Spinnaker UP

Sunday August 1, 2010

I know this is not a typical sailor’s dream, but today I got what I have been wishing for all summer.  It may have taken over 2 months, but it is finally here.  A sunny day with winds under 10 knots.  Well my wish was for under 10 knots, what was actually delivered was under 5.  Why has this been my wish you ask?  Because I have gone through the whole summer so far without one good day to lie on deck and soak up some sun without a strong wind hurtling at me and forcing me behind the dodger or to put a fleece on.  2 months into summer and I’m still pasty white.  Not that I’m an advocate for frying your skin in the sun for a good tan, I am very skin conscience, but I just wanted one (or ten) good day/s to feel the warmth of the sun on my skin.  And not just a ‘the temperature outside is nice and comfortable’, but an actual feel the heat baking into my skin kind of day.  Complete with SPF 50 of course.

 

 

 

We made our way to Lake Michigan as there seems to be a strange phenomenon where if there is not any wind on Muskegon Lake you can find a little on Lake Michigan or vice versa.  Today it was close to the same on both lakes, and we’ll always take Lake Michigan over Muskegon Lake for it’s vastness.  Less chance of hitting something while you’re not paying attention. (kidding!!)  For a little while we had just the genoa which was not giving us much at all.  If we had a whisker pole things may have been a little different, but with the 3-4 knots of wind blowing over us it would not stay full.  We thought it would be the perfect time to pull out the spinnaker since this was the first time conditions were light enough to allow for it.  I’m glad Matt is such an internet nerd because he knew exactly how to raise that thing while I just stood around to hold this and hold that, and run this line here.  Then I held the spinnaker chute to help feed it through as Matt winched from the cockpit.  Within a few minutes it was fully raised and it looked beautiful.  It quickly filled with wind and we more than doubled the speed we were getting with the genoa alone.

 

 

Spinnaker up!!

 

With a little (and it still was fairly little) bit of speed going we set the autopilot and just sat back to relax.  Since there was still waaay to much alcohol left from our trip to Milwaukee I pulled out a premixed margarita and poured it into a coffee cup.  Moving my sport-a-seat onto the deck I just relaxed for a long time with the sun on my face.  When thing would get to warm I’d move back under the shade of the bimini and crack open The New Complete Sailing Manual and brush up on my very basic skills.  Matt’s a little worried about me learning everything I need to before we leave.  I’m a little worried too.  Which now that I think about it, our departure date is exactly one year from today.  Monday August 1st 2011.  Yeah….let me dig my nose into that book a little deeper.

Winds were still pretty light at about six knots, but with just the spinnaker up we were doing almost three knots.  In the summer heat we wanted to take a little dip in the water to cool off, but neither of us wanted to take the spinnaker down just to stop us for 20 minutes.  Instead we decided that swimming wasn’t really necessary, just getting in the water was.  I’m sure we could have doused each other with buckets of water on deck, but that may have led to cleaning.  So we lowered the ladder off the back and took turns dragging along the back while trying not to let go.  We had a long rope attached just in case, and it was surprising to see what under three knots of speed could create for drag.  It was cool and refreshing and all that we needed at the moment.  This did of course result in more sunning on the deck where Mazzii joined us as well.  Greyhounds are real sunbathers, and although this wasn’t the lush grass she was used to at home I don’t think she minded too much.

 

Do I look white to you guys?  I feel so pale.

The whole day was lazy and it was wonderful.

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