Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Rain today

Today was all rain and cold. I guess you have to expect that on New Year's Eve. We spent the day rearranging furniture on the boat and shopping. Kathy fixed a great supper of scrambled eggs with sauteed onions, garlic, and chorizo sausage. That with wine, crackers, and brie cheese was excellent. Its only 10:00 but I think we are ready to toast the new year and go to bed hoping for sailing tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Finally - Sailing!!!

After a little more than 4 months of preparation, we finally had our first day of sailing in the Catalina 25. It was cloudy and cool on the water but a very gentle 10-12 mph breeze made it an easy first day.

Even with light winds, there were times when we had satisfying speed and a 15-20 degree heel.

My strategy for sea sickness - stay topside and stay busy. No problems today.

More pictures are here
Flickr Photo Set

Monday, December 29, 2008

Another day without sailing

More work on the boat today - rigged new outhaul and the two reefing points on the mainsail and installed the porta-potty anchors (very important). We discovered a leaking gas tank and bought a replacement. Barring problems with the new tank, we are ready (really ready) to go sailing. Today was sunny with a high of 74 and 12 mph winds. Tomorrow is supposed to be just the same so we are all set.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Back in Corpus

Three days after Christmas and we are back in Corpus Christi for another try at our first sail in the Catalina 25. Neither of us slept very well last night and were both up early and ready to go. By 6:00 a.m. we were on the road and got into Corpus by 3:00 p.m. We checked in at the marina as "live-a-boards" and then checked that the boat was still afloat (never sure). On the way down, we listened (not read) about half of "The Life of Pi". Anna recommended this book (tape) to us and it is very interesting. It will be fun finishing it on the way home. After a quick trip to West Marine for rigging supplies, it was back to the boat for a supper of soup, bread, and wine and a resumption of the book that we started on the last trip, "The Log of the Skipper's Wife". This is an extremely interesting and entertaining look into the lives of a 1911 seafaring couple. We highly recommend it.

Tomorrow we sail.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Get's cold in Corpus Christi, too

After moving the boat to Corpus Christi in mid-November, we were looking forward to getting back for our first time to sail on the Catalina 25. Finally, on Saturday, Dec 13, we went down expecting sunny skies and temperatures near 80. But, that is not the way it turned out. The wind was blowing hard during all of the drive and on Sunday, it seemed to be blowing even harder. We tried working on the boat but it was pitching around too much. So, we took a drive over to Port Aransas - rode the ferry, saw the Port A marina, and saw dophins in the channel. Pretty cool.

Late Sunday evening, it became completely calm. We were able to sit out on the dock and enjoy the lights and a glass of wine. At about 10:00, the wind suddenly picked up from the north and the temperature dropped significantly in just a few minutes.

Early Monday morning, it was cold and damp but the wind was calm. We took advantage of the opportunity to put the sails on for the first time. That went smoothly and it was great see the boat with sails up. By 10:00, the wind was blowing hard from the north again.

In spite of not being able to sail, we did accomplish quite a lot on the trip. The standing rigging is tensioned now. While we had the sails up, we figured out how to set up the reefing system and will be able to get that done on the next trip. We also got the radio antenna connected and were able to receive the coastal weather report "cold, windy, and wet." The new depth sounder is installed in the starboard side of the cockpit bulkhead. Unfortunately, the depth sounder did not work immediately and will require more work. We filled the boat's 17 gal water tank and are now able to use the water pumps at the two sinks. We also put fuel in the alcohol stove and used it to cook our first pasta dinner on the boat. Although, it was cold outside, we stayed very comfortable in the boat with a small ceramic space heater. Kathy found a very interesting book made from the diary of a sea captain's wife in the early 20th century.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Welcome to Our Blog

Kathy is a retired arts administrator and Walt is a soon-to-be-retired engineering professor. Our dream is to retire to a sailboat and to travel. This blog will be used to share our adventures as we develop our sailing skills and gain experience.

Our first boat was a Sunflower which we purchased in 1975 while students at the University of Texas. It was little more than a Styrofoam ice chest with a sail but we had a lot of fun with it.

Thirty-three years later we bought our second boat, a Buccaneer 18. It is a much nicer sailboat and it has been great for developing our sailing skills.

We can sail the Buccaneer at Lake Alan Henry which is about 50 miles from Lubbock. The area in front of the dam is large enough for the wind to be fairly consistent.

We bought the Buccaneer in March 2008 and then in August we purchased our first "big boat", a Catalina 25. Our dream is to retire to a sailboat in a few years and the Catalina is the next step in our training program. We moved the boat from Alubquerque NM to our home in Lubbock where it sat for 4 months while we made improvements and waited for the hurricane season to end.

Finally, on November 14, our good friend, Rickey, helped us move the Catalina to Corpus Christi which will be its permanent home.

We haven't sailed the Catalina 25 yet but that will soon change. We are looking forward to 8-10 days of sailing in December and January.