Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

October 31, 2014

Well its been some time since posting to the blog, but its been hectic and nothing but fun since my retirement in May. Lots of travel, St Louis Baseball and boat projects. I’ll get all the updates concerning boat projects at a later date, but for now (as a way of letting you know that I haven’t fallen off the edge of the earth) just a brief one.

One of the projects was to move the batteries from the port cockpit locker to an area under the galley. This has many advantages and some disadvantages so none of the work is permanent and can be reversed if needed.

Here is a pic of the new furniture under the galley stove. I gave up some storage and a drawer but lowered the batteries by a foot or more AND brought them inboard buy at least two feet. Should make a big difference in boat performance, as well as, Battery maintenance.

More later.

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April Fools and Other Ah Shit Moments!

May 1, 2011

Not only was April Fools weekend a wonderful opportunity for pranking and having some fun, as it turned out it was a wonderful weekend on the water.  The fun began with an afternoon of leisurely sailing in and about the lake.  Not a lot of wind so not a lot of effort.  Upon my arrival Mike and Sherri announced that they wished to anchor out for the evening and to my shock and surprise I could not have agreed more.  The forecast was for a bit of a chilly evening with lows in the lower 50s and for Sunday the wind was forecast to be blowin stink.  My opinion was we’ll go anchor out, kick back a few sundowners and then I would have a good sail on Sunday.  So we had an accord!  We would head out for Llama Cove for the evening, Kat Bleu and Rhapsody.

We arrived at the anchorage somewhere around 1800, got the supper chores over and done and kicked back for a bit.  It was indeed chilly and fortunately I had not removed my sleeping bag at this juncture.  It felt pretty good by dawn.  All in all it was a very quite evening aboard.  I spent most of the evening watching a movie and Mike and Sherri did the same aboard da Kat.

The next morning found that the forecast winds were indeed blowing and appeared to be strengthening as the breakfast hours came and went.  The attending vessels decided it was time to depart for the marina.  Rhapsody and crew needed to be at the home QTH in time to take the Son to his first ball practice of the season, so she hoisted cloth, weighed the anchor (12 pounds) and successfully sailed off the raft.  Upon reaching the open lake things picked up a bit.

Our Course took us from the San Bois Creek channel all the way to the Day Mark off of the jetty at the Lock (about 6 miles or so), a tack and then back to the general vicinity of the San Bois Creek channel.  Along this port tack the wind strengthened and it was time to douse the #2 jib for the #3 (storm jib) and put yet another reef in the main.  Now we were cooking along at 4.5 to 5.3 knots.  I was impressed.  When we reached the alternate channel on the west side of the lake we gibed and ran downwind.  WOW, we were going 5.4ish downwind, with the storm jib to port and the main to starboard.  Way Kewl!

By this time we were heading back to the general vicinity of the marina entrance and as I alluded to earlier I had to get home, so I surveyed the wind’s direction and decided that for a grand finale’ I would sail into the marina, around the “reef”, and back out to the main lake where I would douse the sails and putt putt back to the slip.  Prior to entering the marina I thought of starting the engine, as I had sailed off the hook earlier, it had not been started and she tends to be a bit slow to respond on the first startup of the day.  What the hell says I, this is no big deal (“we don’t need no stinkin engine”)!  Read the rest of this entry »

Illinois River Float Trip (Sailboat Style): The Details

July 28, 2010

FOR LOCAL INTEREST ONLY:

Rhapsody departed her slip at 1025 bound for the confluence of the Arkansas and Illinois Rivers, an upstream journey of some 20-25 miles according to the charts.  I hailed Lock 16 (the upstream lock) to determine the stream flow and was informed they were releasing 32,200 CFS, so I would have to battle more current than is optimal.

Time Waypoint Distance (NM)
1025 Slip 0
1208 Vian Creek Light 11.5
1435 I-40 Bridge 17.6
1455 Downstream Entrance 18.3 (Grounded)
1550 Anchor Down via upstream channel 18.9

Entering the Illinois is a bit tricky.  Fellow Sailor Bill Lansdell entered via the downstream channel and running in the center of the channel reported minimum depths of five feet.  I tried to enter that channel and immediately went aground, but was following advice to stay 1/3 the width of the channel off the east bank.

Once back out in the Arkansas, I approached the upstream channel from approximately SE and never hit less than eight feet until my depth sounder quit!  I made it in, following the advice of fishermen, and anchored in 12 feet of water half way between two little islets.  We traveled 18.9 NM (@ 2,700 RPM) in 4 hours and 45 minutes.  That evening I repaired my depth sounder for the journey back.  The holding in the Illinois is tricky.  My Danforth would not set, so I deployed my 25 pound CQR it held.  The prudient boater needs to be mindful that when the Tenkiller dam released water, there is a significant current that will over ride (at least for full keel boats) the prevailing wind in most cases.  Also, the water is cold.

Anchor up at 0755 and from the looks of it the CRQ did not truly “dig in”.  It appeared to have just sat on the bottom!  We were in the Arkansas River by 0815.  The depths encountered upon exiting the Illinois were sufficient to most vessels, anywhere from 8.5 – 12 feet with a center of the channel course.  Upon exiting the Illinois I was attempting to determine a more precise approach/exit so I headed directly at the Nun marking the right ascending channel.  This approach is not for the faint of heart.  I was just outside the main channel and in FOUR feet of water, leaving about a foot or foot and a half of water under Rhapsody’s keel.  The Approach taken the day before is much more favorable.

Lock 16 reported a release of 32,200 cfs and at 2500 RPMs Rhapsody was making 5.4 kts (a push of 1 knot from current).

