Mini Shake-Down Cruise

Every boating season should start with a shakedown and we needed one for sure this year. We haven’t had too many hours cruising on this boat yet – the 8-day trip home when we purchased The Edge, who soon became our next Kindred Spirit, and then the short season of the covid-19/spinal surgery summer which included only 33 days aboard the boat, 20 hours on the engine, only 12 nautical miles from our homeport. That said, we know that Al has spent many more hours working on the boat and knows her inside and out.  

With lovely spring weather forecasted, we decided we might as well take a mini-shakedown cruise. Mini, as in we only went 4 nautical miles across Fishers Island Sound to West Harbor for two nights and three days. If anything went wrong, we were close enough to home to get help.

Sunny day, but chilly water temperature — 54.68 degrees!

On that short crossing we were hailed on the VHF by another Kadey Krogen, Gratitude, who saw us on their AIS. Al and Roberto chatted while they passed in front of us. Roberto and Rosa were on their way home to Rhode Island after their winter in the south.  Kind of cool that our first venture the season finds us chatting with another Kadey Krogen. It’s a close knit group.

Gratitude could see us on their AIS and we could see them. Shakedown checklist – The AIS receives and transmits.
Gratitude, a Kadey Krogen, passes by on her way home to Rhode Island.

Entering West Harbor I always look towards the house with a sea wall spelling out “Where The Wild Things Are”  I love that, but over the years, the words have faded quite a bit. I could barely make it out this time. I wish someone would repaint the words. I wish I know why they were painted in the first place. Must be a good story.

The yellow line underlines the faded words “Where the Wild Things Are.”
Found this old photo from one of earlier trips to West Harbor. I’m not sure what year – 2006ish? What a difference.

We picked up a mooring and enjoyed the afternoon, warmest day of the week.

A cold beer toast to us and our Kindred Spirit! Burgers, sweet potato salad and corn tomato avocado salad.  Shakedown checklist – the grill works
It was very quiet here, only one or two other boats at any one time.

Until …… It was a Wednesday evening so it was race time out in Fishers Island Sound.

And then it was quiet again as the sun set.
Al in the pilot house, relaxing. It is nice to see Al relax. He is almost always puttering around fixing and working on a new project. Time to chill. That’s what summer is for.

Although a little cooler, the morning was lovely again.

My favorite thing on the boat is morning coffee out in the cockpit, just me and the view. Then it was time to test the oven by baking Pillsbury cinnamon buns for the Captain. Shakedown checklist – The oven worked

More shakedowns – dinghy time. This is an entirely new routine for us. For all of our years sailing, we always had davits on the stern for the dinghy. Krogens usually have a hoist system up on the flybridge and the dinghy is kept there. There are pros and cons to both approaches. With davits, the dinghy is easy to drop into the water quickly, but, it makes the transom nearly impossible to access when the dinghy is there. A dinghy up on the flybridge is out of the way of the transom, but, it takes much longer to drop it into the water and put it back up on the bridge. With practice we hope to become efficient at the process because we need the access on the transom for boarding. 

The dinghy sits on the deck of the flybridge. Al connects it and we lift it using the boom and a pulley (two different controls.)
Up and over the rail, then lowered down into the water. It isn’t difficult and not at all strenuous, but it does take a little time. I expect we will get faster with practice. Shakedown checklist – dinghy hoist system

Next it was time to check out the dinghy’s engine. Uh oh. This is not good. The Yamaha engine won’t start. (And this is why we are having a mini-shakedown cruise.) Al begins working on it.

After fiddling with this and that, Al did get it started.
With a wave, he is off and running for a test drive. Although the engine is running now, it isn’t fully fixed. Al needs to clean and rebuild the carburetor. 

Happy news!! Mary Jo and Dean are riding over on Jallao for their little shakedown and a visit. 

I asked Mary Jo why her hand was on her forehead, which I did not see until I reviewed the photographs. She said, “I was thinking OMG, what a start to the season. You captured my moment 🥰🥰.”
Drinks on the flybridge and a group selfie to document the first day on the water

Then it was time for the next part of the shakedown – a dinghy ride for me. Since the dinghy and engine had been tested earlier, I guess this was a shakedown for me. This is our new aluminum bottom dinghy bought last year just before the pandemic raised its ugly head. It is smaller and lighter than any of the old ones we had. Last year, I could not get into it. My back just wouldn’t let me bend down comfortably and safely. The staples that Al added to the transom made it so easy to get in and out.

I do appreciate these staples. It feels so much safer. We will be able to boat into our 80’s. 😉 😜
I am pleased to say it was a very comfortable ride. (Note – the Yamaha engine still needs a carburetor overhaul.)

No amazing sunsets either evening, but Mother Nature was still generous with a pretty and tranquil water view.

We enjoyed another night and morning before heading back to SYC.

Low tide was at noon, and it must have been extra low based on the markings on these rocks.

Over all, a successful mini-shakedown cruise.

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