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Cold Sailing
Fri Dec 10 10:00:00 EST 2010, Lake Ontario, New York

Dawn along the southern shore of Lake Ontario.

After several days of shovelling snow while waiting for a favorable wind, the forecast indicated the break in the weather I needed was coming. The wind would not be favorable for long, so I left at night, just after the strong headwind died down, before it was to pick up from the south.

I motored out of Rochester harbor, then anchored immediately outside the harbor to fix some engine problems. After a couple of hours, I was underway again, motoring with some sails up.

The temperature was staying below freezing all night, but forecast to steadily rise as I went west along the shore as the southerly wind picked up. I had put salt over the deck to help melt the snow and ice that was on it. The salt helped, but the deck was still slippery in many places. I normally am attached to the boat at all times at sea via a safety harness that connects to a rope (jackline) that runs along the deck on each side of the boat. The trouble with this system in cold weather is that the rope running along the deck froze into the deck, and couldn't be used.

While I've done a fair amount of daysailing in winter with other boats, this was the first time I had gone sailing in below freezing conditions with Issuma. It was a learning experience. The rope clutches (which hold the ropes after you tighten them with a winch, so one winch can be used for multiple ropes) don't really work with frozen ropes, as the rope diameter gets bigger, so it jams when trying to get it through the rope clutch. This could somewhat be worked around by using smaller ropes than what the rope clutch is designed for, but that means that in non-freezing conditions, the rope clutch will not hold as well (because the rope is too small for it). I hadn't realilzed that when I installed the rope clutches.

Mon Dec 13 5:40:00 EST 2010 | georgelewisray
Anxious to read the post that says your safely in harbor digesting the lessons of sailing Issuma in freezing conditions. That will be interesting and surely there are many places a people who will contribute to the discussion. Please share the lessons/discoveries.
Mon Dec 13 21:49:15 EST 2010 | Missy
Yes, hoping to soon hear you are safely in Toronto!

Wed Dec 15 8:14:31 EST 2010 | Miles A
Looks downright chilly, Richard. Hope you are keeping warm at night. I was sailing on LIS on Saturday; it was a balmy 43. Fair winds!
Thu Dec 16 15:21:32 EST 2010 | yann
Please Richard, send news as soon as possible, how was the last leg before Toronto?
Thu Dec 16 15:56:57 EST 2010 | Richard Hudson
Thanks for the comments. Sorry for not updating the blog. I've been in Toronto for almost a week now, putting a lot of work into the heating systems aboard Issuma. It's been between about -3C and -13C for the last several days. Haven't had time to do much else, no internet access working in the marina and the Iridium phone is no longer powering on so no satellite email. In the next few days I hope to catch up on email and the blog.

Fri Dec 17 12:25:01 EST 2010 | yann
nice to know you are alive, I nearly called the Coast Guards!
Sat Dec 18 17:55:09 EST 2010 | Richard Hudson
Thanks, glad you didn't call the coast guards :).
Getting Colder
Tue Dec 7 18:32:55 EST 2010, Rochester, NY

In Rochester, Shumway Marine had a big enough (40 ton) travelift so they helpfully hauled Issuma out and fixed the problematic thruhull, and welded over (closed permanently) three other thruhulls, so they could not cause problems over the winter (when the boat may be frozen in) and replaced some zinc anodes and we painted the bottom of the boat.

After launching, in a mad rush to finish up enough of the rigging work to be able to leave on the fair wind that I had for only a short period of time, I left in mid-afternoon. I was still rigging lines at sea, before I could set all sails. Days are short in December, and the Coast Guard stopped me for a safety inspection, which took up more of the daylight time that I had to finish things underway. In the evening, with much still to be done, I turned back and returned to Rochester to await better weather.

Better weather was forecast only after a week of strong headwinds and snow. I've been shoveling the snow twice daily for several days now--more keeps coming. Forecast is for the headwinds to die down, then become favorable late Thursday, so I have a little longer to continue getting ready to sail.

