Thursday, March 29, 2012

You should sail in Madison, WI

Here is one more of our previous sailing logs. Hopefully our next post will be about sailing THIS year.

No better text for a sailing wife to receive than, "The winds look good for Friday and Saturday." My reply was, "Come sail away with me." This was on Thursday. Mike had to work on Friday and it was my last weekend before school started back up. When Mike pulled into the driveway, I looked out the window and saw him backing up to the boat. You know what that means - we are going sailing tonight! Quick - put some food and drinks in the cooler, grab some clothes and off we go.

We put in at Marshall Park and sailed, slowly, over to the Edgewater to listen to their outdoor band. However, since the winds were not being very cooperative, we arrived in time to listen to their final two songs. Oh, well. We pulled out our tomato-basil-mozzarella sandwiches and enjoyed our dinner on the water. Nothing happening at the Union either, so we sailed back to Marshall Park to anchor up for the night.

Mike had to work Friday so after we got up, he rowed the dinghy back to Marshall Park and his truck. I was left alone on the boat for the first time. This was a rather interesting experience. I am good at being lazy, but it took me awhile to adjust to the fact that I could be lazy on the boat. I slept in for a bit and then heated up water for instant Quaker oatmeal and tea. Hmmmmmmm, what next. I picked up a book and read for awhile and then watched the hard-working girl driving the weed eater as she read a book, smoked a cigarette, talked on her phone and tanned. Oh yea, she pushed the joy stick to control the straight line she was running back and forth across the lake. Made me look industrious. Up went the awning as the sun grew more intense. I pulled out the binoculars and was spying on one of the boats that was sailing by when I spotted Mike rowing up beside our boat. It was only 2:30. Happy lady!

Following a nap, we headed out into some strong blustery gusts and played for a bit. The winds settled down around 5:30 and we headed to Captain Bill's on the northwest corner of the lake. We dropped anchor, climbed into the dinghy, and rowed to shore. As we approached, we noticed that there were four public docks available. We'll have to check on that. We chose to sit inside and enjoy the air conditioning. Excellent food, but a little pricey. We were able to watch a few boats come and go while we dined. After dinner, we rowed back out to the boat and then slooooowly sailed over to Picnic Point, arriving after dark.

Picnic Point on Lake Mendota - wonderful anchorage

There were four other boats there, so we picked a spot off to ourselves and dropped anchor again. There were two campfires going on the point and the lights over the hospital were blinking like fireworks. It was a very calm night and we put in the new screen door for the companionway that Mike built. We had a nice cool breeze through the cabin and were even able to wrap up in a blanket. Nice!

Saturday morning Mike got up first and took a blanket and a book out to the cockpit until I got up. Then we made our standard breakfast of instant oatmeal, coffee and tea. We did the dishes, read some more and then decided to sail. We wanted to try James Madison Park and surprisingly, it wasn't directly into the wind. We had a nice reach across the lake, dropped anchor in three feet of water and waded into shore. We sat long enough to watch a family head into the water for a swim and the new college freshmen playing a rather tentative game of volleyball. Back to the boat and a reach across the lake. We called our son Matt and he said he would join us for dinner, so we headed back to the Union, dropped anchor, and dinghyed to shore. A few minutes later we joined up with Matt and headed to State Street. It was move-in day for the UW freshmen, so Matt was enjoying the scenery. We headed to State Street Brats for their delicious brats while sitting outside by the life-sized fiberglass cow (yes, this is Wisconsin). As we were people-watching, we saw friends of ours coming around the corner. We hailed them and they came over and we chatted over the fence. They were dropping off their son for his freshman year at UW. Poor Matt, he was the last one to head off to college. We walked Matt back to his car and then returned to State Street to find a TV so we could watch the rest of the Brewer's game. Mike wanted to find a restaurant he remembered seeing, so we wandered around soaking up the State Street atmosphere with the new students and their families, street vendors, and one-man music acts scattered up and down the street. We made it back to our dinghy after dark, rowed back to the boat and pulled out a blanket so we could sit in the cockpit and listen to the band at the union compete with the music from the frat houses. The band at the union played 70's music and really had the crowd going. They outlasted us, however, and we went to sleep listening to the sounds we remembered from our earlier days.

Sunday found us up and back on State Street looking for a new breakfast spot. We found Cosi's to be just what we were looking for. Interesting food and a good view of State Street. We saw students up early and out for a morning jog and we saw students sitting on a bench, obviously still recovering from their previous night's revelry. Back on the boat and out to promising winds. However, they were just diminishing as we headed out. The sailboat race in the middle of the lake made it difficult for us to take advantage of what winds there were, so we put on some music and ghosted back to Marshall Park. The end of another great weekend.

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