She did well. Trailered from Tucson to Roosevelt Lake, AZ, and was able to get out on the lake by early afternoon, just when the doldrums set in. That’s all right. Kind of wanted to keep the excitement factor down on this maiden voyage anyway. Light and variable works for me. A little later, looking off to the West, I notice some ripples heading our way. Up came the breeze, and away we go!
The Macgregor swing keel is raised and lowered by a winch and cable, and when the boat’s underway, the taut cable plays what’s known as the “Macgregor hum”. It sounds like a cello, or, as my wife described it, the ominous theme from “Jaws”. And the sound will change with differing speeds, like an audible speedometer. You can eliminate the hum by slackening the cable, but I rather like it.
After a couple hours of tacking and running it looked as if the sun was going to drop behind the hills, so we decided to head to the marina for the night. Timing couldn’t have been more fortuitous, for just after we tied off, the winds came up around 30-ish, and stayed that way for the remainder of the night.
The next morning we motored out onto the lake again, and enjoyed winds of maybe 5-10 kts that had the boat heeling a little more than the day before, then in the afternoon those same doldrums from yesterday returned. Okay, this is a good time to try out the spinnaker, eh? Had Pam point the bow downwind while I went forward and set up the dousing sock and all the accoutrements. Now I know why a good spinnaker bag will include separate pockets for the lines and sheets, as the spin deployment showed a rather tangled mess. Oops, I forgot to rig the tack downhaul FORWARD of the genoa. Oops, the lazy sheet is easily snagged by the anchor hanging from the pulpit. And there just wasn’t enough breeze to fill the darned sail anyway, so down comes the sock and stowed goes the spinnaker.
We’ve still got to drive home this afternoon, so we start heading back to the ramp in light and variable winds. But by the time we got about halfway back, up came the wind, just like the day before. Is the wind here always like this? Got the boat onto the trailer, and wouldn’t you know it, even stronger winds were developing! Thankfully, there’s a large parking area in which I could point the trailer into the wind, making dropping the mast much less stressful.