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

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I passed up sailing yesterday. It started out gray and overcast but turned into a fine day; I regretted my decision, but it was a chance to let my ribs heal a bit more. Today was too good to pass up, so I was aboard Chip Ahoy before 11 am (John Graichen parked in my lot on his way down to Malacass; Barbara drove us down the hill to the dock), cast off the mooring soon after. Today's plan was to sail singlehanded out to Bakers Island by the Eagle Island route for a change. I passed Childrens Island (photo) and headed up toward Eagle Island and Bakers Island, beyond.  (Jul. 19, 2009)

The weather was glorious -- summer at last:  Sunny, a high temperature of 80 by mid-afternoon, wind WSW at about 12 mph gusting to 18. Best of all, my ribs felt good; though I did a lot of thinking before moving. With my upcoming cruise down to Cape Cod in mind, this morning I realized that I spent almost all of my last Cape cruise (2006) with injured ribs wrapped in an Ace bandage. At least that's off now. As always, today was primarily a task of slaloming among lobster pot buoys, like the ones off Eagle Island (photo).

On reaching Bakers Island (photo) I sailed across the channel and out around the back side of Misery Island, going well outside Sauli Rock instead of my usual route between it and the island, out closer to House Island, to avoid the blanketing effect on the wind from Misery. This worked well.

Once around Misery Island it took numerous short tacks between it and the nearby Beverly Farms/Manchester coast (photo) to get back into Salem Sound, then a lot more tacking into the wind pointing as high as I could to reach Salem Harbor. I caught my mooring at 5 pm, had no problem with raising and tilting the outboard for the second time today (as long as I thought ahead, positioned myself smartly, and found a good handhold on it). After today's sailing workout I've taken myself off the injured list, am ready for my upcoming cruise more of less.  (Jul. 19, 2009)

Today Barbara's son Lance and her twin grandkids Aidan and Maya came out sailing aboard Chip Ahoy. They and Lance's wife Mary are visiting from Nevada.  (Jul. 25, 2009)

Preparing for my 2009 cruise down to Cape Cod and through the canal to, hopefully, Martha's Vineyard before President Obama and his family arrives, I crossed off the adding dinghy cleats from my to-do list. After last year's cruise, and the need to tie off the dinghy with no place to cleat lines, I was determined to cure that situation. I added cleats fore and aft, the photo on the left of course is the new bow cleats. The hole in the center is for drainage when the dinghy is stored upside down.  (Jul. 29, 2009)

Barbara's grandkid Aidan, who along with his sister Maya helped wax the dinghy this morning, showing off the stern cleats. These are the ones I really needed. In the past, when needed I've used the outboard as a big cleat -- not the best idea but all that was available. After laying over for days at the Newburyport Harbor Marina due to last year's miserable weather -- and that vicious Merrimack River current -- I decided then that cleats were a priority for the immediate future. All four cleats are thru-bolted with fender washers and nyloc nuts.  (Jul. 29, 2009)

I headed out on my annual cruise, which proved to be short-lived. Apparently I hadn't fully recovered from my March spleenectomy.  I made it to Scituate, spent a few days there recovering, then decided to head back home to Marblehead.  (Aug. 3-9, 2009)

See:  Chip Ahoy's 2009 Abbreviated Cruise

Don Woodhouse ("Togarty") of Oregon stayed with me for a few days and came out sailing aboard Chip Ahoy, along with John Graichen aboard his "Malacass," on August 17. Don had just completed his solo bicycle ride across the continent to Bar Harbor, Maine, then took Amtrak down to Boston, where I picked him up.  (Aug. 16-18, 2009)

See:  Don's, John's, and Chip's Great Adventure

Over Labor Day Weekend I sailed Chip Ahoy up to Gloucester for its annual schooner races.  (Sep. 5-7, 2009)

See:  Chip Ahoy's Labor Day Weekend in Gloucester

Today I took a comp-day, a Monday off to go out sailing in some of the best weather we've got remaining in this miserably short season. I tried to find a crew yesterday but nobody was available, again, so this morning I took off alone as usual. The conditions were superb.  (Sep. 14, 2009)

While approaching Bowditch Ledge a shout from astern alerted me to another boat closing in, my buddy Alan from Atlantic Charters. We joked about sailing on a Monday -- he remarked "Is it Monday?" as he was working while I was playing hooky. He soon left me in his wake, heading around the backside (actually the front, ocean side) of Bakers Island.

When Don Woodhouse and I were sailing a few weeks ago, John Graichen lead us around the ocean side ot Bakers Island, my first-ever view. This time I was familiar with the route. It's quite a different view from the one to which I've been accustomed. Having the tracks recorded on the GPS made it quite comfortable.

Bakers Island as I went around and headed back into Salem Sound. What a great day sail!  (Sep. 14, 2009)

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

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