Saturday October 9, 2012
October 9th and it’s 78 degrees in West Michigan. We always have at least one of these days in October, a surge from the 50′s & 60′s up to the 70′s or possibly even 80, but you never know when it’s going to come (we actually had it on Halloween two years ago). So I was very happy my first trip on the boat in a month was going to be a warm one. Matt was able to get out of work just a hair early and we were packed and on the road by 4:00. Luckily I hadn’t forgotten anything this time so there were no extra stops to Meijer on the way, and we were loaded onto the boat by 5:00. We had expected to spend our two hours of daylight working on boat projects, but of course, nothing ever exactly goes the way we plan. The amount of time I needed to work on my project wasn’t a complete fail, but the fact that the fabric I had cut and stitched for the beginnings of a cockpit enclosure being too small for the area we measured was. And Matt’s evening project of getting the windlass set up in the anchor locker was a fail because he could not find the drill bits needed to get through the fiberglass. So now at 5:15 we sat around the boat with nothing to do.
The sun was out, the weather was warm, and the wind had just picked up from not a ripple on the water to about 7 or 8 knots. I suggested to Matt that we spend our extra free time going for a sail and he looked at me almost quizzically as if to say, “You want to spend time on our sailboat sailing?”, but he looked around at all the other boats trying to get one last good weekend in and decided why not? Unhooking from the mooring we had no real destination in mind. Normally we’d gun it for the channel about a mile away and cruise up, down, and out into Lake Michigan, but this night we decided to take Serendipity on her first sail of Muskegon Lake. With the autopilot set in the general northeast direction we sat on the deck with Mazzii as we flew down the lake at an astonishing two or three knots. For about an hour and a half we glided across the water enjoying the sun setting on the fall foliage, and even witnessed a few near misses of other boats that did not seem to want to get out of each other’s way.
With the sun dipping below the leaves and branches of the trees we pulled back into the mooring with just enough light to grill our burgers. Dinner was al fresco with Mazzii happily chomping away on her canned gourmet dog food long enough for her to forget we had food she could try and steal from us. The normal after dinner routine would be for Matt to take Mazzii to shore for a bathroom break while I wash dishes, but lately we’ve been trying to teach her to go on the deck of the boat for when we’re cruising and we won’t be able to go on land every 10-12 hours. So Matt brought her up to the bow of the boat where he kept repeating ‘go potty’, and she just looked right back at him as if to say ‘ok, take me to land and I’ll go’. This conversation went on between the two for a good twenty minutes before Matt decided that he would just leave her up there and if she had to go bad enough she would. Close to an hour later she hadn’t done anything except sit in the cockpit and whine at us because she wanted to come down in the cabin. He finally decided to take her in once before bed, and I settled into the settee to crochet a blanket I’ve been working on (yes, I’m actually an 80 year old woman). When they returned we threw Mazzii’s coat on her, fluffed her pillow and hoped she’d be calm for the rest of the night. The three of us hung out in the salon for the next hour and a half watching episodes of Californication until our eyes were falling shut at 10:30 and we decided to pack it in. Ahhhh, boat life. Where you go to bed an hour earlier on Saturday nights than you do in the work week.