Posts Tagged 'sailing log'

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!

on a plane

I quickly snapped this photo when I was sailing the Sunfish a few weeks ago during our vacation. winds were nice, probably in the high teens and gusting over twenty mph. I had the lake all to myself and was flying across the water. 

  

mr blue skies

  
spending a few days at a small lake in Indiana, and have sailed a bit both days so far, despite some heavy storms this morning. light and shifty winds, but still fun. 

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.

sailing log 2013-07-28: Lake Erie

just a quick post: took the Sunfish out for a short sail this afternoon on Lake Erie – it was a blast!  strong winds from the south/south-west meant I could zip up and down along the beach, bouncing up and over waves when I was heading south, and surfing on the tops of waves when I turned around and headed back north.

here is a screenshot from my GoPro video camera:

lake erie gopro

will post more details later.

sailing log 2013-06-30: Ford Lake

welp, it was the last day of June, but I finally got out and sailing on my Sunfish this year.  seems like May & June are always a blur of wrapping up the boys’ soccer seasons and end of the school year activities.  excuses, sure, but that’s how my sailing works for now.

it was a pleasant Sunday afternoon: my boys are staying with their grandparents for a couple weeks and my wife was off on a wild goose chase of her own on the other side of Michigan.  so I had the afternoon all to myself, and I decided to test out a new lake in my area.

Ford Lake, near Ypsilanti, is a 975 acre (1.5 square mile) impoundment of the Huron River. the lake was created when a dam was built to provide hydro-electric power to nearby factories for Ford Motor Company.  like most of the dammed up rivers around here, it isn’t incredibly deep, with a maximum depth of about 30 feet.

ford lake map

Ford Lake is home to the Eastern Michigan University sailing club.  I’m not sure how active the club actually is, but I do know that Derrick Fries is a faculty advisor for the sailing club.  Derrick is a Sunfish champion and author of  “Successful Sunfish Racing” and “Start Sailing Right“.

one big difference I noticed with Ford Lake is that there didn’t seem to be any significant amount of weeds – at least in the area I ended up sailing – which is a huge improvement over a lot of the inland lakes in my area.

I used the Ford Lake Park launch ramps on the south side of the lake (marked by the “A” on the map above).  there is a $8 daily fee for boats (annual passes are available).  the ramps are paved and nicely sloped, with several docks to tie up your boat while you park your car and trailer.

ford lake ramps

the sailing that afternoon was quite nice – the breeze wasn’t too strong, but was quite gusty, with shifts catching me by surprise a couple times.  not enough to capsize, but it kept me on my toes!  I think the long and narrow lake plays a bit into the shiftiness of the wind.

here is a screen capture from the video I took with my GoPro camera.

Ford Lake sunfish sailing

overall, it was a great afternoon for sailing, and I had a great time out on the water.  a bit late, but not a bad start to my 2013 sailing season.


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