Sunday, November 10, 2013
Sadly, the sailing season is done, earlier than expected. In the later part of October the weekends were forcasted to be in the 40s so I made the decision to close up the boat. We installed the winter cover and buttoned her up. (Thanks Wilbur!!) Timing proved to work out pretty well, because shortly after that I caught a cold and missed a week of work. I still have one trip to make back out to the boat before Winter sets in, to snug up the cover, remove the extension hitch, and store the sails in the boat.
Overall it's been a great Summer of sailing. We were able to get the boat on the water 38 days this year, more than double than the previous year. Which was also just shy of the number of days spent sailing to Belize in 2011. With trips to Lake Pepin, Lake Superior, and many weekends of afternoon bbq's swimming and sailing on the St. Croix, the boat has exceeded our expectations. We were able to get many friends and family out with us, along with some of the members of the Northern Lights Sailing Club. For some people, it was their first time on a sail boat. Most leaving with smiles, and looking forward to their next sail.
With the boat covered for the Winter, I have a small list of projects that I am hoping to take care of this Winter. I removed all of the woodwork on the exterior of the boat for refinishing, along with the table that needs to be re-sized slightly. I also removed the rudder, which had a small amount of damage that needs to be re-finished, again. Depending on timing of work, I may try to move the boat back into the shop in February or March so that I can do some upgrades to the hatch, along with installing the solar panel in its permanent location, and a little bit of touch-up on the hull where the boat scraped up against some rocks at Lake Pepin. I may do some additional gel coat work and remove some of the old instruments that don't work.
We've been talking about next Summer, and we plan to stay at Windmill Marina next year. It has worked out really well for us. Although it has added some miles to our vehicles. The Northern Lights Sailing Club is planning another Barkers Island sailing trip in July that we would like to go to. We are also considering a trip to the Apostle Islands, possibly with some other boats to sail with us. Our boat is on the smaller side for Lake Superior, but there's a lot of protection around the Apostles and we'd never be more than a half-day trip from a marina or boat launch. But having a second boat would add an extra level of safety. There's lots of areas to explore in and around the Apostles.
We're crossing our fingers for a shorter winter than last year's.