In preparation for this year’s Race to Mackinac, we’re migrating stories and pictures from and about the race over to Chief’s new Facebook page, “Chief Sailing.” If you’re interested in continuing to follow Chief and her crew on their misadventures on the high seas (I mean Great Lakes), search for the page and “like” it. This year, we’ll have on-the-race course updates, photos and video. Following the race, we’ll continue to use Chief’s Facebook page as our primary communications method. Thanks for following this blog.
In what seemed like a fitting start to the season, we were greeted by a rolling fog bank, almost 20 degree drop in temperature and 45 degree wind shift just after the finish of this week’s Beer Can Series Tune-up race. We’re not complaining, though. Sailing season is here.
With the forecasted 5-10 kts of breeze out of the SW and 70 degree temperatures, we went out on the race course with a full mainsail and #1 headsail only to find that, while the forecasted direction held, the wind speed was in the low 20 kts. With our #3 headsail just back from the sailmaker and sitting in our car, we were grossly over-powered and quickly reefed the main and partially roller-furled the genoa. Our sail shape was terrible but we managed to avoid wiping out alone or into other boats…always important. Needless to say, it wasn’t our strongest race. That being said, we did get a chance to blow off the cob webs and remind ourselves of where everything was located. Further, we managed to get the chute up and down without incident in a pretty solid breeze. All in all, a good outing despite poor finishing.
By the time we made it back to the dock, we were shivering in the middle of the fog bank I mentioned above so the crew of Paul, Ted, Sean, Adam, David and Mike retired down below to warm up and enjoy a scotch. It was good to be back.
First official race of the season is Wednesday, May 29th!
It was a cold, breezy and lumpy delivery but Chief is safely moored in Monroe Harbor waiting for another great season. Many thanks to Sean for crewing. The Mac is only a couple of months away!
You’d never know it by the weather of late but we’re down to a couple of weeks before launch and a month until the Beer Can season kicks off. We’ve been hard at work prepping Chief for the season. The wordwork has been stripped, cleaned and oiled and the topsides cleaned, waxed and polished. I must say, she’s look’n good. Pull out your foulies and get ready because we’re going sailing…
One way to shorten the long sailing off-season is to sail later in the season. That’s difficult to do with Chief as she has been sitting on the hard in a boatyard shed since late October. However, one of Chief’s crew members, Sean, and his family own what is affectionately known as a trailer-sailer…a very good looking O’Day Mariner by the name of Serenity. One of the best things about trailer-sailers is that, if one found themselves with a warm December afternoon without commitments, one could hitch up the trailer and road-trip to a nice lake…say like Lake Geneva. Fortunately, the skipper and crew of Serenity know a good opportunity when they see it and, as a result, Maggie and I had the good fortune to join them and enjoy a beautiful afternoon sailing scenic Lake Geneva. Throw in a few sandwiches and beers and you have a fantastic day on the water.
Chief won’t be back in the water until early May but this afternoon’s sail aboard Serenity sure shortened the wait until she splashes. Thank you Sean, Sue, Elizabeth, Kimberly and Serenity!
Henry and I took Chief down to her winter home at Skyway Yachtworks over the weekend…always bittersweet…bittersweet in that it’s great to be aboard and on the water but difficult to accept that we have six long months until she splashes again.
It’s been an absolutely fantastic sailing season…probably one of the best I’ve had. Thanks to all who participated in some way…large or small…in sailing and racing Chief this year. We couldn’t have done it without you.