in for a swim.   After a quick swim and a couple of cannon balls each, we hoisted the sails and headed for oval beach.   The beach was packed and we anchored in six feet of water.   Chris swam in to find Jolene and Nicole, who were on the beach waiting for us.   We all got toghether and continued to swim and have a beech day.   We seperated again as supper time called.   Jolene and Nicole headed for the yacht club at the marina to secure a grill, and Chris and I pulled the anchor and motored in.   The Wind had died and there were scores of sailboats flopping around.   The barbaqued pork chops and bake potatoes were oh so good.
Well, it�s race day again.   It's the commodore�s race, and I can't find crew until I arrive at the clubhouse and find Ted still without a boat!   Much better to race with Ted than against him!   After the skipper's meeting I head to the boat with a new commodore�s race tee shirt and THYC coffee cup - nice stuff!   The boat is filthy dirty and mildewed.   I get out the scrub brush and scrub her down with a mild solution of bleach (mountain fresh scent), dish soap, and water.   Quickly her blueglow white painted decks return to a crisp, clean white!   After gassing up and a stuck squeeze ball valve we head out.   We hit the big lake and find short, close waves of about foot and not much wind.   We motor sail out to the course just in time to for the start and a boost in wind and a wind shift that makes it a one tack beat to the windward mark!   We are in a close fourth at that mark, and in third at the second mark.   That is where it got bad. The wind shift made the last leg a close reach back to the start/finish line.   The only problem is the wind lightened and the waves increased to 2 to 3 footers and all the boats kinda piled up just after rounding that second mark and bobbed and drifted for the next hour. There wasn't enough wind, and too much current and waves to move towards the finish.   After baking for an hour and in second place, but still far from the finish Little wing dropped out, followed by Ion.   Sail-la-vie wanted to finish, but the race committee was going to abandon the race 10 minutes after Little Wing dropped out.   Even if the wind would have picked up Sail-la-vie wouldn't have made it to the finish in time.   Ted and I motored back in, and after he left, I tidied up the boat and took a couple hour nap down below.   With the hatch open and a nice breeze blowing through the nap was easy!
Tyler and I went sailing in the morning.   It was race day, and when we showed up for the skipper's meeting there were only a few racers.   We did not have a committee boat, so it was decided to race to Holland from Saugatuck, and then race back to Saugatuck.   We were to keep our own times.   We decided to race to a certain latitude both ways.   The wind was strong from the North and the waves were building.   During pre-race I put a reef in and only had the 110 jib up.   When the other boats came out with full mains, I noticed they were heeling way over.   After the race got under way and we were making our way to Holland, the wind lightened and I pulled up the rest of the main, shaking out the reef. It took us just over 2 hour to get to our Holland North latitude, the last three miles we got a lifted wind shift.   On the way back we found the groove and surged between high 5's and low 7's surfing the waves.   It only took an hour to get back.

Later on Jack and Raylene came out and we had a nice grilled steak at the clubhouse before going out for a sunset sail.   I thought the wind would die down, but it was strong all the way through dinner, and when we hit the big lake waves were crashing over the North pier sending spray up in the air.   Jolene didn't like the waves which were big and had more distance between them then during the race.   Some really big waves would come rolling in every 5 minutes or so, I'm talking 6-8 footers!   The wind did die a bit and we were moving very comfortably - relatively speaking - with a reefed main.   Jolene couldn't handle the big sea and want to end our sail early, so we headed in missing the sunset by 10 minutes.   Jack and Raylene enjoyed the sail, but Jack looked a little unsure at first when I handed him the tiller and a big wave set came barreling through. For me it was a great day of sailing!
I sailed with Matt Waite today as we did the Jammin' in July make up race.   Wind was forecast to be from the West at 5 - 15 and waves at 1 - 2 feet.   Wind at the start of the race was between 10 and 15 knots and waves were 3-5 feet.   We finished last, but two other boats dropped out.   After the race we dropped sails and went for a swim.   The water was 68 degrees, and took my breath away at first.   But my body adjusted and it felt really good and refreshing for about 10 minutes.   We were probably 3/4 mile offshore where we were swimming at, and the water was sooo clear.   The large waves really show there size when your eyelevel is 6 inches above the water, and by that time there were many 5-6 foot waves.
