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Mad Island Sailing – Adventures of the S/V Egress

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s/v Egress

2018 Seasons Plans

I think I had mentioned this in a previous post. That we travel to the Island 2-3 times per year.

This typically leaves the Spring trip for boat projects and maintenance, while leaving the summer trip for a roughly 3 weeks splash and a fight for attention with us and the multitude of other activities outside of Sailing.

So this year will be no different.

Boat work on the Egress in the spring will focus on checking out how she faired over the winter, and beginning a plan to re-bed the fittings.

Questions that will be answered this Spring are:

Did the solar panel keep the batteries charged up over the winter.

Did the boat leak and if so which deck fittings/ ports leaked. (This will help the re-bedding plan.)

It is doubtful that we will have anytime to actually accomplish any re-bedding do to our short time on the Island in the Spring.

One item that should be a priority to check in the spring are the condition and operation of the thru-hulls. It’s something I’ve neglected in the past, but will not any longer as this is something critical to check. I don’t want any surprises regarding thru-hull shut offs. Additionally I am going to tie plugs to each thru-hull so they are located where they will be needed rather than digging thru lockers etc to find them. So this is priority number one.

Other items I want to accomplish this season are.

  • Relocate VHF radio.
  • Purchase and install RAM 3 microphone for the VHF radio and install on steering pedestal.
  • Purchase and install auto-pilot.
  • Remove decorative rope on the pedestal.
  • Purchase and test life sling 2 MOB lifting tackle.
  • Locate and test the emergency steering system
  • Look at a way to permanently get the solar panel wiring harness into the battery compartment.

Of course the above list is not inclusive of normal engine maintenance. Change oil, impeller etc…

Hopefully Our August trip is not as busy as it was last year so that we can actually get out and sail!

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A big decision. Anchoring our roots to the rock.

A place to call Home.

Hello B-16!

I debated whether to write and publish this post. It may interest some of you and others it may elicit a “meh”.

We had been contemplating becoming members of the Madeline Island Yacht Club (MIYC) since we had purchased the Egress back in late 2014.

There were many pros and we couldn’t think of one con when contemplating the decision to become members.

Pro

  • Saves money
  • Limited amount of memberships given.
  • Guaranteed slip
  • Can put slip into rental poll when not using it.
  • Equity in the Club

We had been paying by the week when renting a slip for three weeks every summer. For our size boat it was darn near the price that a member pays for an annual slip fee. In addition, we payed separately for launch, haul out, and a monthly fee for storage. Normally other than a storage fee for members, the launch and haul out are included in the annual slip fee. Additionally, the price for shop work was about 30% higher for non-members. Becoming members would save us money, and more importantly guarantee us a slip. But most importantly for us, it would solidify our ties to the Madeline Island boating community, and make us feel like part of the family.

We are indeed Anchoring our roots to the rock.

For more information on the Madeline Island Yacht Club please click here.

Meeting new Sailing friends

Meeting the crew of Sailing Wandering Toes.

The crew of the SV Egress meets the crew of Sailing Wandering Toes

We had been in contact with the crew of Sailing Wandering Toes since we discovered them whilst searching Sailing videos on you tube. We enjoyed watching their videos and reading their blog posts. We had commented on their videos and blog posts and quickly struck up a friendship with them. We had learned that they were preparing to leave Lake Superior next year and sail on down the ICW to warmer climes. Exactly what Barb and I plan to do in a few short years. We were especially excited that they would be documenting the journey.

We had become fascinated with finding others who sail in our area and document their sailing via blogging or YouTube. We tend to watch our YouTube sailing video subscriptions during the winter months to catch up on everyone. Comparably speaking, not many on the Great Lakes blog or upload videos compared to the Ocean sailors and certainly very few on Lake Superior do. Not sure the reasons why that is. I don’t think it is the lack of sailboats. Maybe because the sailing season is short and it therefore limits the amount of good material to use? Maybe an older sailing crowd who isn’t interested in blogging or uploading videos? I know it is especially tough for us, as our sailing season is only three weeks long, coupled with the fact that we only can visit our boat only two times a year. It does make it hard to come up with relevant material, especially the videos.

Anyhow we had planned on getting together with David and Marge the crew from Wandering Toes in August when we were up in May and again attempted in August but it just didn’t work out. We were finally able to get together in November and they were nice enough to come over to the Island for lunch and drinks at the beach club.

We had a very nice time meeting them and talked about their big adventure, selling their house, buying an RV, and prepping the Wandering Toes for the trip to the Caribbean. It was fascinating listening to them and how they have made the transition to soon become full time live-aboards. We also talked about other sailing videos we follow. We found out we had followed many of the same. It was a fun time and a great afternoon. We made plans to drive up to Cornicopia (Corny) in May of 2018 to get together with them before they push off in July of 2018.

I highly recommend following and checking out Sailing Wandering Toes.

Fair Winds to them and to all of you who follow us.

Sail Fail 2017 and a taste of freedom.

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.

Continue reading “Sail Fail 2017 and a taste of freedom.”

New Mantus Anchor.

Merry Christmas everyone!

I had ordered our new Mantus Anchor and brand new Anchor chain and line prior to our trip in May.

I knew that it wouldn’t be installed until our August 2017 trip.

After thorough research and based on a lot of reviews I ordered a 35 pound Mantus Anchor with 30 feet of 5/16 chain and 270 feet of 8 plait 5/8 line. I ordered this Anchor through our Marina on the Island and the Anchor rode through Defender as they had the best price.

Anchor install and marking the rode.

I snaked the Anchor rode on our lawn and marked the rode every 25 feet after the 50 foot mark.

The install of the Anchor and the Mantus Anchor Mate was easy peasy. I also installed a swivel. I have heard various pros and cons regarding the use of swivels but figured we would give it a shot. A swivel, I would guess, would be much more applicable when using all chain rode. I did notice after the install that I will need to add an additional length of chain between the swivel and Anchor to allow the swivel to be stored in the Anchor locker.

Unfortunately we never got to use the Anchor in 2017, but that’s another story.

Solar power? Yeah Baby!

Yeah Baby! All the juice I need!

So with the  new Airhead now installed, it was now time to install a solar panel and controller to solve two problems.

How to power the Airhead vent fan without installing a solar vent and punching another hole in the deck, and how to power the bilge pump when on the hard. The bilge pump was especially important to us after the flood we had inside the boat in 2016 after the cockpit drains had plugged.

In the spring I had purchased a 100 watt semi flexible Windy Nation solar panel and a Go Power 30 amp charge controller of off Amazon for $300. With extra wire and deck hardware it came to $375.

I had thought about mounting options of the panel prior to making a purchase. I had two mounting options in mind.

1. Mount a rigid panel on the stern rail. Though this option appealed to me initially, most of the panels that were the right size were in the 30 watt range and quite expensive for their small size.

2. Mount a semi-flexible panel on the deck. This option seemed to me to be the best as I get get a higher wattage panel for way less then option 1 and it gave me the flexibility (no pun intended) of multiple mounting scenarios.  I could screw it or glue it to the deck. Velcro was also an option.

So I went with option number 2. You just couldn’t beat the price and much more bang for the buck when it came to wattage and mounting options. Of course there are some drawbacks of mounting a solar panel on the deck or on a dodger or Bimini, namely shading from the sails. However with a 100 watt panel I still should receive enough power when sailing for this not to be a problem.

Where to mount. And a temporary solution. Continue reading “Solar power? Yeah Baby!”

No more stinky Boat! 

My sincere apologies for the long delay in posting!

The install of the Airhead Composting Toliet.

Who wouldn’t want to poop in this?

I started this project during our May 2017 trip up to the Island.

I had ordered our Airhead in late April and it was waiting for me at the house when we arrived.

I say waiting for me, as it was my job to remove the old stinky head and replace it with the new Airhead, while Barb enjoyed her time spent with the Grandkids.

First things first was the removal of the old toliet.

The old stinky toliet

The good?

Wasn’t too stinky, since it was pumped out the previous season, and it hadn’t warmed up yet on the Island.

I knew that there probably would be some smell as I removed the hoses. So I pumped a little bleach/water mixture through the toliet, hoses and on into the holding tank.

The Bad?

The hoses.

Several of the hoses where very attached and did not want to relinquish their hold on the toliet or holding tank fittings.

So I had to slice the hoses down the middle and peel them open and pry until they came off.

I had put a dab of Vick’s under my nose and put a mask on for this task. Continue reading “No more stinky Boat! “

Oh sing to me sands of Stockton

One day before pulling the Egress out for the year we finally made landfall on our first Island of the 22 Apostle Islands Archipelago besides our home port on Madeline Island.

You can see our You Tube Video Below.

Stockton Island


Stockton Island is the second largest of the Apostle Islands. Madeline Island being the largest. Stockton Island is the largest island included in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. The Apostle Island National Lakeshore encompasses 21 of the 22 Apostle Islands.The island chain is located off of Northern Wisconsin’s Bayfield peninsula in Lake Superior. Continue reading “Oh sing to me sands of Stockton”

A slow roll to Chequamegon Point Light House

After returning from the Duluth Tall Ships festival we needed to take the Egress out for test run.

We decided to head for Chequamegon Point Light House, we hoisted the sails but the wind was so light and variable that we quickly doused them and motored slowly to get a good view of the Chequamegon Point Light House. We put together a brief video of our slow roll. You can view it below.

Three lighthouses have graced Long Island. Though once an Island, Long Island is now part of a peninsula that stretches nearly eight miles out into Lake Superior, creating a natural breakwater for Chequamegon Bay.

Continue reading “A slow roll to Chequamegon Point Light House”

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