Rain and Waves Dominate Brief Final Sail, September 27
Rain and Waves Dominate Brief Final Sail, September 27Report Abuse
http://captmurph.com/home - John Stahl signed up to do the first fall work day to help me with Kelly IV's haul out. Since... John Stahl signed up to do the first fall work day to help me with Kelly IV's haul out. Since both of us were free to go to Erie a day early, we decided to take Kelly for a daysail. Unfortunately, the weather was grey, blustery and rainy with a forecast for increased wind, waves and rain as Monday wore on. While Kelly has been in Erie this month, we've treated the CQR anchor as if it is a mooring. I tied a couple small floats onto the end of the anchor line. Every time we moved Kelly IV from the anchorage, we merely untied the anchor line and dropped it, with the floats, off the bow and sailed away. When we returned, it was just a matter of using the boat hook to retrieve the line by snagging onto the floats. Jack VanArsdale suggested this when we first arrived in Erie and it has worked well all month! About 11am John dropped the anchor floats off of Kelly's bow and we motored out of the bay heading directly into the northeasterly breeze. And it was a very cool, stiff breeze. Presque Isle Bay was choppy, the channel was worse and there were nasty little 2 to 3 footers bashing us on the nose as we made our way into the open lake. John and I raised the mainsail with the first reef tied in and only unfurled the jib to the top of the bow pulpit, effectively a first reef in the jib. With the Yanmar shutdown the only sound was the splashing and whooshing of the waves and wind as we beat into them close hauled on a due north heading. We tacked to avoid the shoals of Gull Point and could point no higher than 120 degrees. Although the breeze made for great sailing, the cool temperature, damp spray, threatening grey clouds and short, steep choppy waves made for an uncomfortable ride beating to weather. It only took a couple more tacks and the addition of some determined rain clouds to convince us that we were “gentlemen”. As in “Gentlemen Never Sail to Weather”! It had taken us over an hour to tack our way to the northeast only a couple miles beyond the channel into the bay. Once we ran downwind, we covered the few miles in less than half the time, with much greater comfort, and with almost no spray. With the wind at our backs we blasted through the channel without even turning the engine on. John was steering most of the time and continued to turn the helm to the southwest as we ran toward the Erie Yacht Club at the far end of the bay. As we approached the EYC, John called “Helm's-a-lee!” and we tacked back into the building breeze. Without the battering waves of the open lake, the close hauled trim became an exciting and enjoyable sail. John successfully tacked Kelly several more times to place her off the entrance to Marina Lake in Presque Isle State Park. The breeze was strong enough that we never needed the motor, but drifted through the almost dead wind space in the small entrance to the park's anchorage. As we made the turn to the west, the breeze came clear of the towering trees and we sailed nicely up to our makeshift mooring. We only used the motor for a little fine tuning as we maneuvered to pick up the anchor line. John and I had a good, if wet and chilly sail, but now it was time to work. We rigged the whisker pole as a crane, lifted the Portland Pudgy onto the foredeck and pulled the CQR off the bottom. Raising anchor became a job worthy of Mike Rowe! John volunteered to do the messy deed, but I fear he didn't understand just how dirty the job really was. At first the line came up just fine, then it became dark in color from the bottom muck until finally the anchor line appeared to be twice as thick. In fact, the extra density came from the globs of black, gooey crud that makes up the bottom of the anchorage. While it is terrific for holding a boat anchor in the strongest of winds, the thick black mess sticks to and stains everything it touches. To clear the muck off the anchor rode and chain and finally the anchor itself, John had to continuously and vigorously splash the line, then chain, then CQR up and down in the water to gradually wash everything enough to drop it back down the hawse hole. If John had not done this job well, then the odoriferous slime would generate a foul scent that would permeate the entire vessel. Thankfully, John did extremely well and the anchor, nicely cleaned, came to rest in its place on the roller. I dropped John off at the fuel dock so he could drive the car around the bay while Kelly and I motored over to Bay Harbor Marina. In the morning, the team at BHM would haul Kelly out of the water and put her on a cradle in the RCR Yachts yard for the winter. It was pouring down rain Tuesday morning as John and I pulled the genoa and main off their spars and folded them up. Thankfully the rain intensity dropped to a mere drizzle with frequent dry moments, so the weather kept improving as the work progressed. Although the “Dreary Erie” weather made things a little uncomfortable, our rain gear kept us mostly dry and the job was done. John and I were both back to our respective homes in time for dinner Tuesday night.