How to defend against the squirrels?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by ArmyGrunt, Sep 22, 2017.

?

Would you be willing to sail across an ocean both ways to do a hunt the "old way"?

  1. Yes

    30.0%
  2. No

    5.0%
  3. Maybe, if I were financially independent...

    45.0%
  4. Sign me up!

    20.0%
  1. bilmcc

    bilmcc AH Enthusiast

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    Both my sailboats had swing keels, which was great for rivers and the Chesapeake in good weather. I would not take one on the ocean. For open seas you want a tank at very least 30 feet long. 32 feet is a nice size for single handing, I think. It will be an adventure, that's for sure!
     
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  2. ActionBob

    ActionBob AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Squirrel.jpg
     
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  3. ArmyGrunt

    ArmyGrunt AH Elite

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    Oh, no. This is just the training wheels version for those huge dream! One day, after this schooling gets completed, I'll move closer to an ocean as get a better boat. For now, I have to learn how to efficiently move this thing in the water.
     
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  4. ArmyGrunt

    ArmyGrunt AH Elite

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    I wish I could have gotten a picture of mini me when he saw the boat after school today. It was priceless, like when he gets up on Christmas morning!
    IMG_2829.JPG

    We got it stabilized, then went inside for a little peek. IMG_2830.JPG
    It's going to need a cleaning for sure, but it's been sitting several years. IMG_2832.JPG IMG_2831.JPG

    won't be long until classes are done and I can get in there and make it my own.
     
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  5. ArmyGrunt

    ArmyGrunt AH Elite

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    One step closer! I got the new hitch for the car two days ago. Pulled it tail apart last night for the install. No one will even know I call tow, until the receiver is in place. IMG_2876.JPG IMG_2877.JPG
    Now I need a day with pleasant weather to take the boat out!
     
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  6. ROCKET

    ROCKET AH Fanatic

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    Waiting for the Sailing day report my friend......!!!!
     

  7. ArmyGrunt

    ArmyGrunt AH Elite

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    I'm hoping I can do that sooner than later @ROCKET!
     
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  8. ArmyGrunt

    ArmyGrunt AH Elite

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    IMG_2880.JPG
    Thanks to many different YouTube videos providing ideas on how to do it solo, I managed to step the mast first time. AFTER I managed to get up on the top. I'll be doing it again tomorrow, possibly trying to get a bit of video of my perils.
     

  9. ArmyGrunt

    ArmyGrunt AH Elite

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    IMG_2880.JPG
    He helped a lot more than I expected. Mostly when things looked line they would tangle, and once when the antenna protecting tube got snagged.
     

  10. ArmyGrunt

    ArmyGrunt AH Elite

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  11. ArmyGrunt

    ArmyGrunt AH Elite

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    :D Pop Popcorn:

    Finally! I got the weather and the fates to fall in my favor on Wednesday. It was the last day of school for the kids, so I seized the opportunity to get this baby in the water. When I went to work on Tuesday morning, I pulled the boat with me. That gave me a chance to make sure all the electronics were going to work - FM radio, VHF, lights and the 12V ports here and there. No problems at all, except the one 12V port next to the companionway. At this point, I've already put up and taken down the mast a handful of times, so I'm confident there. The one time, above, where I put up the sails had me satisfied that I can repeat it without any issues. MUCH easier to do that than to get the 23 ft mast vertical!
    IMG_2983.JPG
    Wed morning I intended to be up and gone as soon as my relief arrived. Well, I spent too much time at work watching movies, and forgot to finish the one report from the one run I had two days prior, so I was delayed getting out the door. Not surprising, since I am usually not ready to leave promptly. My relief, however, has been to this lake several times with her boat, so I got some guidance on where I should go for launching. Breakfast, paperwork done, things packed in the car; I was out the door only about half an hour later than planned.

    Delay, anyone? Part way on my journey I found a train, so I decided to stop and get a couple of drinks for the day at a gas station. One other necessary detour and I got to head on over to the lake. This BMW is so much fun to drive on twisty highways, but that fun was sucked dry pulling the trailer. Funny how safety does that to the fun meter sometimes. I drove to the launch point I was suggested to try out, but that was a no go. The water in the lake is about 4 feet shallower than normal. However, that combined with a low bridge between that ramp and the main lake meant I wasn't going to be able to put in there. Detour once again....Good news is the gate to the park was empty, so I didn't have to pay the cover charge! Pretty reasonable entry fee for both day rates and seasonal.

    Upon getting to the ramp, I drove to the top and got out to scope where the end of the concrete might be. The last thing I wanted was to back the tires over the end, and be stuck with no one around to help me fix that. No worries, since the ramp when further in than I could see. I was glad to see the ramp has grooves cut all the way across length and width. I felt good about having enough traction to get up and down safely. I set up all the rigging on flat ground, trying to get some video recorded along with doing the work. Wouldn't you know, I had a snag. Then I found I'd put the mast bolt into the wrong spot. Then I had wires get tangled. Then I realized I didn't put the wind indicator on the top, so I had to bring it down and start over. Geez! This really wasn't going as smoothly as I'd imagined!

