28 June 2014

July sailing...

Hi Gang!!

Here is what we have going on for July:

Very little.

Well, until the 19th.

Wednesday July 2

There is no 'official'  beercan race Wednesday the 2nd. However, we will still be sailing. This will be a great chance to get out and get our new people some more time on the water, and also to do some evolutions that we don't get to do that often; like a peel, some sail changes, and some advanced sail handling.

Crew Fun Sail

We are still working the details out for the annual Crew Sail on July 4th. Don will have his family out either the 3rd or 4th, and we will be out whatever the other available day is. :)

Mac Prep

We'll be getting ready for the big race during the next few weeks, also.

If you are interested in doing some of the delivery from Mackinac Island to Harbor Springs, or the Regatta there; Jean will be driving up to Mackinac to arrive there on Monday or Tuesday. There is plenty of room available in Steve's Jeep. Also, if you would like to drive so that we can position another car up north, and join in the parties and sailing, come on up!

Post Mac, more racing, and general fun

The Wednesday after the Mac, July 23rd, Steve has a car that will be heading home.

Maskwa will then journey to Harbor Springs, Michigan, for the annual bloodbath that is Ugotta Regatta:

Harbor Springs-- UGotta Regatta

If you are interested in some great sailing, please drive on up to Harbor Springs, Michigan on Friday July 25th, through Sunday the 27th, please come on up and race the Ugotta Regatta. This is a 2 day regatta, with day 1 being the famous 'Tour of the Bay;' instead of a standard out and back type race, you go back and forth and across and up and down Little Traverse Bay. There are nearly 2 dozen different race courses that they might use, and some of them have up to 15 'legs.' The drive can be a bit of a pain in the behind, and if you leave late on Friday you will assuredly get in Saturday morning, but the parties are totally worth it, and the sailing venue cannot be beat. Let me know if you are interested, and I will get back to you with more details. Plus, it will help to have another car venture north.

As of right now, we are a bit short of crew for this race weekend. Even if you are just starting out, it is very much worth the trip to drive up on Friday and return on Sunday. Let me know!!

See you on the water!



Chicago to Michigan City to Chicago Regatta


Great weekend.  Great crew.  Everyone stayed up for the entire night (well mostly) and it was a beautiful sail across to Michigan City and back.  Not too cold, wind moderate to slow, but no 360’s no rain and no 30 knots.

Check out the results.  We were third, losing second place to Momentus by about 30 seconds.

Every second counts on these long distance races.  How many times can you recall that we did not make some small adjustments for a few seconds here and there.   Of course I always  drove at top speed in the appropriate direction. 

We can climb back to the top.    We always win just by being on the water.

MAC here we come!!!


22 May 2014

Beercan Tune-Up!

Had a great sail last night; not quite our best conditions, and a fair number of people not the boat, but we managed to sail well and fast, passed a few boats outright, and made it back in time to have a few drinks.

This weekend.

We will not be racing in either of the regattas this weekend. We will be having a few practice sessions.

Saturday (24 May)
Boat call is noon, plan on being back around 4:30-5:00 pm.

Sunday (25 May)
Boat call is 1:00pm, plan on being back about 5:30-6:00pm.

We will probably be back a little earlier than that, but that is for planning purposes (putting the boat away, etc.. etc…)

You can come for both, or make one or the other. We'll be trying to get some good practice in, some sail work, all the usual stuff to get our season started off right.

After this weekend, I'll be readjusting CrewSignUp for people who would like to be regular crew, or just want another way to get a grip on the schedule.

Wednesday (28 May)

This will start the full Beercan series. This is a great way to get out, have some fun sailing, get your feet wet (or more!)

Please email with regard to what days this weekend you can make it down, either/or/both, etc. It was a beautiful day yesterday, and while they can't all be that nice, we'll have fun any way you slice it.

See you on the water!



(photo by Kate)

08 May 2014

More from The Bear!


Last weekend was very successful.  Sarah, Ute and Kevin (aka Mary Ellen’s bro) washed and waxed the hull on Saturday.  It was not an easy task as the cold temps made the wax rather thick, but the hull looks like it just came out of the factory.

Tim appeared a little later and I had him add another coat of wax to the hull.  He was encouraged by his girlfriend as she lounged on the deck thinking about sunny days and warm temps on the water.

