Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Cutting and tweaking

Ah Chris (seamstress) Nair a discouraging word. She just smiled, forced a handful of peanut-butter cookies into my hand and said see you tomorrow afternoon.

Take a run down my blog list to the right. Lots happening out there and being shared. Who would have thought?

You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows - Bob Dylan

Monday, November 26, 2007

Size 10 in a size 6 shoe

John Haugen-Wente Lake Mendota
The sail turned out very nice... unfortunately I measured incorrectly and the sail sock is too tight to go over the tapered mast. I tried inching it down, but to no-avail.
My plan of action will include a trip back to the seamstress this week for a retro fit and another turkey sandwich with all the fix'ns, it really is my only defense.
Right now the boy's from The Paddl'n Shop are out on Lake Mendota paddling /sailing in the balmy 28 degree weather. While I on the other hand have 2008 budgets to review and a sail sock that is too tight.
Anyway with Thanksgiving coming to a close, this quote just hit me this morning...
Love one another (His last words) - George Harrison

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I'm into it now

Well with the long weekend... and everyone building something from Core Sound 20's to skin on frames, I figure I should do something. No not finish laying the wood flooring in the up-stairs, but work on a sail rig for Sea-Wind.

SOS egging me on, sending me bizarre pics and then some not so bizarre pics of canoes with sails, Quick!! Someone hand me the scissors!! So....

I figured I'd hack up the North Sail first as it is the least favorite of the two I have. I'll hold off on cutting up the Mylar one until I get the design down and test it out. I figure if I get the Balogh BOSS. I will use this homemade rig on the kayak or an inflatable.

Took some hull / deck measurements off the Sea Wind so the foot of the sail would clear the deck and my head. Then I rolled out the sail and cut the stitching and pulled the sail sock off.

This sail has too much camber for what I am looking for. Time to simplify. I have 66 sq ft of sail to work with, time to down size to something manageable.

I cut all of the camber out of the sail so the mast would be straight verses under a load and bending aft. SOS suggested the hoop and grommet method. Good idea... Balogh uses it, but I'm going with a modified sock system over a standard windsurfer mast. I'd like to be able to reef and roll the sail on the mast at some point like the sail on the Hobie Adventure Island. Plus it is a stitch and go and very simple. Nothing to break and I could do a repair on the water with some sail thread and a sail needle.

Everything is measured and cut. Not much to show... I moved all the furniture out of the living room and set up a temporary sail loft.

Now to find someone to do the sewing for me. I think I will go cheap staying out of the local sail lofts for this test sail. There is a local seamstress that I can contact to see if she can sew in the sock loops reinforce the batten pockets and put a binding on the luff and foot of the sail where I trimmed it down. I'll need to put a grommet in on the foot of the sail for the down haul.

The goal is to have a real simple sail system that I can rig and take down with minimal impact to the Sea Wind. A free standing mast, no stays, no halyards. A down haul and a main sheet. A tapered mast that has the ability to flex and open the leech to spill air A sail that is cut fairly flat with full battens estimating around 35 sq. ft - roller reef-able with a little work, but not the main focus at this point.

An idea for simplicity is to have a boom-less rig. With the re-cutting of the luff and reduced load needed at the down haul and out haul, I think the full batten configuration will be enough to keep the sail from flapping around like a jib on a conventional sailboat and whacking me in the head on a jibe or tack.

Aka and amas are in the works.... I had an idea about a hiking bench with flotation for stabilization... but that throws simplicity right out the window and would leave you wet cold and miserable and vulnerable to capsize.

More importantly I have a whole strawberry rhubarb pie hidden in the back of the fridge. :-)

Happy Thanksgiving - The Capt'n

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.

Early morning work out in the pre-dawn light. Check out the bow wake. Thanks Christy for the photos!

A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.- John Lennon

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Mixed bag of...

Played around with a bunch of different sails for the Sea Wind today. Beat raking leaves....again. I have a rule, I only rake once a weekend, but the yard could use another once over.

Bottom line with the 3 different sail systems I have, none would be as good or better then a Balogh. So I have scraped the "ideas" I had for a unique sail rig(s) for the Sea Wind. The plan was to make a loose luff balanced lug sail, so I could reef it down.