Went sailing by myself today. When I got to the marina it looked like it might rain as a squall line that was moving South was heading my way!   This squall line looked like it started on the shore line and went inshore East along ways.   It looked like it was raining farther East.   As soon as it went over and didn't produce any rain or much more wind, I tossed the dock lines and headed out.   There was a small craft advisory for wind over 20 knots and 3-6 foot waves, my first sail in heavy weather for the year!   The wind was from the NW and maybe 15 to 20 knots.   There was good seperation and big wave sets among the more prevelant, smaller wave sets. I sailed 10 miles on all different sail angles with a reefed main and 110 jib up.   There were not any sailboats out till I was heading for the pier heads.   Then Meteor came out no doubt with paying customers with a new appreciation for mother nature's power.   Meteor is a daysailing charter boat.   When I was safely back home I checked the wind and waves at the South bouy for the time I was sailing and the average wave was 5.8 with a 6.5 second period and the wind was 19 knots gusting to 25.   Pretty close to what I experienced.
Went to the marina with Mark and Rob to sail the Jammin' in July race.   It was raining hard when we arived at 9:30 am.   We found that the race was cancelled.   We waited around and by 11 Am the rain had stopped and we cast off the dock lines.   We had a nice sail for about 2 hours before it finaly started to mist.   We were a couple miles offshore and the sky to the South was darkening.   We made for the pier heads and by the time we reached them it was misting - hard!   I told the guys I felt like a vegetable in meyer's produce dept.   It continued to mist as we motored back to the dock.   We went home wet, but had a good sail. The race is postponed till next week.
Went sailing after work with Allen.   Had a good time.   Sailed about 8 miles.   did several reaches West, and then East.   The black flies were out in force, so out came the trusty swatter and by the end of the sail it looked as if a massacre happened in the cockpit.   The wind was strongest on our first reach out.   We did a steady 6 knots on that tack.   We motored back in early and made it back to Allegan by 8 pm.
Race day times 2!   Today is the make up summer solstice race and the fourth of July weekend race.   Ted is racing with me again.   Little wing has tell tales on all her sails thanks to Ted.   Ted and I worked before the first race getting the sheet leads right on the gennoa.   This involved two snatch blocks attached to the stanchions to bring the leads back farther then the gennoa tracks would go.   this tightened up the foot and all sets of tell tales are working together. Little wing did well in both races, and as it stands now earned a 1st and a 2nd. I got a lesson on sailing to the tell tales under Ted's tutelage.
Race day today!   I left the skipper's meeting and picked up two bags of ice at the store.   I brought these back to the club house dock and stacked my race mark on top of them to keep them out of direct sun.   Ted was supposed to meet me at the club house dock, so I drove my bike to the floating dock parking, and headed to the boat.   I quickly got the boat ready.   I started the motor on the first pull, but it only ran for about 45 seconds and died.   I pulled, and pulled, and pulled...switched pulling arms and pulled, and pulled, and pulled.   Finally I got out the screwdriver and took off the gas line at the carb.   One squeeze of the ball and gas squirted.   Now I figure that the needle valve is stuck and not letting gas into the bowl of the carb.   I call the fleet and ask if anyone is stil close by to pick up the mark.   Re-run turns around.   I go back to the motor and squeeze the ball as hard as I can, and it suddenly squeezes flat.   I had put enough pressure on the needle valve to open it.   The motor starts on the second pull.   Just as I start to motor away Ted is running down the dock waving.   He boards and we motor to the club dock, pick up the mark and the ice and head for the lake.   About half way down the channel it starts raining and I here the first reports of a West wind that is only 1.2 knots.   Another boat calls back that the most they've seen is 2.5 knots.   Within another five minutes the decision is made to cancel the race and head back to the club house to regroup.   The race never happened that day, but the motor continued to run just fine.   Back at my slip I cleaned up some growing mildew inside the cabin, washed the deck, and climbed the mast to the spreaders to put up my flag haylard.   One more pull on the motor and it came to life and ran fine.   Still, I'm going to buy some carb cleaner.
