It was a very sad and dreary weekend as we finished preparing our 1976 Islander 28, Aurion, for her her long winter snooze. This year as she sleeps the winter away she is resting near the shores of Lake Pepin so she can dream of summers to be. We had a fabulous summer sailing most every weekend, saving a few reserved for our daughter’s wedding and sundry other wedding activities. Winter is a better time for weddings, don’t you think.
This summer also marked the first year we sailed the same boat two years running. It lends a warm, fuzzy feeling to do so. Coming back to an old friend as it were. We also moved to a marina more situated near the things we love, all within walking distance of our new slip. We met some new folks that brighten our time at the marina. We also left some dear friends at the old marina. Fortunately the two marinas are only a few miles apart so we can remain in contact. Sailing friends rock!
The weather patterns this summer tended on the unstable side, especially on the weekends. We were blown off our anchorage numerous times and spent more nights in the marina than we prefer. Note to self, purchase larger anchor for next summer! Ours is a Danforth and is sized for a boat of our size for normal conditions, winds less than 20 knots, I think the next size up would be more suitable for the thunderstorm conditions we frequently get here in the convergence zone. We are considering a Bruce style anchor which I am hopeful will find a better hold in the clam strewn bottoms of the old Mississippi. The Honey Bunny much prefers her morning coffee at anchor watching the morning sun rise over the eastern bluffs of Wisconsin.
Today it was 25° F when I awoke and I was glad that our trusty old MB 10A Volvo engine was winterized in a protective pink bath to keep her from freezing and fresh new oil to prevent nasty acids from blemishing her shiny pistons and bearings. Our shrink wrap is ordered in preperation for the heavy snows that will be inevitably coming our way. We considered making our own tent to store her for the winter, but I’ve only been successful with those on much smaller vessels and when I can be near to sweep the accumulating snows off regularly. Shrink wrap seems bullet proof and lets me sleep more peaceably during the Minnesota winter snow storms.
So as I reflect on the summer and dream wistfully of summers to be, I can smile back on a fine and pleasant summer of sailing on our favorite lake, on our favorite sailboat, enjoying the blissful respite from the daily grind that sailing has come to mean to us. Nothing brightens your day like the sun shining on your face and a tiller in your hand, while on a close reach with the wind in your face. Ahhhh, summer!