"There is nothing more pleasant than cruising on a boat with the whole family."
Letter from Empress Catherine the Great

Thursday, May 31, 2018

May 25 - 28 -- Memorial Day Weekend With Two Sets of Guests

We planned three sail dates for the holiday weekend. But before the fun, a work day. Only three hours, and the plan was to wire up the new electronics but it failed. I had all the parts but still didn't know how to put them together. I have to get back to Raymarine's Tech Support to get it figured out in an "idiot proof" way: exactly what gets plugged into what?
But while there, I made up our bed, pumped the bilge, Ed crimped the connector so that now one has to tug at the starter solenoid wire to get it off. Because Ed did not complete the electronics job, he charged me nothing for his time.

I spent the last hour connecting with Gene, and visiting his metalwork guy, Roger (another Roger), of Mil and Mir Steel Products in the Bronx. He put the required ninety degree bend in our new hook and eye, near the hook, so it can hold the door to the aft head open for the width of one cat.
Saturday Lene and I sailed with three of her fellow acting students. none of them had ever sailed before. We did this without autopilot so each guest took the helm for an extended period of time and all of them handled the boat quite well. We were underway for 5.5 hours, using the small jib into Manhasset Bay and then with the Genoa on the long port tack to the eastern end of New Rochelle, and tacking several times while beating back to past Execution Rocks when we switched to the jib for tacking back through Hart Island Sound. we went slowly 2 - 4.5 knots for most of the day but as it wore on we went faster, even against the tide, averaging 5.5 knots and hitting 6.5 several times and 7 once.
Here I'm steering by foot and Lene is her favorite duty station. You can see how cloudy the day became.
The friends experienced the full gamut of the sailing experience. Rain had been predicted for 9 pm, but I watched the skies for those big black dangerous thunderheads. Though none of them appeared, while near Minnefords Marina we got walloped by a passing front with winds gusting to 50 knots (for less than five minutes) and rain that came at once, quickly grew torrential and then subsided before we got to our mooring. I sent the guests below during the rain with their electronic phones, papers, etc. Without autopilot, on which we so rely, I called Lene up to the cockpit to steer both while I furled the sails and when we approached the mooring. Dinner at the Club where we were joined by Mendy who had worked on Ohana that day until the rain put an end to that.
Here are Michael, Natalie and Cesar at dinner.
Sunday's group had to take rain checks until September, a total rainout.
Monday, three other actresses from The Wednesday Repertory Company accompanied Lene and me. (The Company will be staging a one act play that Lene wrote in its late June showcase. Another of the eight one act plays is called Execution Rocks, inspired by its author's sail past there on ILENE. Contact me for tickets.)
Sacha has sailed with us before.

 Lu and Elaine were first timers.
Everyone had a good time and all took the helm.
We sailed off the mooring but it was apparent that the wind was too light to have fun under sail -- one knot of boat speed just doesn't cut it. So, while we left the main up throughout and often the jib as well, the motor was on the whole time after the first five minutes. Lene asked if we could head west through the City to the Battery and Eldridge's said it might work so we did it. We reversed course a few blocks south of the Williamsburg Bridge after a panic attack: "Roger, come up here quick, we are headed into a wall!" Ilene had gotten inattentive but fortunately we were still quite a ways from the wall. I turned away easily, but in that momentary disorientation we found ourselves headed north and just continued back, with the guests not wanting to be out too late. On the way south we had a lot of tidal assist. We fought a knot or two of resistance at the beginning of the return but the tide turned favorable. Lots of good munchies.
Here is the whole gang on the launch at the end of the day. I like the picture.

1 comment: