Thursday, May 28, 2009

Shakedown Cruise

Our cruising fleet sets out across Lake Michigan on the Saturday before Memorial Day--a shakedown cruise. Beth was suffering from a cold and spent the cruise asleep below. Susan, a close watcher of sails and rigging, was on deck--a very good thing for Speakeasy.

One of the first things Susan did was rig a preventer by looping a line through a padeye on the boom and tying it at the new midship cleat. This made our broad reach so much more comfortable. Following that, a Cunningham was installed. Then, Susan noticed that the Genoa was not completely furled because of a mis-rigging. During a lull in the wind, we eased the sheet and re-rigged the Genoa. Another task completed was adding reefing lines to the new reef point. Susan even invented winch-handle holders on our line bags. If you want your boat to sail better and be more comfortable, invite Susan along.

Our goal for the day was to reach Michigan City where our friends had broken out drinks and appetizers on the dock. I was ready. Later we met local friends and had dinner at Bridges Waterside Grille. The grilled perch and sweet potato fries were great. Ellen said that the pulled pork was fantastic.

We slept in on Sunday, cleaned the deck, and gathered for a pot-luck. The food was great, but the temperature kept falling and the wind kept blowing off the Lake. Most of us fled to the warmth of our salons sooner than we want to.

Our slip neighbor, who owned an older Catalina 36 (well rigged), gave us a tip for keeping lifelines bright--clean them with cleaner-polish. His were very bright and Simple Green had not taken the stain off Speakeasy's lifelines. I'm going to give this idea a try.

One of our fleet got stuck at the entrance to the marina and had to be kedge out of the mud. I'm not sure how he got stuck, but I know there is a story. Another, in a powerboat, had fuel filter problems and nearly didn't beat us all home. Speakeasy had no issues and sails better now than when we left thanks to Susan.
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