Once again the season has ended all too soon. Ariel came out of the water Monday, October 14, and she’s now resting on her cradle, a long, cold winter ahead of her. May it pass quickly!
I’d originally scheduled haulout for Friday, but there was a chance my dad could come up for one last sail, so I pushed the date back. I’m glad I did. We loaded the family on the boat Saturday and had a pleasant sail, despite gray skies, drizzle, and the chance of thunderstorms.
We enjoyed a leisurely sail in about 8kts of wind and counted our blessings that the day – although not perfect – was at least nice enough to get on the water one last time.
We pulled Ariel into her slip in a light rain, snugged her up, and said goodbye, thinking we’d had the last sail of the season.
Well, Sunday dawned bright, breezy, clear and crisp – and in the words of John Masefield, “the call of the running tide is wild call and a clear call that may not be denied.” My dad and I headed back out on the lake for THE last sail of the season. And what a sail!
Ariel cleared the channel and charged into a boisterous Lake Michigan under single-reeefed main and jib with WNW winds blowing a fresh 18kts. As we sailed farther offshore, the waves got bigger and the wind gusted into the 20s. Ariel, ever graceful, took both wind and waves in stride, steaming along at hull speed. What a day!
Reluctantly, we pointed Ariel’s bow toward shore so we could get her ready for haul out the next morning. Even so, we covered more than 20nm. Beyond that, both of us had the last sail we’d been hoping for. Back in the slip we stripped Ariel’s sails and thanked her for another wonderful season.