Sunday Anthony arrived with his friend Matt.  I think he thought we would have the hull sanded, but did not know we were waiting for him to arrive , suit up and sand the bottom, one of the dirtiest and most demanding jobs preparing the boat for the season.  Nice try Anthony.  Of course his friend had to join him in the fun.  Several hours later the red/copper faced pair finished the job.  The protective suits for painting purchased for protection turned out to be porous and the clothes underneath were as red as their faces.  Next time it will be tyvek or less porous material.   Matt has never sailed and has not even seen what the inside of the boat looks like.  Wait until the next time Anthony asks him to join him for some work on the boat-- he will be heading off to Dubai or some place far away.  Hopefully Matt can join us on a sunny moderate weather day for his first real sailing experience.   Many thanks to Anthony and Matt,  I would still be recovering if I had to sand the bottom.

Meanwhile, Sarah appeared for a second day of fun after the sanding had begun and thus had to be assigned another task.    She begged me to let her sand, but Anthony and Matt were having so much fun they refused to let her get dirty with them!!!    Up on deck, she managed to get dirty cleaning and lubricating the cabin top winches.  They now spin and sing when turned.

A few touch up places on the boat, sanding the keel to perfection, followed by taping the waterline and painting will be the focus on Saturday.  If we have a couple of people we can send some over to the wash and wax the mast/spreaders. 

Meanwhile, my sunburn skin is peeling as I remember the warm Caribbean breezes of a week ago.

The boat is longing to be in the water.

Launch will be on 8 May and the trip to Chicago will be on the 10th weather permitting.

Sailing time is getting closer.   Are you ready????


14 April 2014

The Bear Writith!

MASKWA Gang Awakes,

The bear is coming out of hibernation.

Spend time with your significant other, non-sailing friends, family and pets and be prepared to say Good bye.   Sailing season is about to begin.  We will have the usual full schedule with lots of races.

However, we first need to sand the bottom, clean/lubricate winches, clean/wax the hull and mast and many other items to prepare for the season.

Who will volunteer to suit up and sand the bottom??  Not a task for the meek or a clean freak.    Steve is hiding in Houston, TX, Ryan moved to San Fran,  Scott always seems to be flying, Anthony will surely have some job which takes him away.  All these previous volunteers know how to deal with sanding the bottom and make sure they are not around when it needs to be done.    Maybe I can find someone who has not experienced the thrill of looking up at the beautiful hull with tasty VC17 dust falling on their face. 

 I have been working on the keel to continue making it fair and repair the damage at the bottom from a grounding sometime last year.  It is longing for the touch of Kristen to keep it fair and smooth.   Some damage, deep scratches to the hull below the waterline also needs to be repaired.    Crystal has cleaned the oven/stove and the frig to begin the cleaning process.

The water cooler exchanger has been replaced with an updated higher capacity unit.  Hopefully no more temperature warning signal on the way to the starting line for the Mac race when the boat is fully loaded.

A new #1 jib will be on board this spring to keep us moving in light winds.  Working with the 1 year old main and spinnaker, we should be able to be able to keep up with the fleet even in those conditions.

Ok so who will massage the hull and topsides? 

26 and 27 April (9:30 am start) will be the first opportunity for a crew work detail.  We will wash, clean and wax the hull.   (I am not including sanding the hull,  waiting for an unsuspecting crew member to appear and then present them with a sanding block and a tyvek suit for the days fun- face mask and goggles also provided, beware, arrive early and awake, it can happen very quickly.)

3 and 4 May (9:30 am start)will be used to complete any tasks needed prior to launch.  The mast will be available for someone's tender touch on this weekend. 

The boat will be launched on May 7 or 8.  Halyards and electronic gear, cushions, cabin sole will be installed.   Cruising sails loaded.

Trip down to Burnham Home planned for 10 May (Departure from dock about NOON or whenever the last train arrives in Waukegan about that time.   Any early arrivals will be welcome to help organize and continue assembling the boat.   11 May is the backup date if inclement weather on 10 May. 

We will plan on practices weather permitting on Wednesdays (Except 14 May ) and weekends.

Wednesdays of course from 21 May, and any other day I can recruit some hardy souls for a venture out on the water.

The Spring opener (24 May) and Olympic cup (25 May) are the first races with the Colors on the following weekend.  We will decide to participate in these races if there has been adequate practice to not make fools of ourselves on the race course.    (Has anyone seen Mary Ellen??? Or will the foredeck be a lonely place this year??  Sarah, that is the pointy end of the boat where all the fun occurs,  Scott or George can show you the way???)  No Carly, you cannot do foredeck with a baby on your back!  Andy, I know you love the foredeck but we need you in the pit.   Andrew will probably be studying all summer.   David,  you steer down when the boat heels over with a gust while driving downwind, OK???    Mary has probably been working the sewers all winter preparing for those douses while Kristy is practicing her skills to convince the protest committee we were not guilty of a rules infraction.   Kate is working out to gain muscles to manhandle the Main or is it to manhandle the skipper??  Nicole will hopefully make some appearances as well to escape the heat of Miami and be sure I am driving properly.

