It was that sad time of the year when we needed to take the boat out of the water. We left it late and were unsure what the weather would be for the sail to Wiggers for lift out.
We were keeping a close eye on the weather. Haulout was scheduled for Tuesday, and we were debating on heading up a day earlier to avoid the weather that was forecasted.
Sunday, October 20
We decided to take our chances on Monday and went up to the boat on Sunday to prep. (She said: We didn’t get our act together, so had no choice but to leave Monday.). We dropped a vehicle off at Wiggers, then drove a second vehicle to Cobourg. We were treated to a fantastic day to putter around on the boat.
Prepped the boat for the trip. Emptied and cleaned the fuel filter water separator. Checked steering linkage. Checked engine oil. (She said: motor was off this time…he, he). Checked transmission fluid. Checked coolant. Cleaned up under the engine; we till have a slow leak somewhere. Gave rudder and prop a quick scrub with a brush on a long extension. Then motored over to the marina dock to top up our diesel and for our last pump out of the season.
Still a bit nervous about weather forecasted for the next day, but we enjoyed our day.
We were treated to a beautiful sunset.
Monday, October 20
To get ahead of the nasty weather I convinced Lori to a ridiculous early morning start, at least for us, as we are not early morning people. (She said: that’s an understatement.) And we were up at 6am.
I wasn’t expecting the morning dew obscuring our dodger windows. A quick wipe with a towel cleared them up.
It was a quiet and dark as we left our slip. About a minute or two later, as Lori was removing the dock lines and bumpers she asked, “Are our running lights on?.” Oops.
Realized this was our first time motoring in the pitch dark, when I couldn’t figure out how to turn down the brightness on our chart plotter. Finally figured out that a quick tap of the power button brought up the option to turn on night mode. I then discovered our compass has a cool looking light.
As we left the harbour it was beautiful, quiet and calm on the water.
Time to enjoy another hot drink (it was still a bit cool). (She said: unfortunately, we were out of maple liquor.)
Watched the sun slowly rise and the air warmed. A gentle breeze started whispering from the East.
We decided to raise the sails and turn off the noisy engine. We love the moment when the engine kill switch is pulled. Even though our speed dropped from 6 knots to 2 knots, we didn’t care. It was time to enjoy the journey.
Wind was almost coming from directly behind, and the genoa was flapping uselessly behind the main, so we pulled it in. (She said: this was a good thing, as we found a large tear in it when we took it down at Wiggers.). I don’t have a whisker pole yet for wing on wing and read later that many people just use their foresail in this situation. Regardless, the main was working well.
It was a beautiful sail. After figuring out some mistakes setting the autopilot, it was a low maintenance sail. Just one long broad reach took us most of the way there.
Rough entrance to Wiggers Custom Yachts
Then the wind picked up and the waves got bigger and we got sicker,as they started hitting us on the side.
As we saw the entrance, I recalled last year’s arrival when I grounded on a nice day. There’s a narrow strip close to the rocks on the right were the depth is 6-8 feet deep. Arriving in poor weather, I was worried that a wave would pick us up and drive us forward or send us sideways. I timed the waves and eventually just went for it.
We made it through without grounding. Docking was a challenge with a slight current coming towards us and heavy wind coming off the dock. It was one of our less than stellar landings, with each of us blaming the other for our sloppy docking. (She said: Shane said I pulled the wrong line from the dock; I say he forgot to throw the boat in neutral.) Ahh well, we made it, and there was no new scuff marks on our boat. (She said: we didn’t talk for an hour.)
Right after we docked I noticed a second sailboat was doing a drive by to check out the entrance to Wiggers.
That first wave in the video above shows how big some of the chops were were out there. Unfortunately, this boat got blown too far towards the lighthouse on the right and ended up grounding in the shallow sand bars there. Wiggers quickly sent out two powerboats to haul them in and they were safe and the boat survived the soft sand.
The night and next morning were spent getting the boat ready for lift out, but I’ll save all that work and checklists for a separate post.
February 3, 2020 at 8:58 pm
yes we know that the entrance can be dicey. We spent the last month of the summer in the channel of Wiggers (depth became too shallow at our home port of Newcastle) and made quite a few entrances which were a bit diconcerting. I think I told you about one the day before you made your return (Stu from Olive Branch the CS 27) when we met up at the south entrance to the yard. You are quite right. If the chop is moving the boat around upon entrance you do not have much space to make it into the channel and stay away from the rocks. In the 1980s we used to bring six foot drafts all the way up the channel to the resaurant with no problem. This year we found that if there was a w ind with any south in it, it would send chop up against the downward folow of the current which piled up the chop. Stu Williams
February 4, 2020 at 1:30 pm
Hi Stu, thanks for the comment! Will see you in the boat yard this spring!