Hukilau Sails the Sound

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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.
Vessel Name: Hukilau
Vessel Make/Model: Catalina 28
Hailing Port: Branford, Conn.
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