Hukilau Sails the Sound

25 September 2021
03 September 2021
22 August 2021
24 July 2021
17 July 2021
11 July 2021
06 July 2021
24 June 2021
22 May 2021
29 April 2021
13 November 2020
16 October 2020
13 September 2020
06 September 2020

A Brief, Stinky Sail

25 September 2021
Mike Stern
The season is winding down, but the weather this weekend is great: sunny, lower 70's.

Patti and I go to the boat around 2 pm after stopping to get her a sandwich at P&M. The plan was to just sit on the boat and relax, but Patti said that she was feeling ok, and bless her, she knew how much I wanted to go out, so out we went.

We left the dock about 2:30, with the wind feeling about 10 knots. Our departure was going in the right direction, but I didn't let the boat reverse quite long enough, so we nearly hit our new neighbor Memri and Sassafrass as we turned to out. We did a little bounce on a piling, but we missed our friends completely.

Once past the Mermaids, we decided to just unfurl the genny to keep the motion easy for Patti. But we couldn't weather the point without tacking, so we turned west, trying to sneak out between Taunton and Blynn rocks. But it wasn't to be as the wind seemed to shift and get much weaker. We finally decided to raise the main too in order to balance out the genny.

But by then, the wind had gone mostly calm, and we had to get back for the dog. So we furled the sails and headed back in. Docking was uneventful. We were probably out for about an hour.

And a stinky hour it was. The head is bad. It used to sometimes smell bad when it flushed. Now, it smells bad all the time. I think all of the hoses need to be replaced. And the vent may be clogged. I've asked the yard to take a look at it for me. They were supposed to take a look on Thursday or Friday, but I haven't heard from them. I think they did look as the steps were not where I left them, and I think they left the fan running.

I'd pay anything to have this fixed.

I didn't go on the boat the prior weekend as I went to the Newport Boat Show. I was a guest of Quantum Sails; Coop met me at the gate and I spent a little time with them at their booth, meeting the guy who will actually design my sails.

The show was packed. I didn't spend as much time as I might have going on boats; COVID, you know. But I did finally get to see the walkaround decks on a big Jeanneau. Can't believe no one has thought of that before. I only bought two things: a pair of reader sunglasses; and a rather tasteless chicken salad wrap. Only one Catalina was on display (425); lots of Jeanneaus, Hanses. Only one boat that I saw required masks and limited visitors (Passport). Lots of fun.

A Guest, and a Head that needs help

11 September 2021
Mike Stern
Lily and Matt had been planning to come and visit this weekend for over a month. So it was great to see that the weather was going to cooperate for a nice sail. They came in on Friday evening, and we went to the boat on Saturday morning.

We used a new dog sitter as Rocco seems to need a bit more care since his surgery; hopefully, this will work out in the long run. It took us a few tries to actually leave, then we had to stop and get dramamine for Lily, but we did eventually get to the boat.

Winds were supposed to be very light, gradually increasing to 12-15 mph by the afternoon. But they were a bit feisty even as we got there. It was a bit bumpy leaving the dock as Patti had locked the wheel with the autopilot, thinking she had unlocked it. We bumped into a piling, but we did just eventually back out into the river without further incident.

We put a reef in the main and raised it in the harbor. With just this one sail, we were going over three knots. Seas were a bit up, with the waves being 2-3 feet. At Lily's urging, we unrolled part of the genny, threw the traveler all the way to leeward and sailed south at about 5 knots. The wind picked up as we went further out, and even with that reduced canvas, it was a bit much for Patti, so we furled the genny. The sailing was still pretty great, even with just the reefed main. After awhile, we turned around to head back in to anchor. It was a bit rougher going on this tack, and Matt was getting a bit queasy, so we furled the main, started the engine and headed back in.

We anchored in our usual location in the inner harbor. The Mantus caught on the first try (what a great purchase that was), and Lily and Matt were in the water quickly. Even though it was sunny and in the lower '70s outside, and the water temp was in the mid '70s, both of them were COLD. I put out the raft and a floating chair for them. Patti and I decided not to go in (smart).

But when Patti used the head, it stank. I mean really stank. I don't know why, but even with all of the hatches open, it didn't really clear out for almost an hour. I think all of the hoses need to be replaced.

Meanwhile, the winds did not abate. It was blowing a good 15 while we were at anchor, keeping everything cool and comfortable; but man, conditions were certainly sporty out there.

At about 5, we decided to head in. I pulled up the anchor, which was a chore in that breeze; it also did my sore, aching back no favors at all. Fortunately, Lily was next to me, relaying instructions to Patti at the wheel when to power forward a bit. That was a huge help.

Docking was uneventful. At the dock, we put the power cord back on, tidied up quite a bit and washed down the boat. Then we all changed and headed to Lenny's for dinner. A fine day on the water.


03 September 2021
Mike Stern
The yard finished the work on Hukilau yesterday, and launched the boat on Friday morning (the Friday before Labor Day). So Patti and I took the afternoon off and went sailing.

Or at least we thought we were going to get out there quickly. We got to the boat at 2, but it took me about an hour to put the boat to rights. First I had to put the bimini back up. The yard had taken it down as part of their Hurricane Henri storm prep. But it turned out to be more involved than I had originally thought it would be. They had actually disassembled one of the bows, and I had to put it back together. Patti and I did it, then started to put the bimini cover back on; I quickly realized that I hadn't put the bow on correctly so I had to take it apart and do it again.

Then, we had to remove the mainsail cover lashings (the yard had taken off the genny lashings as they had used a bucket lift to get all the way up the sail). Also, there was a lot of water in the aft cabin that I had to mop up with some sponges; I'm hoping it was the unusually strong rain and wind from Hurricane Ida's tail that somehow got in.

In any case, we did get off the dock just before 3 and headed out for a sail. The winds seemed light and the seas flat. We raised sail just inside the harbor, with the winds unusually coming from the northwest. Heading generally southeast, we enjoyed a calm sail. The winds picked up a bit once out of the land shadow, and we started moving. We were hitting speeds of over 6 knots!

We were having dinner with Mom, Dad, Deb and Talia, so we couldn't stay out long, but what a magnificent sail. The winds were perfect (although we dialed in some of the genny so Patti would be more comfortable), the seas flat, the temp in the mid-70s and dry, and I was just grinning ear to ear.

After about a 40 minute sail, we headed back in. Docking was uneventful, and I took the time to put the boat really back to rights and rinse off.

Note: the temporary "cap" I put on the T fitting in the head has failed. I need to replace that entire hose section.

Obviously, we did not go on our tentatively planned overnight for the Labor Day weekend. But not because Patti didn't want to; it was because of Rocco's herniated disk. He's lying here next to me while I type this. His surgery on Tuesday went very well, but we only picked him up from the hospital this morning. He's got a couple of weeks of TLC coming up.

In other big news, I pulled the trigger on new sails from Quantum. Sent the deposit in last week, and Coop is coming back to the boat to measure on Tuesday. I'd really like to be there for it, but that's Rosh Hashonah. Would I be a bad Jew if I skipped services to measure my sails?
Vessel Name: Hukilau
Vessel Make/Model: Catalina 28
Hailing Port: Branford, Conn.
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