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Old 13-09-2021, 17:13   #1
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Why does everyplace I sail seem to have its own special magic?

Why does everyplace I sail seem to have its own special magic?

I haven't sailed all that many places, as of yet, but each and every place seems to be special.

I bought a boat, about a year ago, and just managed to get it into the water, for a couple of days shakedown before the end of the season.

She's not sailing, yet. I'm going to be re-rigging over the winter. So it was just a couple of days motoring on the lake. The Yanmar works fine, the alternator works fine. The thru-holes and the stuffing boxes don't leak.

I'd put her in the water at Lake Pepin, on the Mississippi river between Minnesota and Wisconsin, about 60 miles SE of the Twin Cities. And I chose Pepin for no reason other than it had the closest affordable marina.

But Pepin is special, in it's own special way. It's one of the best bird-watching sites in the country. Millions of birds, of hundreds of different species, pass through it every year during their spring and summer migrations.

I wasn't there for bird watching, I wasn't nosing into the marshes where the large flocks gather, I was just motoring around the open lake. And I was weeks early for the fall migration.

Still, I saw birds out on the lake. Gulls, of course. Loons - which I'd never seen except on the far northern lakes.

And pelicans. I had never seen a pelican in Minnesota. I'd seen Brown Pelicans in Florida. I'd never seen a White Pelican, and I wasn't even aware that there were pelicans in Minnesota. But yesterday and today, there were dozens.



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Old 13-09-2021, 17:17   #2
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Re: Why does everyplace I sail seem to have its own special magic?

Glad you are noticing.
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Old 13-09-2021, 17:28   #3
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Re: Why does everyplace I sail seem to have its own special magic?

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Why does everyplace I sail seem to have its own special magic?
Perhaps you bring the magic with you...

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Old 13-09-2021, 17:40   #4
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Re: Why does everyplace I sail seem to have its own special magic?

It's why we sail. Although truth be told, there are some places more magical than others
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Old 13-09-2021, 18:46   #5
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Re: Why does everyplace I sail seem to have its own special magic?

I could never again leave our home bay and still find delight every day. And I’ve been on it for over 50 years.

Most people stick to the yacht club and tourist area. Most are gone by mid October. The nature, beauty, and changes they never see. They don’t see the beavers and mink, they miss the salmon packed into creeks. They’ve never seen the sway of grasses with not a soul in sight at the southern reaches. They don’t know the cut between the islands, nor the twisty channel up the creek which is a blast on plane in a dinghy. They don’t know where the sailing ships rest below water, or that we sail a deep crevasse filled 70’ deep with the mud of centuries, giving it a false bottom.

There is no one alive that knows our bay as well as I, yet I could be happy exploring it every day with a small Whaler.
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Old 13-09-2021, 19:12   #6
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Re: Why does everyplace I sail seem to have its own special magic?

Pepin is nice.

Have you been to the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior, near Bayfield WI?
Very nice. Sailed there for many years. The 4+ hour drive from the cities wasnít fun.

Now Iím 12 minutes from our sailboat on Corpus Christi bay. Very different but quite nice. Grey pelicans, cranes, herons, egrets, and dolphins.
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Old 13-09-2021, 19:25   #7
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Re: Why does everyplace I sail seem to have its own special magic?

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Have you been to the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior, near Bayfield WI?
Yep.

Superior is a lot more fun on a boat than on a beach.
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Old 13-09-2021, 19:30   #8
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Re: Why does everyplace I sail seem to have its own special magic?

Inside joke. I’ve heard friends mention “their cabin on the lake” - and thought ‘your cabin is BY the lake, mine is only one ON the lake’.

Semantics...
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Old 13-09-2021, 19:38   #9
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Re: Why does everyplace I sail seem to have its own special magic?

Lower Colorado river and lakes are in a desert hell scape, first time I launched a boat on it I discovered that EVERYPLACE looks much better from the water.
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Old 13-09-2021, 19:38   #10
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Re: Why does everyplace I sail seem to have its own special magic?

Welcome

This year there are more pelicans than I remember.

Pepin and the nearby surrounding river system has much to explore. The best places vary by season and change with water levels and from year to year. I enjoy the way Pepin reflects the seasons and combines the history and culture of the Mississippi with the sailing/cruising pleasures of a large inland lake. In our four years here we have been as far upstream as the lower St. Anthony Falls lock and as far downstream as the confluence with the Chippewa near Wabasha. We have also been up the St. Croix and Minnesota rivers, both worthy of exploration, each with its own personality.


We are selling our 26' boat and are planning on purchasing a larger boat on Lake Superior because we have concluded that our H26 is too small for a couple to live on for a week and too large to be conveniently trailerable, so we are making tradeoffs rather than trying to have it all. Nonetheless, we will be back on Pepin with our daysailer and other small boats.



Your vessel poses unique tradeoffs and I hope it works out well for you.


On Pepin, you will discover your own favorite places and seasons, which is part of the joy.

I leave you with moonrise at anchor on Long Point, two miles upriver from the 400 dock.
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Old 13-09-2021, 20:12   #11
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Re: Why does everyplace I sail seem to have its own special magic?

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Your vessel poses unique tradeoffs and I hope it works out well for you.
That she does.

She does steer like a pig.
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Old 14-09-2021, 05:00   #12
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Re: Why does everyplace I sail seem to have its own special magic?

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She does steer like a pig.

Have you tried putting a leeboard down partway? Could make a world of difference particularly docking in a crosswind.
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Old 14-09-2021, 05:11   #13
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Re: Why does everyplace I sail seem to have its own special magic?

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Have you tried putting a leeboard down partway? Could make a world of difference particularly docking in a crosswind.
There are a lot of things I haven't tried, yet.
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Old 14-09-2021, 09:14   #14
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Re: Why does everyplace I sail seem to have its own special magic?

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Perhaps you bring the magic with you...

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This was my same thought when I read the thread title. People seem to be in control of their own joy!
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Old 14-09-2021, 09:24   #15
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Re: Why does everyplace I sail seem to have its own special magic?

I agree. The way I like to describe cruising is, you can get there other ways, car, fly etc. but sailing there is an adventure. When there I feel like I'm part of it, somehow more than a visitor.
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