sailing log: 2009-07-03

this was my 1st sail for 2009 (and it’s been a while – my 3rd son was born in May 2008, so I was too busy last summer to even bring the ‘Fish down from storing it at my folks house).  my brother Micah happened to be in town from Chicago and he joined me for the trip.

my brother-in-law Dave was camping with his boys, another nephew of ours, and he graciously watched my 2 older boys down at the beach while I took the Sunfish out for about an hour and a half.  he was camping at the Waterloo Recreation Area, so we met up with him there, and then Micah and I used the public access ramp to launch the Sunfish.  the lake is Big Portage Lake, northeast of Jackson, Michigan.

after a little bit of a slow start (I think the access ramp was sort of sheltered from the wind), we got her sailing quite well – even carrying 2 fellas in the 200 lb range, give or take 🙂  I thought I had adjusted the halyard and gooseneck previously, but we found that the sail was rigged much too low for 2 guys on the boat – it was quite hard to see under the sail (I don’t have a window), and was quite a pain to duck under the boom while tacking.

wind speed was moderate – not too strong, and not too gusty (I’d guess a speed, but I’m sure I’d be way off).  I did find that we had trouble reading the wind direction a couple times, though, and would just “lose” it… slow down, or even end up in irons, as a result.  I also noticed that when sailing on a close reach, we seemed to have good power, occasionally having to hike out a bit to keep her sailing flat.  we had trouble tacking a couple times, though.  I also found that when we tried to open up the sail and let her run with the wind, it just didn’t seem to go as well!  so, I’m not sure if we just flat out read the wind wrong (although there were several flags along the beach to gage wind direction off of), or if we just assumed the boat had more speed/power when close hauled, just because there is more excitement with having to hike out to keep the boat level.

the lake is pretty popular for fishing boats, pontoons, speedboats, and water-skiing, so we had to keep a close watch as we were sailing, but we were happy to see that most of them kept a pretty watchful eye on us, and always kept quite clear of us. as we headed back to the public access ramp, I noticed another sailor setting up a Sunfish. while Micah was retrieving the truck and boat trailer, I talked with him a bit – an older gentleman, retired, he had found an older Sunfish (mid ’70’s, I think) that had been mostly garage kept and was in great shape. it would have been fun to sail around with him, but we had to head out for the day.

overall, though, it was a great sailing trip – and a great time spent with my brother Micah as well! it’s funny – sailing solo is great – less weight with only the 1 sailor, being in total control of the boat, and being able to play around with the rig more, but sailing with a friend certainly has its advantage as well. 🙂

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