sailing log: October Sunfish sailing

right now it is cold and drizzling rain outside – the kind of weather where you just want to sit inside with the fireplace crackling and have a football game on the TV. but during the early part of October, we had some incredible warm weather days – and one weekend when T2 was home from college for the weekend, he and I took a short drive to sail a bit on Sunday afternoon at nearby Ford Lake. windfinder was predicting wind speeds in the mid-teens and air temps were in the low 80’s.

there were a couple boats out on the lake, but the boat ramp was pretty empty, so we just pulled up our trailer near the ramp, used the PVC dolly to take the Minifish and Sunfish down to the water and rigged up the sails. T2 set off sailing first while I finished getting my Sunfish set up, but I followed him towards the southeast end of the lake – it almost seemed like we had the lake entirely to ourselves.

we both turned around and ran with the wind at our backs for a long stretch, following the lake up towards the northwest. I cut my run shorter than T2 – he elected to go all the way around the small island in the lake. after that we zig-zagged back upwind, tacking back and forth making our way back towards the boat ramp. at one point, I saw a bald eagle soaring along the lake’s coastline! I’ve never seen a bald eagle this far south in Michigan.

I got a nice shot of my newer Allen ratchet block in action, with a gybe-ho sticker on display on my daggerboard.

I recently updated my everyday watch (I broke the glass screen on my apple watch), so opted this time for a Garmin GPS watch, the Garmin Forerunner 55. overall, I’m loving it – the GPS feature for tracking activities like hiking, biking, etc is fantastic, and the Garmin Connect app is really amazing. and the battery lift is amazing – I can go days, even weeks w/o charging, can sleep with the watch on so that it tracks my sleep patterns, where with the apple watch I had to charge almost every night.

for sailing, I select “other” as the activity on the watch itself, wait for it to sync with GPS, and then hit “go” to track the sailing activity. after completing the sailing and syncing the watch with the Connect app, you can then go into the activity and edit the type from “other” to “sailing”, and it will update the data to show speed in knots and total distance sailed in nautical miles.

is that little switch to knots and nautical miles necessary? no… but I like it. not sure that the calorie count is all that accurate for this activity, though…

usually my September and October weekends are pretty booked with kid’s soccer games and yardwork and house projects, and the weather doesn’t usually cooperate either – so I’m not sure I’ve sailed much past the 1st or 2nd weekend of September very much, and I’m 100% certain I’ve never sailed my Sunfish in October before. it was a great day for it, though, and I’m really glad that T2 and I took advantage of the Indian summer weather to get out on the water one last time for the year.


9 Responses to “sailing log: October Sunfish sailing”

  1. 1 Weston Morris October 29, 2021 at 8:51 pm

    That’s great to see that you both were able to take advantage of the warm weather in October. My wife and I were out on Bogie Lake the same day. She in her Mini and me in ‘Sevens’ *my 1977 Sunfish). We were having a great time until I slammed into a sand bar and broke my daggerboard and cracked my daggerboard well. Ouch!! I had to remove the sail, wade to shore with all the rigging, flip the boat in the lake and pound on the daggerboard to get it out of the well. So, that ended my sailing for 2021. Last year, I got out one more time – on Nov 20 if you can believe it. We had a sunny day in the high 60’s and I suited up with a wetsuit and took my Super Sunfish that I had just bought out for a trial run at Orchard Lake. Not likely to repeat that this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 2 my2fish October 29, 2021 at 11:36 pm

      Weston, it was a great day for sailing. Love that your wife sails with you… mine hasn’t joined me for the last 10+ years! I have a shorty wetsuit and neoprene socks, so could probably extend my sailing season a bit… just haven’t tried it yet.


  2. 3 Chris Egly October 30, 2021 at 9:16 am

    I too love fall sailing. All the speedboats have left the lakes and usually the colors begin to be beautiful. I tried to share my photos but I’m apparently not techy enough to figure that out here. Happy sailing! I’m hoping for one more day!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. 4 Mark October 30, 2021 at 11:44 am

    Down here in the NC outerbanks there are still plenty of good sailing days! Was out yesterday in 15-20 winds… quite a ride! Oh, and the dolphins that came along side were a nice bonus!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 6 Pete_B5 November 1, 2021 at 11:21 am

    Great stories, keep sailing!
    … I sail my sunfish on lake lucerne all seasons. However, temperatures at times mandate ‘slight adjustments in dress code’ 😉
    Cheers from central switzerland!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 8 Pete_B5 November 1, 2021 at 11:25 am

    PS: … been using my Garmin for tracking Sunfish fun for quite a while. Can confirm that ‘works like a charm’ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • 9 my2fish November 1, 2021 at 11:27 am

      Pete_B5 – I’ve not used my (really old) GoPro for a while, but I’ve seen some really great videos where they sync all the Garmin data with the GoPro video to add live stats to the videos – it looks really cool. maybe next year…


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