2011 - The Lost Season

 

Spring of 2011 was late arriving and then seemed to go on for an unusually long time.  Cold temperatures and frequent rain slowed boat work to a crawl.

Almost all of the work that needed to be done on Ma Chusla was on the outside.  A brief break in the weather in March allowed just enough time to get the bottom sanded.  Cold and rain prevented further progress until mid April and then it seemed as though it rained at least every other weekend.  The projects that needed to be completed included painting the bottom with anti-fouling, compounding and waxing the hull, repainting the boot and cove stripes and, the biggest job, stripping and refinishing the external teak.  None of these jobs could be done in the rain and further the teak needed to be dry to sand and refinish.  Flag halyards and new life lines were installed by the marina staff.

Spring suddenly turned to a hot, hot summer.  Much of the work, then, was done in sweltering heat. The wisdom of boat ownership was frequently questioned during this time.  Ma Chusla was finally "splashed" on July 11th.  The only remaining tasks were to thoroughly clean the deck and cockpit and wax appropriate areas.  The very hot weather and a problem with the water supply to the dock slowed these tasks also.

 

The season wasn't a total loss.  Of the good things that have happened to me over the past several years, being mentioned in the October issue of SpinSheet is the best!!  Click here to see a scan of the article.  I really like the last couple of lines.  The writer is a friend whose boat is just across the pier from my first boat Serenity.

Finally in the water.

The only boat in the marina flying a West Virginia state flag.

 

This has just not been the best of years for boating.  That's an understatement.  From my perspective, this has been a downright lousy year for boating.  Work that took much longer than planned, weather that was either rainy or very hot and humid, frequent severe thunderstorms, a hurricane near miss, monsoon rains that caused record flooding and, inability to recruit crew has resulted in a frustrating season.  I waited to take some vacation until September thinking that the weather would be cooler and winds better.  I did not count on torrential rain that lasted all week and caused serious flooding which washed all manner of junk into the bay making sailing an obstacle course. The water was so muddy that it resembled chocolate syrup.   I gave up in the middle of the week and went back to work. Two weeks later I planned another week of vacation.  Rain, thunderstorms and no crew to be found.  Back to work at mid week.  If all of this sounds like whining . . . . . . . . . . . it is.

 

My vacation, week 1.

bad

The frustration continues.  For a third time I attempted vacation and sailing.  For a third time the weather did not cooperate.  In addition to rain, the temperatures dropped into the 40's.  2011 has become the "lost season" although as I talked to a couple of guys on the pier over the weekend it was apparent that their outlook was much different than mine.  I mentioned the season coming to an end.  Both, almost simultaneously, said "the fun times are just beginning" meaning that the winds are better in the late fall and early winter. Of course those winds are cold. They are, apparently, far more hard core than I.

 

A four day weekend the first week of October.  The weather was beautiful but unfortunately the little wind that existed kept disappearing.  Sails were up and MaChulsa ghosted along but most of the time the iron genny kept her moving. No matter - being out on the water was fantastic.

 

The end of a good day - - finally!  For the sailors looking at this - cockpit items and lines were purposely scattered about.

Traffic on Middle River - Photo by Eric Macom

Pretty boat - Photo by Eric Macom

Maddie relaxing on Serenity - Photo by Eric Macom

MaChusla approaching raft up. Photo by Eric Macom

Raft up with Serenity. Photo  by Eric Macom

Raft up with Serenity - Eric and Maddie

Sunset - Nov 20,2011

Foggy morning.  Maryland Marina Nov 21, 2011.

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