    Once I got everything sorted, I was able to back down the ramp and get wet. I got a little giddy when she started to float :A Big Hello:. Parking brake set, I got on board and started making sure I had everything set up to motor away from the trailer. Safety strap on the bow loosened, and a rope to provide a slippable line for the moment. The outboard started right up with little effort. Letting the safety line go, I returned to the cockpit to try and back out. I turned the throttle, and not much happened beyond increasing RPMs. Maybe it's still resting on the keel? Back to the tongue of the trailer for a push, and jump back on. I floated backwards, still having higher RPM on the motor. I wasn't sure if the prop was giving me enough movement, but I was going backwards. Then I got a little twisted, and had to push again to clear the goal posts on the rear of the trailer. Why isn't this moving?? I got around the trailer, and noticed I'm moving closer to the ramp because of the wind. Now I'm getting concerned. It's my first time in a powered boat (kayaks have been my thing), and I'm headed towards concrete in a fiberglass hull. This doesn't look good at all:E Hmmm:.

    Well, I ran aground a little. Any guesses what the problem was? 1 million bonus AH points if you get it.......

    Turns out, if you don't put the engine into a GO gear, it doesn't GO!:E Doh: Thank goodness there was no one around to see my folly :E Big Grin:. Backing away from the ramp, and making good progress, I motored around to the dock. Here's another first: wind from astern, slight motor power, but I'm now prepared to revere the engine to slow my progress. I've got fenders up, and a plan for where I want to put this boat. The next problem, which I found a little later, was that I forgot to get the mooring lines out of the package to be prepared. :E Head Hurt:Not really having the kind of start I'd dreamed of. No damage was done, but I expect it would have been both comical AND among the most painful things to watch from the shoreline. I managed to fashion a stable attachment to the dock, and went to park the car. I started to walk back to the boat, but the excitement :E Excited: got to me again and it turned into a jog :E Dancing:. I'm finally going to get out and sail!!

    From the one and only time I've been sailing, I remembered I need to motor out to the deeper water before hoisting the sails. No problem, right? I may have gotten just a little overzealous, and did that too soon. Once more, I found myself in some shallow water with the depth finder screaming. Start the motor, fix the course and try again. I had to do this a couple of times. It took me far longer than I expected to get even part way across the lake. I determined it was due to slow winds. Closely watching both sails to the best of my obstructed viewing ability, I think I had them doing the right thing. Every once in a while I'd get a gust, but mostly not. I turned on the GPS tracking on my watch (which started at only 7% battery) to see how fast I could go. I don't know the conversion to knots, but between 1.8 and 3.5 mph. That seemed pretty good to me. After a while the watch died, so I tried to download a tracker app for the phone. Not enough signal out there to say I had one, so that also failed me.

    Now, clearly none of you out there in the magical world of AH.com know me, but I absolutely LOVE music. I want it on more often than not. I have a bluetooth headset, and typically have music going while I walk about campus. There is a small speaker inside the cabin with an AUX jack, and it works. The AM/FM radio also works. I turned on some tunes a time or two, but being out on the water all alone was just so darn peaceful and relaxing I had to turn it off. I had zero interest in music all the time I was on the water. Despite the stumbling points, I was having a marvellous time!:S Wave:

    Progress across the lake was rather slow. I figured out that I needed to tack often to keep going, but the perspective looking at the shore suggested I wasn't getting anywhere. Back and forth, back and forth. I was thinking I would really like to have more wind, but then I realized it's probably better that I didn't so I could get a grip on what made this boat move here and there. When I got closer to the halfway point I was now happily passing the marina. Speed seems to be increasing, even though I have no way to confirm that with gizmos.
    IMG_2986.JPG
    With great joy at my success, I got all the way across the lake. I turned around and started back to the ramp, still having slow progress, but seemingly a little faster. Not a lot faster, but some. I was all set to start on getting off the water, until I was most of the way back and the wind really picked up. I could FEEL I was going faster now. I also noticed a buzzing sound from below. I assumed it was the cable that draws up the keel vibrating from water passing by. Every time I heard that, I knew I had good speed as it went away if I didn't do my part with the steering. I even felt confident enough to walk out to the bow for a moment, with the tiller secured in the generally straight orientation. :S I Rule:

    The second lap was far better than the first. I made huge gains in speed, crossing one end to the other quickly. I definitely enjoyed myself on this trip! I had a grin for hours that I just couldn't shake.
    IMG_2989.JPG

    Returning to the dock was another fairly ugly affair. I did remember to get a mooring line or two ready. I didn't necessarily get the fender in place. I also didn't get put into the spot that I was hoping for. That's definitely going to need a lot of practice! I think, of all that went down on this trip, the docking is the only part that I'd much rather have another person present. Although, sharing this new joy with others will be far more fun than going alone.
    IMG_2985.JPG
    The battery on the GoPro was dead before I could make the re-docking effort. Unfortunate, since I wanted to show how the whole thing went for a true beginner, but fortunate because it was a little embarrassing... Returning to the trailer was, once again, not so pretty. I needed a second attempt to get it right since I missed the angle by mere inches of the goal posts. And wouldn't you know, the phone was also dead from having searched for a cell tower for hours? I didn't get any photos of that either. When I had the boat secured to the trailer, I started the car and with zero hesitation from the might diesel we moved right back to the top of the ramp.

