Sometimes the hardest part of sailing is just getting to your sailboat

I love sailing. I sail a lot. I'm still working full time although not full days. My sailboat is in the water at my yacht club tied to a dock in the marina. It takes me 50 minutes to get to the marina and in 10 minutes my sails are up and I'm sailing.

Last year's sailing season was from May 25 through to September 29. Take out 2 weeks of gale force winds in July, 2 weekends out of province on holidays in August, not a breath of wind days, rain days, various other commitments and I still squeezed in 29 different days on the water.

I have made sailing a priority. I believe that it is good for my physical and mental health and good for my soul. It makes me happy.

In the prairies, where I live, the wind and weather can be very changeable very quickly so when good weather presents good sailing conditions I try to be ready. I watch the weather forecasts, wind forecasts I feel the wind on my face and I watch the trees. I can be on the road quickly because I have prepared. I have a backpack ready with flashlight, batteries, cell phone cable & charger, toothpaste & toothbrush. Whatever I need to take back to the boat from the last trip such as washed drink glasses or water jugs I have ready as well.

I was caught off guard by a thunder storm last year.  In this video my marina is to the far right of the far shore right where this storm was blowing through. I waited it out and later, after I thought it had past, I made a run for it. I was close to being caught in the middle of it again. Now I keep a can of soup or stew on the boat in case I need to stay out on the lake or pull up to shore overnight instead of risking heading for home. I also keep a wee bottle of dark rum aboard for medicinal use only.

 

Once in a while I'll remember something I forget part way out of town but this is why I am trying to keep the boat and my backpack stocked.

Many people tell me that they would like to go for a sail but it's hard to plan ahead because of the weather. This year I'm going to keep a list people that have shown an interest in sailing and give them a call when I think I'm heading out.

Today is March 4. In another 12 weeks I should have my sailboat back in the water.

I better check my bag.

If you enjoyed this post, I'd really appreciate it if you could help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook. Thanks & Cheers! Daryl

The last sail of 2014, "My nose is runnin' and me arse is freezin'".

Walter.png

My friend Danny and I went to the lake on Oct 4, 2014 to pull Island Time out for the winter. It was not one of the latest sails of the year but definitely one of the coldest. It was about 6 degrees Celsius and a good ripping wind. We went out for a short sail with only the jib flying. Definitely more of a rum day than a beer day.

 

Sailing Beer

IslandTimeBeer
IslandTimeBeer

In the summer my friend Buzz and I took Jason, an ultra sound student of his, out for a sail on Island Time. We try to do this for all of the Alberta students that come to Manitoba.

Jason was a lot of fun and I ended up playing the ukulele singing a parody of Santana's "Black Magic Woman". In my version I want a "Big Breasted Woman"! 

Well Jason is back here again from Alberta and brought me some home made beer. I haven't tried the beer yet but I love the label !

MotionX-GPS App

motionx-ad.jpg
FB MotionX
FB MotionX

The best sailing app that I have on my iPhone is MotionX-GPS. It's only $0.99 for iPhone and $1.99 for iPad. I have so much fun with this app. At the start of a sail I can set it to track my path and when I'm done my sail I can view this track and if I choose share it on Facebook, Twitter or email.

I have one Facebook friend that always makes comments like "At what point did you decide to let a monkey take the helm?" or "go home Daryl you're drunk!"

You can view multiple tracks at once. These are 18 tracks from this summer's sailing.  Pelican Lake where I sail is about 1 1/2 miles wide by 14 miles long with the marina at the north west end of the lake.

MotionX multiple sails
MotionX multiple sails

When I zoom in on these multiple tracks it's obvious how many short sails that I make close to the marina! I will often drive an hour to the lake to sail in the evening. Our wind almost always drops off to nothing at some point later in the evening. I don't want to motor very far to get back to the club.

MotionX multiple sails
MotionX multiple sails
MotionX track on GoogleEarth
MotionX track on GoogleEarth

MotionX also produces a .kmz file that can be opened in Google Earth.

You can set your speed and distance units to kilometers, miles, nautical miles or even feet and yards (for hiking or biking). Voice coaching can be turned on or off and set at different time  intervals to tell you your speed, distance and elapsed time and other functions. If you're playing music through your device it can be set to pause when voice coaching is talking.

A lot of information is available when on route

MotionX data
MotionX data
MotionX compass
MotionX compass

or when looking at the details of your track.

track details
track details

You can mark waypoints or set them ahead of time by using Latitude Longitude co-ordinates. I set this waypoint by getting the co-ordinates from Google Earth for a spot where we had stopped for a beach picnic and spotted Golden Eagles.

MotionX waypoint
MotionX waypoint

I have navigated to a waypoint watching my sailboat track in real time along my route when it was getting dark and I could no longer see landmarks.

Any of the sailors that I know that use MotionX  absolutely love it. One friend that I recommended MotionX to actually thanks me every time that we meet on the water.