After a few outings with a keelboat, Greg and I decided to ramp up the learning this past week and took the ASA 103/104 course on cruising. We did it on Lake Superior, near the Apostle Islands, with dreary, cold, overcast weather every day. I have heard the Apostle Islands are quite beautiful and relaxing, but my experience of them was a brief panicked glimpse of rocks, docks, and other obstructions as we cruised on by, my focus entirely on using all of my strength to center the mainsheet. Not exactly your typical summer vacation. However, Greg and I learned a lot! For example: Prop walk can be your friend. And: the boom topping lift is a handy tool to use to keep the boom away from Greg’s head. I think the final count of Greg’s head/ boom interactions was 9.
Cheers to our tireless leader Gerry from Northern Breezes Sailing School! He even gave us a lesson on how to use the dinghy in the bonus “Boathook Overboard” drill. In this exercise, we learned what it was like to watch a valuable tool slowly sink. Gerry called such adventures: “Sea stories.”
In addition to learning how to dock, tack, and jibe a Hunter 34, we learned that we can’t stand mildew. We all came up with alternative names for the jalopy Taboo. Allie: The Mildew Express, Tommy: Mildew Demon, Me: Candida, or even better: Stachybotrys. While technically we were supposed to anchor out and sleep on the boat, after the first night sleeping on the boat, surrounded by mold, we voted to stay at a B&B in Bayfield, Wisconsin, instead. That was a great decision. Our wonderful hosts at Ole & Lena’s Place got Greg Sudafed for his massive sinus infection and regaled us with stories of crossing minefields to escape the Soviets during the Revolution in Hungary. Yes, “Ole” was not a Norwegian, but a Hungarian name Frank. In Wisconsin, apparently, people just do whatever they want.
This was good for us, though. I now plan to make mold destruction a priority. And I must say I was quite proud of myself when, asleep in our B&B after classes were over, I heard a booming horn from the water: long blast, then short, short, short. “Aha!” I thought to myself, “That means, ‘I can’t see anything, but I’m backing up anyway!'” Hope the people near that boat knew that. Otherwise, they’d have a good “Sea story.”