Fri Dec 10 17:50:55 EST 2010 | Missy
Just looked up the weather in Rochester....hope you've gotten away or will tomorrow. Burrrrrr Wonder how long it will take to cross to Toronto.
Take care.
Sat Dec 11 14:10:33 EST 2010 | will
having grown up in the rochester areas, i know what the snow demons fabricate in terms of snow: they are prolific in their output. great snow pic though.
Up With the Masts 4
Tue Dec 7 18:18:28 EST 2010, Sodus Point, NY

The masts went up in the morning and early afternoon, then I moved to a slip in the marina for the gale that was coming that night. I was busy attaching the rigging wires (the new ones were cut to fit after the masts were in place) until dark. I spent a few more days in Sodus Point, working on tuning the rigging and reconnecting electrical wires, and starting to get sails attached.

I needed to haul the boat out to fix a thruhull problem, and the marina in Sodus Point was closing the entire week for Thanksgiving, so when I had a light, favorable wind, I motored (and had one sail up--the rest weren't ready yet) to Rochester.

Up With the Masts 3
Sun Dec 5 0:00:00 EST 2010, Sodus Point, NY

Yard crew putting the foremast in position.

Mon Dec 6 8:11:13 EST 2010 | Jesse
Been enjoying 'following' your journey north. Snow flurries here today for first time. Keep thinking I went the wrong way when flying back from sunny and warm mid 80 temps of the BVI, and then I check your blog and feel a tad envious of your journey to the north. Nothing beats being on the water on a good sailboat, nothing. Kudos to you and Issuma as always.
Tue Dec 7 18:05:23 EST 2010 | Richard Hudson
Jesse, thanks. I have to admit, though, that the BVI sounds appealling at the moment.

We have no shortage of snow in Rochester, NY, and more is still falling. Snow adds to the challenges of sailing, if not so much to the enjoyment of it :)
Up With the Masts 2
Sat Dec 4 19:01:18 EST 2010, Sodus Point, NY

Up With the Masts
Sat Dec 4 18:59:06 EST 2010, Sodus Point, NY

After an uneventful motor from Oswego, I anchored in Great Sodus Bay for the night, then tied up at Katlynn marina to get the masts stepped. They have a 70 ton crane here, so there were no concerns about handling the masts. Here, the slings are being attached.

Dawn Departure
Fri Dec 3 19:12:40 EST 2010, Oswego, NY

I intended to get the masts stepped (put up) at the marina in Oswego, however, after they looked at Issuma's masts, they figured they were too heavy for their crane, and recommended I go 30 miles west to Great Sodus Bay, where they have a 70ton crane.

So I motored out of Oswego Harbor at first light. I haven't quite gotten used to having the masts down, and wanted to avoid waves as much as possible (so nothing on deck could roll loose), so I left early, while the wind was still light. The picture shows the lighthouse at Oswego.

Thu Dec 2 0:00:00 EST 2010, Oswego, NY

The last three locks of the Oswego Canal are in Oswego. In the picture, Issuma is on the extreme left, under a bridge on the canal, and the Oswego River is on the right.

Issuma stayed in the canal for about a week between the last two locks, to work on getting the rigging ready for the masts to be put back up. Maggie's vacation ended, so she went back to her job, and I finished the preparation work on the rigging.

Issuma left the Oswego Canal on November 14, the day before the canal system closed for the season. Issuma was the last boat to go north on the canal this year.

Thu Dec 2 6:19:53 EST 2010 | Missy Peterson
Hello Richard, Just caught up with your adventures. I was in England 19 Oct-11Nov. Had a wonderful visit with friends and family. Sylvia and Olga were here for Thanksgiving last week. Seem to be doing fine. How often to do you have to replace the rigging wires? Keep warm.
Thu Dec 2 8:09:10 EST 2010 | Richard Hudson
Hello Missy, welcome back, glad to hear you had a great visit.

There is no definitive answer on how often one needs to replace the rigging wires. It depends on things like what type of wires were used, how hard the boat has sailed, how much time was spent in the tropics (wires corrode faster there), ow flexible the rig and hull are.

I've been working on replacing the rigging wires for a year, and am now almost finished.
Tue Nov 30 19:06:09 EST 2010, Oswego, NY

Tue Nov 30 18:48:38 EST 2010, Oswego, NY

People fishing in the Oswego River.

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