I might have to take up sail-boarding... again. Now that I have a couple of sails and a board sitting in the garage. Either that or a huge garage sale... I can't even get the lawn mower in the garage anymore.

Been having some very cold mornings. Low 20's, cloudy and rainy. This is the first of the sun we have seen this weekend. It was snowing yesterday, though nothing was sticking on the ground.

With the cool rainy/snowy weather, Laura and I went up to the Wollersheim Winery for their fall harvest on Saturday. Then cruised by the paddling shop to try on dry suits, bug John and plan for next years 2nd annual paddle / sailing rendezvous on Lake Mendota.

Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it. - unknown

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Whatcha do'n

Back on the water. A balmy 31 degrees. Not a soul out enjoying this sunrise but me.

A cruise in the Sea Wind before work, before the winds and cold weather move in.

I'm pretty jazzed up with the enthusiasm Boo is showing for the Everglades Challenge. Doesn't get much better then sharing all of this with your kids.

You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have really lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love. - Henry Drummond

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pink Ribbon Clouds

As we settle into the late fall and wait in anticipation for the holiday season, there is still a lot of outrageous paddling to be had.

The pictures barely do the sky justice.

Met up with a guy this past summer that was renting on the lake with his family. It was fun to find out that he was a follower of my blog. Christy being from the area and up visiting from Texas was up early as well with camera in hand. We couldn't believe the colors, it
made my whole day.

Christy hung around the beach as I put in a quick lap around the lake. Enhancing our visit he had run home and made up some coffee and had returned to share stories.

I meet some of the most interesting people while on the water. Christy, send some of your pics!!

I am in awe of what is - The Capt'n

Monday, November 12, 2007

Crowbars and the power of the paddle

Looking for a medium sized crowbar to get my 15 year old up and moving. Dynamite would ruin the couch, chain and rope would damage the woodwork. Ideas welcome...

The gallery sleeps while Boo is hard at designing her pledge sheet poster board. Up early and working on it late. She really came up with a nice promotional piece.

The finished product will be displayed at the Little Gym in Delafield WI. Boo's aunt owns the gym and welcomed the opportunity to help out and get pledges.

We purchased our tickets to Florida and are working through gear lists.
Boo has to stop growing for the next 4 months. Everything she normally wears for paddling is getting too small. What is it with kids and growing? We stopped by a local outfitters in Oconomowoc, Madison and Brookfield to see if they had any close-outs... deals etc... Boo has a taste for the high end gear. Wonder where she gets that from?
I'll let Boo tell the story of our weekend adventures and paddle. Check out her blog for the goal, the mission and The tall tales of an 11 year old.
Don't forget about the crowbar - The Capt'n

Friday, November 9, 2007

We're off

Looks like a good weekend for paddling. Boo and I are heading to Oconomowoc WI, the Newport of the Midwest for some paddling.

The spectacular mansions and cultural sites they built earned Oconomowoc the nickname 'Newport of the Midwest.'

So much to do, yet so comfortable to do nothing. It's all here in the Oconomowoc area. Having grown up in Oconomowoc, Boo hits me for all the childhood stories I can remember.

Oconomowoc has numerous paddle friendly lakes and rivers to choose from. I enjoy lake paddling as it offers sensible amounts of safety when paddling with kids in the late fall and winter months.

Most lakes have houses stuffed in on every square inch, so you can always get to someone pretty quickly if something were to happen where you would need outside assistance. The second is you can hug the shoreline… paddle in 3 feet of water walk to safe if needed.

Then there are the stiff cold breezes out of the North… Lakes offer calm paddling conditions for kids as you hug the windward shoreline, making for a very enjoyable experience for all year round.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Beautiful night for a....

Great night for a walk hike or paddle. We are in a stretch of some great weather! Hopeful that it will hold for the weekend. Boo and I need to get out on the water, put in some miles.
Got this sunset with my cell phone as I was walking Scout through some DNR land near Sandhill Crane State Park.

I love it! If you look hard enough, you can find lakes in Southern Wisconsin that do not allow motorized boats. There is a different feel to a lake with no motors.
Mud Lake is just South of the Rock Lake Goose Pond. It is worth a visit. An "upnort" backwoods feel, five minutes away. Not a very large lake, more like a large pond, no homes or structures to be seen. Perfect!
If there's a place, Canoe there - Brent Kelly

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The Eyes Have It

As we forge ahead with our plans for the Everglades Challenge, I am reminded by those close to me, “What lies behind us and before us are insignificant compared to what lies within us” Marissa is proof of that.

