Monday, May 26, 2014

Great day

We've been researching how to fully rig the mainsail since our fiasco last weekend with the motor issues, and having to cancel going out with Dave's friends for a lesson. We think we have it figured out, so we got a sitter for the kids so we could better concentrate on getting it rigged. We also got some new WOODEN oars, and made some adjustments to the motor.

Dave went yesterday to do some stuff and basically had it all rigged. We got settled and raised the sail while still moored, and practiced reefing a couple times and Dave got what we thought was the Jib hooked up. But more on that in a few. Dropped the sail again and decided to head out.

Motored out to the hurricane barrier, then shut the motor off and hoisted the sail. YAY!! We practiced for a
while just past the barrier, and Dave wanted to see how different it would be by raising the jib. Well, we were going upwind and it seemed to be pretty difficult. The "jib" sail seemed to be too big. Always getting caught up on the life line. Dave thought maybe it was rigged wrong. So we dropped it and folded it up and put it away. Made it much easier after that. He later realized he had grabbed the spinnaker and not the jib. We decided that for now, we will just sail the mainsail until we get more comfortable with it before trying the jib.

We headed out just past the Butler Flats light house. We were just getting used to the way the wanderlust handled and the way the different positions of the sail made it react. The way different sail angles caught the wind and how to best position to gain speed.

We had so much fun this time compared to last weekend. And we can't wait to take the kids with us next time. Also can't wait to finally get lessons to add to what we've been able to learn on our own.

We did really well our first time just using the sails, and no motor. We were even able to sail back right to our mooring and tie up without using the motor.

Here are a few short videos we took.

Sailing upwind towards the lighthouse:
Or check out on youtube

Sailing downwind, heading back, facing the back toward the dinghy:

Sailing downwind, heading back, facing the front:
or check out on youtube

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Day from hell or learning experience?

For mothers day the kids got me a new fishing pole (among other things) because I had mentioned I wanted to go fishing. So yesterday I mention to Dave that I wanted to go fishing after the rain stops. There is a damn up the street that you can catch and release that I was thinking about going to. We had planned on going out today with his friends from work to show us how to sail. But I think Cpt. Dave was "itching" to get out on the boat. He suggested that we motor out a little ways on the boat and drop anchor and fish off the boat. So off I went to go get my fishing license.

We were told that Walmart does licenses. Should have known the day was not going to go well. My son and
I headed to the sporting goods department. Of course no one was there. And of course the customer service was way on the other side of the store. So we had to walk all the way back to the customer service desk and wait 20 min. in the long line, for them to call an associate to sporting goods. So off we go all the way to the other side of the store back to sporting goods... Still no one there. Waited another 15 min for a manager and a trainee to go walking past me. The manager didn't even acknowledge me, the trainee asked if he could help me. Wouldn't you know, he didn't know how to do licenses. The manager seemed irritated that the trainee tried to help me and told the trainee to call another manager on the phone as he was walking away. So the trainee finally got someone that had a password to get in the computer and show him how to help me. The trainee said that everyone there seems to pass the buck and no one likes to do anything. I didn't go there to hear the store drama, I just wanted my fishing license so I could go relax and fish. Grrr.

Finally got my license done and get home. Its now 1:00pm and my oldest had invited a friend with her to come fishing with us. But just as we were getting ready to go, she says she was hungry and they didn't have lunch. So of course I needed to get them some lunch...
Now its about 2:00 and we are finally on our way. Cpt. Dave and his first mate Amber, take off to the dinghy to pump out the water from the pouring rains we had the night before. Leaving me in the car with the baby and 3 kids. We all managed to carry the fishing poles and gear, cooler, diaper bag, ect. and get to the docks to wait for them to come pick us up. Little did I know it was going to be a long wait.

Something happened on the way to the dock and the motor was running but wasn't "working" - the shear pin had broken, but Cpt Dave didn't know that was what was wrong at the time. Him and Amber were "stuck" and drifting. Dave dropped anchor so he could try to get the motor fixed. No such luck. He tried rowing, no such luck. So he had no choice to call Sea Tow (Tow boats USA - I am not happy with them, but that is another story). This was the first time we needed them today!!!

Since we started on a fishing adventure, I decided to let the kids fish off the docks while we waited for Sea
Tow to come rescue my hubby and daughter. They were happy to be fishing and didn't know that there was anything even wrong until they watched the wanderlust getting towed back to the mooring. They thought it was just cool to see the big Sea Tow boat. The Cpt of the Sea Tow had mentioned to Cpt Dave that it was probably just the shear pin, and West Marine was down the street, and he could be up and running in about 10 min. So Dave looked, and it was in fact a broken shear pin. Him and Amber paddled back to the docks and he left us all there while he ran to West Marine to get what he needed to get the motor fixed.

The kids had fun fishing off the docks while Dave left to get what we needed to get the motor running again. LOL he learned from this, and picked up some extra shear pins, incase it happened again, we would have some on the boat. When he returned with the part, first mate Amber and her friend Taylor rowed to the boat with him to help him fix the motor. I stayed on the docks fishing with the baby Autumn, Holly and Peter. The kids also had fun yelling across to the Wanderlust to Amber and Taylor as they fished from the dock, and the girls hung their legs off the bow of the boat trying to reach the water. What Cpt. Dave
didn't realize at the time was that at some point during all this, he lost one of his oars. But he wouldn't realize this until a little later.

