Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Boys


Last weekend our oldest son, John, drove up from Columbus, Ohio to spend the weekend with us. John went off to college about the time we took up sailing and has never sailed with us. John and his younger brother, Matt, joined us on Plan B for a few hours of sailing on Sunday. The winds were pushing 15+ mph on a pretty choppy Lake Mendota as we motored out through the channel. Brenda and I tried several different sail options to give John a feel for sailing without a lot of heeling. We hoped to show him that by reducing sail area we could make a sailboat quite safe and comfortable in most conditions. We probably bored John to death with the slow speed sailing, but we want our kids to feel comfortable with our future offshore sailing plans. It was fun to have the two boys aboard to experience our hobby and intended lifestyle.


Brenda and I are extremely proud of our young men. They are good natured, easy going and friendly. Our friends and acquaintances are always telling us what great kids we have. Parents can't ask for more than that.

We love you boys.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Drooling over an Island Packet 31

The IP31 is in the top two of our short list for a cruising boat. Friday we had a chance to inspect one in person to see if the pictures and reviews of this model were realistic. We knew that this particular boat was a bit out of our budget as it was a fresh water only, lightly used and well maintained sailboat. No sweat equity available on this one. Yet we went with the anticipation of two 8 year olds on Christmas morning to get our hands on the real deal.
We were not disappointed in any way. The Island Packet signature cream colored hull with the traditional ports give the boat enough of that classic look that Brenda and I love. We are not big fans of the Clorox bottle looking boats with the big flat lexan windows. She is beamy at 11.5' which makes her roomy, stiff sailing, a bit slow under sail and allows abundant storage. The 31 foot length seems longer due to the nice big bowsprit.

They advertise standing headroom of 6' 3" and it seems to be pretty accurate. Mike could just stand with his hair ( well, what's left of it anyhow) compressed against the head liner. The v-berth is advertised as 6' 6" and we're not too sure their tape measure was completely accurate on that one. It would be OK, but not quite as long as we hoped. Lots of storage spots, but not many areas for large or bulky items. The interior feels spacious and comfortable. We could see ourselves happily living aboard this model of boat.

On the drive home we both knew the other was busy creating a way to buy this lovely boat. No hope of that at this time. We need to sell our house first. Hopefully there will be boats as nice as this one available when our time comes.

Hmmmm. Maybe if we sell Plan B, buy a cheaper truck..........


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Fall is upon us already

Matt, Kelley, Brenda, Lilly


The summer has breezed by and we are amazed that fall is upon us. Although we love fall sailing it is hard to acknowledge that another nasty winter is right around the corner. We have had a wonderful summer of sailing aboard Plan B with family, friends and of course our son's new puppy Libby. We made a great decision in renting a slip for the summer as it allowed us to sail a lot without all the work associated with trailering each sail.

We look forward to many fall sails on Lake Mendota with the Wisconsin Badgers or Green Bay Packer's game playing on the radio. The smell of campfires along Picnic Point, beautiful fall colors along the shoreline, dinners on State Street and the pure joy of a good sail await us.

On Tuesday we had our first fall sail of the season. We met at the slip immediately after work with the sun shining and a gentle 7-9 knot wind blowing. The old Johnson purred as we motored out the channel toward the lake with big grins on our faces. Motor off. Sails up. Yes!


The weather was so good we quickly changed into swimsuits to enjoy the warm fall sunshine. The O'Day gently heeled over and the waves were just big enough to produce their music on the sides of the hull. This is what sailing is all about. We tacked into the wind with the intention of finishing the day going wing and wing all the way back across the lake as the sun and temperatures were slowly sinking. We rigged up the preventer on the main and put out the whisker pole on the jib. With soft music playing and the sun setting behind us we had one of our all time favorite sails.

So bring on fall, we are ready.