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Old 24-02-2013, 20:19   #1
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Hello...From Lake Lanier in Georgia

Yes, I admit it, I am a lake bum. A few short months ago, I couldn't sail a Dory in a Millpond and now I am only slightly better. Oh boy the stories I could tell already.

I am a soon to be 40'ish father of a 4 and 6 year old, and husband to a beautiful wife whom I have been with for almost 20 years. She is a water baby that I met in San Diego while in the Marines and suckered her into following me to Georgia.

But that's enough of that for now. It does, however, lead me to why I am here.

My wife (the above water baby) and I are two very different humans. She prefers the water while I prefer the mountains. Maybe one day I will find an interesting mountain by the seashore that I can be a hillbilly on, but until then I have sailing. And that is where my story begins.

I live on a lake, you would think that I would have bought a boat sooner but it took me 6 years to pull the trigger. After several discussions we decided we didn't want a cruiser, she wanted something she could be cove comfortable in. We got a 22 foot Catalina.

I bought the "sailing for dummies" book. Hit every youtube and website I could find, and picked the brains of anyone who would spend time with me. After filling my brain with lots of data I decided on a smaller sailboat that one person could manage (wife knows nothing of sailing- yet) while 2 little ones were bouncing around like chipmunks.

The boat I picked up was interesting. If I had known more I would have bought more boat, but I had no clue what was about to hit me. The fellow I dealt with knew just enough about sailing to show me the thing could float and how to dock it. I had a friend of mine with some sailing experience "give it the ok".

What I bought was a boat that had been rather pilfered, but was at least lake worthy. It had a trolling motor, no gib gear, the wenches were rusty, the motor mount was old plastic, it had no boom vang, no radio, no bilge, no mast light, ETC. that list could go on.

But it was mine.

The first thing I bought was a 6 horse Mercury NIB. Short shaft of course. Luckily I had some small craft training in the military and I remembered to tie off the motor. It promptly slid off well after leaving the marina even though I had it tight as the plastic was so old it disintegrated from the motor mount. It took a plunge but got caught by the tie down before being deep sixed. I learned the value of using the tiller to scull my way home and I learned the value of a proper motor mount and made it happen. Followed that by taking the short shaft back to West Marine and replacing for a long shaft.

My first "sailing trip" out was a rather laughable affair. I had no idea that I was missing the rigging for the gib and had looped the rope to the winch which promptly went flying along with my front sail and flapping in the breeze as I desperately sought to find a way to affix it and get moving again. Meanwhile almost ran aground. Twice.

Well, I decided to pull up the centerboard and put the family out on an island for a bit of quiet time. I was blubbering by then....While enjoying they afternoon sun I notice my new engine was sitting at an odd angle and decided to adjust it. I climbed into the water and went to pulling on various knobs and latches till I got the cross bar out. As I was putting the bar into a more appropriate hole, of course I dropped it. In more than a few feet of water. Thereby learning the value of a good tool kit, oh, and re-remembering how much fun it is to scull yourself home. This time with a very cranky family on board.

As I was nearing our cove, which by the way is a very narrow inlet, I realized the wind was blowing directly down it with no way for me to sail but directly into the wind. Couldn't get it up the inlet to save my life. As I was about to ram a rather expensive cruiser I decided the safest course of action was to just tie the anchor rope (minus the anchor) around my waist and just swim it in. I did and soon realized the value of having tow coverage. Swimming a boat 1000 yards into the wind was fun....when I was 20.

When we landed, my sweet wife, who had endured entirely too much by this time had only 3 words to say to me when she exited the boat..."Take a class". My children were far less friendly.

Well, after some formal classes, lots of sailing, remembering some common sense, and getting the willies scared out of me a few more times.....

Here I am...

My intention now is to get certified, spend much more time on the water, and EVENTUALLY get a bigger boat in a slip in either St. Augustine or Panama City Florida so that my darling wife can finally have her water.

I have much to learn. My priority is to keep my family safe, but to learn to have some fun with it. If life works out the way I plan, maybe even some long term cruising will fit into this story somewhere.

Sorry for the novel,
Cool Hand
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Old 24-02-2013, 21:06   #2
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Re: Hello...From Lake Lanier in Georgia

Welcome aboard! Check out cruising the sea of Cortez, it has such beautiful mountains and great sailing too.
Cheers
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Old 24-02-2013, 21:23   #3
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Re: Hello...From Lake Lanier in Georgia

Well hi Cool Hand and welcome to the forum. I did things backwards from you. I learned how to sail and then moved to Lake Lanier but never did sail on the lake. However after years of motor boating around the lake and watching the conditions I can say it's a tough place to sail. All the hills and coves channel the wind in odd ways so you're always having to adjust.

Left GA a few years back and moved to FL but still not living on the ocean, but I did get the bigger boat.

Have fun.
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Old 24-02-2013, 22:33   #4
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Re: Hello...From Lake Lanier in Georgia

Welcome to the CF cool hand. Always remember the life jackets,especially for the kiddies. Good luck!
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Old 24-02-2013, 23:02   #5
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Re: Hello...From Lake Lanier in Georgia

Welcome CoolHand,
Your writing style is a pleasure to read. Don't hesitate to post more of your experiences.
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Old 25-02-2013, 05:42   #6
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Re: Hello...From Lake Lanier in Georgia

Welcome aboard!
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Old 25-02-2013, 06:45   #7
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Re: Hello...From Lake Lanier in Georgia

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Cool Hand (Luke?).
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Old 26-02-2013, 18:04   #8
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Re: Hello...From Lake Lanier in Georgia

Awwwww...shucks....you guys really know how to make a fella feel welcome. Looking forward to this place.
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Old 26-02-2013, 18:25   #9
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Re: Hello...From Lake Lanier in Georgia

Welcome to CF--from bay #32, just above Browns bridge, on the right.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:12   #10
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Re: Hello...From Lake Lanier in Georgia

Great story. We all have done questionable things to bail our fat out of the fire I am sure. I sail a hunter 31 out of Sunrise cove on Lake Lanier and often sail without the wife and kids when the wind pipes up. I am always looking for good company on those windy days. I think it is great fun and an excellent experience builder. Drop me a line if you would like to join me. Good luck with the new boat !
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:04   #11
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Re: Hello...From Lake Lanier in Georgia

Welcome Coolhand. I sail on Lake Lanier. My boat is on P-dock at Sunrise cove. It is the Beneteau 473 named TraSea. I am the current Rear Commodore at Lake Lanier Sailing club and also a member of Southern Sailing club. The sailing community on the lake is a great one. If you are interested I would be happy to introduce you around. My wife and I sail most weekends year round. Welcome to CF, you will find a wealth of information here.
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Old 14-03-2013, 14:16   #12
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Re: Hello...From Lake Lanier in Georgia

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Wow! You've got a great introduction story there.
I always advise new folks to take at least a basic sailing course.
My first vessel was a Catalina 22 non-trailerable fin-keeler. Great little boat as mine had been pretty well cared for.
Thanks for your service and I have fond memories of San Diego and their MWR sailing programs.
kind regards,
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Old 14-03-2013, 14:20   #13
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Re: Hello...From Lake Lanier in Georgia

Look up Dottie Toney and Lance Jones and the Catalina 34 Fleet on your Lake. They accept all Catalinas in their group.
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