Thursday, August 30, 2012

Next time let's remember to...

Every time we sail it seems we come away with some new trick or lesson learned to add to our bag of tricks. Some things we learn by accident and some are well thought out. How jealous we are of those of you who have been sailing a long time. Oh the lessons you could teach us!

This year at the Carlyle Lake Rendezvous, Rich, our resident sailing expert, gave each of us a pocket-sized notebook made with waterproof paper. The idea was that we would use the notebook to jot down our to-do list while the ideas were still fresh in our minds. That turns out to be the easy part. After writing the ideas down, you have to remember to take the notebook off the boat. If you are good and remember that, then you need to remember to look at it before your next trip. And finally, if you have accomplished all of the above, you need to DO what was on the list!

Fortunately we remembered the first three we just need to find some time to accomplish what we had listed.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Our Daughter's Wedding

This last weekend we celebrated our beautiful daughter's wedding on the Majesty Star river boat in Stillwater, Minnesota. She married a young man that we really like and the wedding was a truly fun event. There was some light rain falling which required the service to be moved down from the top deck to the third deck, but the crew, family and friends made sure everything worked out.

The great food, cruise, music, drinks and fun guests made for a very memorable wedding. The Captain said he had been doing these wedding cruises for thirty years and this was one of the best he had seen. It was such a pleasure for Brenda and I to just sit back at times and marvel at our three wonderful kids and their friends having such a good time dancing and laughing together. Brenda even said, " You know, we've done a pretty good job, we have great kids."

I must say that I didn't expect to become as emotional as I did during parts of the wedding. I certainly love my daughter, Tina, but I felt that I was prepared for her to become a bride. She was radiant, beautiful and glowing as she danced the night away.

We want to thank all of our family and friends for helping us in so many ways to make this a spectacular wedding for Tina and Tony.

The happy couple were supposed to be flying down to the Gulf Coast today for their honeymoon at our condo. It looks like tropical storm Isaac may turn into a hurricane and make that impossible. Fortunately Tina is a lot like me and will roll with the punches and find another way to spend their time off.

We love you Tina and Tony. Congratulations and let's talk grand kids for Brenda!


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

CLR 2012

It was with great anticipation that we unpacked from sailing last weekend and repacked for our annual trek to Carlyle Illinois for the Carlyle Lake Rendezvous of Com-Pac boats. As soon as Mike got home from work on Wednesday, we hooked up the trailer and headed out. We knew we could split the trip into two shorter sprints, but the boat was towing well and we were both wide awake, so other than gas, food and potty stops we drove straight through and arrived at midnight. It was really nice out, and we knew tomorrow would be HOT again, so we rigged in the parking lot and motored over to our slip. It sure felt good to be back. Many great memories were made here in the last couple of years!

All the Com-Pac's tucked in at West Access Marina
Thursday morning we were up for breakfast and called the host couple Steve and Sarah. None of the other Com-Pacs were in yet, so we went out for a short sail and swim. As we were swimming it started and Steve and Sarah called to say they were in. We sailed back to slip to meet our friends and catch up on their lives. We welcomed Cal, Luke and Debbie, Jason and Ginger, and Rich. Unfortunately the weather did not permit a midnight sail. However, we did get to sit outside the galley and talk, laugh and lie until Carl and Joan arrived. After welcoming them, it was "lights out" for everyone.

Friday, after breakfast, a welcome to Bruce and some touring of everyones' boats, we set sail for Haslet Park. It was HOT (95-100). It was a pretty sight to see a line of Com-Pac boats heading out from the marina. They sure are pretty boats. The winds allowed us to play a little, but we were more interested in getting anchored for a raft-up. Remember - it was HOT.

Com-Pac Raft-up

And the stories keep coming!
At the raft up we bobbed and talked for a long time before we had to head back in time for dinner at Bretz Wildlife Lodge and Winery. This is a must do if you go to Carlyle.