Having worked with family and friends of her mom, they held a recognition party for Teri last weekend. The party was very well attended by family friends and her co-workers.

Marissa made an outstanding effort in promoting her initiative to get pledges for the up coming Everglades Challenge to support her mom’s recovery. It’s not the amount that she raised, which was significant. It is the fact that she is empowered and doing something positive for her mom. Feel the excitement at Marissa's blog. The Adventures Of Super Boo!

Way to go Boo! - Dad

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sunday - Is Fun Day

Another great to be out on the water. High winds and dropping temperatures fore-casted. Didn't see any of it this morning. Blue skies and the sun burning bright energized what is left of the fall colors. The icky stuff is still North and to the West.
Cruised the shoreline. Lots of people or raking (poor bastards) and few people taking advantage of the good weather to get their piers and boat lifts out.
Nobody out on the water. I had the lake to myself. Again... :-)
Canoeists and other primitive-trippers are not delighted to encounter others intent on the same private experience. How many visitors constitute the end of wilderness? -
John A. Livingston
Played around with my Lowrance H2Oc a bit. My eyesight is so poor, not sure if the chart function will do me much good. Bobbing around trying to read the chart should prove interesting. I have yet to get out on the water with it.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Saturday... Just yesterday it was Friday!!

Almost famous. Thought I had Silbs dialed in for a paddle this morning. We are on the same time schedule, we both are up well before 6:00am. It didn't pan out for today, but when the water gets thick inland, the slush free paddling on Lake Michigan beckons.

Dropped in the old meat thermometer to check the water temperature. Water in the 50's, but feels like 40's in the wind.

We got blue sky and the remainder of the fall colors. Leaves in the trees have gone from bright inviting colors to the dark shades of Autumn.
I made a bit of commotion out on the lake as I paddled by a couple of disgruntled duck hunters.
I am all for sharing the resources so I usually stay out of the way. Respect the hunting areas. Meaning I stay out of the pristine beauty of the goose pond.
These goofs were out on the main lake 100 ft. from the Drumlin trail, meaning right in my water trail. They didn't say anything but you could feel their glare. I met up with them on the other side of the lake as they were pulling their skiff out of the water. They looked cold and miserable. Perfect.

Sun was extremely warm on the windward side of the lake. Sporting a little sun and wind burn. Love it!

The tree in the background was rich in color. The picture doesn't do it justice, but worth a try anyway. You get the gist, great morning out on the water.

I paddled the Azul this morning. A very responsive craft. All warm and tucked in with the skirt on. Still shore hugging it as I was mostly alone. You got to know your limitations. ( no dry or wet suit on) I was single blading it as usual. The water is crystal clear. It's fun to look down as if looking through a glass bottom boat.

And it's only Friday...

Taking advantage of a warm breezy Friday afternoon. I headed out onto Rock Lake for some paddle/sailing.
I usually fly the 1.5 meter PAS on the Sea Wind, but it is blowing pretty good, and I am out there alone except for a hundred or so ducks that would just as soon see me off the water or in the drink. Kinda funny,They all moved to the lake as there are hunters in the marsh.
I am all over the place as I have my steering set to tight and corrective steering is poor. I rigged up more tension so I could take my feet off the peddles and still go in the direction I wish to go. A poor man's tiller tamer. Not so good when sailing in gusts.

I still need to do the up-grade on the sheet lines for both my PAS sails. The cord they send works, but the cleating system is less then desirable. KiWi Bird has up-graded and so quite a few others with the same set up.
Sounds like a good winter project.. for now, the weather is perfect for a late fall paddle/sail.
I have the Garmin 202 on the catamaran sleeve. On the lee shore I was at 5 mile per hour off the wind with 10 sq. ft. of sail up.
Still looking at developing an equivalent to the Balogh BOSS. I have a bunch of ideas that have been scraped. As the keep it simple rule was violated on every idea. Though I am on to something now, I am keeping it under my hat until I can try it out.
Tucked in on the windward side of the lake, with the sun setting the wind drops down to almost nothing.
The warm sun on my back an hour or so left of daylight, still out on the water, life is good.