Sunday, 23 August 2009

Finally! On the water again.

Well, here it is a nice Sunday. I think it is time to kick back with a day of sailing. Cheryl makes up some sandwiches while I hook up the boat to the truck and gather all the other sailing supplies.

We head out to Kootenay Lake and the harbour is extremely busy. Boat after boat is pulled into the parking lot, at one time 4 enter all at once. We raise the mast and attach the sails, amazing, no mosquitoes. It must be too hot for them. We launch the boat at about 1:00 pm and the wind is great. Mostly out of the north, but constant and a great speed to allow us to pretty much sail anywhere. We head west across the lake, maybe halfway and then point the boat north. Still very good wind. We make our way up to Armstrong Bay, about 4.5 km north of the harbour, then head back west again. This time I try to angle us up to Redman Point and Twin Bays, but of course that course the wind doesn't cooperate. I think it may take us an hour to get there but decide to head south instead.

We've been on the water about 3 hours and the wind is still pretty decent, oh oh, spoke too soon. Of course it dies down and swirls around, but only for about 15 minutes. Time for me to lay own in the sun and doze off for a few minutes while Cheryl takes the controls. We have just enough wind to get us back to the harbour, and as it is getting later in the day a few other boaters decide to head back to shore as well. There is quite a bit of traffic back at the harbour, but luckily we get in before it gets too busy. That is the nice thing about Kootenay Lake, even though the harbour is busy, the lake isn't. It is so huge that you can sail without anyone even being close to you.

Tearing down the mast and sails went pretty good, but here come the mosquitoes right near the end. We got out of there with only a few bites, but a great day sailing. The long range forecast is calling for 2 more weeks of great weather, hopefully I can get out there a few more times. The days are getting shorter, but temps are still going to be up around the 30C mark. Excellent.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Dusty Goes Sailing

Well Dusty's holiday in Creston is coming to an end, so we thought it was time to get him out in the sailboat. The sun and temperatures were good, but how about that all important wind?

We load up our gear and snacks and head north to Kootenay Lake, just a short 15-20 drive to Kuskanook Harbour. While setting up the mast and sails the wind conditions look encouraging, excellent.

We launch and head west across the lake, then north. The wind is moving us across the water pretty good. The sun is quite warm, good thing we have the breeze to keep us somewhat cool. About 45 minutes later the wind dies down and after about 15 minutes of being dead in the water we are getting quite warm. Dusty decides that it is time for a dip and off the end of the boat he jumps. Just a little cool he says, yah right. As refreshing as it looks, Cheryl & I decided to stay in the boat. The wind is so very slight, but you can see that the boat is moving in the water, but it isn't tough at all for Dusty to catch us. I'm not sure how long he spent in the water, maybe 45 minutes, maybe a bit more.

Anyway, after Dusty is tired from the swim and still no wind, we decided to pack it in and head to shore. Thank goodness for the 2HP. Even though it wasn't the greatest sailing day it is always good to get out on the water. Now if those darn mosquitoes weren't so thick on shore.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Sandpoint Sailing

Today Louy and I were going to try a spot where I have been wanting to sail at for a while... Lake Pend Oreille
We headed for Sandpoint about 10 a.m. and as usual it was another hot, sunny day. I think the forecasters were calling for 32-34C that day. It turned out to be true. It was exciting when we pulled into the parking lot, quite a few boats trailers were sitting there and the beach had a pretty decent crowd already. Again, it was warm setting up the mast and sails and when we finally launched I had to reach for the cooler for a drink of water.

The winds were light, but good enough to scoot across the lake at least. After about an hour the winds died down and we were of heading to shore for a bite to eat when all of a sudden the wind picked up again. I think we sailed another hour and this time they died off and we were starving so we coasted into the beach area where a restaurant was located. It was nice to sit on the beach to eat and take in the sights. I still can't believe that I had raw tuna for lunch though. Anyway, after a couple of waters, lunch and a beer it was time to head back to the water, but now it really seemed hot. The nice thing was that the wind had picked up and we easily went 5-7 km NE across the lake. I thought we should head back just in case we lost the wind, but we didn't, so it was time for some practice turns. We probably got within 2 km of shore when the winds calmed down but we kept moving under sail at a slow pace. It was pushing 5 p.m. when we hit the marina so we figured that was a pretty good day and we pulled in. Tear down was mosquito less, but it was still extremely hot. We had to pull over to purchase a few ice cold drinks for the ride home.

A great day overall, better than yesterday thats for sure. Two hot days on the water means a couple of burnt out sailers haha.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

First sailing of the 2009 season

Finally! After much waiting and whining the first sailing has been completed. Louy came for a weekend visit so I had a sailing buddy.

Louy had a 5 hour drive to get to my place and I had the boat and everything pretty much ready when he arrived. It was too bad that I was sidetracked slightly at Home Hardware with a gabfest as that meant when I came home Louy was now waiting for me. Anyway, we hooked up the boat and headed to Kootenay Lake. It didn't take too long to get the mast and sails up, it was quite hot though, likely 29C. So when we finally got in the water, we were both pretty darn warm.

