I bought another boat. I couldn’t resist. My wife, far more practical and not at all romantically involved, urged me to “forget it” and “get real,” but I’m a sucker – and the price was too good to pass up.
She’s a 1998 Trinka 10 with a lightly-used sail rig. I picked her up a couple weekends ago from a marina neighbor, dropped her in the water that day and, even though there was only the smallest whisper of wind, sailed her around the marina and out into the channel. It was almost like I was a kid again sailing the 7-foot Fatty Knees dinghy my parents gave me when I was 10. Only this time I had the patience to ghost along, slowly tacking my way through the marina and dodging the several sailboats that had rafted off the ends of docks during an annual three-state race. It was sublime. And it was made sweeter by the knowledge that a few short hours later I would have to spend most of the night constructing a dodger. That afternoon was my escape, my respite – and it was beyond restorative.
Yours truly at the helm of Sally Lou, named after the previous owner’s wife and their Morgan 41, Sally Louise.
Twenty-four hours and a long night of sewing later, I was ready for more. This time I dragged my two boys with me, and the three of us departed the marina bound for the open waters of Lake Michigan. My dad, aboard Ariel and joined by my cousin, tagged along to keep us company. Sally Lou, once clear of shoreline obstructions, caught the wind and charged into the big lake, a fresh 10 knot breeze pushing her along The boys and I rode the waves for an hour or so before – uh oh – the mast step suddenly loosened up, allowing the foot of the mast to slide around, the whole thing creaking and groaning as the mast worked precariously fore and aft. I quickly doused the main and picked up a tow line from Ariel. Normally a tow is an ignominious affair, but the view from the dinghy of Ariel’s stern and her graceful lines was intoxicating.
It turned out that the PVC pipe that holds the foot of the mast had come loose inside the hull after the pipe broke free from a mishmash resin base designed to hold it in place. I’ll have to repair it in the spring with fiberglass cloth to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Sailing along with my boys in a fresh wind…before the mast step let loose.
Sailing back toward the channel after a short trip south to Silver Beach.