It’s mid-August and the temperature has risen into the nineties for a few days. A southerly wind has been blowing since Tuesday pushing air heavy with humidity into Vermont where we now sit sweaty and immobile waiting for rain.
Two weekends ago we took a grandson out on Lake Champlain to sail around, something he had not done with us and to spend the night. Josh liked boat life it turned out, especially being helmsman, and all three of us had an enjoyable two days.
Jeanne and I got away in July for a week cruising with our yacht club around the lake spending each night in a different spot anchored or moored depending on where we were. In the afternoon of our first day out after an exceptional sail to Willsboro Bay, the West wind suddenly picked up and popped our anchor loose. We struggled to keep from being blown into shallow water, Jeanne cranking relentlessly on the windlass while I ran the engine at full throttle backing into the wind. I couldn’t tell if the anchor had cleared the bottom and I couldn’t hear Jeanne over the noise. She was waving one hand but was busy with the other winching and winching. The wind was getting worse, gusting into the high thirties and waves were getting larger. I wasn’t gaining ground and that shallow water looked awfully close. Then Jeanne ran back to the cockpit yelling that the anchor was up but had a huge ball of mud and weeds on it. I slammed the boat into forward gear and threw the wheel over hard to starboard and with mud roiling behind us and the depth sounder showing we were one foot off the bottom we swung into the wind and deeper water. Safe! Holy crap.
Some beginning for cruise week. Thanks to Steve on Spirit who found a sheltered place across the bay close to cliffs that went right down into the water. We spent the night there peacefully rafted with two other RSYC boats, anchors out in front and long stern lines run to trees on shore. Very secure and a good spot to have a sundowner party. The next morning I spent an hour scrubbing the mud off Walkabout’s bow and decks.
The rest of the week had no more extremes, just enjoyment: Watching the fireworks over Burlington Harbor, having a (not too) windy passage to Valcour Is., a very placid night in Deep Bay, and fun and games under the tent at Burton Island State Park to finish off Cruise Week 2016.
Jeanne’s garden is beginning to yield some great vegetables, chard, beets, bunches of lettuce, green and yellow beans and now tomatoes. We will be overloaded with tomatoes I think. She planted herbs too, basil, oregano, mint for mojitos, tarragon and parsley. We’ve been eating very well.
I am going to rename my blog. This time it will be “Cuba Bound” and will tell, I hope, the story of this year’s adventure on the sailboat Walkabout for which this website is named. Spinning stories about life in Vermont might seem easy but finding material has been difficult. It’s better to stick to one subject when writing a blog I’m told and Reflectionship didn’t do it that well. No apologies though. I’ve had fun writing most of my posts and have had good feedback. But next month the blog will have a new title and be more of a journal. Much has gone into preparing for the trip to Cuba, much is still being done and I would like to share those experiences as my crew and I travel along.