Monday, June 10, 2013

Smooth Sailing

Unlike last weekend where the winds were really ripping, this weekend was calm.  The 5-10 knot winds gave us the chance to get the boat out on Lake Michigan for a nice, slow, smooth sail that didn't require us to battle the winds constantly.  We certainly weren't breaking any speed records but it was perfect for getting Lexie (and us) more comfortable with moving around the boat while the boat is in motion but without being thrown around.    
Heading out for our first leisurely cruise

Smooth sailing today
 We've learned that a happy sailing Lexie is a tired Lexie.  Before we head out for a sail we make sure to let her run and swim at the State Park (#86,501 why we love Muskegon Lake) until she can barely move.  Although these days it doesn't take all that long before she's good and worn out.  We then head out and by the time we have the sails raised she's passed out for a good couple of hours and we're all happy. 

This weekend Lexie seemed to really morph into a true salty freshwater dog.  She was going up on the deck while we were mooring or tying up to the dock and just checkin' things out on her own without trying to jump off, climb on me or otherwise freaking out. So nice! We even got compliments from people at the marina when we left her laying on the deck while we went to help grab lines for a boat coming into the marina a few slips down and she just layed there and watched.  To be honest, we couldn't believe it either!  But not having to worry about her every move is.....well.....refreshing. I think we're all learning to relax a little and that is a good thing. Even loud noises like the sails luffing/slapping in the wind or the noise of the winches, which used to send her immediately onto my lap, only made her ears slightly perk this weekend. I realize the weather this weekend was extremely tame and I know that we have a long way to go, but I have no doubt that we'll get there. Count me (us) relieved!     

Nice and sleepy...just the way we like her
When we don't have to worry about the dog, we (er, RON) gets antsy and starts tinkering, messing with sails and otherwise creates mischief.
Wanna-be pirate Trusty Captain

This is what happens when I leave him unattended even for two minutes!

  Ron also discovered that only while we were plugged in to shore power could we use any electrical outlets on the boat. Since we don't plan on staying in marinas regularly and keep the boat on a mooring (ie. no shore hook-ups for power, water, etc.), we needed to find a way to be able to plug in phones, computers and the wifi hotspot to charge. While the phones, computers and internet aren't must-haves per se, they do keep us entertained.  On the other hand, we rely on the ipad for navigation and like to keep that charged up in case we want to take off somewhere or just see what we did on our last/current outting.

12V outlet in the galley next to the companionway
As we didn't have a 12V outlet on the boat anyway, Ron decided to hook one up directly to a house battery and bought an inverter that has regular outlets as well as a USB port.  This is more of a short-term fix as, at some point, we'll need to be able to use the outlets in the boat without needing shore power and doing so will require some electrical work. Good thing Ron is so handy and I'm so good at handing him tools (most of the time)! During this project Ron also discovered that of the three batteries we have on board only the one used strictly for the engine is a 12V battery. So while hooking up the 12V outlet to the engine battery isn't ideal, the other two 6V batteries weren't an option. Until we can get two more 12V batteries we'll just have to keep an eye on voltage and switch batteries when we can.  Guess the saying that "every boat project leads to two more" is holding true for us.

Not bad for under $30
Anchored out at our favorite spot in front of the State Park on Muskegon Lake


 Big news, HUGE news....the Tinkle String has been launched! Okay, well this was more of a dock line and lacked some randomly disbursed knots for grip but you get the gist; Ron was desperate antsy enough to jump in and try it out.  We're going to have to get busy getting the official Tinkle String ready before too long as it has become a highlight for friends and family (read: boys). I mean, who would want to go in a normal head when you could jump in the water, hang on for dear life and relieve yourself?!?
 Ron's parents made it out on Sunday for a short sail, during which we lost ALL wind and also hit a nice front blowing north. After eating some lunch at anchor and having the wind die off yet again it was time to start packing up and heading home after our best weekend on the boat yet.  With the A/C on high we pulled out of the marina, and promptly into the Frosty Cove for a couple slushies. Quite frankly, I'm surprised it took us this long to stop there being so close to the marina.  And wouldn't you know it, Ron spots the doggie dessert on the menu.  Besides a slight brain freeze episode, I think Lexie quite enjoyed her special treat and after this weekend she certainly deserved it!

Soft serve a la milk bone

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