Chip Ford's 1974 Catalina 22 Restoration Project
Sail #3282  l  Marblehead, Massachusetts

The never-ending project to fill my hole in the ocean while bailing it out

Sailing Season 09 has arrived

- Page 59 -

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Description

The weather forecast is finally a good one: high-70s, mostly sunny, a "threat of showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon," which is such a typical summer forecast. I headed out on the launch to Chip Ahoy in the late morning of Independence Day.  (Jul. 4, 2009)

Well that didn't take long -- ten minutes aboard and I noticed the blood, found I'd skinned a finger. I'm always whacking this extremity or that, muttering an "Ouch" and moving on. Most of the time I don't recall how I banged myself up. This time at least I caught it before bleeding on anything else, applied a band-aid and belatedly the sailing gloves; cleaned up the evidence before it'd dried.

Sailing out to the Bakers Island/Misery Island channel -- a beautiful say indeed.

Coming up on Misery Island and the channel.

And then the fun began -- picking up my first lobster trap buoy of the season, the first in many seasons (photo left). From here, the day became even more challenging -- a motor that wouldn't tilt or lift, three kids overboard that needed rescuing, a tangled halyard, and finally -- snagging someone else's mooring line back at Chip Ahoy's mooring, breaking off the outboard's weakened lift handle while hauling it up.  (Jul. 4, 2009)

-- First Sail of Season '09 - An After-Action Report --

The 2006 Honda 8 hp 4-stroke's handle, broken off.  (Jul. 6, 2009)

Today I threaded the 5MileWiFi antenna onto the custom-made slide bracket, attached the second carabineer to the downhaul end of the antenna's halyard, clipped the two carabineers to the tangs on each end of the bracket, and hoisted it up the sail track on Chip Ahoy's mast for the first time.  It slid up smoothly, no resistance, all the way to the track stop -- just as I envisioned it with my design.  (Jul. 11, 2009)

-- The 5MileWiFi Project --

After the overnight thunderstorm had passed, the rain let up early this morning and the sky gradually turned from overcast gray to blue. This afternoon was forecast to be a beauty at last -- and it was. With sore rib muscles from the outboard ordeal last weekend, and still a bit tentative about the spleen surgery, I decided to invite my buddy David Hudson along as backup. When the launch dropped us off at Chip Ahoy just before noon, the sun was brilliant, the temperature 80, and the wind was blowing from the WSW at 7 mph.  (Jul. 12, 2009)

My ideal sailing weather is when I can get near-naked, the less clothing the better and bring on that sun. David is the cover-every-bare-inch type and was well-prepared. He comes out with me once each season. With the way this one's been going, it's good that we took advantage of today's splendid weather. Who knows if we'll get another?

Out in Salem Sound on our way toward Bakers Island the wind picked up a bit, about 9-10 mph, and did its first of many shifts of the afternoon, turning from the north. This was to be the day's experience, constantly changing wind direction though staying pretty steady between 7-10 mph from wherever.

In its "Past 24-Hours" synopsis, AccuWeather reports this afternoon's winds:  Noon, WSW; 1 pm, N; 2 pm, WNW; 3 pm, WSW; 4 pm - NW. It didn't mention the Doldrums we hit on the way back in. After 15 or 20 minutes of bobbing around going nowhere, being rocked and rolled by power boats blasting by port, starboard, bow and aft beneath swinging boom and flogging sails, getting dizzy watching the arrow on the Windex atop the mast slowly spinning 360, and with Barbara and David's visiting mother awaiting our return back home for the promised cookout, I reluctantly dropped the sails and fired up the outboard.

Passing Bowditch Ledge and its granite tower earlier on the way out.

The wind picked up again as we approached the entrance to Salem Harbor and the mooring area, but I motored the rest of the way in anyway. It would have taken a lot of tacking to sail dead into it. We picked up Chip Ahoy's mooring at 4:30, arrived back home at about five o'clock, only an hour later than expected. The anticipated traditional post-sailing cookout was enjoyed by all, worth the wait.  (Jul. 12, 2009)

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It's never-ending ... but Sailing Season '09 has arrived!

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