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 2011 begins!

- Page 74 -

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With a little free time available and a good weather forecast at least until 11:00-noon on Wednesday, I decided to take off for a day of sailing. My plan was to grab a mooring in the late afternoon out at Misery Island's cove, spend the night, then be back on Chip Ahoy's mooring before the rain and thunderstorms; one arriving late-morning, another later in the afternoon.

I had the usual problem of not being able to hoist the main sail all the way up the mast, but I brought along what I thought might be the cure: the cunningham rig I'd discarded as needless a couple of years ago. Once out to the island and on a 'borrowed' mooring, I cannibalized it, used parts to hook the boom and haul it down through an empty block on the mast plate then up to an empty cleat. I had to run the halyard out to the end of the boom and lift it, to remove the pressure from the boomkicker, to lower the gooseneck and secure it. I also adjusted the thumbscrews downward a couple of inches for additional security. I decided to wait until the sail home to raise the sail and see it it worked. I spent a quiet evening in the cove.

In the morning before dawn, I pulled out the stove and made coffee, and turned on the marine VHF radio to the NWS weather channel, had the AM radio tuned to a local news station. The forecast had changed, the morning thunderstorm was heading this way early, was due to hit in a couple hours. I finished my coffee, dropped the mooring, and headed for home. Light showers began so I donned my foul weather jacker, and the AM radio news reported downpours already over Route 128 not far away. I goosed the outboard.

I made it to the mooring just as the first lightening bolt struck and the deluge began I couldn't have pulled it off any closer! I jumped below, closed up the cabin, and took a nap for a couple hours until the storm had passed and the sun appeared.  (Aug. 14-15, 2012)

For a few years I've taken Caleb out for a day of sailing each summer. Caleb, the oldest son of my friend Jeff Jacoby (a columnist with The Boston Globe), is now 15. He's taken basic sailing lessons with Boston Community Boating on the Charles River. Years ago he expressed an interest in sailing on "a bigger boat." Jeff thought of me and Chip Ahoy though a C22 isn't usually considered in that category, but as I keep saying: Everything is relative. It's since become an annual tradition, though this year is the first time we've gone out without others in his family (which got a bit crowded).

We took off this morning with a good weather forecast mostly sunny with the temperature to reach mid-80s in the early afternoon. The only thing lacking was much wind, but our plan had been in the works for weeks so we went with it. We left the mooring at 10:45 am and got back just after 4 pm. The wind was disappointing, "light and variable" going from N to SE over our sail, never more than maybe 6-7 mph.

I let Caleb take the tiller for much of the time, freeing me up to wander the deck and tweak lines and things I've been meaning to get to. (E.g., the tangled main sail reefing line  in the photos, and the roller-furler drum that was sticking, preventing complete unfurling for the last few turns.)

I was disappointed by the lack of wind (we did lots of tacks and jibes without gaining very much), but Caleb told me he had a great time regardless. He did very well at the tiller and looks forward to next year's outing. (Aug. 22, 2012)

Today I took my good friend David Black out sailing aboard Chip Ahoy for his first time. We picked a perfect day: Sun and virtually cloudless, in the mid-70s, and a decent wind clocking from NE to SE generally at 8-10 mph, though sometimes lighter, even occasionally calm.

I'm still tweaking the sails. The main went right up perfectly; mission accomplished. Once I fully unfurled the genoa and let it luff, I tightened its halyard. This definitely improved its shape took out most of the wrinkles but I think I can still do a bit better the next time out, maybe using the winch.

We sailed out between Bakers and Misery Islands, then around the back of Misery. I told him that for landlubbers, this was like seeing the dark side of the moon!

We got back to Chip Ahoy's mooring at about 4:00 pm, ate our late lunch sandwiches. David told me he'd really enjoyed himself, loved the relaxation that comes with being under sail.  (Aug. 29, 2012)

With the end of the season approaching I sailed up to Gloucester again for another long weekend. I spent Wednesday night aboard on Chip Ahoy's mooring, took off Thursday morning, and returned on Monday.  (Sept. 12 - 17, 2012)


On the morning of the autumnal equinox I decided to squeeze in another overnighter, sailing out to Misery Island. I grabbed a mooring at the mouth of the cove and spent a rough night in large and choppy rolling swells and strong wind I should have taken a mooring further inside the cove's protection. The nights and mornings were very cool, dropping into the low-50s. The end of the season is near.  (Sept. 22 - 23, 2012)


It's never-ending ... onward to Sailing Season 2012!

Intro  |  Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |   Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10 
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