The winds were very light, which is nice for the first time out of the season. It is nice to make sure everything is working fine without having to worry about fighting high winds and waves. But these winds were a little bit too light. After a while they were pretty much non-existent. After sitting still in the water for about 10-15 minutes Louy said, crank up the motor and lets for a tour. So off we went up the east side of the lake and when we spotted Alan's cabin, we decided to beach the boat and stay for a short visit. Alan offered us a beer and we didn't quite get to finish it when the wind came up, so that was our signal to hit the water. The wind was perfect, so we headed back toward the harbour as we were about 4-5 km up the lake. Wouldn't you know it, we got about half-way back when the wind died again. We limped along for about an hour, the harbour was close, but we started the motor to get us in that last little bit.

Tear down was brutal as it was after 6 p.m. and the mosquitoes were extremely hungry. Needless to say the tear down was extremely fast, which was tough as the temperature was still quite warm. So you know what that means? A quick stop into the Sirdar pub for a cool one before heading home.

All in all, not a bad day, a little uneventful sailing wise though. At least it felt good to get on the water.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Boat Repairs Complete

Started off my repair session with a note to the sailboat manufacturer. I figured I had better get a few tips from them about removing the mast step as it was bolted through the plastic. They let me know that there was a large block of wood that the bolts were secured to. No problem of removal and reattaching they assured me. Hunter also recommended I use a special epoxy made by Plexus, it sounded like the perfect solution for the crack I had in the plastic under the mast step. I also picked up some marine fiberglass resin with threads of kevlar from a local auto parts store. While standing in line I got to chatting with the guy behind me that was a boat builder and he recommended that resin for some of my other repairs.

My next step was to wait for good weather to do the work, which was slow, but I wanted to do a good job. Once all repairs and sanding were complete, I picked up a can of high gloss spray paint for my touch ups. The boat is now ready, time to sail. Bring on the hot sunny weather!

Monday, 8 September 2008

Best sailing day of the season?

What an incredible day for sailing. It wasn't the warmest, 23C with high overhead cloud. But the best part was the steady NW wind coming down the lake at approximately 15-20 kmh.

Cheryl and I headed out just after lunch in hopes of a great day on the lake. We wondered how busy it might be now that the kids are all back in school. But there is a high population of retired people around Creston, so we figured that there would be a few boats on the lake. 

When we arrived at the harbour there were a few boat trailers parked and we did spot a little 12' sailboat on the water along with a few fishing boats. Today we had a very quick setup, we actually launched the boat 25 minutes after arriving, not bad at all. As there was a good wind, I thought we would head across the lake, a first with Cheryl. It is incredible how long it takes to get across the lake, even with a good wind. I thought it was at least half an hour. 

Once on the other site we decided to go up the lake along the eastern shore, but the trying to catch good winds going that direction wasn't the best, so I headed NE working our way back to the other side of the lake. About 3/4 of the way across I thought I would head SE instead as the waves and wind seemed to be quite strong going NE. The ride going SE was very pleasant, but we were still up the lake quite a distance. 

We probably got within 2 km of the harbour when all of a sudden the wind died right off. It shifted from the NW to the SW and there wasn't too much wind fill the sails for us. Oh well, time for some relaxing time. We pulled into the harbour under sail, Cheryl did a great job bringing us in as I wrapped up the jib and brought down the main sail. 

I didn't think we were on the water all that long, but when I backed the trailer down to the water I was surprised to see that it was 5:40 p.m. We were on the water for about 4 hours and it was great! 

I think it is time to start wearing long pants though, it is definitely getting cooler on the water. 

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Sailing withdrawal

It's been a busy past month with us taking in the Kokanee Summit, helping Matt move, then checking out Tom Petty at the Gorge at George. Then we have a bunch of rain and Cheryl has a bunch of work to catch up on. I did spend a day out on Duck Lake with Nathan, Cheryl's other nephew in town, doing a little bass fishing.

But near the end of the month Cheryl and I finally had a day in which we thought would be good for sailing. Remember that rule, check for waves on the boat launch before setting up the boat. Hmmm, the waves are kind of strong and look at the whitecaps across the lake. There isn't much wind either, obviously the waves are still from the strong winds that we had in the morning. We decide to just hang back a bit to watch the lake and a few other boats on the water. It does look rough out there, but it does seem to be calming down, so we decided to rig up the boat. 

Once we got out of the harbour the waves were fairly big, but they were just the big rolling type with no whitecaps. We get the main sail and jib up so easy this time, wow, are we getting better at it? Perhaps. The wind is pretty good, we are moving along at a good pace, which is good. The weather is partly overcast and you sure felt the temperature drop when the sun went behind the clouds. Actually, even the water was much cooler today after all the rain and cool weather we have had during the last two weeks. After close to an hour the wind seems to be calming down, but of course now it seems to be swirling around from all directions. 

We spend about 15 minutes dead in the water before things pick up again and we end up getting another half hour of sailing in before the wind dies again. Cheryl decides to lay out on the seats and soak up some sun. There isn't much work to do when the wind dies. It finally picks up again but this time I point the bow toward shore, that will have to do for today. It was a pretty good day.