[Sloop Scoop 2008] #3, June 1 - 11
Sloop John B
Thu, 29 May 2008 09:06:42 -0500
Sailors & Would-be sailors--
Greetings again. I hope you are surviving our bi-polar
weather. (Though wouldn't bi-polar actually be cold and
cold? hmmmmm. Metaphors can be tricky.).
Last night the Sloop went out for her third sail of the year--third
in MAY--which is remarkable. I'm not sure it's a record because we
were out early and often in 1997 and 1998, but it's certainly a
record in this millennium. I took the boat out all by myself since
no one else wanted to come. They tried to recruit me to be a third
boat to race but I didn't want to race without crew. The winds were
light and there were leftover swells from two days of northeast
winds. I kept the sails conservative--a double-reef in the main and
the jib only pulled out halfway--but I was still sailing 4-5
knots. The boat continues to sail herself well; I barely need to
touch the helm--last week I didn't touch it for most of a half hour,
I just adjusted the mainsail to steer. I don't know what's different
this year. I guess both the Sloop and I are very happy that she's in
the water. We were blessed by a beautiful sunset.
I did use Shaharazade (our autopilot) to raise and lower sails and on
one of my tacks out into the lake. She performed well even in the
slop rolling us from the beam. I wonder why I waited so long to get
an autopilot and resisted so long sailing alone. It was
glorious. I'd prefer company, but I really needed to get out last
night after sitting in an office all day.
GRILLS & GRUB
Saturday turned out to be our only sail on Memorial Day weekend. As
did many landlubbers, we inaugurated the grill for the season, after
Arleigh's insistence that we clean it. It was pretty breezy and wavy
when we headed out, so getting the grill going and getting the food
on and off was an exercise in finesse that Paul and Chas handled
well. It helped that we had fresh charcoal instead of stuff that had
been sitting for a year soaking up humidity. We had salmon, sweet
onions, and, fresh-from-farmers-market-that-day asparagus. We didn't
even lose any food overboard! It was also chilly, so hot food was
We were out for about three-and-a-half hours. Over that time the
winds calmed down from 15 knots to 11, and the waves calmed down from
2-4 ft to 2 feet or less, so it became a much more comfortable
sail--even if still cold--as time went on. The boat was fast--we
were sailing between 5.5 and 6.5 knots the entire time. She mostly
sailed herself on starboard tack. It felt great.
MEMBERSHIP HAS ITS PRIVILEGES?
I rejoined the yacht club, thanks to targeted gifts from folks who
wanted to race and my mother, who wanted to relax at the yacht
club. So that means we are no longer delegated to the port-a-potty
in the parking lot (though you can always use if for old-time's sake)
and we get to eat at the club, hang our for snacks and drinks on
Wednesdays after the race, pay to go to parties, and take advantage
of whatever privileges membership offers. Apparently there was a lot
of excitement at JPYC when people learned I was a member again. Long story.
Of note--because I have been at Jackson Park a long time, and Gordon
and Gloria (who used to work there) both call me Lisa, most club
members know me as Lisa. So if you want to be let in the club when
I'm not on shore, don't be surprised if you get a blank look when you
say you're with Schuy. Best to use Sloop John B (or Lisa if you
remember it). But on the boat I'm still Schuy!
SUMMER AND SAILING
Plan on enjoying the summer, which passed yet another harbinger of
its arrival with Memorial Day (Buckingham Fountain turned on, and the
boat in the water were the first two). Wednesdays are standing nights
and they do sell food before we go out. This weekend I'm sailing on
Sunday afternoon since that appears to be the best weather day (and I
have to go to work on Saturday afternoon). Once it warms up some
more I'll schedule the first Saturday night fireworks cruise and the
first sunrise cruise. If you in general are interested in a sunrise
cruise let me know--those are often scheduled on a whim the day
before, so I'll know to contact you to give you the choice.
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 Sloop and I hope to sail with you soon.
SCHEDULE (many things permitting . . .)
Afternoon cruise. Meet at the harbor at 1400 hours. We'll leave
around 1430 hours.
Evening sail. Be at the harbor at 1815 hours, we'll leave the dock
around 1840 hours. They will be selling burgers, etc. We should be
back by 2130 hours at the latest.
Lunch cruise. Meet at the harbor at 1200 hours. Bring something to
grill and something to share.
Brunch cruise. Meet at the harbor at 1100 hours. We'll leave around
1130 hours. If you want to come earlier and have breakfast at the
yacht club, I'll probably be there around 1000 hours. We're not
brunching on the boat, so bring munchies if you don't have a late breakfast.
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.
ON THE HORIZON
Saturday evening fireworks cruises
A few races
A great sailing season!