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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Maiden Voyage of 0Regrets

After over a year searching for our next adventure, many days and hours on internet sites, walking docks and talking to many boat owners, the adventure began September 24th. with the maidenn voyage of our little boat, 0Regrets.  As the new name implies we pursue life to its fullest with no regret. 

Our new adventure is an Albin 36 Trawler purchased 9/22/2011 and sailed Saturday 9/24/2011.  A marine survey was completed, sea trial undertaken and lubirication analysis of engine, generator and transmission.  Our little boat came through clear of any major problems and we have begun our THREE YEAR TOUR.  We enjoyed 2 evenings of "rubbing and loving" the teak interior with another 1/2 day spent provisioning the boat for our first sail.  We pushed away from Green Turtle Bay Marina at noon Saturday in search of adventure and new "worlds".  They unfolded before our eyes with a beautiful sail along the Land Between the Lakes coast heading south on Kentucky Lake.  We were impressed that one of our dock neighbors hailed us on the VHF radio along the way to wish us happy sailing and told us our boat looks great on the water.  I was impressed I could even operate the radio with a "roger" to that. 

Navigating a boat takes the skill of Columbus and mathmatics of a higher plain.  You know, GPS, radar, depth sounders, VHF radio and a good paper chart.  Never mind that the GPS on our phones follow us on our route.  Well, Captain Barry under the guideance of Admiral Denise made our way to our chosen anchorage, Duncan Bay at the feverish clip of 8 knots (8.96 mph) for your land lubbers.  Dropping anchor is a harrowing task requiring slowing to a stop and pushing the windless button "down" till anchor and road is well placed.  We were rewarded with a secluded evening in a small bay watching the folliage turn many colors and wondering why we waited so long to float. 

Our evening passed quietly with a beautiful sunset and one challege awaited us.  We require our trusty dogs, Bailey and Bella to be our 2nd and 3d. mates for our cruise.  But where or where to potty?  We have not readied our Dingy as yet and it would be a long swim ashore.  Not to worry, Admiral Denise took the helm and secured a dog potty SYSTEM.  Right, a piece of astro turff in a plastic container with instructions to lead your dog to the spot and tell them to potty!  Well after 12 hrs. mate Bailey finally found a spot to Pee but this was on the bow deck 36 ft. from the appointed spot.  Bella just held her water.  But all ended well. Upon arriving at our dock at GTB with the help of our first dock friend, he was greated with Bailey and Bella dropping #2 on the bow, on the potty turf.  YEAH!!!  Success with an audiance.  We had to reasure our neighbor that this was a complimant to his helping us dock.  He was not over joyed but did continue to wish us home from our voyage.  Meanwhile, Bailey and Bella  seemed relieved.

Now for our Griswald moments!  Each new adventure seems to include a few moments which remain in our memories no matter how embarassing.  All the moments of our maiden voyage are the responsibility of Captain Barry.

1).  While disconnecting the shore electrical power I managed to drop the "Y" connector into the drink watching it sink to bottom of our dock.  These cost about $500.  OOPS.  Later with the help of our only new friend, I managed to snag the Y and pull aboard.  Whew.

2).  During the cruise wind increased and we opted to close the from portion of the bridge canvass.  Well in  order to help the Admiral, I applied excessive pressure on the wind screen cracking a portion.  Who know what that will cost. But the Admiral was understanding informing me that I could use my checking account.

We have planned our next adventure with 2 guests, brave unknowing souls.  Fair warning, we will keep all interested up to date on the new adventure of the 0Regrets.  Who knows, next fall maybe Florida and Bahamas for the winter months. 

Happy Sailing,   

Denise, Adm.  Captain Barry, Mates Bailey and Bella

Monday, September 5, 2011

Visit to Partridge Harbor

The cruise of Lake Champlain continued after a late morning departure from Burlington Boat House.  We certainly enjoyed our short visit to Burlington and all the new friends we made while at the dock.  I did get an opportunity to view a wonderful 36 ft. Grand Banks Trawler which was custom designed with great input from the current owner.  This would be the boat to dream about.  The Captain/owner mentioned he had the boat built and finished at age 60 and planned to sell it at age 70, current age is 68 years.  He volunteered he has two great son-in-laws but he did not want them to inherit the boat.  So, being generous we volunteered to be the one to take the boat off his hands in two years, inherit that is.  Sounded like a good idea to us but he did not take our email or names.  Oh Well!

We let go of the dock lines and adjourned to the flybridge to enjoy a sunny day cruise.  Having missed Willbrook Bay on the New York side of Lake Champlain, we cruised to the Four Brothers Islands then entered Willbrook Bay.  The Adirondack Mountains frame this side of the lake.  We took the opportunity to break for lunch while drifting along the bay.  Water depth varied from 30 ft. to 150 ft. so we could take our time to enjoy lunch.  The bay would be a good anchorage with shelter from southerly winds but exposed to the north.

Pushing on at a blazing speed of 8 knots (9mph) we warmed to the sun on the bridge.  Having closed the bimini due to high winds on our first cruise day, we were exposed to the sun but hats and sun screen helped. The beauty of the lake continued as we move south again on our way to dock in two days.  The plan is to go on the hook at Partridge Harbor which offers excellent shelter from wind in all directions but has enough depth to support a comfortable anchorage. 
View Larger Map

At this point we have cruised about 12 hours at a pace we can enjoy the mountains and lake.  Our technology included depth sounders, VHF radio and GPS/CHART READER from NAVIONICS.  The chart reader permits you to follow your sail line, see depths and calculate speed and record your progress on the chart.  You do become spoiled to the chart but you must keep look out for other boats, ferries and of course the weather.

Upon our arrival at Partridge Harbor, we discovered we had the harbor to ourselves.  Dropping anchor we could settle down for an afternoon cocktail and later grill steaks.  Life of a sailor is difficult, I must admit.  We had been warned that the Harbor is a popular anchorage on weekends so to expect company.  However, due to the approach Hurricane Irene, we hoped to have this harbor to ourselves.  However, our neighbors to the north, Canada, also found the harbor.  The sail boat arrived with the Canadian Flag flying as it silently slipped into the harbor near us.  

True to their northern spirits, the neighbors quickly anchored and took an afternoon dip in Partridge Harbor. We did test the waters but found the temps a bit too cool for our tastes.  While anchored next to the Canadians we were able to discuss our cruises.  We were quite  proud of our charter but the neighbors impressed us.  They were completing a cruise down to New York City and returning home to Montreal.  Now imagine, sailing past the Statue of Liberty and entering the Big Apple under sail.  We hope to have this experience in our trawler in not too distant future. 

Morning dawned quiet, with a bit of fog.  As the fog lifted our Canadian sailors quietly slipped out of the harbor, waving us farewell.  The mighty Turtle fired up its engine to begin our last day of the Lake Champlain cruise.  A bright sun greeted us on the bridge with little wind and a glassy lake.  We cruised south toward our home dock to await the arrival of Hurricane Irene.  We have the vision of cruising to the Lake Champlain locks and venturing down the Hudson to New York City in years ahead.  We are certain more adventures await our charter journey.

Happy sailing,