2011 Second Successful Launch of the Home-Made Spinnaker...with a but in there...Aug 5, 2011
Today we had another successful run down wind with our home-made spinnaker.  She haulled us along at 2.9 to 4.3 knots.  We did experience a failure.  The home-made jib/spinnaker pole bent beyond its limits to be recovered.  I brought the pole home to salvage parts off it but my attempt to bend it back into shape proved fatal.  The aluminum bulged at the bend.  Sadly this puts the home-made jib/spinnaker pole in the failed catigory. 
2011 Spinnaker Up and Flying - Aug 3, 2011
The following is an excerpt from an email I reciently sent to one of our readers that has become an email friend, TomG.
I had a great day out on Lake St. Clair yesterday!  I went out with one mission - to concur my spinnaker.  I built a spinnaker a couple of years ago.  Tried to fly it last year and well, I guess you would call it...failed!  So yesterday I went out with a single mined mission.  No other sails, no distractions, just me, the Christopher-Jin, and the spinnaker.
I spent two days before preping for "the launch."    I decided the spinnaker pole mount was too low, so I added a new one at about boom height.  The old one just cleared the bow pulpit.  I also reworked the spinnaker pole suspension to better support the pole.  Also reworked the end releases.  I headed out to the hardware store and dug up some stainless clips and 2" brass rings to make attaching the sheets and spinnaker pole a whole lot easier.
So out I went with everything newly rigged, pole in place, spinnaker in its sock and laying on the fore deck.  Started backing out of the slip and...had the starboard spinnaker sheet wrapped around one of the dock lines hanging from the dock line hook!  Failed.
Straighten out that mess and started out again.
I headed out about a mile turned away from the wind, set the auto tiller and idled down the motor.  I hulled up the spinnaker, raised the sock and...we were flying!
It was the first time I had successfully launched my home built spinnaker.  I think all the time spent re-working the rigging did the trick.
We (the Christopher-Jin and I) headed straight down wind, killed the motor and we were doing 2.9 knots.  With a little tweaking and a pick up of the wind we hit over 4.5 knots at times!  I had a riot!
It was an overcast day with a nice steady breeze, with the spinnaker up and billowing I felt like an ancient mariner.
I couldn't stop.  I just kept going where the wind took me...several hours later I had to turn on the motor and head back in, but I had sailed into an area I hadn't explored before so I motored around abit and saw some great canals and homes in St. Clair Shores.
All-and-all a great day.
2010 Launch of the Christopher-Jin - May 12
MOMM and I launched the Christopher-Jin yesterday.  It was very exciting.  We stepped the Mast with the new Mast Crane.  It worked beautifully.  The Mast glided to her up-right position with virtually no effort.  MOMM did the hoisting while I ran around the deck making sure there weren't any kinks or snags in the stays or shrouds.
A few days earlier I had attached the Windex Light and a new Tricolor Mast Head Light.  The Mast now has 5 lights, Steaming Light, Spreader Light, Windex Light, Tri-color Navigation Light, and an Anchor Light.
Ford's Cove Adventure
It was late August of 2010.  My daughter and her friend wanted to go for an adventure.  So we headed down to the Christopher-Jin.  It took a few minutes to get her ready, then we were underway.
The kids wanted to go swimming so we went around Gauckler Pointe, Close to shore where the bottom is shallow and sandy.  The kids go a swim in and then a life-ring drag.  When they finally came back aboard we headed into Ford's Cove.
After a lot of swimming, climbing around Christopher-Jin and a cruse through Ford's Cove the kids were, finally, plumb tuckered out.
Gauckler Pointe is a jut of land that sticks out into Lake St. Clair.  It is split down the middle forming a cove known as Ford's Cove.  It is part of the property that belonged to Edsel and Eleanor Ford.  Eleanor donated the house and grounds so that visitors could see the old estate for generations to come.
The Edsel and Eleanor Ford House is now used as a museum, cultural center, an experimental theatre for Grosse Pointe Theatre, an is available for events and weddings.
We highly recommend The Edsel and Eleanor Ford House as a stopping point on a vacation to the Southeast Michigan Area. 
We also recommend a visit to The Henry Ford and Greenfield Village.  The Henry Ford is a vast museum with a collection of cars, planes, trains, and technology from the turn of the century. 
Greenfield Village was created by Henry Ford to preserve a cross section of America.  It sits upon acers and acers of land and has everything from original slave quarters, to Thomas Edison's Menlo Park Laboratories, to Webster's house where he wrote his first dictionary, to working farms.
There's a glass works and a tin smiths and black smith to shaw the hourses.  You can ride vinage Model A's, take a ride on steam ship, have an authentic meal at the Eagel Tavern, see the Wright Brothers home and shop where they invented their airplanes.  Take a leasurly stroll down main street or ride the steam engine locomotive around the grounds. 
Everything there is the real thing.  Henry Ford was maticulous about the preservation of the buildings on the grounds.  He even had Thomas Edison's chair nailed to the floor after he invited Edison to the Village to reinact the lighting of his first successful light bulb.
Lake Erie Adventure
One day in late August of 2007 Jamie, Skipper of the Anna Maria Sophia II, invited a bunch of us down to Hamelton for a cruse on Lake Erie.
MOMM, Bob and I headed down by car and met Jamie and another olde mate, Kevin B.
 Photo Essay:  Adventures on Lake Erie
My first views of the Anna Maria Sophia II.  That's MOMM and Kevin (Baseball Cap).
Kevin, skipper of the blue and white run-about with MOMM. 
 MOMM was so afraid we might leave without him, he wouldn't get off the boat!!!
 Captain Jamie standing beside the Mast and Pin Rail.
 The Crew, MOMM, Bob, Captain Jamie, Skipper Kevin, & I'm behind the camera!
 After half a day of sailing Skipper Kevin took us on his run-about to a deserted island with a lighthouse.
Talk about contrasts.  Something old, something new...
It turns out I didn't take any pictures of me that day so here I am with the camel I built for our community theatre's production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat.
So...when the guys read that I didn't have any pictures of me from the adventure they quickly sent this photo of me taking a snooze on the power boat...I guess power boats just have that effect on me!!!
Captain Jamie says he likes to crawl out onto the netting and take a snooze.
Skipper Kevin took the skiff out for a run around the boat and brought back these photos.
I can never resits the Mast & Main shot.  The rope ladders add a nice touch.
Everyone took a tour of duty as Helmsmen beneath the missen.  The cockpit is small but the rest of the deck is quite roomy, as demonstrated by MOMM.
 Captain Jamie & me sitting in the cockpit.  Notice the auto pilot over my left shoulder.  This is where I got the idea to outfit the Christopher-Jin with one.
It was a gorgeous day!!!
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