Sunday, July 24, 2011

South Haven to Monroe Harbor, Chicago

Since would be a long trip across open water, we got an early start. At 0430 there was a very light breeze and the Lake was glass. We motored for hours before the wind and waves picked up. By 0900 there was wind from the South at 17 knots, which allowed us to sail with the engine off for a few minutes. However, by 0940 the engine was on again and the wind was from the West--right at us. At this point, we were 36 nm from Chicago. 

In the next 10 miles, the wind and waves increased. By 26 miles from Chicago, a storm wind with gusts above 40 knots and 30+ sustained hit us. We had two bursts of this high wind. Waves were 10 feet. In preparation for the storm, we furled the foresail and double-reef the main. Our wind direction instrument was telling us lies, but it was easy to tell where the wind was coming from--Northwest. The main was set to dump most of the air out of the sail. Speakeasy is healing, but acting well even in the gusts. We were tethered and hanging on. 

After the wind dropped below 30 knots, I dropped a mark on the chartplotter at about 28 miles from Chicago (N 42 07.377' W087 04.447'). A few miles later, Beth sighted the Chicago skyline  (N42 05.802' W087 09.604) and snapped a picture. 

Sunrise over South Haven
Storm clouds building
Beth snaps a picture of the Chicago skyline after the storm
Chicago skyline approaching the Chicago Light
Chicago Light

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Grand Haven to South Haven

Another early morning with rain at dawn accompanied by wind at 25 knots. By the time we leave it's 0730 with no wind and light waves. Rain ahead in a few hours. At 1100 we past Holland with the wind on our nose: S 15 knots. By noon the wind begins to  shift enough to sail: SW at 15 knots. We set our new blue reef 1 line and motorsail at 6 knots.

Grand Haven Light

Friday, July 22, 2011

Pentwater to Grand Haven

I awoke at 0500 to a rain shower, which quickly passed. Speakeasy departed Pentwater an hour later in a light wind from the south with a flat sea. As we left the harbor, we could see boats at the Yacht Club that were in the Race to Mackinac. We recognized one of them as Free Agent--the dismasted boat we saw in Leland. Another boat belonged to a friend, Journey. It has boom and sail damage. 

We could see that more showers were moving across lake toward our destination, Grand Haven. We thought we might not get that far today. The wind picked up about 0930 so we could let out the jib, but stopped about 5 NM from White Lake. Our sailing friend, Paul, was sending messages about a storm in Wisconsin and Illinois that was crossing the Lake. We took a detour to White Lake and hung on a mooring  ball at the White Lake Yacht Club for an hour. I nearly fell in lake getting the mooring line through the tiny shackle. Beth had to pull hard on my leg to keep my aboard as I dangled over the side. 

We had a nice lunch and hot chocolate while it rained and continued south once it stopped. I became a bit rolly after the rain near Muskegon, but we reached Grand Haven by 1800. 

Back From the Mac: Boats include Journey and Free Agent

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Manistee to Pentwater

We slept in until 0730 on a hot night in Manistee. The morning had a bright blue sky. Beth was still beaming over her stern-in success at the Municipal Harbor. 

The wind was still coming at us at 15 knots with a nearly calm sea. Speakeasy motor sailed to Big Pt Sable where we hope the wind would change has we rounded it. We did catch a break, the wind stayed southwest as we angled east. There was not much wind, but at least it was favorable on our beam.

There was a magnificent sunset in Pentwater that we enjoyed with Beth's brother whom came up from Stony Lake to dine with us aboard Speakeasy. 

Sunset over Pentwater Lake

Mark and Bob enjoy steak on Speakeasy

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Leland to Manistee

Speakeasy got out of her slip in Leland at 0400 into. Dark, in other words. There was a light southerly breeze that picked up to 20 later. The calm sea was supposed to build throughout the day. By 0700 the wind had increased to 17 knots and the waves to 3 feet. By 1000 the wind was 20 knots and the waves were 3-5 feet. We rounded Pt Betsey about 1100. 

We were motor sailing in order to reach Manistee at a reasonable hour. By the time we were 8 NM from Manistee we could let out all of the jib and head straight toward the Manistee light. 

