Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sailing with Michelle, Eric & Evan

I've been talking with my colleagues Michelle and Eric about having them come sailing with me on Seas The Day.  Like previous weeks this year, the weather report coming up to the weekend was all over the place, but when I checked it on Friday, it looked good.  So I said there will be a touch of rain in the morning and after that it should clear up.  Winds looked like they would be right were we wanted them (12 to 15 knots) with occasional higher gusts.

Yea, right... touch of rain, huh?

As I departed, I headed into this...

As I'm snapping this photo, I'm listening to NJ101.5 announce that there is no longer a TORNADO WARNING over NJ.  (At this point I'm just slightly questioning my sanity.)  Are we really going to get to go sailing?  Approaching the Delaware Memorial Bridge, it actually looked like a dementor attack (a la Harry Potter) was taking place over NJ.

But I continued and once I got to the club, things didn't look too bad.  So I boarded the launch and headed out...

To find that my new mooring is still getting tangled.  I noticed that Dan had added an extra heavy rope since one of mine was fraying from rubbing the chain under the ball.  I expect we'll get this sorted out soon.

After puttering around for an hour or so, I looked up to see the launch delivering my guests (after a quick tour of the mooring field).  About this time, I noticed that the seas were a bit rough... there were lots of whitecaps, and the wind speed indicator was reading above 20.  It was a bit of a struggle to get everyone aboard and I was just listening to the KYC race committee tell the launches that today's races would be postponed due to too much wind (they were eventually cancelled - though we didn't know that fact).  It was more sustained wind in the 20 kt range, with occasional lulls down to 15 or so.  

Yea well... weather reports... gotta luv 'em.

So we had lunch in the Salon, I took them through all the safety briefings, and I finally decided that we could just motor around, but there would be no sailing unless things calmed down a bit.

I don't have many photos from the first part of the trip... approaching 2ft waves in some places, and while we weren't in any danger, it was rough enough to make aspects of the trip unpleasant.

We headed to the Great Beds Light.  Since the wind was coming from the WNW, once we got over there it calmed down a bit and we could do the standard photo shoot I do around there, but you can clearly see that it is still quite windy.

(photo credit: Michelle)

From there, we slowly motored east, staying relatively close to Staten Island.  Evan was interested in taking the helm, so I guided him on what to do.  He did really well for a kid his age taking his first turn on this type of boat.  I guess it's the Boy Scout in him (he's headed for Philmont later this summer and he easily has the best sense of direction of any of our guests).

(photo credit: Michelle)

We made our way as far as Old Orchard Shoal.  Eric took the helm and rounded the shoal and got us started back (for some reason I don't have a photo of Eric).  

As it continued to calm, eventually we were confident enough to pull out the mainsail and make it back and forth across the bay twice on wind power.

At last, it was time to head west and get back to the mooring.  Michelle took the helm for a while.

(photo credit: Michelle)

Finally it was time to pick up the ball.  My friend Mike caught us on our final approach.

(photo credit: Mike)

We headed upstairs to the clubhouse and found a table available on the deck.  We had our customary beverages and then decided to order Sushi so we could enjoy the view a bit longer.

These guys are serious about their sushi!

Once full, I saw them off for their trip back down to Delaware and hung around the bar to enjoy the view a bit more before catching a ride to my home for the night.

This morning I woke up to clear skies and smooth (almost lake-like) water.  Despite applying sunscreen several times yesterday, I had some sunburn on my arms and the top of my head (either my hair is thinning, or my had band absorbed the sunscreen - I'll go with the latter).  

So I decided to leave the Open House in good hands (once I burn a little, its a down-hill battle) and head home and free up a parking space. 

Sugah and Seas The Day

Seas The Day all battened down for a week
(Except for the fact that I forgot to take in the flag)

As we approached the dock there was a traffic jam (3 sailboats boats at the dock)!  A group of several boats were heading out on a 2 week cruise of Long Island Sound.  I saw the notice of this excursion and if Vicky were in town, we'd be heading there.  Maybe next time...

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