August 18, 2012: Final cruise highlights of the season
Once our guests had gone (See: Summer vacation, part 1) and our boating buddies had also left (See: Summer vacation, part 2), Jerry and I were left alone for another week or so of independent cruising. We did more walking and reading together than we’d had time for previously. We spent several peaceful nights at anchor. We did more exploring on shore and on the water. I walked a couple of trails I’ve never walked before. And yes, we finally focused on maintenance projects we had been ignoring, such as what do do with that clanging spinnaker halyard.
We had two long and excellent sailing days in perfect weather. We had one close encounter (of the non-stressful kind) with a 1,003-foot laker . . . the sort of encounter that makes one appreciate AIS technology. One night we were able to attend a very nice potluck at Roys Point Marina, our home marina (where we own a slip but haven’t been based for more than five years).
One of the highlights had to be our sighting of the pretty ketch named Manitou all dressed up in her party clothes. As we met her near the marina where a friend keeps his yawl, we thought we were seeing Steve Lien and his lovely yawl, named with a nod to the Minneapolis area attraction: the Mall of America. His boat is the Yawl of America. As Steve singlehands his boat most of the time, we were amazed to see the main, jib, and mizzen sails swiftly doused for much more colorful replacements: a matching spinnaker and mizzen staysail. She was all dressed up for the dance and looked gorgeous.
As we neared taking photos, we learned this was not the Yawl of America after all, but a ketch we’d never seen before, one with three crewmembers aboard to do the busy work required to lower three sails and raise two new ones. Her owners, Bob and Katherine Jensen, and a friend did a nice job of making it all look easy as she ghosted along in light wind.
Our time aboard ended all too soon. In fact, it ended two days earlier than we expected because some heavy weather and big winds were predicted. (We are also very grateful for the weather information available through WxWorx, the satellite weather service operated by Sirius Radio.) Rather than be late to arrive home, we took our opportunity before that weather was upon us and sailed toward Superior, Wisconsin, where Mystic will be hauled out for the winter at Barker’s Island Marina. That last passage is always a long one (between 8 and 12 hours) and — call us crazy — we prefer to do it whenever we can in settled conditions.
That last day was one of our memorable sailing days. So the month-long cruise ended on a high note. The predicted heavy weather did arrive in great force later that night and blew like crazy all the next day as we were emptying the boat and loading the car for our trip back home. We considered it our good fortune to be tied up at the dock following another just-in-time arrival.
Filed under: Summer of 2012 Tagged: | a sailboat's party clothes, AIS technology, Barker's Island Marina, clanging spinnaker halyard, just-in-time arrival, ketch Manitou, Roys Point Marina, spinnaker and mizzen staysail, WxWorx, Yawl of America