The Manistee River greeted us with a wall of heat so powerful we thought we were entering an autoclave. Manistee Municipal Harbor had space for us at their new facility, which had just opened a couple week earlier. The only problem was that river back rocks prevented boats from getting very close to the onshore electricity and water. One either packs an extension cable or docks stern-in. I had docked a couple weeks earlier, so it was Beth's turn. After a trip to the fuel dock, she took Speakeasy out into the river and twirled her around. Then, powered her back into the slip. Nicely done. 
Skipper Beth on Speakeasy docked stern-in, Manistee

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Beaver Island to Leland

We left our slip just before 6:00 with only light fog. Heavy fog was in the forecast. We learned later that the fog was heavy in Leland. We motorsailed in a light favorable southwest wind and flat sea  making 6 kt. With the main and a bit of jib that we adjusted with strength of the breeze.

We were sad to leave the Island and Read two Charlie Donaldson poems in honor. We made such good time that we considered going on to Frankfort, but that was another 6 hours and decided against it. Besides we had an opportunity to see a friend. Unfortunately the friend had other plans.

The harbormaster gave us a slip assignment just past a cutter rigged boat that looked like Wind Star that we first met in Leland and had just seen in Mackinac Island. As we neared the boat, Beth says it doesn't just look like Wind Star, it is!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Beaver Island Lighthouse School: Teaching speaking to young men

We wait at the ferry Dock with Steve and part of his family who are returning to the mainland. The schlumpy students disembark and gather around their luggage. One grabs a smoke and a kiss from his girl who was waiting for him. They jostle for seats in one of the two vans. We guests get to ride with Steve alone in a third van.

Steve is very quiet on the road to the school at the south end of the island. Both Beth and I attempt to engage him in topics. Nothing clicks. We don't know where we stand. Finally Beth discusses her workshop and Steve comes to life. Together we decide to read "Wolf" (Great Books Foundation) and do stories about "bad weather" and "first times".

 These nine men are assigned to prepare the school for the Fall term and I did't know if they are used to being read to. One is a graduate of the school, but most are new to it. Wolf is a captivating story about wilderness, snow, a man, and his dog--it captures their imagination. I don't  know how to close the reading so I stumble through. My introduction of Beth is even worse. Now She is on her own.

Beth gets some weak starter video segments from the men but pulls positives from each of them. The men seem interested in each other but fear the task.

A hard patch as Beth lectures. These men have made ignoring school tasks an art. If a question is asked, they ignore it. Take a posture that hides and protects. Pick a scab or put boots on the desk and back slouched in a chair. A cap is a useful prop to wave and rock back and forth on your head.

Steve suggests a new tactic--Interview skills.  We divide into pairs to roll play and get these on video. Again Beth pulls positives from each performance. She's good. 

We end with a stride and glide to the front with a few words regarding an interesting bit of knowledge learned today.

Speakeasy crew at the Beaver Island Lighthouse...

Mark Gillingham
Speakeasy crew at the Beaver Island Lighthouse School today to help plan experiences for the Fall term. Tomorrow evening, Speakeasy will be in Leland followed by Manistee.
View or comment on Mark Gillingham's post »

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday in Paradise Bay

As usual, Mark is way ahead of me in creating and publishing our blog. When will I not be driven by deadlines and exterior forces? Maybe never.

Sunday on Beaver Island. We started with Michigan strawberries and blueberries on granola and yogurt. Coffee in my new Beaver Island mug which sports two lines depicting the Michigan mitt and a dot for Beaver Island.

Then we biked up to the northern end of the island and saw the lighthouse and a memorial to all the Beaver Island residents who had lost their lives in the lake. In 1848, six Gallaghers died. A family? Fishing? Or arriving from Ireland?

We came back and stopped in at the fish store, but the proprietor peaked out from his screened-in porch and said, “Only smoked fish today. I’m taking a break. Should be fresh fish tomorrow.” I asked, “At what time?” and he replied, “About one.”

Then we pedaled to the Toy Store. Probably two million, maybe three little objects. Chains, toys, knicknacks, you name it. She had hundreds of everything. Hardly any item over $3. We checked out the picturesque garden in the back with a children’s playhouse complete with toy stove, rocker and cradle. All vintage.

In the book nook, I found a copy of Temple Grandin’s book about Animals reduced to $6.00. I stood in line behind three youngsters and at the counter a woman with a Slavic accent who had a basket with two dozen small items. Most I couldn’t distinquish, but the owner wrapped each one in tissue paper. Then she put some of these small objects in cellophane envelopes and taped them shut. She talked about each object. The minutes went by. I was practicing patience until Mark re-entered the store. With no hesitation, I put the book down on a counter and fled.

