Yesterday mid-afternoon, for a third time this season, “Sassy Gaffer” returned to the lake, together with “Woodpecker” (likely the one and only junk-rigged Paceship PY23 in the entire world). The wind was steady at an average of about 10 Kts. from the East. The lake was choppy and Sassy in full sail felt very responsive reaching speeds of 5 Kts.
In the past, “Sassy” has been avoiding sailing outside channels signaled on chart 1551. However, this season, she has been following Woodpecker in waters west of channel KN, south of marker K3. With water levels one foot above datum there was little to fear given her “knee-deep” draft. Nevertheless, since she is not yet familiar with these waters, she was being cautious and tried to avoid areas with depths marked on the chart at less than 6 feet.
Given the easterly wind she decided to motor past marker KN5 before heading into the wind to hoist sail. With the aid of her First Mate “Steve Theodore” (the ST1000 Raymarina autopilot) she achieved this without a glitch and her and “Woodpecker” surged sailing perpendicularly to the wind, abeam of each other. Then “Woodpecker” spotted another unique boat sailing close to the Quebec shore: “Restless”, Burton’s handsome Com-Pac 19:
The three boats sailed for a while together, tacking, gybing and reaching abeam of each other. But the sight of Com-Pac boats on Lac Deschênes was not over yet: sailing towards Crystal Bay, Sassy spotted a familiar cat rig: Sunday cat “Sea la vie”, another Com-Pac sailboat:
Shortly after passing the K3 marker the outboard engine and the autopilot were again called into action and the sail was doused, rolled and tied. Eventually, Woodpecker and Sassy rafted in Crystal Bay, swinging, surging, rocking and bumping into each other to incoming wind and waves — and boy, did they ever! as there is not much a boat can do in terms of protected anchorages when winds blow from the East in Lac Deschênes. Neverthess, “Woodpecker” anchor and rode were up to the challenge.
Sassy’s return to dock was a bit eventful, as she had to deal with cross-wind gusts, but after a few tries she eventually made it back into her slip. Here is the giraffe (¿or is it a goat?) drawn by Sassy’s track on the Garmin: