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Lemons Way
The continuing adventures of a cruising sailor/family lawyer, his wife (also a lawyer), and their young children.
Second Overnight Sailing Trip with Sarah and the Baby
Keith, nice
03/26/2012, Lake Pleasant

This past weekend we headed back up to the boat at lake Pleasant northwest of Phoenix for another overnight adventure. Things went more smoothly and I think we all had a pretty good time, especially me. Cruising with wife and baby takes a little getting used to. Between the last overnight trip and this one the sailboat shop got the boat's running lights working, installed three fans, and put together a secondary anchor. When we arrived, I discovered that the fans were kind of loud and cheap-o, and one of them was blowing the wrong direction and installed in the wrong spot. That fan was fixed and re-located by the sailboat shop mechanic while Dale helped me to rig the 150 foresail. It employs a cool roller furling design that has its own wire stay, leaving the boat's forestay available to use for a second, smaller jib. It makes the Catalina 25 kind of like a cutter rig, able to fly twin headsails, though the winds would have to be pretty light to justify that. Typically in such conditions I motor. As for the secondary anchor, I wanted something that was self contained and that I could put into a duffel and store on a cockpit locker. The sailboat shop ordered a set-up that was larger and more robust than the existing main anchor set-up, for which I certainly can't fault them. I wound up switching out the anchor for one that is a size smaller than the existing main, but with about 16 feet of chain and another 100 feet of rope. It fits nicely into an old duffel and fits nicely in the locker. Should the main fail or get stuck, I can deploy the secondary in less than a minute. We got out on the lake an hour or two earlier this time and the sun is also setting later as we enter Spring, so we were able to motor all the way to the other side before it started getting dark. We had the 150 unfurled at the start, but there wasn't enough wind to move us. Again, sailboat cruising turns into mostly motoring. I know there are some cruisers who don't even have motors on their sailboats, but they don't have to complete their sailing trips on a tight schedule.

Bluegrass Concert At Sabino Canyon Later in the Day
Warm, but nice

Today they had bands playing in an area of Sabino Canyon that is typically off limits to regular folks. This picture is taken where the forest service employees live. They welcomed us into their private area for the event. Little Celia likes to hear live music, from Gangster Rap to Bluegrass.

Enjoying Sabino Canyon Multiple Times
Keith, beautiful outside

Early mornings on the weekends, and sometimes during the week, I take the 2 minute drive to Sabino Canyon national park to recreate in nature. I hiked a portion of Esperrero trail on Saturday morning and a portion of Phone Line on Sunday morning. This is a photo of these amazing yellow flower bushes that grow this time of year when we have an early Spring. You can see the trail to the side and a bit of the mountains around me.

Sailboat Morning with Mommy and Baby
Keith, warm again when the sun came out again
02/26/2012, Lake Pleasant

We didn't exactly sail on this first overnight sailing trip. By the time we got the boat into the water and unloaded our stuff, the sun was low in the sky and we were getting exhausted. There wasn't a lot of gas in the tank and I don't yet know how fuel efficient the engine is, so we started by going around to the marina and filling up with a gallon and a half just to make sure we wouldn't get stranded somewhere. Then I hooked up the tiller piston auto pilot and figured out how it works while we headed out into the lake. It appears to work better than the one I had in the last Catalina 25. The sun was going down and we didn't have a lot of light left, so I had to find someplace to anchor quickly. It was actually kind of hard because it is deep on the side close to the marina and there is over 100 feet of water within 1000 feet of shore, so I had to find someplace with water shallow enough to anchor. By that time the sun was below the horizon. We had a rather uninspiring dinner and spent some time unpacking our gear to make more room to move around. Made-up beds for ourselves and the baby and shortly thereafter we headed off to sleep watching the movie Super 8 on my mom's old LCD DVD player. Next time we'll download a movie onto the IPAD and watch in HD. I have to admit it was a little claustrophobic in there, having gotten used to the Catalina 36, which is itself rather small. I was having a lot of second thoughts. By early morning, the wind picked up and it started to get cold inside the cabin. We brought a propane heater, but didn't want to use it too much because of the baby and possible fumes. Eventually we bought the baby into the forepeak with us and stayed warm by huddling all together. Later on in the morning I turned on the heater and placed it under one of the slightly open ports and it warmed nicely without too much odor. It took a while for the sun to come up over the mountains next to our anchorage, but when it did we got warm again. There were several creaking sounds that bothered us over the course of the evening, but I managed to find and resolve most of them during several nighttime forays up the forepeak hatch and out on deck. In the morning I found that our anchor had snagged on a tree in the water and I had to use the winch to free it, so we probably didn't have a safely dug-in anchor, but whatever we did have held enough to keep us in place. Need to get a back-up anchor set-up. We had planned to take down the mast and bring her back to Tucson in the morning, but we were kind of exhausted and wanted to give the Lake Pleasant overnight one more try in a few weeks before storing the boat. Overall the boat performed well, though there are a few things still to finish before it is ready for more serious cruising. The new porta-potty worked fine and paid for itself on the first overnight trip. The Raytheon knot meter/depth meter with its flush mounted computer on the cockpit bulkhead worked excellently and will serve us well when speed and depth matter. On the way back to the docks from the anchorage, I exceeded 6 knots using the engine, and I believe this boat motors faster than my previous Catalina 25. The one thing that didn't change from my last sailing experiences to this one is how beautiful the sunset is from a sailboat and how nice the morning light feels after a night on a sailboat.