Once back at the boat, I decided to go swimming. En route, I put a load of sheets and towels in the machine. Mark agreed to hang them up later.

The beach was busier than ever. I put on cap and goggles and swam twice. In between I watched little children playing in the sand. All the archetypes were present. The big blond bully who threw water into the sand castle and splashed the rest of the children. A lithe young boy who ignored the bully and built the castle. Two little frilly swim-suited girls who decorated the sand castle. Three adults who kept watch. At one point, one women told the bully his language was inappropriate. He agreed by shutting up...for a couple of minutes.

I went back to the Marina and made us peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, inspired for sure by another family who sat farther up the shore at a picnic table and whose mother kept asking, “Do you want another peanut butter and jelly sandwich?” Her son whined, “I want to go back to the cottage.” They stayed.

After the sandwiches, Mark uploaded oodles of photos while I debated how to begin the workshop we plan to give tomorrow. We have had only one email from the school’s on site director telling us “you can give your presentation Monday afternoon.” Well, it is not a presentation. I’m planning a workshop. I want each student to stand up and speak briefly. On what? I’m bewildered. I will use my coaching of Chris last year as my introduction, but I’m anticipating a lack of interest and perhaps resentment. I decide to let my ability to improvise reign and not to worry in advance about this event. We’ve been talking for months about giving a workshop. So we will play it by ear, the way we have to play each entrance into each harbor by ear. Attending to the wind and the current and the width of the slip and if anyone is there to help us and if the sun is in our eyes.

Now it’s 5:30 and the sun is in my eyes. So I will publish this blog and work my way backwards to July first when our wonderful adventure began.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Beaver Island on a Lazy Summer Day

Beaver Island: lazy day with late sleep and breakfast of scrambled
eggs and toast. Fig jam and fresh herbs helped. Trip to hardware to
get supplies: two lights, hooks, hand drill and bits, and a hand truck
to haul fuel. Fuel dock was a gas. Two kids took me to a hard scrabble
area beside the Marina next to a boat landing and barge with a crane
on it. The concrete was broken and the weeds hadn't been cut for some
time. Kid 1 told me to "hold this. No not that" when I held the fuel
can. "this" as he shook the fuel nozzle. I took the nozzle and waited
as he took off the front of the fuel dispenser and began to fiddle
with a red wire with an alligator clip on the end. "Hmm. Not that one,
I guess." He was attempting to hot wire the fuel pump. Kid 2 arrived
and soon a bit of gas was coming out. "Wait!" said kid 2 and he took the wire. A minute later Kid 2 jerked. He had shocked himself. Kid 1 wiped
off the glass on a meter at the side of the tank and wrote down the
digits. This was going to take arithmetic, I said. Subtraction. Soon
fuel was flowing again and Kid2 changed the wire so that it flowed
faster. It was less that 4 gallons but some
fuel did dribble in before the count started. I paid in the shack and
began wheeling the fuel down the walk to Speakeasy. While crossing the
street a block from the boat I saw kid 1 biking by on a one-speed bike
that looked too small for him. He waved.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mackinac to Beaver Island

7/14/11 Mackinac to Beaver Is. First light, 5 kts N, calm sea. 4 ships in channel before Bridge. Got Ti Beaver Island before noon and Harbormaster Jim helped us into slip 7 on the inside. Depth alarm sounded but we didn't touch. Took a swim and toured McDonough's grocery. Had dinner with the Steinglasses at the Beaver Island Lodge. The whitefish was exceptional.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Landing on Mackinac Island

7/12/11 Mackinaw: NW 10-15 kts waves 1-4 ft. Sunrise. A minute after landing, I met Wayne and Kimberly strolling to their Wind Star docked across from Speakeasy. This surprise was greeting with laughter and handshakes. We shared a drink on Speakeasy and Wind Star changed her sail plan so her sailors could breakfast with us at the Pink Pony. We shared Island news and pictures were taken. We showed off our fancy clothes on the way to dinner. Beth wore her red dress and I my seersucker suit.

