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April 2007

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Wednesday, April 18th

A stormy weekend

The storm has passed. The storm that started out beating up on Texas and then moved across the country to dump rain and snow on the Northeast states caused some problems here. It started out with forecasts of strong winds and heavy rain and for once the weather people were right. The front moved into the area after midnight Saturday and the effects were still being felt until late Monday. The barometer kept dropping all day Sunday until it bottomed out around 29.1 inches. About the only other times it drops that low is during a hurricane. The wind picked up from the south and blew in the 30 Ė 40 knot range on Sunday, with gusts into the 50ís, and it rained. Many areas set new records for rainfall. We are below average for rain this year so it did help to bring up the averages but caused problems once the ground was saturated. Monday the winds continued blowing 20 Ė 30 knots with higher gusts but were now from the west and the rain had stopped.

We werenít in any danger, just very uncomfortable. We doubled up and adjusted the docklines and added extra chafing gear. The most annoying part was that the waves were hitting us on the stern and as the boat would rise and fall some of the waves would hit under the stern with a very loud slap. Inside it sounded like someone outside beating on the hull with a mallet. There was a lot of bouncing around and heeling over as the gusts would pass by. By mid-afternoon the rain let up with occasional showers coming through. We got caught in one of these when we left the boat to take care of some laundry. Unfortunately we left the hatch open when we went ashore. We were a sight, running down the dock in the rain to get things closed up again.

Monday was a nicer day, partly cloudy and warmer, but the winds were still blowing in the 20ís and 30ís and we were back at work again. By Thursday everything had calmed down. Other parts of the state were not as lucky, since there are still about 15,000 people without power an Wednesday.

Of course, June is the beginning of hurricane season so we can expect more storms to hit later this summer. Maybe we will be lucky and not get hit by any major storms this year.

Dale on 04.18.07 @ 11:33 AM EDT [link]

Tuesday, April 10th

More info on the weekend

I forgot to mention that last weekend after going sailing on Saturday we spent part of Sunday afternoon horseback riding. I can probably count on one hand how many times I have been on a horse; Cori on the other hand practically grew up on a horse. We took my sister horseback riding for a special treat. There is a stable out on Cedar Island where you can go riding on the beach. We rode along the beach until we got relatively close to some of the wild ponies that live there and then headed back to the stable. Along the way we came to a river that needed to be crossed. Before the crossing, Cori was warned not to let her horse stop in the river since they were trying to break it of lying down in the water. No advice on how to keep it from stopping, just a warning not to let it stop. Unfortunately, or more likely fortunately, it did not stop and probably saved itself from being sold. I have to admit that it was more fun then it sounds and it made Karenís day. The rest of the week was spent kicking back and working on a few projects as I mentioned before.
Dale on 04.10.07 @ 07:50 PM EDT [link]

Saturday, April 7th

A week of projects and kicking back

Last weekend we took my sister, Karen, out for a sail. She has been visiting after spending the winter in Texas and they are making their way back to Minnesota, the long way. Having sailed with us on Lake Superior we knew that she does not like the boat to heel over very much so we made an effort to keep it level as we sailed up the river. On the way back we headed into the wind and started to heel over more then she was comfortable with. Unfortunately for her, I enjoyed making her uncomfortable, at least for a little while. Soon we had to drop sails and head back into the marina. The wind was out of the south and if it blows too long the water level drops and makes it hard to get back into the slip.

This week was vacation for me, spring break for the students. I had a list in my head of the projects that needed to be done this week. I got a couple of them done since the weather was cooperative most of the week - 70ís and 80ís. The big one is replacing the windlass. Last summer the shaft on the motor broke and a replacement is not available. I have been planning and researching what to replace it with. I just about had it figured out when I checked eBay one more time. My windlass was listed, or at least a replacement that I could use or strip for parts. I was the top bidder and the windlass showed up a couple of weeks ago. Fortunately it is in better shape then my old one. I have been sanding and refinishing the mount that I will reuse and have been working out the wiring problems. The old one had some sort of problems and the previous owner rewired it bypassing the solenoid and making a homemade hand switch. The chain gipsy was for a different size chain but it was a simple matter to swap them out. Unfortunately the week is almost over and it is still not mounted but I am further along then I was a week ago and it only took one trip to the hardware store.

Dale on 04.07.07 @ 04:16 PM EDT [link]