Posts Tagged 'camp arcadia'

et ego in Arcadia: Sunfish sailing

it was a traditional family vacation at Camp Arcadia, filled with good food, plenty of relaxing & some book reading, and wonderful time spent with family and friends (some old and some new). a lot of time spent down on the beach, playing in the sun and sand, doing some swimming, jumping waves on the wavey days and playing with kayaks and stand-up paddleboards on the calmer days.

there ended up being 2 good sailing days (for me anyway, my oldest son sailed on a 3rd day, but it was pretty light winds and he mainly just drifted around in circles for a while).

day 1: Sunday afternoon

after walking to the local Lutheran church in the little town of Arcadia, we headed back to Camp and ate the buffet lunch.  the weather seemed promising and Sunday afternoon’s schedule at Camp was fairly light, so most of us headed down to the beach, and T2 and I both got the boats ready for sailing (with some help dragging them up and over the small sand dunes and beach grass).  after setting up T2 with the Minifish, he was off and sailing.

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I rigged the sail and misc parts on the Sunfish and my 3rd son, Luke, joined me for the 1st sail. he begged to take the mainsheet and tiller as soon as he could!  north bluffs are off in the distance behind him.

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after a while of sailing with Luke, I headed back into shore – dropping off Luke and picking up his cousin, Sam.

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later on, I gave a ride on the Sunfish to my sister-in-law, but didn’t get any pictures.

afterwards, I got to solo sail on the Sunfish for a while, so I’d chase T2 on the Minifish for a while, or just spend some time tacking and working on getting as much speed going as I could.  the winds were pretty excellent, with wind speeds in the low teens, maybe 12-15 miles per hour, with gusts into the high teens.  not strong enough to tip me over, but good enough to catch a good puff and get the Sunfish up on a plane, every once in a while perfectly timed to catch the crest of a wave and “surf” the Sunfish for a short while.

in my excitement to get down to the water and out sailing, I forgot to bring my GoPro camera, but did have my iPhone in a dry bag – so I was able to snap the pictures above and a few real quick videos, but that’s all.  I did turn on my Runkeeper app on the phone to track my route for one of the times out that afternoon.

sunday sail

the next couple days were dead flat calm water – perfect for playing with other water toys (kayaks, SUP’s, etc.) but not good for Sunfish sailing.  Wednesday is “day out of camp” day – we went on a canoe trip… and that is a whole different story for another day.

day 2: Thursday evening sail

so the wind finally picked up some on Thursday and the waves were perfect for playing in the water, so the usual afternoon crowds at the beach were even larger.  due to the lack of beach area (Lake Michigan is up approximately 4 feet!), I didn’t want to try to launch and return to the beach with that many kids swimming and jumping in the waves. fearing that the week of vacation was coming to an end with no more sailing, I decided to go for an evening sail, when far fewer people would be swimming and lounging at the beach.  as luck would have it, this time I remembered the GoPro, but left my iPhone up in our room.  here’s a screen cap: me on the Sunfish and T2 way off in the distance on the Minifish.

sunfish gopro snapit was a beautiful evening for sailing – the sun was slowly setting amidst the clouds out on the horizon and T2 and I had all of Lake Michigan to ourselves – not another boat in sight.  my sister-in-law snapped this amazing photo of us and the sunset from her vantage point up on the Camp patio.

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Friday ended up being a decent day for wind, but straight out of the west pushing big waves up onto the beach.  on an empty beach, launching could be done setting off immediately on a 45-degree angle to the wind, but with again so many kids playing in the big waves that day, we didn’t try to sail.

still 2 great days on the water was better than none, and it was a blast!

drifting in a Minifish

I was skimming through some of my GoPro videos from our vacation last summer at Camp Arcadia on Lake Michigan, and I took a quick screenshot of T2 drifting along in the Minifish on a very calm day out on Lake Michigan.

t2 drift minifish

it was an awesome day – sailing with my boys, but with them sailing solo in the Minifish while I was alone or with one of them in the Sunfish.  after a bit, the boys switched places, and Noah got his turn drifting along in the Minifish.

noah minifish

not the greatest amount of wind, but still a beautiful day to mess about on the Great Lakes.

the ebb and flow of life

it has been different this year.

my weekends were usually pretty filled up with working on finishing our barn. it’s not done yet, but it has come along nicely, and is getting closer. we are having the house plans drawn up now, so maybe the house will be next summer?

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early July brought along another distraction. Mrs My2Fish and I were blessed with our 4th boy.

4 boys!

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so I didn’t get to sail very much. almost not at all, really. just two afternoons on Lake Michigan.

but, those were pretty special days: I got to sail for the first time with my 2 older boys sailing on their own, in their own sailboat – a Minifish. sailing alongside me, instead of just riding along with dad on the Sunfish.