Monday, July 11, 2011


7/11/11 Petoskey: afternoon  10-15 kts SW. Many gybes to get into Little Traverse Bay. A short distance became a 3-hour sail. Docked without assistance because for the first time in a Michigan public marina, the dock hand was busy. We got to practice our Jack Klang mid-ship spring line technique in which we lasso an outer bollard with the aft spring line and use the boats forward progress to bring her into the dock. Fortunately, I didn't miss the bollard and Beth had good control of Speakeasy from the helm. Petoskey has many slips and good facilities plus one of the best sunsets without leaving your boat. The download area has many shops. We took advantage of the happy hour at hotel for a drink and shrimp.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


7/10/11 Charlevoix: SW wind, under 10 kts. Motor sail at 5.8 kts at 2K RPM.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

South Manitou Island; Oops! Leland

7/9/11 S Manitou: left at sunrise. 1 ft waves. 5 knot breeze off
starboard beam. Expect wind to die. 6 knot motor sail at 22 RPM. ETA 1430.

An hour out off South Manitou, Beth noticed the stool was full of holding tank
water. We surmised that the tank was full and turned toward Leland for a
pump out. We also got 8 gallons of fuel, but only needed 7.9 gallons. The lad
cleaned the spill.

We were assigned slip 25 and prepared to leave the fuel
dock, but the engine would not start. I assumed it was bad fuel being
agitated from the bottom of the tank. Two calls to George who went
over steps to bleed. Harbor gave us the name of a mechanic from North Port who called back about 8. He talked me through bleeding and then asked other questions
including one about the shut off cable. That was it. Skipper left it
engaged and George and I overlooked this elementary step. Once the shut-off switch was disengaged, The engine started immediately but stalled after a few minutes while I was
talking to George. Now I did need to bleed her and now I know how. Speakeasy never left the fuel dock that night.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Somewhere in Time: Pentwater and then back to the beginning.

July 7th and we've just passed Little Point Sable with its warm red bricks and peaked top. The lighthouse I know better than any other. The lighthouse that's on all my luggage tags. On the charts, it's called Little Sable Light, but we natives call it "the Point" or Little Point Sable. I am breathing deeply and feeling replenished after a tough crossing on July 1st. Today we're cruising from White Lake up to Pentwater. We called ahead and hope the Municipal Marina is saving us a slip. Cousin Bill Kiefer checked in to the Pines Motel outside Pentwater and will join us for dinner as will Bob. We saw Bob yesterday at White Lake and had a wonderful meal at Michilinda. Along with a bottle of Kendall Jackson chardonnay, Bob had the pasta, Mark had grilled walleye, and I had lemon-pepper scallops. Fresh asparagus, but tiny portions. My guess is that the restaurant hadn't anticipated the many diners who turned up. In fact the terrace was full. The huge dining room was almost empty. Who'd want to eat indoors when the temp is 70 and the sky is blue. The sun was sinking, but two hours from sunset when we headed over to Stony Lake to take a look at the cottage Bob is renting for the summer. We plan to have the Rankin Reunion there the weekend after Labor Day and wanted to check out sleeping arrangements. Bob, of course, has the kingsize bed. I mentioned his relinquishing it for three days and was not surprised that he said, "I considered it." The second bedroom has twin bunks and the third bedroom has full size bunk beds. There's a chair in the living room that makes into a single bed and a couch on the front porch. So sleeping for 9 but not in a convenient configuration for the six of us, plus Bob in the kingsize. I checked out the stove which looks quite new but neglected to look inside the oven. Enough about looking ahead. Let's look back.

The crossing was close to a disaster for three reasons:

1. Speakeasy wasn't ready.

2. I wasn't ready.

3. The crew wasn't ready.

Here comes the elaboration.

1. Speakeasy needed a bimini. Sterling took forever to measure and was hindered by bad weather. The bimini was finally installed 5 days before our departure. We also needed to adjust reefing number one and fix the outhaul. Odge was even less efficient. In fact, he was drilling holes in the boom 2 hours before our departure with small shards of metal landing everywhere. Inside the boat the bilge tank was uncovered and nothing was shipshape. It was a mess. The night before, we had attended the Cruiser's Captain meeting while a horrendous storm raged. When we returned to take Speakeasy back to her mooring ball, we saw that the hatch and two portholes had not been closed. The cabin was drenched.

