Hukilau Sails the Sound

Sitting on the dock of the bay

15 July 2019
Mike Stern
Dan and Serena were up again this weekend. Lily too. They came in on Thursday night; Patti, Serena and Lily went to Brimfield on Friday, and the five of us went to a tent vendor in Fairfield on Saturday. I took Lily to the train, then the remaining four of us went to Emily's catering to meet Rick and check them out as a vendor for the big party. A hit.

We took Serena and Dan to the train on Sunday. It was a beautiful day, and Patti and I had packed up for either a beach day or to the boat. We decided to try the boat first. It was beautiful at the dock, so we decided to lounge about. Patti was uncomfortable going out with just the two of us, so we stayed put, having lunch and reading. We then went for a great dip in the pool, then relaxed there for awhile before heading home.

Two big developments: the drip pan in the aft cabin was bone dry, and there were no drops on the liner. I'm hoping this means that whatever water was pooling wherever is dried up.

Number two: we have a neighbor in the slip on our starboard side. Roger, in his older Catalina 30. It was nice having that extra room to make mistakes, but I think we can handle it. Roger said that if we bump his boat not to worry too much; he isn't fussy.

Pete and Michelle are coming in this weekend, so we're planning on taking them out. It doesn't look like I'll be sailing before that. I have the Little Steven show on Tuesday, and my Thursday appointment. The weather report for the weekend is looking good as of now.

Amtrak Field Trip

11 July 2019
Mike Stern
The big planned outing for Friday was rescheduled for last night (Wednesday) due to weather. Gary had to bow out to go to DC, and Jerry had to be in NYC for the day, so he couldn't come, but Thomas and Jon were in.

We met at the boat at around 4:30. Thomas and Jon bought some beer and ice, and were ready to help. I went over the life jackets and basic safety info, and then assigned each undocking duties, with Jon on the bow line and Thomas pushing us off. We backed out into the fairway, then went forward with no problems.

It was hot- about 90 - and there was little breeze at the marina, but we were at least going to motor around a bit. The harbor was similarly breeze free -- the water was almost like glass. We pushed out into the Sound, and raised the sails. As we motored along while we raised the sails, I saw wind approaching. Within a minute of rolling out the genny, we had about 10 knots or so of wind. We headed southeast in almost perfect conditions.

Sailing on, we passed the Reef and gradually shaped our course more east. We soon came up to the Thimbles. At this point, it was about 6:45, and I decided to head us back. Unfortunately, that made it almost a dead down wind run, as the wind started to flag. We were still making over 3 knots, but we were getting attacked by biting flies.

Eventually, I made the call to fire up the engine and motor sail back. We lowered the sails outside of the harbor, then motored in. Jon took up position outside the lifelines, and Thomas grabbed the spring line off the rack as we came in. The docking was completely uneventful. Just the way I like it.

As we were putting away the boat, Jerry came up the dock. We adjourned to Dockside for drinks and dinner. Just a fun night. Everyone wants to go again. Twist my arm.

One wrinkle. I think I may have left the battery switch on; I realized it as I was turning on to Wolf Hill Road. Arrrgh! I know I left nothing actually on, so it shouldn't be a big deal. Patti suggested I call the marina this morning and ask them to turn it off. A great idea, that I followed through on.

Leak update: I've been to the boat every day this week to try and find the culprit. So far, I have isolated the source of the leak into the cabin. It is coming from the upper liner and not from the floor of the lazarette. I hooked up a catchment system to test that theory, and the sole is dry; all the water is in the tray. On Tuesday, I drilled a hole in the liner where I had hoped the water was pooling. Dry. I've bought a snake scope to see if I can find where the water is pooling above, and maybe where it's coming in. I hope to try it out very soon.

July 4 - Light Winds, but Great Swimming

05 July 2019
Mike Stern
Dan, Serena, Lily, and special guest Maddy came home for the 4th. The plan was to spend the day on the boat, then get home for a big BBQ with mom and dad. And that's what we did.

We made up some lunch, brought some beers and White Claw (a new discovery for Patti and me) and headed to Branford. All were impressed with the Hukilau. We had an almost flawless undocking, then headed out in the light winds for a sail.

Raising the sail proved more difficult than it should have been. First, I forgot that I don't leave the halyard attached to the main. After struggling with the winch a bit, I figured that out and attached the shackle to the headstock. That should handle it, right? No. Turns out that yours truly also mislabled the stoppers, reversing the halyard and reefing lines. Ugh. Once that was sorted out, the main went up easily (I had applied some Sailkote back at the dock). We rolled out the full genny, and were sailing at about 2.5 knots in the very light breezes. Not a particularly thrilling sail, but it was very nice. We sailed along until Lily started to get a bit queasy in the mildly rolling conditions.

Motoring back, we went to the harbor to anchor. There were no moorings with pennant floats available, so we had to anchor. This would be our first time doing so, and I wanted to show either Patti or Dan how to do it, but they were reluctant so I didn't press it. Patti didn't want to drive, so she went forward. Our lack of instruction/practice showed, and it was frustrating for me and for her. I should have insisted on showing her how to measure out the line and secure the anchor. Nevertheless, we successfully anchored on the first try, and the kids were over the side in a trice.

The ladder was a big hit. The walk-through transom is, as Lily put it, worth the price of the new boat. The water was cold, but not too cold and felt great in the heat (about 90 and sunny). I couldn't find the big float, so we tied two throw cushions to the boat and we swam about for awhile. Once back aboard, we had our lunch and a few drinks. At about 3:15, we packed up and headed back in so we could be ready for the BBQ at 5:30. The docking was fine and uneventful. Sheila and another guy from the dock assisted us.

A giant success.

The day before (July 3), I went to the boat after work to see if I could find the leak that maybe ruined the aft cushions. The Users Group suggested it was probably the locker lid. A quick inspection showed that the gutter was clogged, and every line in the locker was soaked and stank. Yuck. I cleaned out the locker with a mold and mildew cleaner, and tested to see if it was still leaking. I don't think it is. Hopefully, that took care of the leak. I left the lines on the deck to dry out in the sun.

But the aft cabin still smells, even without the cushions. I think I'll need to Febreeze the hell out of it. And when we got to the boat on the fourth, the lines still smelled. Bad. I took them home, and I just washed and dried a couple of them. They still smell. Not sure what to do now. I'd hate to have to throw away them away. But they are not fit to take indoors.
Vessel Name: Hukilau
Vessel Make/Model: Catalina 28
Hailing Port: Branford, Conn.
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