Well Labor Day has come and gone and so has Halloween, we pulled the fleet out of the water and started winter layup in September, a little early this year so we could continue renovations on the cottage that the two tortoiseshell cats own.
First a word about sailing this summer; wind.
The summer of 2015 was a light air summer, as a result we got very good at setting and striking topsails. By contrast, this year we only set topsails twice all summer. We joined four other Friendships, a Marconi sloop and a lobster yacht for a two week cruise in July and never needed diesel, and never even topped up the main tank from our reserve tanks. It was a fantastic cruise with good company, good cheer, and great sailing.
Not only was there wind but also we were incredibly lucky in that we had predominantly fair winds. We had one rough day of high winds and big seas getting into Southwest Harbor on MDI. And there were two days on our cruise when the winds blew 25-30 kts, and not from a favorable direction, but we spent those two days tucked up snugly in a hurricane hole, hiking, reading, and relaxing, and those days proved to be among the most relaxing of the trip.
We spent the last few days of our cruise in Rockland at the annual Friendship Sloop Homecoming and gathering.
We had a great time gathering with other Friendship sloop owners and fans in Rockland.
While we were in Rockland we also had a chance to take some of our extended family sailing. There were so many of them they had to come sailing in shifts.
After returning from our cruise we had another six weeks of weekend cruises, some of them extended weekend cruises, and great sailing.
The winds were so consistent and fair, that we did not get out to sail our tender, Fee-Fi nearly as often as last year since we never wanted to miss a chance to take out the Friendship.But even there, when the time came to pull Fee-Fi out of the water, we managed to sail to the take-out ramp in two long tacks, which was a delight since it is usually an hour of hard rowing.
Our lives have been so very full this last year or so that at times we wonder if it makes sense for us to dedicate so much of our time and energy to our wooden classic, but we saw so many beautiful boats, and old and new friends on the water and our summer was so rich an fulfilling that we mostly feel fortunate and grateful for what we have and what we are able to share.