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 10 has arrived

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Monday, June 21, 2010 -- Summer Solstice -- and a perfect day for getting out on the water. At 10 am, when I took the launch out to Chip Ahoy, it was near low tide. The morning and the weather forecast couldn't have been nicer. It would reach the mid- to high-80s with nothing but sun. The forecast called for the wind -- what there was of it -- to turn from NW to SE in the early afternoon, starting out light and reaching about 10-12 mph by afternoon.

Light it was at the start and it remained so most of the day, though it did clock to the SE just after noon, and pick up a little. Maybe it reached 7-8 mph now and then. I hit 3.5 knots a few times, nothing to rave about.

I sailed out between Misery and Bakers Islands, decided instead of going around Misery, grabbing a mooring in the cove for lunch, to go around Bakers Island and back on my Eagle Island route to Children's Island.

At Children's Island, approaching Marblehead Harbor, I almost headed east and out past Marblehead Rock to the bay, was sorely tempted, but called it a day instead and headed back to the mooring.

Back on the mooring at about 4 pm, I completed a perfect day of sailing with a sandwich and a nap. When I awoke, it was 8 pm -- really? The sun was still on its way down to setting! Very disorienting -- and a bummer that from today on the days begin getting shorter.

At dusk I tested all the mast lighting -- discovered the deck light still doesn't work, even after having the wiring harness and deck connector professionally tested. It must be a bad bulb. Now what? Should have tested the lighting before I paid to have the Windex attached, damn.

I absolutely love my new tinted cabin windows (right) -- don'cha love it when a project provides such subtle and simple satisfaction?  (Jun. 21, 2010)

With such A perfect weather forecast, I took off on a Friday, sailed for the day, then spent the night in Misery Island's cove.  (Jun. 25-26, 2010)

A Misery Island Overnighter

I like how well the LED light works over where I do my laptop computer work that I added a second one, before heading gout on my Independence Day sail. I now plan to add two more on the opposite side, over my electrical/electronics equipment (see below).

On the way out into Salem Sound I spotted my friend Pam Derringer, out sailing her Herreshoff 12.5, "Dreamboat," beautifully maintained (right).

The day sail was pleasant with a nice breeze out of the NE turning E later. I'd hoped to use this 3-day weekend to sail somewhere more distant, but there was not a single empty slip or mooring available on Friday anywhere, from Newburyport to the north to Scituate to the south -- the extent of Chip Ahoy's weekend cruising range. Apparently nobody was moving from their homeport. (The economy?) It was a bit surprising how few other boats were out on this holiday three-day weekend. I took Sunday off from sailing to attend a friend's annual Independence Day pool party on the 4th. The next day was entirely different.  (Jul. 3, 2010)

Monday was crazy out there in Salem Sound, with the inexperienced powerboat nutcases blasting full-throttle every which way like a swarm of angry hornets. Staying out of their way -- 360 degrees around -- while dodging lobster pot buoys became a full-time mission. In light wind, the huge wakes they threw up rocked slow-moving sailboats unmercifully, stressing rigging as we rolled radically through ridiculous wakes, booms swinging wildly, everything below crashing about.

How frigging inconsiderate -- more likely, ignorant.  Ignorant boaters who belong home on a leash.

All I could think of was an analogy; how "serious drinkers" don't venture out on New Year's Eve -- "because that's when all the 'rookies' and 'amateurs' take over the roads."

From bow, stern, starboard and port, they just kept blasting past, tossing up large wakes, confusing seas. Insanity -- enough to make libertarian me reconsider mandatory government testing and licensing -- or maybe a cannon aboard to fend off attack!

I think the problem is, they're so intent on open-throttle, eyes focused dead ahead lest they hit something and kill someone, that they have no concept of the consequences they cause -- literally in their wake (from where that colloquial term is derived). None seemed to look back at their effects, have a clue of what they'd caused.

I finally decided that, with my work/time-off options, this was not a good day to be out here taking on unusual risk and not enjoying myself playing so much defense. I headed back to my mooring early.  (Jul. 5, 2010)


There was a comfortable, if short, period -- but then I headed home. The powerboat nutcases spoiled an otherwise perfect day. (Jul. 5, 2010)

Back at the mooring earlier than expected, I decided to spend the night aboard. I had to have Chip Ahoy over to the boatyard the next morning to get the mast lighting straightened out; might as well start out from here. I went to work on the laptop and WiFi system -- which still wasn't ready for the upcoming annual cruise. It took a few more hours; I hoisted the 5-Mile-WiFi antenna, "borrowed" the WiFi signal from Palmer Cover Yacht Club with their permission, made a few tech support phone calls on my cell, and got it working perfectly at last.

Just after dawn on Tuesday I set up the Origo alcohol stove in the cockpit, made my morning cups of coffee while testing the Wifi situation. It all still worked perfectly, including LogMeIn taking control of my home/office computer through the laptop, letting me do e-mail from it and everything else. I can again now work from my home/office computer while underway from anywhere on the laptop --  assuming I have a WiFi signal, which today is pretty common -- yahoo!  (Jul. 6, 2010)

I left Chip Ahoy's mooring behind at 9:30 am, headed around the Marblehead peninsula, arrived at the Cliff Street dock of Marblehead Trading Company. The temperature at just before noon was over 100 and humid -- just finding shade was a challenge and my cold drinks were gone. Barbara picked me up, the boatyard called a couple hours later, all the mast lighting was working -- contact corrosion at the bulb sockets. I returned and took the boat back to its mooring.  (Jul. 6, 2010)

It's never-ending ... but Sailing Season '10 has arrived!


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