Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sunset on the Lake

The picture says it all... This is why I sail.

Monday, May 24, 2010

At rest in Belmont

Donnybrook is ready for the season! Here she is waiting patiently for Captain and crew to take her into the lake to play. The water pump has been replaced and she runs at the proper temperature at the dock (15 minutes in gear, 1500 RPM, temperature at 160).
My friend Richard and I were talking about the perfect summer day: 90's on shore, 70's on the water, and swimming in the lake! Hopefully the early hot weather brings lake swimming earlier than later.
Beer Can racing starts this Wednesday. Instead of the race, a cruise to finish tuning the rig and dial in trim might be a better use of time. I bet Wilde's still has half price beer Wednesdays!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ship on the river

This is the view from Donnybrook while at Crowley's. Notice the lake steamer passing under the 95th Ave bridge. I saw at least 4 large ships Friday and Sunday. Spring is a busy time for shipping.
See www.boatnerd.com for more on Great Lakes shipping.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Return to Belmont!

Saturday was a beautiful day for a sail. Not beautiful as in sunny and 80, but beautiful as spectacular clouds with contrasting shades of grey and blue, and spots of brilliant turquoise water where sun rays fell between clouds.
It was cold--Kevin's thermometer said it was 40 degrees. At one point Todd and I got pelted by ice pellets for several minutes while Kevin, Mike, and Roxray were below relaxing.
Leaving Crowley's was uneventful. Once on the lake we sailed at hull speed for the first hour under a single reefed main and headsail. Waves were 4-6 feet with a lot of water on the bow.
Wind was off the nose and blowing in the high teens. We made it as far north as Navy Pier before tacked and sailed the 3 miles back to the Chicago Harbor light house. From there we motored back to Belmont Harbor.
The only problem was a failed water pump. Todd and I heard a sick mechanical grinding while motoring through the north break wall entrance. I was checking out the engine when I asked Todd to back the throttle down, which killed the engine a hundred yards to windward of the break wall. Fearing the worst I sprinted to the bow to ready the anchor. Todd restarted the engine averting disaster
Further investigation revealed the water pump failed leaving bearings and anti-freeze in the engine compartment. Thankfully it didn't freeze up and the temperature remained normal. A new pump is on order and should be installed this week.
Next, a lot of cleaning and figuring out what to do with the exterior teak.