31 July 2011

Our First Circumnavigation! (Learning to Sail: Part III)

As seen from land - this marks the canal entrance
As seen while entering from Lake Michigan; with Jane in her favorite spot

We have circumnavigated Door County.  We spent a couple of days seeing the sights by car, with our home base at the Holiday Motel in Sturgeon Bay.  (Ean has commented on the funky Holdiay Motel in a previous entry.)  But our primary purpose for the Door County trip was to attend a three-day sailing course, offered by the Hoofers, to earn ASA 103/104 certification.  We sailed aboard Delia, a 1985, 47 foot Jenneau.  We sailed up the west coast of Door County (the Green Bay side), and then down the east coast (the Lake Michigan side).  It was an interesting juxtaposition, to see Door County first by land, and  then by water.  For example, we visited the USCG station at Sturgeon Bay, and took a picture of the entrance to the channel that connects Sturgeon Bay to Lake Michigan.  A few days later, Ean shot the same channel entrance from the water. (Both pictures above.)

But the main thing, of course, was the learning.

We certainly don't feel like experts - and probably never will - but I will say that things are starting to make a certain sense to us.  There seems to be some rhyme and reason to sailing, that we can just barely discern.  One of the most important things we learned, to my mild embarrassment, is that I am apt to get sea-sick before Ean does.  Who would have thunk it?!  But yes, I will admit it: I tossed my cookies when we were beating against four foot seas, with less than 20 knots of wind.  What a rookie!  All the more humiliating because I was the only one of the eight on board to get sick - and I'm sure I have FAR more nautical miles under my belt than any of the others.  Than all the others COMBINED, come to think of it.  Ah well.  Get over yourself and your vast sea experience, Jane.  Ean was brave and stalwart.  Here is a picture of him with Yana in the background (Yana was MOST effective when serving as so-called "pulpit decoration" - also constructed a great chicken wrap.)
My hero - and Yana

So, In the pictures above: me on the bow, Ean on the helm, Yana as pulpit decoration.  Who else have we, on our fabulous three-day cruise?  First, our fearless leaders.  Skipper Dan, owner of the boat, and Randy, our instructor (of ASA 101 as well as 103/104).  Here are pictures of them in action:

Skipper Dan on watch

Randy, teaching us about easing up

Then we have Meghan and Doctor Dan.  During the trip, Ean, Dan and I conceived of an ASA endorsement called "The Cruising Life."  The Cruisers Endorsement, ASA- 1 - oh - eh - whatever...., is earned only by those who have truly embodied the idea of "Ease Up."  Doctor Dan and Meghan both qualify.  Here they are:

Yes, her legs are that long

103/104, AND the all-important Cruisers Endorsement
And finally, here is Peter, who I fear will NEVER earn his cruisers endorsement.  In this picture, he is studying our "course textbook" - AFTER he has already taken and passed the test.  Sigh.
Epic Fail on Cruisers Endorsement
The upshot of it all: Ean and I (along with all others, INCLUDING YANA) passed ASA103/104.  Randy wants Ean to test out again on the J24 for 101 certification - which is, of course, officially a prerequisite for 103/104.  So back to Hoofers we go for more practice on the Very Small Boat.  Third time's a charm?  Progress has been made.  Still learning......

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