John at the helm, Edge Island in the background

John at the helm, Edge Island in the background

First sail of the season and for a change there was some wind

John invited me to join him for his first sail of the season. The end of June sounds a bit late for getting in the first sail, but John said that the horrendously wet and miserable weather we’ve been having this year had got in the way. Before we could play (sail) there was some housekeeping to get out of the way. The anti-freeze needed to be cleared from the water system, the waste holding tank needed to be pumped out, and we needed to fill up with gas.

We found a paper wasp nest and several mud dauber nests in the mainsail, and the wasps were not happy. Both John and I got stung. Luckily I didn’t have an adverse reaction. We found another wasp nest in an aft locker. Fortunately, wasps and daubers don’t like tick spray (all we had on board). A few squirts made them abandon ship and we threw the nests overboard.

Washing out the water tank and wasp eviction complete, we motored over to the marina office where we pumped out the holding tank and filled up with gas. At last it was time for some sailing. Of course, it wouldn’t be sailing if something didn’t break or go wrong. Before we got out of the marina the engine quit and wouldn’t restart.

John took a look while I got the anchor ready. He said the priming bulb had collapsed, which suggested to me that either the fuel line was kinked or blocked. I was close. John hadn’t refitted the fuel line properly after we filled the tank up with gas. Once he’d reconnected the hose the engine started and I could put the anchor away.

We had an excellent north-west – north-easterly wind at around 8-10 miles an hour. Just right for an easy beat up the lake almost all the way to the Dam. We were hardly foaming along but, compared to some of the windless days we’ve spent on Stockton, we were really moving.

Copyright © 2015 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.