Overnight sailboat trip with my family
Warm during the day, chilly in the dead of night
02/26/2012, Lake Pleasant North of Phoenix

Yesterday we headed up to Phoenix to spend the night on the Catalina 25. All three of us, including our baby girl. I would have to say that one night on a sailboat on a lake in Arizona with a wife and baby is comparable in terms of accomplishment for me to cruising the Sea of Cortez or down the Intercoastal Waterway and then across to the Bahamas and back. Those prior sailing accomplishments were awesome, but I think I'll stick with family sailing, modest though it may be at this point. It was rather a rough adjustment from solo cruising to family sailing. At one point late in the evening, I determined to put the boat back on consignment and forget the whole thing. But we made it through the chilly night and awoke to a bright new day full of promise. The light was almost all gone by the time I took this photo, so you have to adjust the angle of your screen to see it if it appears black.

Video of early morning hike up Esperero Trail
01/25/2012, Sabino Canyon

While awaiting the completion of basic ocean cruising upgrades, check out a glimpse of a recent hike at Sabino Canyon.

The Plan
Cold, but nice - maybe I can take the baby in the stoller outside today
01/18/2012, Boulder Canyon

Sarah and Keith's late-model Catalina 25 is much more modest, in terms of cost and expenses, than my last sailboat. I was under a somewhat severe budget this time and needed to get the most safety and comfort for the buck. The Wing is a pretty solid platform, considering its size, but I've begun moving forward on some relatively minor upgrades to make the sailboat safer and more comfortable for family cruising. The following is my current project list: Replace crazed and cracked plexi-windows so the view to the outside is more pristine; install large capacity porta-potty (the sailboat has a designated head space, but it does not appear this boat was sailed very much at all, particularly for periods of time requiring a porta-potty - better to start fresh with a modern new one); add basic depth sounder and chartplotter unit (it already has through-hulls for depth and analog speed wheel - I would like to get that hooked up as well so as to better gauge current.) It's also going to need a back-up anchor set-up in a quick deploy duffel... and a zodiac... and a small motor for that... and a few of those roll-up solar panels to add to the old-school panel when needed. Several of the projects are already underway at the Sailboat Shop at Lake Pleasant in Phoenix. When they are completed in a few weeks or so, I'm hoping to do another sail with Lynn and Dale, then overnight on the sailboat at Pleasant if possible, then take the mast down the next morning and bring her back to Tucson to store until the next sailing trip. When and where will that be. Stay tuned groupies.

It sails well
01/09/2012, Lake Pleasant, Arizona

I like this sailboat. Sturdy, but nimble. Roomy inside, considering it is 25 feet and trailers behind my 3/4 ton truck. I like the sailing rig too. Powers comfortably - safely. We have a larger and a smaller jib, but the Catalina hank-on 110 was just right for the 10-12 knot winds. Sarah thought it was too slow, but, having sailed in the open ocean, I prefer to sacrifice speed for sturdy. This '87 Catalina 25 Wing Keel is a very nice combination of the two. Perhaps there will be a time when Sarah will get the speed she imagines or even beyond her imagination. Our first sail was safe and largely uneventful. Lynn and Dale, the previous owners of the boat, gave us a nice introduction to the boat's particulars and when we finished, they agreed to go sailing with us again to go over more of the boat's systems. Here's to lots of pleasant adventures ahead.

Sarah at the Helm with Keith at her Side on our Catalina 25 Wing
Sunny, good wind, and nice
01/09/2012, Lake Pleasant


Sailing Life Back On
12/17/2011, Boulder Canyon, Tucson

Is it possible to have the good and the great, in one life, at the same time. That's what we're going to find out. Catalina 25 Wing Keel. Yet to be named. The new Singer Family Cruising Sailboat.


Singer Family Adventures
Port: Tucson, Arizona
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