Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Beautiful sail, ugly weather

Yesterday we set out about 10 AM under overcast skies. The prediction was for east winds and light showers, so we put on our rain gear before we started out. We figured, like the umbrella theory "if we have it, we won't need it."
As we set out, the wind was very light so we had to motor-sail for a while. As the morning progressed, the wind got stronger and soon we were clocking 7 knots and it became difficult to control the boat. So we cut the engine and just sailed. Under sail alone we slowed down to about 4.5 knots but it was a much more comfortable ride. When the gusts hit, our speed would pick up to about 5.5 or 6, then back to 4.5 when the gust subsided.
We hugged the coastline to avoid the bigger waves farther off and had a wonderful sail most of the 25 miles to Manistee. The rain started in mid afternoon, but it was just a light sprinkle at first, and with the very pleasant sailing conditions, we didn't mind the light rain.
As we approached the outer marks for the harbor at Manistee, both the wind and the rain picked up considerably. We dropped the sails and motored into the river, with the boat heeling from the wind hitting the bare poles.
We found the town marina. It was almost empty and there was no attendant on duty. A fellow boater helped us tie up. The wind and current would have made it difficult if he hadn't been there. By the way, Karma works. The boater who helped us yesterday is the same guy that I helped out the day before. What goes around, comes around.
Once we landed, we hooked up with Diane and Randy, a couple we had met in Leland a few days ago. It was Diane's birthday, so they invited us to their boat for drinks to help celebrate.
Today it is supposed to rain all afternoon. We have laundry and shopping to do, so we may stay here tonight. Tomorrow, there's supposed to be a north wind at 20. If that holds, we might stay here again. The day after is predicted to be dead calm. On the other hand, we might brave the rain and go today. We'll see after breakfast.

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