May 13th: The winter work is done! My son Harrison helped and stands proudly next to Orion before she is trailered to Niantic.
May 15th: This is the latest Orion has ever been launched; she is usually in the water about a month earlier than this!
Oh well - no matter. It's just nice to get her back floating again. Despite my late start, I am still the first one on the Niantic River!
She is on her mooring, ready for an active season of sailing. Everything is right with the world.
May 22nd: My first official sail of the season. I sailed in the Niantic River instead of venturing out into the Bay so I could check everything over.
I anchored up the river in the lee of Saunders Point to tighten turnbuckles, adjust the furling line, and make a new vang strap at the base of the mast.
I then sailed back down the river and tied up at Mago Point Marina which is adjacent to the floating docks where she was launched last week.
After lunch at The Dock Restaurant, I made some final adjustments before heading back to the mooring. A successful first sail for 2015!
May 26th: Went out into Niantic Bay to sail for the first time this year. The light winds didn't matter to me - it was nice just to be out sailing!
I stopped at the Niantic Bay Yacht Club, my traditional first visit each year when I go out into the Bay. The slips are almost all filled by now.
The light winds prompted me to set my asymmetrical spinnaker to shake out the wrinkles and move along smartly.
The breeze started to freshen as it was time for me to head for home. The spinnaker behaved itself, and it was a good first trip outside the bridges.
June 26th-28th: Nine Mariners participate in another Mystic Rendezvous trip. This time, we stayed in the anchorage and rowed ashore.
The trip coincided with the famous WoodenBoat Show. My favorite boat on display was the John Alden schooner HEART'S DESIRE.
My sister, Rebecca Bayreuther Donohue, works at the Seaport as the head of the role-playing department. She rowed out to meet us in 1870's period attire!
Some of the sailors who participated in the event. Many more pictures may be seen at the Google Photos album.
July 18th: I took friends and family motoring out into Niantic Bay to anchor and watch the fireworks for Celebrate East Lyme.
With eight adults and my almost-three-year-old son, we were just a little stern-heavy. And even though it was pretty cozy aboard, we all fit!
August 2nd: I took my wife and a couple friends sailing to Mystic Seaport. I just love that place, although the fixed docks were not ideal.
They stayed overnight and explored the Seaport the next day, and I sailed to Stonington and tied up at the Stonington Harbor Yacht Club.
I walked around the Borough - the whole place just oozes history. Here are two cannons that repulsed British ships in the war of 1812.
Upon my return, the Seaport kindly offered me the use of floating docks. For more pictures, check out this photo album.
November 9th: After more than a month of inactivity due to other obligations, I was finally able to take Orion for her last sail of the season.
I motored down the River to see if any other boats were around. Except for some boats at the marinas, everybody else had been pulled out for the winter.
I set the sails, but the wind was light and gusty at times. It was clear the winter winds have already set in.
The trees around my parents' house have already lost nearly all their leaves! The whole river is very quiet without other boats or the wind rustling through leaves.
Sailing up river, only two boats were left on their moorings. ORION is the only one left in the lower part of the river, but not for long.
I took off the mainsail and brought it back with me. ORION's haul date is scheduled for this Saturday.
November 14th: I grounded Orion at my parents' beach and unstepped the mast. The mast will stay at my parents' during the winter.
I then motored to the nearby launch ramp where my father met me with the trailer. ORION is now safely in her garage in Northford awaiting winter maintenance.