[Sloop Scoop 2008] #1, May 16 - May 28
Sloop John B
Thu, 15 May 2008 12:31:23 -0500
Cruisers & Crew--
It's officially summer! The boat is in the water thanks to pledges
by several patrons near and far, some of whom haven't even had a
chance to sail with me in a while or live far away. It's heartening
to know that fond memories have such staying power. We're in the
water thanks also to preseason volunteer labor: Gordon as usual, but
this year also Chas, Arleigh, Matthew, and Thomas. We did some
needed jobs that had been put off for a couple of years, and the boat
looks great, so come and see her!
RIVER TRIP RAMBLINGS
It was a rushed start to the river trip day since I still had to
paint the bottom. I got to the yard later than I'd planned (not my
fault this time--I was at my pickup point 15 minutes early!). I
didn't have a roller cover. I used Al's leftover roller and brush,
but the roller started falling apart. We did manage to procure
another roller cover and I miraculously got the entire bottom painted
in about 45 minutes--the travelift only had to wait about 10 minutes
for me once they came to lift us out of the cradle and plop us in the water.
The river trip was long. First, it was the longest lockage we've
ever sat in--no idea why it took so long to get the water level up.
Then, there was a very slow barge fighting a strong wind, and all the
river traffic was stuck behind the barge unable to pass. So for
about four S L O W miles there were several boats (power, sail,
and barge pushers) idling or motoring around in circles all the way
along the river. Once we were free of the barge in the basin we
also got the full brunt of the south wind and waves on the beam, and
since the boat is much more Weeble-y with the mast down, it was a
wobbly ride until we cleared the breakwater.
The lake trip, in contrast, was uncharacteristically fast and
smooth. It is often rough in the early season. Once we headed north,
the same wind and waves that beat us up in the basin became our
friends, and we had a fast and awesome trip north surfing on the
south wind and waves behind us. Having Gordon's brother Arne on my
boat to help helm was great--it was my least stressful trip river
trip ever with him and Gisele on the boat, beautiful weather (70,
sunny), a happy engine (we motored over six knots!), and no deadlines
to rush home for.
RE-BECOMING A SAILBOAT
Next task--stepping the mast. Without it, we're just a wobbly slow
powerboat. We're hoping to do in tomorrow (Friday) in the morning
since Chas has to rush off to a Cubs game around noon. We could use
a few hands to help tune the rigging, put on sails, and get the boat
ready for a shakedown sail this weekend.
Saturday looks iffy for a shakedown so I have it listed as a
tentative shakedown if it's not raining, or not too cold and/or
windy. I really need to go to yoga in the morning, so I'm putting
down a noon call. If we can't sail I could still use some help
cleaning the boat and doing a few other tasks that didn't get done in
the yard; we can work around the rain.
Sunday looks like a better day though, and Gordon and I are
considering a sunrise sail, but it may be just an early morning sail
if we haven't shaken the boat down yet.
I hope to start the standing Wednesday night sails, with Thursday
evening rain dates, this week. That worked well last year. We did
throw in a couple of Tuesday night pre-rain dates at times, so keep in touch.
The general information (what to do and bring) and directions to the
harbor (long-winded but interesting and accurate) can always be found
on the Sloop Scoop site at
The schedule's below. I tried to catch the typos on date and time,
but e-mail me if I missed anything!
Hope to hear from you all and see you soon, and thanks again for all
your good wishes and support.
SCHEDULE (many things permitting . . .)
Mast stepping. Be at the harbor at 0930 hours. I may be able to use
a couple of people later in the morning/early afternoon, too.
Tentative shakedown sail or definite work day if it's not pouring
rain for hours. Be at the harbor at 1200 hours.
Tentative sunrise sail (call me for time) or early morning sail (0800
hours). I need to be off of the boat by 1115 hours at the latest.
Evening sail. Be at the harbor at 1830 hours. They won't have food
at the harbor yet, so bring something to eat. We should be back by
2130 hours at the latest.
Midday lunch cruise. We'll inaugurate the grill for the season. Be
at the harbor at 1200 hours. Bring something to grill and something to share.
Memorial day cruise. Time TBA
Evening sail. Be at the harbor at 1830 hours. They probably will
start selling burgers, etc., at the harbor tonight. We should be
back by 2130 hours at the latest.
ON THE HORIZON
A great sailing season!