Sail Ho!

Indian Summer is a beautiful thing. We've been hitting the home improvement projects hard over the past few weeks. I made a pact that I wouldn't make a new mast step for the boat until we got the projects done - and almost lived up to it. The weather was so gorgeous this week that I had to spend a couple of late nights getting it built. Given that we had snow this time last year, it seemed like a shift in priorities was in order. I can paint inside after it's cold.

New Mast Step

There's nothing like impending Minnesota Crud to get you motivated. I didn't even bother staining it. It got bolted on this morning. Fifteen minutes later, it was on the car and I was in the house soliciting volunteers to go for a sail. The Boy had gotten ungrounded from the PS3 today, so he had zero interest. Demolition Girl was all over it. The Better Half was intent on me getting the garage cleaned and her doing some other sort of productive work. Now one of my goals for the year (which was looking dicey) was to get all four of us out for a sail. So I invoked the time honored tradition of the Press Gang and off we went.

Do we look shanghaied?

We had a nice breeze, and handily enough a downwind launch. My plan was to head straight down the lake (it's L-shaped) and then turn at the bend and make a circuit around the whole lake. Once we got to the bend, the wind picked up considerably so I decided to turn back around and stick to the more sheltered portion of the lake. Once we got back into more protected waters, The Boy took the helm and acquitted himself remarkably well. Especially since he had to put up with me telling him "port", "starboard", "hard to port!" which might as well have been Japanese to him. Gotta learn somehow. Unfortunately, I did not capture this on film, which was a mistake. I should have gotten a shot and framed it for him. The camera was in the dry-bag and there's not a lot of room to wiggle for a shot with four people crammed into a twelve foot boat anyway.

The new mast step worked like a champ. Addie now goes upwind, which is kind of important. The Boy and I did a fair bit of tacking to prove the point. After a bit of this, the Better Half was about done with Demolition Girl squirming on her lap, so we called it a day. It was an excellent sail. And I got a bonus at bedtime.

Me: Did you have a good day?
The Boy: Yeah!
Me: Well, what was your favorite part? (expecting him to say getting his PS3 back)
The Boy: Sailing!

Mission Accomplished.

Jeremy Ulstad

Dad, IT Architect, Musician, Sailor

Minneapolis, Minnesota