YAY. He finally got the motor fixed and is on his way to come pick us up. At this point we should have called it a day. I think it is just after 4:00pm now. But NO, we head out anyway. Relieved, because we think the worst is behind us and we just want to anchor and relax with the kids while fishing. After the day we'd had up until this point, we figure what more could go wrong? Little did we know!

We get everyone loaded on the boat and all the gear on, and we set off. We didn't care that we still don't know how to sail and it is windier than usual with a stronger current than usual. We were just happy that we can finally be on our way. Cpt. Dave finally has the wind in his hair. :) and it was nice while it lasted. We headed out towards the hurricane barrier, out into buzzards bay. All by motor because our sails still are not rigged properly. We are thinking if we don't get lessons soon, we will get a sitter for the kids and just go out and play around some on our own. We were supposed to get lessons today but after this day we canceled them until we get the motor running better and a new set of oars.

Anyway, after going through the hurricane barrier we headed towards the light
house. The Palmers Island Light house. Some of the waves were splashing pretty high and the kids were loving getting splashed. Dave decided that it was too rough and he didn't feel comfortable anchoring to go fishing so we turned around and headed back in. This is when the motor started cutting out. From having to keep pulling to start it back up, the pull rope frayed and good thing Dave saw it because he was able to hold it before it broke so it didn't "go back in" - We had to tie the 2 pieces together, which was a quick fix, but still didn't fix the motor from cutting out. All the way back to the mooring, the motor did this. Good thing, for the most part, it would start back up after a few pulls. We had plenty of gas, so we weren't able to tell why it kept cutting out. Dave was thinking that maybe the conditions, and going against the current to go back in, was just too much for a  motor of this size. But he will look at it further before the next time we go out.

One thing we hadn't noticed on the way out, was what appeared to be an army fort. After googling when we got home, we learned it was Fort Pheonix. We will need to keep that in mind for an adventure in the future.

Wouldn't you know. The rope broke AGAIN, so we had to tie it off again. We finally make it to the mooring and tie up the boat. Dave decided that he would take only a couple of kids at a time in the dinghy. Dave finally realized he was missing an oar. So paddling with 1 oar, he brings Amber and Taylor to the dock first. Then rows back to get Peter and Holly.

Smooth sailing? Nope of course not!!!! After dropping Peter and Holly off at the dock, he heads back for me and Autumn. Does he make it? Nope!!! His remaining oar breaks!!! So now I am "stranded" on the wanderlust with the baby and he is drifting with the current into the bridge.

A call to Sea Tow again to "rescue" us a second time within a couple hours... They get Dave first. And it seems like it took an eternity to secure the dinghy to the Sea Tow boat. The entire time, Autumn is crying because she wants to go Bye Bye and she hates having her life jacket on. FINALLY they are heading towards us and we get on board and they bring us to the docks.

You decide. Was this the day from hell for us? Or a learning experience? We are looking at it as a learning experience. After needing to cancel our lessons for today, we realize we need to get the motor up to par, or get a newer one. Also we need a new pair of oars. I think I saw somewhere that we can get ones that float? I thought the ones we had were supposed to float, but I guess I was wrong. Also looking at a way to be able to tie the oars to the dinghy to prevent them from falling into the water. AND getting a second set of oars to keep in the boat.

Needless to say, all the kids, and us adults too, slept really well last night. It can only get better from here and we will be out on the boat again. This time we are Sea Tow members so we can get towed in for free from anywhere :)

I just looked and found out yesterdays wind speed was 28.7 knots. LOTS of wind for us green newbies.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Today Is launch day - May 3, 2014

So today is Launch day. It is met with a combination of excitement and nerves. Both from the kids and us as well. As we said in the very first post, none of us know how to sail, so we are relying solely on what we have been able to gather through the winter, reading books and watching videos. Lets see how well we did. :)
There is probably going to be lots of pics in this post (just a warning, I love taking pics of my family)

We had an 8:30 am launch time, but we still hadn't had a chance (or the knowledge) to attach the sails. So Dave had wanted to go to the boatyard as soon as they open up to try to get that done as well as some odds and ends that we hadn't had a change to do. We got there and had to wait a min or 2 for them to get the guard dogs put away since we got there a couple minutes before they opened.

We loaded everything up but still hadn't had a chance to get the sails on. Bob at the boat yard was having a cranky day, which wasn't good since this was our first ever launch and had no clue what was going to happen, so he didn't make us feel one bit comfortable with the process. You can tell how "nervous" our great Cpt Dave looks as Bob starts backing up. I bet he was wishing right about now that he didn't recently quit smoking because he sure looks like he could use a cigarette right about now.

Bob started backing up to the Wanderlust and got her on the truck. The process only took a few minutes and he made it look really easy. 

While he was getting the boat situated on the truck, he told us to take our dinghy over to the boat ramp and tie up to the docks so we'd be all ready when he got there.

YAY - After a LONG and cold winter, the Wanderlust is finally in the water!! So far so good. The kids wanted to go with daddy to drive to the mooring, so he agreed it would be fun for them to go along with him. Mommy and Autumn stayed behind and drove to the Popes Island Marina so we'd have a ride back to the boat yard to get Dave's car. 

Now Mommy and Autumn have to wait for them to motor the 1.4 miles to get to the Popes Island Marina where our mooring is. Since we hadn't had a chance to put the sails on yet, they are going to pick us up at the dock and then tie up to the mooring so we can finally ATTEMPT to get the sails on.

Now the test to see if we can get the sails on. We were able to get the main sail and the boom attached but weren't positive on where or how the ropes got set up, plus the baby was getting cranky so we gave up (for now) because we want to make sure its all correct. Plus the kids were complaining they were hungry.