Unfortunately, I've been busy with work and, well, partying on weekends with ma peeps in various harbors on the west end of the Long Island Sound. Other than normal maintenance I haven't done anything really spectacular with the boat.
This time of the summer is horrible -it's hot, humid, mostly windless. Typically, if you're going somewhere, you're motoring. There is nothing remotely pleasant about this except in the afternoon sometimes there pops up an afternoon wind my aunt used to call 'The Mooring Breeze'.
My aunt and uncle owned a converted 8 metre yawl that was out of Port Washington. The name of the boat was Bedouin VIII and she was built in 1929, designed by Charles D. Mower and built on City Island, NY by Henry B. Nevins. Her sail number is KC-12. Apparently before that she was named 'Lazy Eight' and 'Arroway'.
It's actually cool how she got the name Bedouin VIII. My mother's family had boats all their lives. My grandfather's last boat was Bedouin V, and my aunt's previous boat was Bedouin VI. When they purchased Lazy Eight, the skipped VII because it was an 8 Meter, after all. There was some pressure for me to name my first boat, Mudlark, to Bedouin VII. I never did, though.
Anyway, she was or is a magnificent boat built of mahogany and oak with bronze knees. She drew 7 feet and carried 7 - 1/2 tons ballast in her keel. She's 46 feet long and has a beam of around 8 feet. She carries an unimaginable amount of sail - I think something near 2000 ft. sq. Her mast is 60' tall.
She was fast and I remember some truly amazing times aboard her.
One of the fun things she carried (other than a tupperware container full of Oreo cookies) was a Dyer sailing dinghy that my aunt and uncle would allow me to zip all over Port Washington. Hmmm, some of the fondest memories of my youth...
Anyway, my aunt absolutely abhorred the engine. She'd sail up to the mooring and the boat would stop right at the pickup bouy. My uncle would pick it up and calmly throw a loop over a cleat then walk back to the mast to drop the mainsail. This performance always went without a hitch. I think I saw them make a second try only once in the years they had me aboard. There was no shouting, no frantic running about and waving arms and other things. It was simple and graceful and I've wanted to be able to do that all my life. Imagine it.
Now this is easy to do in light winds. Less easy in stronger ones. And they'd always come up around 5 pm. Hence the mooring winds.
Well, that was a sort of round about way of getting to the point.
Now I'm nearing my two week cruise - I expect it to start on the weekend of the finish of the Around Long Island Race. Depending on who comes with me or no one I'll go somewhere interesting or somewhere comfortable. Or both.
As usual, I'll keep you posted. I'm thinking of getting a digital access card from Verizon so I can keep up with this blog and I guess my clients, too.
There is a better than even chance I'll see you on the water!