    Someone had seen me from the marina, and decided to come over and have a chat with me as I was tearing down. He was even gracious enough to provide me some appreciated help. He suggested I come and participate in the open sailing races the club has, saying it is a great way to learn. I think I'll learn the easy way, before I try to mix in the risk of ramming other, expensive boats.

    All in all, I had a tremendously great time. I look forward to doing much more practice, and taking out others to share in my excitement. I've had at least a handful of people make requests to go out. I have to get that video edited/created and put up on the YouTube, then I'll drop a link here for you all to see my candid first time out!:V Black Eye::E Drooling::D Passed Out:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 23, 2017

  12. ROCKET

    ROCKET AH Fanatic

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    Very well done....I am glad to see you are doing very well.....the ship looks great and in very good shape.....keep on enjoying those sailing days.....congratulations......!!!!!!
     

  13. Opposite Pole

    Opposite Pole AH Enthusiast

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    Hi, not trying to be nasty or anything but I’d take his advise if I were you. You’ll meet some nice people and pick up a thing or two. Looking at that picture it is quite clear you’re still new to this and having someone experienced show you the ropes can help in avoiding expensive/dangerous situations.

    Enjoy the boat, sailing is awesome!

    I’ve just arrived in Sydney, early in January I’m gonna fly to Hobart and sail one of the boats from the race back to Sydney. Can’t wait!
     

  14. ArmyGrunt

    ArmyGrunt AH Elite

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    I think we've run out of good days for this year. Snow is falling outside, and temps around 25F the next ten days
     

  15. ArmyGrunt

    ArmyGrunt AH Elite

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    Feel free to put up pictures in this thread here of that journey!

    I'll take it down to Lake Barkley in Kentucky as soon as I can. I've got a few familiar faces there. And you read it right, I'm new to this game. That picture though, I didn't ram the dock at all. It was a slow ingress and I'm tied tightly to the last cleat on the dock. I'd come up on the end of the finger sideways, then pulled the bow around slowly by hand.
     

  16. Opposite Pole

    Opposite Pole AH Enthusiast

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    Hi, I was forced to cancel my plans as my dad ended up in hospital with a blood clot, he was super lucky and is going to be fine but it was a close call. He was supposed to fly from Europe to SE Asia the next day and his doctor reckons it would have been his last flight.

    But back to sailing, your mainsail appears to be half way up still, if you get a stronger gust of wind from the stern it can smash your boat against the jetty and you’ll have no way of easing that sail, dropping it under load would be pretty hard too. Unless you’re mooring straight into the wind it’s usually wise to drop the main earlier, particularly if you’re sailing short handed. You can always ease your headsail and drop it later no matter the wind direction but your main is a different story. Jump on as a crew on one of the boats on the race days, you’ll learn heaps and have good fun. Sailing is a great way to relax in the nature, and good way to spend time with family. My parents had a boat on a nearby lake which is how I got into sailing. I’m more of a sea/ocean sailor these days but did start with my folks. When I was 16 I crossed an ocean for the first time and have since had the fortune of sailing on all of the world’s great oceans from Arctic circle to the Drake passage. Some of my fondest memories come from the sea as do some of my best friends. Sailing has allowed me to see some incredible sights and places and taught me a good deal about nature, people and mostly myself. I’ve had some great experiences and some frightening ones. I’ve picked up flying fish from the deck in the morning on the approach to the Caribbean with memories of lit up trails of fluorescence left by dolphins during the night still fresh in my mind. I drank Champagne accompanied by oysters the size of my hand that I have harvested few hours earlier and just shucked in a remote anchorage on Tasmania while Aurora Australis turned the night skies into magic and I have stood at the helm surrounded by darkness while watching Aurora Borealis off the coast of Norway. I have gotten so sun tanned spending two months sailing on the east coast of Australia that my friends didn’t recognise me when I came back. I have also experienced cold and fear as I held the helm, cold and drenched on many a stormy night, with wind howling and the ocean roaring, threatening to drop a breaking wave on top of the boat with giant masses of water towering over us like some menacing mountains. “If you would know the age of the earth, look upon the sea in a storm. The grayness of the whole immense surface, the wind furrows upon the faces of the waves, the great masses of foam, tossed about and waving, like matted white locks, give to the sea in a gale an appearance of hoary age, lustreless, dull, without gleams, as though it had been created before light itself.”

    Enjoy your boat! Be careful, sailing is addictive!
     
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