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both of them took the 2 week sailing classes again thus summer, and they really enjoyed it. my oldest son even sailed a Laser (and loved it, *gasp*).

so did I sail much this year? hardly. but it hasn’t been a lost year.

it was a year that brought new life.

new beginnings.

new adventures.

abide with me

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Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me

a guy’s weekend

every fall, I join my father, brothers, and brothers-in-law (or those who can make it that year) for a men’s retreat at Camp Arcadia (I think this is my 18th year in a row!).  it is a Lutheran camp, and each year a new lecturer does a series of presentations, similar to an extended Bible study series.  mixed in amongst those lectures is a bit of golfing, a bit of silliness, sometimes some swimming and other water-sports on Lake Michigan, and always a lot of great fellowship with the guys of my family. [for the record, the women in the family do a similar women’s retreat, but it isn’t always at Camp Arcadia, and usually is centered more around shopping.]

as per our usual, we start the weekend out on Thursday, and we pick a golf course to play en route to the camp.  this year, we ate lunch first at Jamesport Brewing Company in Ludington, and then traveled a short way up the road to play 18 holes at Lincoln Hills Golf Course.  most of us are not really serious golfers – this was the 1st round of golf this year for most of the guys (including me!).

lincoln hills

photo by @dharns

after golfing, we got back on the road and headed up the coast towards Camp Arcadia, but made our traditional stop at Arcadia Bluffs (we played golf here once, but it is a bit $$ for our, um, caliber of play).  but it is usually a great place to watch the sunset and get a nice dinner (although this time it wasn’t great….)

photo by @dharns

Friday morning is traditionally a golf outing organized by the camp planning committee, but for various reasons, we decided to start our own golf outing this year: the 1st Annual Juniper Challenge.  there were several benefits to starting our own outing: we could sleep in later, the golf course was a closer drive, we had the course almost to ourselves, and we could create our own rules.  plus, we got lucky, and the course had delicious pulled pork sandwiches at the turn!

the 1st Annual Juniper Challenge couldn’t have ended any better: the 1st foursome was my brother and a few of his friends for the Chicago area (Team St Peter) and the 2nd foursome was me, my brother-in-law Dave, my Dad, and another friend from my Dad’s church (Team St Matthew).  with Team St Peter watching, our group got a bogie on #17 meaning both groups were tied going into the final hole.  both teams shot decent drives to start #18, but Team St Matthew’s 2nd shot was on the green, and closer than Team St Peter’s 2nd shot out onto the fringe.  but St Peter put on the pressure by sinking an amazing putt from the fringe.  my Dad lived up to the challenge – sinking our 12-ft putt to again send us into a tie.  for a tie-breaker, we just walked back 80-ft or so, took a drop and chipped towards the #18 green again.  Dave started off Team St Matthew with an amazing iron shot – stopping 3-ft from the cup.  again, though, Team St Peter was our equal, with a decent chip shot, but then able to sink a long putt.  at that point we called it a tie – a fitting conclusion to the 1st Annual Juniper Challenge.

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after golfing, the 1st lecture is Friday afternoon, followed by some free time – and we played some of our invented game: Tennyball.  Tennyball is a simple (and yet complicated?) game combining tennis and volleyball, with a mixture of insanity. with only 2 vs 2 in this video, it’s hard to tell it is much different than doubles tennis… but trust me, it is most certainly is.

during Tennyball, it was pretty sweet to see one of the other campers out on Lake Michigan trying to kite surf.

Friday evening is the 2nd Bible study and vespers (or a short sunset prayer service) at the recently completed Chapel on the Beach at Camp Arcadia.  my brother-in-law Dave got yet another great photo – it might help to click on this one to enlarge the picture for full effect.

vespers

photo by @dharns

Saturday morning is the final Bible study, and the afternoon usually has some free time.  this year we decided to drive up to the Betsie River near Beulah and watch the salmon swimming upstream, and trying to jump the dam across the river. it was amazing!

salmon

in addition to all of that mentioned above is great food served by the Camp, plus the incredible atmosphere with the setting right on the shores of Lake Michigan. the shipwreck Minnehaha was incredible as well:

once again, an incredible weekend of fun and fellowship.

my 1st sunfish (a new picture)

well, technically this wasn’t ever actually my Sunfish – but it is the 1st one I’ve ever sailed on.  the photo is of Ryan, the younger brother of my roommate Sean, from when I worked as a staff member at Camp Arcadia.  Sean was the 1st person to introduce me to the Sunfish (15 years ago!).

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