Posts Tagged 'vacation'

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. 

calm water

yesterday, the waters of Lake Michigan had settled back down after Tuesday’s rainstorm. it was very light winds, but we took down my Sunfish and our new Minifish down to the beach to try sailing.

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it was a fun day playing on the water, even with the lighter winds. my 13-yr old sailed the Minifish first, and I took my 6- yr old for a ride on the Sunfish.

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I’ll post more details later.

et ego in Arcadia – Sunday

here’s the first day from our week vacation up at Camp Arcadia.  most of the post will be about Sunday’s activities, but technically the family week vacations up at Camp Arcadia are usually Saturday afternoon to the following Saturday afternoon.  the first day thus usually involves some frantic last-minute packing to get on the road ASAP, then a roughly 4-hour drive to get up to camp. here’s my Sunfish rigged up for the road, with a couple of the boys’ bikes riding along with my Sunfish PVC dolly.

after the long drive to Camp, the rest of Saturday is spent settling into the cottage, eating our first dinner at camp, and then watching the Talent Show by the Camp staff – mostly introductions, a few legitimate talent exhibits like singing or playing an instrument, and a mix of silly skits.

Sunday starts with a buffet breakfast, and then a short walk out of Camp and into the small town of Arcadia to Trinity Lutheran Church, a great historic church at 130+ years old.  it’s been a family tradition while driving into Arcadia on Saturday afternoon to see who can be the first to spot the steeple poking above the trees.

after the church service, we walked back to our cottage, and I started getting my Sunfish ready to take to the beach.  I used my Sunfish PVC dolly to roll it down some sidewalks and then the sand to the beach, and lugged all the extra gear down on a 2nd trip, and then headed to the dining room to have some of the buffet lunch before heading out to sail.  my youngest son (4 yrs old) was pretty geeked as usual to sail – he had his little sailing outfit on and everything, and was hanging around trying to help get it ready to sail.

it was a cooler day, and the water temperature was pretty cold, so I had a few layers on to make sure I stayed warm if I was to fall out or tip over.  on a day like this, I like to wear my Ronstan long sleeve rashguard underneath my shorty wetsuit.  and this year my new piece of gear is some NRS wetsocks from REI.  I really like all 3 of these pieces of gear – the wetsocks are a nice addition, as I have to wade in the water a bit to get the final rigging done, and then get the Sunfish started sailing.  the only disadvantage is that I can often get pretty warm if it is sunny and I’m not getting splashed with water (or falling out of the boat!).

the wind was fairly calm out of the south/southwest that afternoon, and the water was pretty flat, so it was a nice and easy sail across the Lake Michigan water.  on my first tack back towards shore, I could see my 11-yr old son T2 wading out in the water towards me, so I swung close and picked him up (and then gave him my life jacket because he didn’t bring one with him!).

while sailing with him, I sat to one side, and gave him both the tiller extension and the mainsheet – so he was in full control of the sailboat.  it was neat to see him learning how little adjustments to one or the other would affect the course we were sailing.  he also LOVED to hook his feet under the hiking strap, and lean so far back that his head touched the water!

after sailing with him for a little bit, I then gave rides on the Sunfish to both of my other sons, as well as several of my nephews, and a little girl who had been watching from the beach.  my oldest son T2 had switched over to the stand-up paddleboard that the camp owns – he spent a TON of time out on that, and was able to stand and paddle way out into Lake Michigan, often with one of his cousins riding along.  I only have this picture of him kneeling on it, but most of the time he was standing up.

while we were sailing, other members of my family took out the ocean kayaks, the rowboat, and the stand-up paddleboard – both adults and kids taking turns on each of them.  all in all, a great afternoon of messing about on the waters of Lake Michigan.  a couple of the kids took turning burying themselves in the warm sand on the beach.

then, they all joined together to bury their newest uncle and decorate him with beach toys.

I did end up missing the wine tasting that afternoon that was presented by Left Foot Charley, a local winery that is run by a previous staff member from Camp Arcadia.  after the awesome afternoon on the beach, it was time for dinner on the patio – amazing pulled pork sandwiches.

et ego in Arcadia

my family just got home from a week long vacation at Camp Arcadia.  we were joined there by my parents, as well as several of my siblings and their respective children. it was a great week as usual, filled with great fellowship with family and friends, morning devotions for the adults and vacation Bible school type classes for the children, the usual copious amounts of amazing food and ice cream, all set in the beautiful location right on the shoreline of Lake Michigan.

this week we were met with slightly cooler weather, and Lake Michigan’s water was a bit chilly for any extended length of time for swimming, but I was able to sail 3 days in a row on my Sunfish and my brother-in-law sailed his Snark sailboat, a few of us did our best to use the stand-up paddleboard (SUP) – the kids had much better success balancing on it, we all floated on inner tubes down the Platte River, and had a great time enjoying all that Camp Arcadia and the surrounding region has to offer.

et ego in Arcadia ~ here I am in Arcadia

I have a ton of my own photos to sift through, as well as photos from my family members to gather and organize, and a whole slew of videos I shot with my GoPro waterproof video camera from the sailing, pier jumping, floating down the river, and jumping huge waves.  hopefully, I can edit some down into manageable videos to share soon.

Sunfish and Snark on the beach at Lake Michigan

more posts and details from each day to follow shortly.

 


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