2. I wasn't ready. Packing for me is always a disaster scene. I try to take everything I could possibly need but not ONE thing more! Which means there are piles at home and lists. This year I bought large plastic bags from The Container Store. Into one, I packed Mark's summer seersucker suit, blue shirt and tie and my red dress and gold sandals. We plan to have dinner at The Grant Hotel where dressing is de rigeur. So these five items sealed up, I rolled over the vacuum cleaner and sucked out the excess air depleting the bag by 70 per cent. Remember that word; depleted. We'll come back to it later. I put all the clothes I will not need the July 4th weekend into another bag: 3 pair pants, 1 shorts, 1 swim suits, 2 shirts, 5 teeshirts, 2 bras, panties, Sucked out excess air. Flat as a pancake.

The clothes I anticpated needing the first four days, I put in my blue soft-sided suitcase along with shoes and cosmetics. Done. I wanted to take everything to Speakeasy Thursday; however, neither elevator in our building was working. I didn't mind climbing up ten flights but didn't want to climb back down laden with luggage.

It's not just clothes, shoes and cosmetics, of course. It's also food and drink. Since we don't own a car, we'd been taking staples (nuts, granola bars, instant oatmeal) to the boat one backpack at a time; but we are going to be five on board. One crew member volunteered to bring water, gingerale and snacks. Another brought wine and bagels. We planned smoked salmon and bagels for our first breakfast in South Haven. That never happened. See below.

3. The crew wasn't ready. I take the blame for most of it. Our crew had sailed on Speakeasy, but I hadn't pointed out some obvious necessities: how to use the head, where the light in the head was, how to start/stop the engine, how to use the VHF, fire extinguishers, MOB. I had not been strict about luggage: one soft sided bag + bedding. Period.

As we arrived Friday 6 p.m. Odge ad Mark were on the deck. We had to dump our gear in no organized fashion.Then we had dinner at the club and departed at 10 p.m. We had planned to sail in tandem with Whisper as Dorothy and her crew had never made an overnight crossing. But as we left the dock at Columbia, I neglected to call them. I was already feeling depleted.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Jiffy Reefing X 2

It seemed like a good idea to have our sailmaker add reef 2 cringles and sail supports last year. We used that reef point multiple times. However, we could not go between reef 1 and reef 2 easily because there was only one line. Since I was at the end of my knowledge and tool kit, I asked a rigger to take the aft cap off of the boom, inspect, and replace parts. At the end of his work, I had more questions than answers. I didn't really know how the jiffy system worked. As I learned more about it, I learned that we had never had a viable jiffy system on Speakeasy.

Judging from how a friend had his jiffy reef rigged and what I coul gleaned from the Catalina 320 manual, I was missing blocks around the mast collar and was short a sheave in the forward end of the boom. I decided to move the outhaul out of the boom by creat a whole and adding an exit plate. An added turning block forward of the exit would turn the line aft to a cleat added to the aft exterior of the boom.

I was not going to make holes in my boom so I asked the rigger to do this too. He was interrupted by a storm that came through with at least 40 kt winds and lots of rain. He resumed on the aftxernoon we were to leave for a month. He was cutting this short. While testing his work he discovered that there was another turn block in the boom for the outhaul. We intended to change the line, but would leave the exiting line for now.

Then he turned to the jiffy lines. Reef 2 just needed to me moved over from one sheave to an adjacent one. We managed this by grabbing the end of the line near the forward end with forceps and moving it over. Reef 2 had not been installed yet--there was just a messenger line in place. We wove the reef 2 line through the boom by the messenger line, attached it to the blocks and sail ands began to pat ourselves on the back. However, a test of reef 2 made it clear that the new line did not follow the internal blocks correctly. We had no messenger line, we had no time. We were scheduled to depart for South Haven and our crew and companion boat, Whisper, were ready to go. So we left with half of what we wanted.

The rigger was taking some time off at a family place near South Haven and agreed to stop by on July 3 to tackle the problem. I had no idea what he had in mind. Soon he was pushing a snake down a path in the boom from aft forward. With patience and a good flashlight he got the fish where he wanted it. Then he pulled a messenger line back through followed by the reef 1 line. After a test, we had two jiffy reef lines and were ready for the weather to come.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Wirie AP Upgrade Kit

I've used The Wirie WiFi access point for a season with mixed results. At the end of last season, I decided that my USB cable from nav station to transom was too long for consistently good bandwidth. Over the winter, I purchased a USB extender--a signal repeater--but haven't installed it yet. It appears that I never will install it because I won't need to. 

