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Looking at the weather forecasts, I saw a slight drop in expected temperatures over the latter half of the week. The previous foray was pretty warm, but this one didn’t seem as if it would be unreasonably hotter. The evenings/nights/mornings are superb, and the high temps predicted are just a number that happens around midafternoon, yes?

I left the Ranch about 0900, later than I’d hoped for, and got to Roosevelt Lake by early afternoon. I brought lots of water.
Temps were in the low 100’s while setting up the boat, and I puttered about the task very slowly, minding my water intake. A full gallon later, she was ready to launch.
While waiting for a clear ramp, I watched a good-looking Beneteau First 32-ish being launched by what looked like the marina’s tractor. Later I got to meet her owner, “Skeet”, over at the marina, where the boat was being evaluated, spruced and set up by Skeet and Dennis.

I even got to see Carol and Ricardo, who were installing a new swim platform on their Sea-Ray in the ramp area.

The wind that afternoon was out of the Southwest, perfect for a downwind run to Salome Creek, where I was going to anchor that night. I sailed right into the creek mouth,

whereupon the surrounding terrain made the rest of the distance into the creek a matter for my outboard motor. After dropping my anchor and slugging back another half-gallon of water, I doused my mainsail, only to find I’d snapped off a couple of sail slugs during one of my gybes.

Well, crap. These slugs are how the mainsail luff attaches to the mast. They make raising and lowering the mainsail slicker and quicker than the proverbial snot. And I had no spares.
Another pleasure boat arrived for an evening’s anchorage a couple hundred yards away. They were somewhat talkative, and later fired up a generator for some reason, but I had my iPod.
I was also concerned about how little scope my new neighbor had payed out when he anchored, and if the breeze shifted to the Southeast, he could start dragging towards me.

My anchor light was working again. Yes!

After some light fare for dinner, I fell asleep in the cockpit until the cool of the night had me pulling out a blanket. We experience some remarkable temperature swings here in AZ, as much as 40-plus degrees Fahrenheit from AM to PM, thank goodness. The winds had subsided to negligible overnight, and I drifted all around my anchor. This Manson Supreme is supposed to be a very quick-resetting anchor, as quickly as three feet, but the calm conditions weren’t going to test that claim this evening.
I slept without worry.
In the morning, I rifled my stash of granola bars, looking for the peanut butter and chocolate ones, and washed them down with hot coffee. Weighed anchor and set out on my way over to the marina. I wanted to pick “ol Dennis'” brain about how I might salvage this trip, being shy a couple of sail slugs. The morning breeze was directly out of the Northeast, allowing me to ride my spinnaker all the way to the marina. Nice.
Getting within a few hundred yards of the marina, I douse the spin, and attempt to fire up my outboard. Sputter-sputter-cough.
Well, with this gentle breeze, I’m slowly being pushed into the marina’s entrance, no sails up, reasonable rudder response, just drifting along with the breeze. I performed my first ever non-powered docking on a lee dock.

It was somewhat empowering, except for the fact that I couldn’t get the darned motor to start!

Over at the member’s docks I found Dennis and Skeet putting the Beneteau’s running rigging in order, and I couldn’t resist trying to help out. They were rummaging around the new-to-Skeet’s line inventory, making sense of the sheets and bending the foresail onto the furler. Maybe next trip out I’ll get some photos of that boat, but for now I had a few questions for Dennis. He was very helpful, offering some spares he had which unfortunately didn’t fit my mast slot. Another suggestion was to reef the mainsail, moving the broken slugs to the bottom, under the reef point. Aha!

Filled with renewed hope that my trip would be salvaged, I started popping open the small plastic shackles, moving the broken slugs down, and tying off the one grommet that remained above the reef point to the mast.
This’ll work, I thought.
After kibitzing Skeet and Dennis’ work a bit more, I thanked Dennis for his help and set out back onto the lake. The wind had changed direction, now out of the Southwest, and had picked up considerably. Downwind I went. About mid-ways back towards Salome, the wind got a little squirrelier, and I had to gybe.
Hauling in on my mainsheet before the intended gybe in order to reduce the force of said gybe, I was saddened to watch two more slugs give up the ghost. Without a second set of reef points on the mainsail, I was apparently snookered. The gybe wasn’t really all that powerful.
U.V. resistant plastic, my foot. Arizona’s potent sunshine can kill just about anything, even my little sailing trip.
Slacken the mainsheet, drop the mainsail, tie it all down to the boom and head on back to the ramp for haul-out. And it was barely past noon. When I pulled up the ramp, the boat settled back quite far on the bunks, away from the bow chock a good three inches. No problem. Back down again, refloat and get that bow winch tighter. Again, not quite, but better.
Okay, it’s hot, and I’m not too keen on tearing down the boat in the now 100-plus degree heat. I just park everything, hunker down in the shade of the pop-top and open a beer.

Ricardo and Carol were finishing up what they could on their new swim-step, so I helped out a bit with that. She’s pretty excited about the new addition to the boat.

After a late afternoon siesta, I scrounged my pantry for something dinner-like, and mixed myself a substantial gin and tonic. Safe on land, I can afford some inebriation.
The next thing I know, it’s starting to get brighter out! I took advantage of the early morning coolness, and was on the road by 0830.

Chalk up one more learning experience. Certain spare parts will be stowed aboard directly.
What next?
I suppose I’d better finish taking down that dead tree back at the Ranch, eh?

Seems like that’ll probably be the subject of my next blog post. Hopefully a “how-to”, and not a “how-NOT-to” subject.

Until then, I bid you “toodles”.


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