April Fools and Other Ah Shit Moments!

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”)! 

Everything went exactly as planned UNTIL rounding the north end of the  “reef”!  The wind shifted and was now blowing directly on the nose with no hope of clearing the marina without the aid of the engine!  CRAP!  I hit the switch and alas she wouldn’t start (remember it was a cold start) and the wind immediately took Rhapsody into the mud banks inside the marina!  We were aground inside the marina cove!  Great!  I tried to induce heel with the main and hanging out from the lee shrouds and hanging out from the boom all with no luck!  CRAP!  So I hailed the marina, 100 yards away, for assistance.  Being Johnny on the spots they responded quickly but Brilliant Bob was first on scene to lend a hand!  With a few minutes we were afloat, the engine running and on our way to the slip with no damage other than the Skipper’s ego.

Imagine my surprise upon reaching my slip that the ONLY Search and Rescue trained individual in the place ran to my aid, not with a line or a boat or any offers of assistance, but with a camera and a telephoto lens!  By the time our dock lines were secure, the “Search and Rescue” guy was yelling across the way that he had already uploaded the pics to Facebook!  Sure am glad he was there to help!


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