The new The Wirie AP avoids the long USB run and a computer to connect it to by adding an access point to the blue weather box afixed to Speakeasy's stern pulpit rail. Now the USB run is just a few inches. The only connection necessary is a power cable. Once I've added the access point to the box, it gets connected directly to the antennae on one end and to the USB WiFi adpater on the other end. All of this fits snuggly inside the box. Once it is configured, Speakeasy should have local and distant WiFi whenever the power is on. Stay tuned...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Cleaning a Bilge Pump

I found that it is possible to clean Speakeasy's bilge pump--a Jabsco model that is still made with a different design. The pump and motor are separate. The pump can be taken apart where one finds various rubber, plastic, and metal parts and fasteners. On the bottom side of the pump is a rubber piece that separates the pump into two chambers similar to a reptile heart. On the top is the oscillating arm that moves the diaphragm up and down, which provides the pressure to move water. Also accessed from the top are two round metal and rubber pieces that move water in one chamber and out the other. These discs also do some straining of the bilge water.

I checked all of the pieces for tears, cracks, and wear. All of the pieces look surprisingly good. One can buy a new diaphragm or a more complete repair kit, but none of the parts appeared to need replacing. What I did find were three bits of plastic that had been sucked into the pump. Two of these bits were from tags on newly purchased clothing that had found itself in the bilge instead of in the trash. On a boat, cleanliness is safety.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Bilge Pump

As I was preparing to have an evening on the water with friends, I noticed a pump sound in the salon. It didn't go away. I climbed half-way up the ladder toward the cockpit to hear if it were coming from another boat. It was not. Speakeasy's bilge pump was running dry. For how long I wondered? What set it off just now, I continued to wonder. There must be an open circuit some where. 

I tested the float switch, which I had just installed last season. It had no effect on the pump so I cut the wire to the pump and went off to West Marine for a new switch. Of course that new switch made no difference. I wasn't thinking clearly. 

Later, I went off to the web to order a new pump. Of course Jabsco would have an exact replacement for a month, so I ordered a similar pump. I had a very good pre-sale experience with the folks at Neu Sporting Goods and am looking forward to a new pump. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Another Stormy Memorial Holiday

The plan was to sail 31 NM to Michigan City--a spring shake-down
cruise for boats just off the hard. Then NOAA report the chance of 60
kt winds in the south lake. Plans scuttled, we worked on Speakeasy's
reefing lines once again. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Beth was a star: Recording of TED Full Spectrum Audition

Recording of TED Full Spectrum event is at ( Start at the 41:15 time mark to hear her introduction and entire 3-minutes of fame. She received laughs from the audience and a hug from the MC, Chris. She may have mentioned you, so pay attention.
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Beth on TED Full Spectrum today at 7:00 p.m. EDT

In May, I submitted a YouTube video to I am one of 17 finalists and will be speaking in NYC on Tuesday, May 24, (today) at 7:00 p.m. EDT. This event will be streamed live. If you are interested in watching the live streaming, please ask for the password to access the streaming site. 

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Flogging Foresail

NauticEd posted a blog entry about furling in heavy weather that reminded me of our entrance to Beaver Island in July, 2010. Actually, we had a foresail issue twice during our July cruise on Lake Michigan--once on entry to Pentwater and again at Beaver Island. In both cases, we had 20-plus winds aft of our beam. Our issue is not running out of furling line, but fouling the furling line. The line wraps upon itself when sailing downwind. The drum rotates back-and-forth until a loose portion of the line gets beneath a part of the line nearer to the bitter end. Then, pulling on the end just tightens this knot. Once it is knotted, the sail will not come in or go out.

That's when the solution to wrap the sheets around the foresail is very helpful. Thanks for the tip. Now, I need a tip for keep the line from getting knotted.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The great blizzard of 2011

Mark with Speakeasy after the blizzard.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Response to Beaver Island Lighthouse School

Readers' response to the news about Beaver Island Lighthouse School is very positive and, sometimes, touching.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Press about Beaver Island Lighthouse School

In December, Beth and I traveled to Charlevoix, MI for the graduation ceremony of the Beaver Island Lighthouse School, which serves troubled teens in northwest Michigan. We sponsor the 10-10-10 Scholarship Fund, which provides a stipend to the valedictorian. This morning, the AP released a report about the school including a nice text, photos, and a video. Many papers have picked up this story as you can see from this news search.

In addition to the print media, AP Video posted this great movie.