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Hardly had time to finish the previous post before I grabbed another opportunity to float Sovereign for the second time in one month. Is good. This time, my friend Mark from Tucson, and his grandson, Caleb, were tagging along for some fishing.

We get out of town nigh on noon, and head North to Phoenix, stop at a Walmart for some provisions, and get to the lake around late afternoon.
Hurredly setting up the boat, I mistakenly insert the mast base bolt into the trailering keeper on the mast step, and upon stepping, wonder why the mast isn’t going quite all the way up. Yep, I’m an idiot. Drop her back down, switch the bolt’s position, and in an even greater hurry, crank her back up. Sunset is almost upon us, and the breeze is kicking up.
I motor on over to my usual slip, and lo and behold, there’s a Macgregor 26 in it. Okay, I line up with the slip just upwind of her, and “gently crash” into the dock that separates us. My new neighbor is very helpful in tying off my bow, and says something about fenders, wind and waves. I should have listened more carefully to her then, but I just wanted to get tied off and check on Mark’s progress in getting to the marina. It’s getting pretty dark.
My cell phone rings, and it’s Mark, looking for the way into the marina. He’s passed the only entrance, and now has to fight the building winds getting back to the other side of the breakwater. He’s got enough engine, but it was a wet little passage, bashing through the chop. We get him straightened out though, and soon we’re relaxing with drinks at the dock.
I’m looking at the rigging, wondering why the backstay seems looser than usual, when I discover a small problem with the starboard upper shroud. It had kinked somewhat on it’s tang, way, way up on the mast during the second stepping. Crap. With this wind and wave action, I’m not going to unstep the mast on the water, no way.
It’ll have to wait ’til tomorrow morning, when I’ll pull the boat off the lake for some steady ground back at the ramp parking lot. In the meantime, the wind keeps getting stronger, and the swells through the marina larger.
Glad that I wasn’t anchoring out that evening, we had some dinner and hit the sack. As I lay in the starboard bunk, the noise and beating of the boat’s fenders against the dock and hull were more than enough to keep me from getting a good night’s sleep. I should’a listened to you more carefully, Sherry. I hope I’m spelling your name properly. Her sailing partner’s name is Ken, and they’re from Tucson, too.

Day 2-
The next morning, Mark and I yanked the boat out onto the trailer and up to the parking lot to unstep the mast. Again. Seems just about every time I raise that mast, a new problem will arise along with it. Well, maybe I exaggerate. A little.
My primo parking spot in the lot was a goner, so I took the truck and trailer down to the dirt ramp parking lot just East of the main ramp.
Note to self: Don’t set the parking brake when it’s wet, and then leave it for two days.
Just about the time we again get the boat ready for the water, a couple from Eloy shows up. They’re looking at sailboats as a liveaboard prospect, too. Karin and Joe live not too far from the runway at Eloy Municipal Airport, where she flies jumpers for Skydive Arizona. Joe’s been a tandem instructor for quite awhile there, and I’d been pestering them to come sailing with me.
Heck, I pester everyone to come sailing.
Today, I was fairly maxed out with 5 people aboard Sovereign. We sailed for a bit, and got to fly the spinnaker too, after I finally untangled all the controls.

Does this go here?

Even Caleb got to take a turn at the tiller.

We had lunch while enjoying the last of the morning’s wind, and it seemed that the doldrums were just about to set in. Soon, Mark and Caleb were jonesing for some fishing, so we stopped off at the marina and let those fishermen go fish. Joe has sailed before, and I was happy to let him take the tiller all he wanted.

We kept on sailing until late afternoon, these days around 1700, and we stopped by Mark’s boat to check on their luck angling. No fish, no bites, nada. So we all headed back to the marina,

and Caleb gave Karin and Joe the grand tour of the place. We said goodbye to them a little later, and set about the task of dinner.
That evening started calm enough, but soon some convection set in, and we were again beating up against that dock, albeit less than the night before.

Day 3-
Wake up early, and the water’s looking good for some sailing. I ask our neighbors if they’re going out on the lake, and of course, I’ll get some photos of their boat.

I chased Mark and Caleb around the lake, and I hope Mark got some decent shots of my boat. It was a good day, wind-wise. Very short-lived doldrums, and I was able to sail clear uplake and back down, stopping off at Scorpion Bay marina to show off a bit. I hove to inside their breakwater, and set up for docking at the restaurant, just in time to learn that the place was closing. The girl there said she could sell me a beer if I drank it quickly, but I couldn’t walk out onto the docks with it. Well, thanks, but no thanks. I unfurled my genoa, and sailed away, sans motor, back out onto the lake. Light wind is good.
Mark went on ahead, as he’s preparing to pull out this evening, so I followed far behind as usual and met up with him back at the ramp. Seems his Hummer was found to have two flat tires in the parking lot! Lucky for him, there’s an onboard compressor and a CTIS (Central Tire Inflation System), and all he had to do was fire up the diesel. Pretty nifty, huh?
I sailed back over to the marina, and was able to sail right through the entrance. The light Westerlies couldn’t have been much better for close quarter sailing, but maybe if they were a bit more out of the North, I could have easily sailed to my slip. I put her in irons, dropped sails and motored to my dock. Mark calls just as I’m docking, and says he’s got worms. I take a walk up to the parking lot, and find that my primo parking spot’s opened up. Yay! Hike on down to the lower ramp lot, start my engine, put it in gear, and let out the clutch a bit. No go. The rear brakes, or parts of them, have rusted! Okay, pop that clutch. Boom! Drive back up, pick up my worms and say goodbye to the boys. Looks like I’ll be doing some extra greasing of the rear brake system.
That evening was the quietest of all, weather and company-wise. Ken and Sherry, I hope we didn’t keep you up too late with all of our yakking and dock-beating the previous two nights.

Day 4-
Awake at dawn, I hang around to settle up with the marina management, and drink their coffee. I still don’t get why the Pensus Group, owners of both Roosevelt and Pleasant Lake marinas, doesn’t recognize my status as a “friend of the marina” at both places, unless they’re in it for the money. Wait a minute… Until this issue is resolved, I plan on anchoring out more and more. I’ve got to get more experience doing so, anyway. I’m able to get in a little sailing this morning, but there’s a tenant back in Tucson who’s needing some attention. I even saw Jesus, walking on water.

Haul out is uneventful, as is unstepping the mast. I’m on the road by 1400, and Phoenix traffic is fairly reasonable, even without their damned turn signals.

I think that this is the most undesirable part of the trip to and from Lake Pleasant. Being from the Detroit area, where you’re expected to drive 70 MPH bumper to bumper, you’d think the Phoenician rush hour would be similar. Perhaps now that everyone is on their cell phone (and in a hurry), things have changed.
Or maybe it’s just me?
Oh well, Spring is just around the corner, and Roosevelt won’t look all that cold to my bones as it does right now. Excelsior!


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