Ever had dinner with a giraffe?
Their Kalahari Nooner wine is a big hit with our group. It features a label showing two lions having an afternoon "interlude". That is creative labelling. Once again the dinner was superb and the conversation lively. As we headed back to the marina everyone was too tired for dock talk, so we all cozied in (some in their boats and some in a local motel) to be sure we were ready for the big race on Saturday.

Saturday was another leisurely morning of breakfast, looking at each other's boats and making minor adjustments. At 11 we headed out from the marina for a race to Cole's Creek. Rich crewed with Bruce (no fair!) on his 19. The boats were anxiously circling at the starting line. Well, maybe they were strewn all over the area pointing in different directions.

Which way do we go?
A Com-Pac 16 and 19 taking off
We do take this racing business very seriously. Soon the horn blew, sails were raised and we were off. Well, almost off. At first there were minimal winds. We were reefed because the winds were forecast to be strong and gusty. Big mistake by the crew of Wrinkles. When the light winds blew, we lost ground. However, when the winds built, we could catch up. Unfortunately, we took our reef out too late and the talented crew of Jason and Rich beat us to anchor at Cole's Creek.

After our raft up and swim, which featured cold Brandy Slushies, the wind picked up. As the boats started tacking back toward the marina the winds and gusts picked up substantially. Bruce and Rich later told us that their inclinometer pegged out at 40 degrees of heel. We hit 25 plus numerous times which is enough on our fun scale. We got some great video of Steve and Sarah on their CP-16 bravely working their way under full sail. Wow! What a ride!

Can you say "heel"?

Upon our return to the marina we got ready for the Hawaiian luau. Sarah and Steve put out quite a feast of pulled pork, veggies, mai tai's, (or as Steve calls them My Ties) cole slaw, etc. Rich conned his sister into making delicious chocolate cake and Ginger brought cheese cake using a new, untested recipe that her husband Jason declared unfit to feed to people who were so nice to him. Brave man! The crew was adorned with grass skirts, flowered lei's and there was even a coconut bra (on Crazy Carl, of course). Again, more stories of the "mighty passage" back from Cole's Creek, laughter, and good times.

On Sunday there was more crew trading and Rich sailed with us. After a few minutes, Mike turned the tiller over to Rich and Brenda headed for the bow.

Bow riding is a tough job, but somebody has to do it! It was fun for us to see an accomplished sailor take Wrinkles through her paces in strong winds. Rich was grinning from ear to ear as he played with the wind. Yes, our fun meter still stops at around 25 degrees (although Saturday it rarely stayed less than that with us at the tiller)! We learned a few things from Rich and thank him for the lessons as well as the good company. It was fun watching the other Com-Pac's tackling the wind and waves as we all maneuvered our way back to the marina.

Brenda on the bow
Rich at the tiller with Mike supervising
Once we were all secured in our slips and through the showers, we ventured out to Popeye's Chop House for supper and then back to the dock for sundowners. This is Mike's favorite part of the CLR each year as we relax, sip drinks and get to know this interesting group of sailors.

Monday morning brought beautiful weather, but unfortunately no wind. So we packed things up and headed to the ramp to put Wrinkles back on her trailer. The water level in Lake Carlyle was down this year and their ramps aren't the steepest we've seen. It took everything we had to get the boat on the trailer even with Rich lending a hand. As we unrigged our 23 Rich was there with his pencil and waterproof paper taking notes. He wanted to check out our mast raising system in action.

We had an uneventful (thankfully) trailer home sharing memories of this and past CLR's.

Thank you Steve and Sarah for making this a fun event. Sign us up for next year!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sailor's Lingo - Handsomely

Handsomely - For a sailor this means to do something carefully and deliberately. So when I am pulling Wrinkles into a slip Admiral B could say, "Bring her in handsomely you scurvy dog!"


Saturday, August 11, 2012

They Don't Make Things Like They Used To

They don't make things like they used to. In this case I am glad they don't. After my sewing machine refused to cooperate, I took it in to the local shop, knowing what they would say, but hoping nonetheless that they would say they could fix it. No luck. $70 to just look at it and probably twice that to fix it and a lead time of six weeks.

