I have officially started a new personal tradition in my life that I am going to call “September Sailing.” Labor Day on Cape Cod was always a depressing weekend for me. It would be the last weekend that we would go down to the Cape, but more than that, it is the weekend that we all pitch in to break down the Cape Cod house. The swings come off the swing set, the beach toys all get stowed under the deck, and Marsaili (my 18′ Marshall Catboat) gets hauled out for the winter.
Pulling Marsaili out of the water is about a 3 hour process from start to finish. I get the trailer out of the woods, take the dinghy out to Marsaili, set up a driver to get the trailer over to the ramp, pull her out and break her down. Nobody, including my wife and kids, has grasped the concept that this takes alot of time. After about an hour, they start harassing me and asking me if I am almost done. It gets stressful as the hours tick by. Well, I put an end to that.
For the past 2 years, I have left the boat in the water after Labor Day. With school and kids’ sports starting up after Labor Day, I know full well that the family won’t be going to the Cape again for the season and that I will not have time to go down during a weekend. I know that this will require a day off from work and a day all to myself and this year was another glorious one.
I bought a kayak a couple weeks prior. I picked up the West Marine Bahama 10.5. It is a Perception Sport Sound 10.5. Confluence makes the same kayak for both Perception and West Marine. I took it out in the ocean for about an hour and did some testing (read: fishing). It is fantastic! Very roomy (I am 6′ 220lbs) and very stable. It tracked decent in the 10kts I was paddling into and handled the 1-2″ waves easily. The size is perfect for my truck and this will be a great boat to tool around with my son once we are done building his CLC Wood Duck Kayak.
Here was the plan:
- Pickup the kayak
- Truck, trailer, and kayak to boat ramp
- Kayak to Marsaili
- Leave kayak at mooring
- Sail! Sail! Sail!!!!
- Pickup kayak at mooring
- Take Marsaili and kayak to ramp
- Truck, Marsaili, and kayak to Stow, MA
Everything went perfectly, but the highlight of the day was obviously the sail. I covered about 12 miles and sailed most of the way to Osterville, MA. The run out there was an easy reach most of the way, but coming back I was beating against the wind and the tide. It was slow going and at spots the wind tapered to just about nothing. Eventually, after surfing a couple of big wakes from the ferries, I made my way to the boat ramp and pulled her out for the season.
As a side note, her hull was completely covered with barnacles. COMPLETELY. Barnacles like I had never seen before. Some were covered in a brown or black tar like substance and I even saw a handful of crabs in the piles on the ground as I scraped them off. The ablative I used clearly did not work and I will be spending the extra couple of dollars on some Interlux Micron Extra for next season.