Happy New Year Everyone!

Time: Mid-Late August 2017

Location: Madeline Island

Event: Busy busy busy and more busy.

Result: Sail Fail. Two days on the water out of 21 possible.

We arrived on the Island for our August 2017 Vacation and the next day headed immediately back to the mainland to tackle our shopping list as the day after we would be heading to Duluth to pick up Barbs Grandsons. We would entertain them for a week and then it was time to take them back to Duluth and have a two hour break back on the Island before our next batch of guests arrived. This time we would have a few more people than our normal summer guests. This summers batch (hatch?) of visitors consisted of my folks, my brother, his girlfriend and her daughter, my sister and her boyfriend, and a new 2nd cousin and his wife that I had never met before. It was going to be a busy three weeks.

And it was a busy three weeks!

We entertained every morning and evening. Now don’t get me wrong, it is wonderful to spend time with family, but it put a crimp on the boat projects. So I made do with the time I had.

I arose every morning at 5:00, made coffee, grabbed a cliff bar and headed out the door with the promise to return in time for breakfast at 9:30. I was able to wrap up the installation of the Airhead vent fan, and the solar panel/charger installation. I also changed the oil in the venerable old Atomic 4.

So I guess I really did accomplish a lot with a limited amount of time. However we didn’t accomplish much Sailing at all, and that is sad.

An emergency sail repair.

After hoisting the main during our short visit, we noticed a small rip in the main. No idea how that happened. With a trip scheduled in two days where I would take everyone out for a sail we had one of the local sail repair guys take the sail and sew a patch. He had the sail repaired by that afternoon. It looked good and in his professional assessment we should be good with the sails for a couple of years before needing new sails.

Small craft warning and Libations on the Egress.

The morning of our sail came and I turned on the NOAA weather radio for the forecast and it of course called for a small craft advisory with seas 3-5 feet, building to 4-6 feet later in the afternoon. The winds were forecast to be 25-30 knots with gusts to 35 knots. Well damn it! There goes the only opportunity to take everyone for a sail, so instead I suggested a couple of drinks on the boat would have to suffice. Everyone was game and a good time was had by all. A day later we were able to take my sister and her significant other out for a short sail before the next windy weather system rolled in and brought another small craft advisory.

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A short sail and a taste of freedom.

After everyone had left Barb and I had one more opportunity to take the Egress out. We had talked about wanting to take the boat over to Bayfield on the mainland to take care of some small shopping that we needed to do. It was a pleasant short motor over the 2.0 miles and we docked without too much drama at the town of Bayfield docks after waiting on the ferry traffic to clear. We went and had a coffee, toured the marine museum and took care of our shopping list with absolutely know worries or thoughts about what the ferry schedule was to get us back to the Island. It was wonderful not to be beholden to the ferry schedule for a change. So after much conversation we decided we would put the speedboat in the water next May to give us options when we wish to go over to the mainland and the Egress hasn’t been launched yet.

Now I know why the locals wish for the Ice Road every winter! Freedom!

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