Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sailin Shoes..

Looking at this photo brings to mind the Little Feat song Sailin' Shoes..
"You've got to put on your sailin shoes
Put on your sailing shoes
Everyone will start to cheer
When you put on your sailin' shoes" - We're cheering.. fur sure.. So.. We have been out on dear GullyWhumperII several times now and it keeps getting better each time. We get more comfortable... make that I get more comfortable each time. Cap'n Steve is definitely the OLD salt. He's not known for his patience, and I have tried it on occasion, but we both have pretty big grins by the end of the sail. Wouldn't you know , November and December had perfect sailing weather, we buy a boat the beginning of January and old man winter comes to visit Florida..Who knew there could be too much wind?..Wait we have a home in Hurricane Country, let me explain. When you're a green horn like me, too much wind means 15-20mph... mix that with a little cool weather, and a few rainy days (not to mention I DO work a little bit - don't faint..) and poof, there blows the planned sail, as fast as the wind can take it. (I foresee many puns and metaphors with this sailing talk) I am getting more comfortable doing the basic tasks of raising and lowering the mainsail and jib and do okay with the trimming of sails. I can even sail a bit. (do you really have to walk before you sail?) Where I really seem to need help and the Cap'n loses his patience is pointing the boat straight into the wind and keeping it there. That is Sailing's equivalent to treading water. You want the boat to chill... just hang out .. trouble is the wind likes to push you around (imagine that?) and I invariably push back the wrong way and "we lose it"... AAAARGG - .. I better watch out or I might have to turn in 'my sailin' shoes'..

Friday, January 25, 2008

For My Son

Know that I am very proud of you and that every word in this clip shouts your name to me. Love,m.

Monday, January 21, 2008

From Shakedown to Maiden Voyage

Murphy's Law: Things will go wrong in any given situation if given a chance....

Well the weather has not cooperated. We did a shakedown sail of the boat two weeks ago. Everything went well, except the weather has gone downhill since then. Gone are our sunny 80 degree light wind days replaced with very windy weather. You would think wind would be our best friend but it has to be the "right" wind.

So Shakedown was sans camera. I forgot to bring it. Like me forgetting I had the P&S with me when my dad and I were in the DAL simulators.... Doug, the manager at the marina put her in the water for us, we loaded the kicker on her and off we went...It took us about 40 minutes (against the wind) to go about 2.5 miles through the channel out into the gulf. The kicker is by no means a powerhouse... but it is light and I should be able to mount it by myself. I do believe I had a smile on my face the entire sail. Cap'n Steve was a gentleman the entire trip, even as he was raising the jib and I screwed up and got us out of "irons" which meant he raised the jib while the wind was blowing it against him... not a fun exercise.. but hey - at least he didn't go for a swim... I worry about his center of gravity...anyway - raising the jib will most likely be my responsibility in the not too distant future if I don't tick off the Cap'n and he continues to allow me to sail with him..after all this is HIS boat.... So tomorrow looks good for the maiden voyage...We went to the marina today to check on GWII as we had a nasty storm here Saturday night and everything looks good.. so without further ado.. Here she is..
Yes, I have 'shopped her name on.. we are going to be "trying on" some fonts over the next few weeks to see what works best.. What do you think? Cap'n Steve is thinking maybe drop the Hudson, FL. - I don't know - it's like advertising RedneckVille, Fl...

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Odyssey Begins

We Finally Did It...

We got a sailboat! She's a day cruiser.. with some years on her (much like me) but she is in very good shape (here's where I must admit she's in better shape than I am, though I am working on it again Mom!). She's a shorty, 19' Com-Pac with tiller. Made here in Clearwater. A boat with a great rep. We're naming her the Gullywhumper II. I can't tell you how excited I am. For those who have known me awhile, you know that I have always wanted to sail.. Back in the early 80's I tried like crazy to get friends together to charter a boat with captain and crew down in the islands, with no luck. In the mid 90's I took some sailing classes (basic, celestial navigation etc..) in Atlanta/Lake Lanier with the idea I would take a year off and part of that year was to be spent crewing on one of those vacation yachts down in the islands. I met MDH and we went to Nepal instead...not a bad trade off... but still the desire remained..

MDH and I got ASA certified in Basic Keelboat/ Basic Coastal/Bareboat Chartering in 2002 on a wonderful Catalina 30. It was a great boat to get certified on and to let us know what may lie in store for the future, when we're down to 1 dog..

Gullywhumper IAnyway, back to Gullywhumper II... I will try and post our adventures in sailing here..Those who remember when I would want to strangle MDH in the raft (affectionately known as the Gullywhumper I) as we were getting our river legs on the Ocoee/Nantahala might note I anticipate "smoother sailing" (I couldn't resist!) with him here as he definitely has much more sailing experience than moi and I will very much take the student role until I get my sailing legs...but you never know, I can be quite the hard head..

She is located at the marina that is nearest to us here in Hudson and right next to our favorite place for beer, Hudson Beach. How convenient is that? We purchased her from the marina's owner who had her for over 10 years. He's got to be in his 70's and he took wonderful care of her. She has just had her bottom sanded and painted, if only I could do that with my bottom! We are getting slip space in the water for 125.00/month less than the going rate around the area here. Maybe a perk from the owner? MDH is off to West Marine. I am sure it will soon be a regular stop like Wal Mart. He will grab some sailboat wax and will wax her over the next couple of days and we should be sailing by next weekend..Door to Gulf should be 1 hour or so... not bad if I say so myself...She should be the ideal boat for my learning experience. Okay I must stop or else I will lose friends and family!!! If you are interested in the Odyssey, bookmark this page or subscribe to the rss feed and I hope I can provide a laugh or two...and maybe even some pictures!