Hukilau Sails the Sound

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Father's Day Double: and Double Firsts

21 June 2021
Mike Stern
Lily came home for Father's Day this year. I picked her up at the train station on Wednesday, and she stayed until Sunday afternoon. It was great to have her here.

Patti and she declared it Father's Day weekend, so we went out sailing on both Saturday and Sunday. The weather turned out to be spectacular both days. Hot and humid on land, but delightful out on the water.

On Saturday, we left the dock, hoping to back up to the right so we could leave the fairway bow first. No such luck. We backed out with Lily on boathook duty. The breeze seemed inconsistent, but definitely there. We raised sail in the harbor, then set out southeast. The sailing was absolutely glorious. A reef in the main, full genny. We sailed in the high 5's for about an hour and a half, then headed back to pick up a mooring. There were no moorings with whips available, so we decided to anchor. I gave brief instructions to Patti and Lily, and they tried to put the anchor over. They took the bungee off, but the secondary line got caught on the bow roller. I had to go forward and free it up. But once that was done, we put over all of the chain (50 feet), and tied the line rode off at 60 feet. When I powered down on the anchor, it was really clear that it had caught.

We went into relaxation mode. Lily felt the water, and it was too cold to go in, so we just chilled. Not for too long (about an hour or so) because we had to get back to the dog. I had to show Patti and Lily how to haul in the anchor; good thing because it got difficult to free the anchor from the bottom. But just holding the chain while the bow went up and down seemed to do it. The plow held a lot of mud for sure. Back to the dock where Marsh helped us dock.

Sunday seemed a carbon copy of Saturday, but without the haze and high clouds. Patti made us lunch and we again left the dock about noon. The practice from the day before made things a lot easier as we raised sail and headed out. Our goal on Sunday: the Thimbles. But the wind was coming from the east-southeast, so it was going to be a mostly downwind run. Not our best point of sail. After about twenty minutes, it became clear we weren't going to make it there in time to float much before we had to get back so Lily could make her train home.

So we turned about and headed southwest, winding up a mile or so west and south of Branford reef. The winds had started out very nice -- about 12 knots -- but had been slowly moderating as the day went on. At about 2 pm, I decided that if we were going to have time to float, we needed to get back, so we headed back to the harbor. This was the time the winds really died down -- maybe 5 knots -- so we were sailing at less than 3 knots. So I fired up the engine and we motorsailed back to the harbor.

Again, no moorings with whips. The only one was in the line of moorings closest to the shore. Since it was dead low tide, I didn't want to risk it, so we anchored again. It went smoothly this time, with the anchor again catching first try. Even though the water was colder than the day before, we decided to go in. In another first, we blew up the new floatie seats that Patti had bought at Costco. Both she and Lily floated a bit, then Patti came in and Lily and I floated about. The water was cold, but it wasn't nearly that bad sitting in the seats. I stayed in for a bit after they both went back aboard, just enjoying the feeling. But I realized I didn't have any sunblock on my arms, so I didn't want to stay out too long.

We deflated the floats and put them on the foredeck to dry while we sat, read and relaxed. Eventually, we headed back to the dock so that Lily and Patti could take quick showers. We had Father's Day plans with Mom, Dad and Dave at Sushi Palace in Hamden at 5:30 (Kim had come twice to walk the dog), and had to get Lily to the station for her 5:30 train.

All in all, a great, great weekend.

Still to do: put water in the tanks and dewinterize the water system; replumb the head; reroute the reefing line.
Comments
Vessel Name: Hukilau
Vessel Make/Model: Catalina 28
Hailing Port: Branford, Conn.
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