Met up with Wally and Sue at the Butler in Saugatuck and had a good steak, the whole time looking at a near windless lake Kalamazoo.   We hit the big lake at about 7:30 pm.   It was like glass for about the first mile.   We passed another sailboat coming in at about 1/2 mile from the pier, and asked if there was any wind.   he motioned no and that it was flat.   That was when I noticed wind ripple waves towards oval beech.   We headed that way.   As I hoisted the sails, we motored into the ripples.   When we cut the motor, the sails filled and we were movin'. &nbps Within 15 minutes the wind filled in everywhere from SE.   I'd guess around 12 knots at sunset.   Just after dark I remembered I needed to pumnp the bilge, and as I did Wally said we must be going 8 knots.   When I finished with the bilge I checked the GPS and we were movin high 6's and hit 7.0 for about 10 seconds. &nbps The GPS batteries were about dead, so I didn't have it on the whole time.   After finishing a bottle of fine wine and a couple brewskis, at about 10:30 we maid the pierheads and dropped sail.   At one point we were about 1.5 miles offshore and Mt. Baldy was a 40 degree bearing.   I'd estimate the miles sailed at about 7 quick miles.   The trip up river was uneventful, but the current was r e a l   f a s t.   Everyone had a good time and was refreshed, although Susan and Jolene didn't like the heel in the gusts.   The air was warm from the offshore wind, so no one froze after dark.   That doesn't happen very often.   As a matter of fact that whole sail doesn't happen very often. - Flat, wind starts at 7:30 and builds right past sunset, warm air at night, the sun poked through for a nice set, 1/2 moon was high, excellent speed on a close reach, all the lights worked - it really came together for a nice sunset sail.
Race Day.   JJ, Brad, and Chris crewed for me.   We had maybe 10 knots of wind at the start, and it lessened mid way through the race.   We finished the race, and although the handicap results are not in yet, I think we ended up last of 7.   I picked the wrong tack off the start line, heading off shore against a 200 degree wind, while most of the rest of the fleet went towards shore.   We never recovered.   There's always next time.   After the race we hoisted the spinnaker and headed North towards the sand dunes by Holland.   We hummed along around 6 knots on a 40 degree course, catching a surge from the waves and quickly reached the dunes.   We dropped all sail and anchored in 6 foot of water just off the sand bar.   The three teens jumped right in.   Chris with a yelp, JJ was quiet (former UPer), and Brad with a huge gasp as he surfaced.   They swam to shore and climbed the dune.   That's when I noticed some big low clouds hugging the shoreline from the South.   I blew the horn and they came back.   We had sailed just over 10 miles by that point, and were about 4 miles from the Saugatuck pier heads.   We were almost dead downwind from the pier, so I decided to motor back to get there as quickly as possible.   Going against the weather (which was now blowing much harder, and waves were building slightly) we could only manage a little over 5 knots, while we watched a large cumulus cloud move up the shoreline towards where we were.   As we reached the pier heads and made our way up the river we were still in the sunshine which was present almost the entire time.   It was a fun day on the water, but we all got a bit too much sun.
Mark and I went out for a sail.   Forecast called for variable wind to 10 knots.   That is just what we got.   Sometimes no wind, sometimes light wind, and sometimes it was just right.   I kept Mark out till after dark, and we tried out some night sailing till about 10:30.   It was a bit chilly out and mark had only shorts on.   I broke out the stocking caps and we both had fleece jackets on.   I used the rest of my small green cylinder of propane on the catalytic heater which warmed Mark's legs.   We ended up sailing 10 miles in 4.5 hours going back and forth a few miles offshore.
THYC had their first race and little wing was present.   AJ crewed with me, and we had some good sailing before the race and early into it.   The race was from Sauagatuck pier to Holland Pier. Little wing got a lousy start as I thought we were going by GPS time, but 45 seconds from the horn found out we were going by a wrist watch instead.   Little Wing was about 30 seconds from the line at the horn.   From there it got worse as we ran out of wind, and watched the fleet continue on.   After eating lunch with sails slatting, we found enough wind to limp back, and headed back up river to the marina.   Little Wing was a DNF in race 1. Wind was anywhere from 0 - 7 knots, maybe even 10 knots.