I hope you enjoyed your 4th of July where ever you may have been. This weekend was HOT! Hot! HOT!. We came up on Thursday evening to start our long weekend. The marina as you can imagine was very quiet. On Friday, we worked on a few projects, which included taking a trip to Lowes. Friday evening was also quiet. There were only 4 boats occupied. We spent some time visiting Perspective. This is pretty unusual for the marina but I guess not everyone was going to be at the lake this holiday. Saturday morning, people slowly started to appear. There weren’t enough people up by 10:30 to hold a captain’s meeting. Several boats were going to have friends and family up. By noon, we headed out onto the lake. There wasn’t much wind so sailing was not going to happen so we motored over to the front of UNC and anchored for a swim and lunch. We saw several boats attempting to sail or bob. As the afternoon wore on, we heard more chatter about the raft-up. Odyssey had gone up by Satterwhite earlier in the day and through an anchor. He invited us to raft-up on his anchor. We headed to Satterwhite about 4:30. When we got there, we tried to organize larger boats on one side and then smaller boats at the end. We ended up having 12 boats raft up and another 4-5 boats anchor in the same cove.
As soon as people got rafted up, it was time to hit the water. We had a sea of people in the water cooling off. Then we had people visit the different boats that they have not been on before. Several people who anchored in the cove swam by and visited. By 7-8PM people were grilling or microwaving dinner. Music was coming from Satterwhite and newer members could not believe the number of boats in the area for the fireworks. At 9:15 PM, the music stopped as the fireworks began. The amazing color and display lasted for about 20 minutes. Then there were the after displays of fireworks. This lasted for about 45 minutes. By that time, many of the power boats and pontoon boats had left the area. The Auxiliary Coast Guard, Wildlife and Sheriff boats were out in full force pulling and stopping one boat after another. A few of our members were going to stay in the cove or area overnight. We had guests to return to the dock so we were heading back to the marina. Boat by Boat left the raft up. A good time was had by all. There wasn’t a moon out to help see the outline of the shore but there seemed to be a lot of reflective lights. Several of our members were visited by the officials. Those who made it back to the marina early came out and helped those others dock. All in all, it was a nice night.
I know that we have several new members so Doug put together a Raft-Up etiquette lesson.
“One fun part of sailing in groups is rafting together after a sail, swim or waiting for the wind to fill or any other reason one can find. If you are new to rafting together boats, there are a few points to be considered. Foremost is to protect the boats. It is important to have properly sized fenders. The bigger the better. West Marine has a chart on fender / boat length recommendation. Boats that are found in most of our rafts will need a minimum of 8.5 to 12" diameter fenders 18-26" in length. Remember, the only protection between the exchanging of fiberglass are the fenders. A minimum of three fenders between boats in a good rule of thumb. The more the merrier. Boat wake plays havoc on rafted boats and they can really get bouncing around. The other necessity is proper line to tie up to the other boat. Four lines are needed. A bow line, two springs and a stern line. A rule of thumb is the line should be 1/8" for every 9' of boat. So a 25' boat should have a minimum of 3/8" line. With proper fenders and line, you are ready to raft. Etiquette is to hail the anchored boat or rafted boats and ask where you should tie on (the club monitors channel 71 on the VHF). Be patient. If the raft is forming, give the boats that are tying on time to get secured. Once you have been acknowledged and know where you are going to tie on, set you fenders to hang 1/2 of the way past your toe / cap rail. Have your bow line and stern line in place (especially if you are single handing), your springs ready to attach. Approach the raft slowly. Pass off your bow line and then stern line. This will allow the rafted boat to control your bow and stern and pull you along side. Watch your spreaders and settle the boat so your spreaders are either forward or aft of the rafted boats spreaders. As you are pulled to the other boat, adjust your fenders to protect both boats, secure your bow and stern lines and set the spring lines. Once the lines are tied and fenders adjusted, watch the boats action against each other for a few minutes and make any necessary adjustments. It takes a few times to be comfortable rafting. The trick is to take your time, have the proper equipment and communicate with the other boats.”
Also, since next weekend is not a club event, take your time to check your lights and batteries. I heard that several of you thought either your anchor light or steeming light was not working. Use this weekend to check it out and change bulbs if necessary. We have a Clarksville sail in two weeks so there will be overnighting. Question, when motoring a sailboat at night, what lights need to be on and is it dependent on size of boat or mast height? When sailing at night, what lights need to be on?
Sunday was another nice day on the lake. There was a breeze in the morning but it died by late morning. We headed up to Kimble Point. There is a sandy beach opposite Kimble Pt. There were lots of pontoon boats on one side and a mix of houseboats and powerboats on the other side. We anchored in the middle and swam over to see several people from A-dock. We spent the afternoon there and by 4:30 we saw the wind had picked up a bit. We pulled anchor and sailed back to the goal posts. It was the first time my sister was sailing on the new boat. We got back to the marina and had dinner. After dinner, we gathered up near Parrotise and Moon Fish and socialized.
Monday morning we had a group go to Pegrams for breakfast. By the time we got back, people were starting to head out for the day. It seemed like we might have wind. Several boats hoisted their sails but by the time we were at the goal posts, the wind died and it was hot. Several boats anchored in front of Hibernia. Several tried to make it up the lake. The afternoon temperatures was supposed to approach 100. In the afternoon there were several thunderstorm alerts. By 4PM, the skies were getting cloudy so we pulled anchor and headed into the marina. We were going to stay and have dinner but then the power went out at the dock so we decided to leave. We hit torrential downpour by I-85 and I-70. Several cars we hiding under the underpasses. We had our blinkers on. By the time we got onto 15-501, the rain was coming sideways and the wind was slamming the van. We were about to pull off at Red Robin on 15-501 when the rain stopped suddenly. I hope everyone made it home safely.
Have a great week everyone. See you at the lake.