Monday, September 20, 2010

Stormy Weather

Sunday on the lake with friends.  It was overcast and chilly but each of us were bundled up in warm clothing ready for another day sailing.

We motored out of the marina at 7:30 just in time to set the anchor at a spot close to the highway to watch the Whiskeytown Relays.  While the many runners passed by the four of us downed hot coffee, scarfed on breakfast rolls and munched on freshly picked apples.  Music from the the boat's sound system added to a most pleasant breakfast.  It was just down right civilized.

Once the last runner passed by I hoisted the sails and pointed the boat for open water where there was definitely a lot of wind.  The photos taken yesterday don't reflect how much wind there really was on the lake.  Believe me there was enough wind to whitecap the lake and heel Sparkle Plenty wayyyy over. 

Shortly after hoisting the sails it began to rain.  Wifey and the two friends went down into the cabin to keep dry and be warm.  Capt. Bob remained at the helm who was soon soaked head to toe.   In spite of the elements the Capt. maintained a shit ass eating grin on his face as evidence that he was indeed loving every minute of sailing. 

The two friends, having downed a fair amount of coffee had to hit the "head" during the storm.  Be this fair warning to anyone planning an outing on Capt. Bob's boat:  He delights in heeling the boat as far over as possible when anyone is sitting on the head.  And he howls with laughter when he does that.  When each of the guests exited the head Capt Bob yells out:  How's that head working for ya?  hahahahahah.

Taking a leak on Sparkle Plenty can be an experience in itself.

After being thoroughly drenched but nonetheless willing to keep sailing, it was apparent that the two guests even though smiling were ready to call it a day.  I prepared to lower the sails and hit the switch to lower the motor so the engine could be started.  The tilting motor whined but the motor remained in the upright position.  Regardless of what was tried the motor would not budge.  Oh, oh.  Bad news.

There we were.  On the lake.  Powerless.  Yes, I could have sailed Sparkle Plenty back into her slip with no problem at all.  But our guests were miserably cold and wet and sailing back to the slip would have taken at least an hour or more.  I got on the radio and call Marina Bob for help who quickly motored from the marina to SP's location in less than 10 minutes.  Wifey found a fix it in the out-board's manual . . . a relief screw that would allow the motor to tilt back into the water . .. an accessible only by someone to the rear of the boat and Marina Bob was at exactly that spot.  A twist of the screwdriver and the motor eased back into the water.  Whew!

We motored back to the slip.  We said good-bye to our friends and spent the next 20 minutes putting the boat back in order and covering her up.

Marina Bob and I will spend time today checking the tilting mechanism on the outboard and determine what, if anything, needs to be repaired.  Owning a boat is wonderful . . . maintaining it is yet another. 

Comes with the territory. 


Mike said...

Sounds like fun.

I'm just curious what you consider "chilly" for late summer California weather? I'm in Canada, and it has to get below freezing here for us to say it's chilly.

Bob said...

I wasn't cold, Mike. In fact, it really wasn't chilly at all in Canadian 55-60 degrees. But wet and wind is what took it's toll on the friends. Wifey and I were just fine.

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Whiskeytown Lake, Very Northern California, United States