Saturday, August 23, 2014

Washing Down the Sails - By Katlyn

Hello all! So, during our last work day at Southwind, we were able to find all of our sails that had been stowed in the v-berth for who knows how long. So we gathered them up and brought them home to give them a good rinse off and inspection.

We got really lucky with these sails! They are in really great shape. The Jib has a small tear near the foot, and none of the sails have any battens (we are still confused about what happened to them...) but other than that, the sails are perfect!

We were able to stretch them out across the driveway, and Emily hosed them down. The sails were definitely a lot bigger than we realized. The main sail stretched all the way into the street! The head of the main got a quick rinse before we folded it back so it would get run over by a careless car. 

After rinsing each sail, we moved it to the sidewalk to drive before folding it back up. FYI, small neighborhoods are not very conducive to sail surveying.  Our drive was not long enough, and I think we upset a few of the neighbors after we blocked the sidewalk for a couple hours. Oh well, what can you do? Ha ha!

Overall, we are super excited about how great these sails are! They definitely could have been much worse, especially after being untouched for so long. We all can't wait until the masts and rigging are up and we can finally unfurl our gorgeous sails!

Happy Sails!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

First Mate's Class - By Katlyn

Today was super exciting! It was Dad's first day sailing, and he absolutely loved it!  Since Emily and I are the only "experienced" sailors in our family crew, we all thought it would be a good idea for Dad to get a quick and dirty intro to sailing. (Because having only one adult on board who knows how to sail just sounds like a bad idea in general) Luckily, the Yacht Club where I took my fabulous ASA 101 and 103 sailing courses offers up private lessons (for a nominal moderate fee, of course).  So Dad, Emily and I (along with our Uncle Fred) headed to the marina to take our "First Mate Class."  It was a great lesson, and I think everyone learned something valuable.  Emily was our Helmsman (which she loved!) and did a fantastic job.  Of course, Dad and Uncle Fred both learned some of the basics of sailing, like points of sail, trimming the sail, procedure for raising and lowering the sails, etc. (All good things, all good things!) No surprised, they caught on really quickly and did an awesome job! That was lucky for me, because I realized how hard it is to actually skipper a boat! Its one thing to be able to sail (or kind of know what you're doing), its a whole different ball game when you are the one having to tell your crew members what to do.  Thank goodness for our superb instructor, Bill, who so kindly corrected me when I incorrectly told my crew to head up or forgot to tell them how to raise the main (you know, just little mistakes.....Ha Ha!)  All in all, it was a great day!  Dad is definitely 100% hooked on sailing and we all had a great time enjoying the beautiful afternoon breezes in Long Beach Harbor!  One thing is for sure: we are going to be getting in a lot more practice sails before Southwind is launched in a few months ... and we are all super happy about that!!

 Look how excited we are!

Uncle Fred got a picture of our picture!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


This is Southwind. She is a 1973 Dickerson 36 ft Ketch. Right now, she is in pretty rough shape. But in a few months you won't even recognize her. I know she doesn't look like much, but believe me, she's quite a treasure.  All she really needs is a little bit of love and our family of seven has plenty of that to spread around!  We don't really know much about boats, and only a couple members of our troop has any sailing experience, but we are always game for a good adventure!  So, armed with our how to books (Don Casey is a total genius!), a few tools, and an open mind, we are diving into the project of a lifetime! Wish us luck!!

The side view of our beautiful Southwind!

We LOVED the caption on the bucket! "Let's Do This" is definitely our motto!