signs of spring

we spent Easter weekend up at my parent’s house this year, and the weather was absolutely beautiful the whole weekend.  flowers were starting to poke up from the cold ground and even some were starting to bloom.

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everywhere you looked, there was signs of new life.  there was a fresh batch of baby kittens (strangely enough the mother cat had chosen to have your young kittens in the chicken coop!)

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speaking of chickens, my cousin dropped off a few new baby chickens for my parents (they were down to only 3 laying hens).

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all around their property, the boys found places to explore – the waterfall ponds, the big pond, the swamps, and the woods – looking for any little creature they could find… and more importantly, catch!

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frogs, tadpoles, snakes, turtles… all were at risk of being snatched up with dirty fingers or a dipping net – and spending the rest of the weekend in one of several critter buckets.

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I took several of the boys out for [multiple] rides on the pond in the canoe – they were able to catch several painted turtles that had been basking in the warm sun.

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walking in the grass near the pond edge, I even found a baby snapping turtle – I assume making his way down to the pond, only recently hatched from an egg.

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the boys weren’t the only ones that wanted to ride in the canoe – Arwen did a great job with me, especially for her first time out on the water!

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I did spend a large portion of Saturday working in my dad’s workshop – I had brought along all the cedar boards for building my cupola that will go on top of the barn.  I made significant progress – it is partially assembled, with the final assembly to take place up on the barn roof (I need it to be light enough to hand carry up the roof!).

IMG_3371as usual, there was a plethora of delicious food over the course of the weekend. I helped my dad dig up a huge bucket of parsnips – left in the ground over the winter. look at that monster!

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and for one meal, my dad made pastrami (from a Jewish deli cookbook I bought him) – it was delicious!

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all told, an excellent weekend of family, food, fellowship & fun!

2014 Sunfish Worlds boat & sail logos unveiled

the Sunfish Worlds will be held this year at Camp Sea Gull Camp Seafarer in North Carolina.  the custom sail and boat design by Laser Performance and the Sunfish Class have been released and look pretty awesome. the ship’s wheel and anchor on opposite sides is a neat touch.

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my only complaint? does it have to be blue and yellow?  NOT my favorite color combination.

today’s tunes: Sail Away by Christine Donaldson

recently featured as GoPro’s Video of the Day, the entire video was shot using the amazing GoPro cameras.  the video was produced, mixed, edited by singer/song-writer Christine Donaldson.

destiny?

if you know, then you know.

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greater detroit 2014 Sunfish race schedule

the Greater Detroit Sunfish Club (GDSC) has released their 2014 Sunfish race schedule (you can find it with additional information posted at their Yahoo Group).  you can also check them out on their Facebook page.

all Sunday races start at 12:30pm [uno]

I said this last year (and the year before), and didn’t get a chance, but I’m again going to do my best to meet up with this group for some races this year.  it’s shaping up to be a pretty busy summer already, though!

two are better than one

the Sunfish Class has voted to allow the use of 2 halyard lines, and an additional line for a Jens rig – all to allow for a more simplified method of depowering the Sunfish sail for heavy winds (official release).  it is often beneficial for lighter sailors, who don’t have as much body mass to balance the heavier wind forces on the sail (and hence the reason I’ve never had to use it…).

here are some of the specific rule changes.

3.7.2 One or two halyards may be used. Halyards may be of any length and diameter. The running end of one halyard may be used to create a boom vang and/or to pull the boom out in light air. A single purchase loop may be tied in each halyard to help draw the halyard tight, provided the sail can be quickly lowered in an emergency.

3.7.3 A rig to lower the point at which the upper spar lies against the mast (known as the “Jens Hookansen Rig‟)may be tied with an extra piece of line used solely for that purpose. The rig must be tied in such a way that the sail can be lowered quickly and easily by releasing the halyard(s).

here is a bit more information on the Jens rig (via MSYC blog):

A Jens rig, named after Jens Hookanson who used it in winning the 1976 Sunfish North American Championship (at age 16!), lowers the point at which the upper spar is attached to the mast. This leaves more of the upper spar unsupported. In heavier winds, the upper spar can bend more, twisting the leech and “spilling” air. Since the upper part of the sail is depowered, it is easier to hold the boat flat without easing the sail out. Therefore pointing is not sacrificed.

here is an excellent video (about 10 minutes long) with demonstration of the “Gust Adjust” – a class legal version of the Jens halyard setup for your Sunfish rigging.

Greg Gust also just won the Sunfish International Masters earlier this week – I think he knows what he’s doing!


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