Lucky for me they had a couple of workhorses on the back wall. I told the salesgirl what I was looking for - straight and zigzag stitch, gear driven, heavy duty. She showed me a Janome Sewist 500 that was just what I was looking for. I couldn't believe how easily it went through six layers of denim and then a single piece of nylon without even changing a thing! And it was on sale for $275 ($260 with the $15 trade-in for my old machine) with a two year parts and labor guarantee and unlimited free lessons. It was an impulse decision, but I bought it on the spot. I had projects to finish!

Back home I worked on the sail cover and finished up a screen cover for the hatch. I also made a new "Wrinkles" burgee. This machine is unbelievable. I am in love! It tackled all the extra layers without slowing down and then had the finesse to handle the applique portion of the burgee.

Laying out sail cover to cut
Pinning material around the screen (later filled with sand)

Prior to the breakdown I had also worked on our bimini. We thought some windows in our bimini would be nice. However, after we pulled the bimini inside and I started figuring out where to put the windows, I noticed several worn spots that needed patching. I told Mike it would almost be easier to make a new one. That got Mike thinking and he remembered the boat cover we had kept from our powerboat days. Guess what color?! Blue. So the making of a new bimini began.

When we pulled the original material off of the frame it became clear that this would not be too hard to do at all. I had the previous boat cover out in the driveway and put the old bimini on top and started cutting out pieces.

At one point, I had Mike's framing square out to help pencil in the cut out for the window. I don't usually get suntanned while sewing, but in this case, that's what happened.

Two days later, after repeatedly wrestling the material through the sewing machine, we had a brand new bimini, with windows, ready for our trip to Door County. If only I would have had the new sewing machine for this project....

Finished bimini with one window open and one closed

Sailor's Lingo - Handsomely

Everyone knows what handsome means in everyday life, but when a sailor uses this word it means something completely different.

Could it be;
 - Hand me something?
 - One handful of an item?
 - Asking if another sailor "Had some lately?"

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Sailing Diversions

Sometimes sailing is more about the destination or event than the actual sail. We recently spent a long weekend on the water without accomplishing a whole lot of sailing. We were joined by our friends Jim and Joni on their Hunter 235 and Phil and Susan on their stinkpot. We anchored up near shore and took our dinghys ashore for food and spirits. We had a wonderful time wandering State Street in Madison, WI where we had a few cold ones and some great local fare. Good friends make for good times.

The Hunter and our Com-Pac motored over to Picnic Point to anchor overnight in a good spot for the next days entertainment. Jim and Mike enjoyed their usual sun setter drink of Drambuie. Well, maybe they over enjoyed it. A calm night at anchor makes for wonderful sleeping.

We were joined by lots of boats of every kind as they nestled into the bay to get the best spots to enjoy a great local band called Midlife Crisis play on a barge overlooking the bay. We ended up inside the arc created by the huge Sea Ray cruisers and couldn't of had a better spot. The mimosas were poured as our mutual friends Bill and Helen walked out from shore to join us.

The band was awesome as usual and dancing in 3 feet of water with drinks in hand made for a grand experience. We stayed at anchor for the night and hoped to get some sailing in the next day.

Unfortunately the winds stayed pretty light and we spent a lazy afternoon ghosting around the lake. So we had a fantastic weekend sailing even though we got very little sailing in. Time to load Wrinkles up and get her ready for our next sailing trip only 3 days away.


Monday, August 6, 2012

Busy Busy Busy!

The last several days have been really busy for us. We have taken two sailing trips, finished several boat projects and spent time helping our daughter finalize her upcoming wedding plans. Sorry for the lack of posts, but we'll be catching the blog up over the next few days.

This sailing lifestyle can be consuming. We talk sailing, work on the boat, build things for the boat, plan sailing trips, pack and unpack...... It seems our life has become sailing - not necessarily a bad thing. Brenda commented a few days ago that she was living out of her sailing luggage rather than her dressers.

We will post about a long weekend on Lake Mendota where we rafted up for the local Aqua Palooza, sewing projects, new boarding ladder steps, foiling the rudder, and a long trip to a Com-Pac rendezvous at Carlyle Lake in Illinois.

Mike and B