We must be prepared for the NOOD regatta which follows on 6,7 and 8 June.  Three days of all out racing.

Pull on your long johns, the water is cold and the wind will also put a chill in the air.  But hey,  we survived one of the coldest winters in Chicago’s history  (well most of us, some like Nicole and Steve were positioned in Miami/Phoenix waiting for the warmer weather in Chicago).   Rum will warm you after racing.

Lots more racing for the season.    I am ready for a new season of adventures. 

MASKWA is anxiously awaiting to splash in the water.

Let me or Scott know what days you might be available so I can plan the day’s activities with appropriate supplies, ladders and miscellaneous.  

See everyone soon.

Rounding the MARK!!!!


18 February 2014

Hi gang!!

The preliminary sailing schedule is in for the 2014 (not 2914) season, on the sidebar.

This is not all of the races. ColYC has not put the 2014 Beercan Schedule out yet (I am fairly confident they will have the races on Wednesday evenings… just a thought.. ;). Plus, I am sure that we will add or drop a few of the races.

Boat work

Expect some weekends in April. Usually if we have decent weather, we can be comfortable in the hanger, and get everything knocked out in a single weekend. We will have all the usual cleaning, washing, and waxing the hull, mast and boom (the top part of the mast is hard to wash/wax once it is stepped..;) ) rebuilding the winches, etc. If we have enough heads, it will all get done fast.

Don is usually working hard through the offseason, taking care of the little details for his (and our) summer home so that she is in tip top shape. We need to pitch in and do our part.

Launch and Delivery

We usually plan for the start of May. Our official race schedule starts towards the end of May, but it would be nice to get our earlier in the season and shake off the rust. Our schedule for bringing Maskwa down from Winter Storage is based on getting all the work done and then Don's schedule. Personally, I am hoping for the start of May (or even end of April… think about that-- 75 days till we have the boat sailing again!!!)

So details to come as we get more info from The Bear on that!!

Cheers, all!


23 January 2014

Maskwa off season update!

Hi Gang!!

As the deep cold settles in, we know we are getting closer to sailing season!!!!

Strictly Sail

This weekend is Strictly Sail; we have not done our usual footwork leading up to the big sailing event of the winter, however if people would like to get together before or after the show, please let me know; we usually go for around 2pm at Bubba Gump on Saturday. For those who have never been there, this is a good place to get discounted gear, etc, to get ready for the season. I have not yet heard of any groups offering discounted tickets; maybe our brother Sabu Gillespie knows of some discounts?

Maskwa "Christmas" Holiday Festival Extravaganza!!

This year is planned for :

Saturday, Feb 1st, at Casa Waller
time - 'eveningish' till the cows come home

I believe Ute still has the Twister game; if anyone has other fun games we can play, please volunteer to bring them along; Don usually sets out a nice spread, but if you have a special dish you would like to share, please let Don or me know, and we'll make sure there is room.

We know some people are stuck with public transportation… if you happen to be one of them, and you can't arrange a ride, again, let me know, and we will figure something out. Plenty of room, lots of vehicles.

If you know of any prospective Maskwa peeps, this is a good time to bring them out to meet the crew; Bonus, we can see how they handle their booze, so we can see if they are true Maskwa Crew!!

Again, I will be collecting food for the Chicago Food Depository; if you have canned goods, or boxed goods that will not expire too readily, please bring some. We usually get a good sized box for me to drop off, and it is a great charity.

Speaking of charities, Just a reminder that Feb 8th, I am doing the Cycle for Survival, a 4 hour ride with 100% of the proceeds going to research for the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, a center that specializes in rare cancers. That's right, 100%. No executive pay, no advertising, all the money goes to research. All donations are tax deductible, and you can donate anonymously, if you desire. MY goal is to bike the entire 4 hours, if they let me. You can click on the link at the top of this
paragraph, or here, conveniently located- http://mskcc.convio.net/site/TR/CycleforSurvival/AG_Cycle_Event?px=2774564&pg=personal&fr_id=1970

In the next few days I will be completely updating the Maskwa Blog, since they have the 2014 (but not the 2914) race schedule out already; I will be putting in the races we are most likely to participate in. We had a smashingly good season in 2013, our best season ever. We did miss out on overall Best of Lake Michigan (Port to Port) by exactly 1 (one!!!!) point to Defiance. If we had simply sailed another Port to Port, we would have had that, too, with the incredible score we built up. Any way you slice it, it is very hard to argue with this picture from the Boater's Bash. Let me know if you can come on Feb 1st, if you need directions, or if you would like to introduce a prospective new sailor to the mix.

Until then, fair winds and following seas!!