29 May 2013

Practice... we got practice....

Hi Gang!

Had great practices over the weekend on Sunday and Monday.

Sunday we were a little short crew, but Mary Ellen was game, so we did some sail changes, got the Jib Top up and stretched out a bit, and worked on maybe a better way to control that sail. Don and eSteve measured out what we will need for the new inhaulers, and we had some fun with wind speed changes from 0 to 20 knots. (really... all in the space of a few seconds, too. We blame Ute...)

Monday had a different, but also short-handed crew, so they practiced reefing the main, shaking the reef out... reefing the main again... shaking it out. Kate and Kristin got a little exercise with that one.

Remember, the time you want to practice reefing is not when it is suddenly blowing 30 and you need to reef, but maybe a bit beforehand...

Beercan tonight, and getting tuned up for the NOOD Regatta. Lynn and the mighty Dave Gillespie will be joining us again, so we can plan on a good time all around.

See you on the water!!



15 May 2013

updates to the 2013 season!

Hi gang!!

So, we had a great little practice last night, on perfect water with a great breeze. If you didn't make it,
well… you missed out! Had a good time swapping people around to different positions, etc, letting everyone get a taste of the good life.

Ok, here is what we have coming up. Sit down with a nice glass of wine for this, it's gonna be a bit. I will post the basics of it on the blog, and I will also update the schedule on there.

Even though to day is a Wednesday, there is no beer can race today, because Don is out of town. No Bear, no sail.

Next practice will be this coming Sunday, May 19, 1100 show time. If you can make it but will be a little bit late, let us know and we will wait on the dock. We are trying to get everyone as much time on the water as possible.

First Beercan of the year is next week, Wednesday May 22. eSteve is returning for the season, so we have one of our veteran mainsail trimmers and mast men returning, so that will take quite a load off of our minds in that regard. Nicole has written that she will be back for whatever races she can make it for, so that will be much welcome help, too!

Our first real pin races of the season will most likely be the NOOD Regatta. There is a race Memorial Day weekend, and Don would like to use that as a tune up race, but we really need to get some more good practice in and get ourselves… well.. tuned up. Please let me know either through the internetz, Crewsignup, or some other way. If we can get a full crew for the race, Don will be glad to get us out.

After all of that, June, for the most part, is the NOOD, Waukegan, and the Michigan City round trip, and the Wednesday night beercan series. For those of you new to the crew, the Waukegan race is a Saturday race up the shore to Waukegan, spend the night on the boat, and then Sunday we race back. Since there is train service, and almost always someone is willing to drive up Sat afternoon, you can do either race, or both. There is generally no train service that runs early enough to get you up there for Sundays 'off the dock' time, so you would have to come up and sleep in the boat Saturday night… but it's not like that never happens. If you get into sailing regularly, you will find yourself spending quite a few nights on the boat (and loving it!)

Getting into July, we have quite a bit of sailing, most of it away from Chicago. After the NOODs and the June sailing, once we are in to July, we have beer cans and Mac prep. We are planning on doing both Mac races this season for the very first time. Here is how the Mac races work for us-- Don makes it pretty much a prerequisite to have done a night race or a night crossing of some kind prior to the race. If you are really dedicated, have logged quite a bit of time, etc, and have some good sailing experience, that is what counts. We don't import 'rock' stars to come from other boats so we put together a 'winning team,' for Maskwa, our team is the winning team, we are a family. If you want to do these races, make it a point to be on the boat. Simple. When it is 0230, no moon, we're in 25+kts of wind and 8' seas (not terribly unusual,) you absolutely must know how to handle yourself on the boat. In 2011 2 people died when their boat capsized in horrendous weather (we were only a few miles away, and went through the same crap. Ask any of us… it was… tense.) That was the first and only deaths on the Mac race, but just a few days ago, in practice for the America's Cup, a crew member got trapped below his broken boat and died. We take things lightly, but more so than almost any sport, when you sail, the elements play a big factor, and we need to face it… it can be dangerous.

So, for July----

The weekend prior to the Mac (July 6/7) we will be doing prep work, helping get her ready for the big day. If anyone is free to come down and help wash, rebuild, clean, etc… feel free to schedule with Don or me.

We usually do not do the beer can the Wed before the Mac… Just too close to go time.

The Mac-- up the lake we go!!

Once the boat is up in Mackinac, things are going to go a bit differently for us. We'll need to get the boat down from Mackinac to Port Huron for the 2nd (and not as handsome) Mac race.

Then, when we get back to Mackinac, we'll need people to help deliver the boat from Mackinac to Harbor Springs, with a stop at The Beaver for fun, games, and ice cream.

Then we'll need people for Harbor Springs, both days.

So you can see how crazy the trip gets!

Chicago to Mackinac Race
Party in Mackinac
Delivery from Mackinac to Port Huron, Michigan.
Port Huron to Mackinac Race
Party in Mackinac
Delivery Mackinac to Beaver to Harbor Springs
Harbor Spring Regatta
Delivery from cruise to Chicago

At everyone one of those lines (except the 2 big races,) any of our crew can join us. So if you are a new addition to the crew (Kristen, Mike, etc…) or if you just don't get out sailing enough, you can still come up over land and do any other portion of the month… as in… Drive up to Mackinac after the Port Huron race, party on the island, stay on the boat, sail to Beaver Island, party, sail to Harbor Springs, party and sail, and then drive home. Or almost any variation thereof!

Told you this would be a long email!

Read through and let me know what you think. If you would like to sail regularly, and be added to CrewSignup, let me know and I will add your info, etc.