Sunday, October 16, 2016
My lovely wife and I brought our coffees down by lake Saturday. It's a beautiful time of the year. Had there been any wind at all we would have taken the sailboat out. Instead we sat at our picnic table and watched the wildlife. The loons stayed on the other side of the lake. A large bald eagle was perched above our heads in a tall pine tree. It got into a brief tussle with an osprey but the eagle held its ground.
It was a good time to discuss our future sailing plans. While we lost our Ranger sailboat last winter, we still have our Oday 19. Good thing, as we are not in a position to purchase a bigger boat this year. The Oday has a new mainsail and overall it's in pretty good shape. We will soon put it on its trailer so the boat will be ready when we want to go somewhere.
By where? When? We are definitely sticking around for the Christmas holiday season. All our kids will be around this year so it's going to be a special time. After that, however, our schedule is open. We might stick around all winter or we might head south to warmer weather.
One of the things we hoped to do was to sail the Intra Coastal Waterway down the eastern seaboard. Instead of doing it all at once in a bigger boat we could do it in sections with the boat we have. We could trailer the boat to the water, sail a section of it, then pick up the boat with the van and trailer.
Years ago my lovely wife and I did that in Florida. We sailed that boat 600 miles down Florida's west coast and ended up in the Florida Keys at Bahia Honda. I hiked through the park until I got to Rt 1. There I caught a bus to the Marathon airport where I rented a car. I backtracked and picked up my lovely wife and the dog. We left the boat at anchor and paddled the inflatable kayak back to the rental car. It was deflated and packed in the trunk.
Then I drove back to where the van and trailer were parked. A couple days later I drove to the park, inflated the kayak and fetched the boat. It was a hassle, but much easier than sailing the the boat another 600 miles.
One of the things I'd love to do is to go back to Lake Champlain. In Vermont. It's not all that far from where we live in New Hampshire. We could drop the boat in the lake and make our way through the canals to the Hudson River. My lovely wife grew up on the Hudson so she'd really like to go back. We could take the Hudson all the way to the sea. At some point I could either make my way back to the van or have a friend drive it down to pick us up. That would be a good spring or summer trip.
It's not the same as doing it on a larger boat but there are advantages. I can raise and lower the mast myself without special equipment. That's super handy when going through the canal system. Bigger boats hire boatyards with cranes to do the job. We always have the advantage of being able to tow the boat back home. Sure beats trying to find a good and inexpensive boatyard to store it.
If we leave in the winter we could do a southern section of the ICW. Options are open. Our plans are tentative, but by communicating with each other we are on the same page. By using our existing boat and equipment we can do our next adventures on the cheap. Eventually we'll be in a position for a larger boat, but we won't have to wait for that to have fun.