Time Waypoint Distance (NM)
0755 Anchor up 0
0815 Arkansas River Channel .5
0915 Stoney Point 6.3
1015 Vian Creek Light 11.2
1108 Sallisaw Creek Light 15.8
1145 Applegate Cove Marina 18.5

We had run 18.5 NM with an average speed of 5.0 kts (@ 2,500 RPM) in 3 hours and 41 minutes.

Illinois River Float Trip (Sailboat Style) and Other Musings

July 27, 2010

Wow what a weekend!  Yes it was hot but when you are on (and in) the water everything seems mo betta!  I went to the boat on Friday afternoon just to prep and visit with no one in particular.  After ensuring that the boat was ready I had to return to the home HQ to ensure the “dancing girls” were okay and fed.  I don’t like leaving them for multiple days, as it appears they have taken a disliking for their food and water when we are absent.  Yes the Admiral is away as well visiting a friend in Santa Barbara, CA.  So I have “dancing girl” duty (too bad there are eight legs instead of four).

Anyway, Saturday dawned and in due time I was off to the boat for a weekend raft-up in Sallisaw Creek.  The afternoon started with great anticipation as several boats headed on out, among them Rhapsody.  Well anyway, when I arrived GC Enchantress (you remember:  the “Gender Confused” vessel) was already in Sallisaw Creek with guest aboard.  They were swimming and I didn’t want to invade on their privacy so I anchored off a bit.  Some short time later GC Enchantress decided to head on back to the marina.  She was worried about her deck getting wet (they are in the midst of a major re-fit to include re-doing the teak deck).  So we waved and exchanged “air horns” as she headed back in. Read the rest of this entry »

A Million to Four! Such Odds!

June 27, 2010

Long Have I looked with anticipation to the first Full Moon sail of the season.  The anticipation was only accentuated by the knowledge that I would be away from the Good Ship Rhapsody for the next three or four weeks.  The forecast was great with the first day of temperatures below 100˚ in several weeks.  The forecast high for the day was 89˚, but the temperature was slightly higher than that and there were thunderstorms throughout the area and the afternoon winds were very tempting, however the goal was a “Moonlight” sail, so patience was the word of the afternoon.

Somewhere around 1400 the good ship Rhapsody set out for an anchorage which would serve as the jump off point for the Moonlight sail.  It’s only a short trip to the old boat ramp in Sallisaw Creek and from that vantage point there are two very important advantages.  First, the bass boats have to slow down or be headed to that location and slow down, thus avoiding some jerk blowin by you at full tilt boogie.  Secondly, it’s a short hop back into the lake for the sail. Read the rest of this entry »

Boats, Constellations, Friends & Mayflies

June 13, 2010

WOW!  Well I needed to do some work on the boat, to be specific, I wanted to mount a new RAM Mount to hold my solar panel.  This new mount would allow me to position the panel in any position needed to optimize its exposure to direct sunlight.  BTW I love my little solar panel.  For my purposes and boat use (mostly weekends aboard and short stays at anchor) this thing is great.  Both batteries fully charged every time I step aboard!  Anyway, that’s a different tale.  And then there is the Echo Charger!  But that too is another story! Read the rest of this entry »

One of Those Rare Days (for June)

June 12, 2010

Well I have just finished one of those weeks from hell.  It ended Thursday night and man oh man was I glad.  So there I was sitting at the desk catching up on the latest news that’s important to me when I decided to check the weather forecast.  Just prior to checking it online, I took a stroll around the yard for a visual.  Wow it was mostly cloudy and the wind was piping up pretty good here at the house.  Back in the house the internet (http://tinyurl.com/mylocalwx) confirmed that indeed the wind was blowin stink with gust as high as 25 kts and forecast to do so for most of the day!  Furthermore, a cloud cover forecast of 75-80% was also predicted.  With temperatures hovering around 90°-92° cloud cover would be a good thing.  And most importantly (well maybe second to the wind forecast) there was only a slight chance of thunderstorms.  To the lake I said and not a moment to loose! Read the rest of this entry »

A Day on the Bay

June 5, 2010

Well it’s that time of year again, time for the CDSOA’s Gulf Fleet Annual Invitational Regatta.  When I first read the announcement, I was delighted to hear that it was scheduled for April 17 and was to be followed by a feast (of epic proportion) of mudbugs and all the trimmings!  I love dem bugs and was psyched!  Imagine the depths of despair to which I sank as the Admiral looked at the same announcement and proclaimed, “you dummy what are you thinking”!  We can’t go to Clear Lake on the 17th (for the life of me I can’t remember why at this juncture but we couldn’t)!  So with a heavy heart I notified the Fleet Captain (David Lark) that I would unable to attend!  I was totally bummed.  No sailing AND no mudbugs! Read the rest of this entry »

If I Only Had Some Wind

May 31, 2010

Well it’s Memorial Weekend at the Lake and we have had a grand time.  Before getting into the details, let each and everyone one of us celebrate our freedom and remember the ones who bought it with their service, their blood and their lives!  God Bless America and her service members. Read the rest of this entry »

The Weather Gage and other meaningful events of the weekend

May 9, 2010

Ahoy there maties, and a hearty ARGH to you.  Well this was another wonderful weekend afloat with the good ship Rhapsody.  I arrived at the marina somewhere around 2100 Friday night.  After stowing the weekend’s provisions I happened upon the MV Anejo’ for a visit with the long absent Captain Benjamin Faught of the S/V Apogee.  Benjamin has been away for several weeks and it was good to see him.  Also aboard that Cub Infested vessel were Captain Tom (Chicago) Schlegle and Ms Rhoda (recent past manager of Applegate Cove Marina)!  It was a joyful evening with great company. Read the rest of this entry »