I recently asked a “What if…” question on the John Welsford Small Craft Designs FB page:
“What if… I wanted to sail my Pathfinder across Lake Michigan… (70-ish straight-line miles)… sometime in July…?”
That question generated a good discussion, the consensus of which was: uncertainty of the weather will be the biggest issue. But there are many other issues to consider.
Planning an open water crossing involves many elements of small boat sailing that just are not contemplated when setting off for a pleasant day sail. While researching gear, studying weather patterns, talking with veterans of sailing across Lake Michigan and asking lots of questions - particularly on the John Welsford Small Craft Design FB page - I’m realizing I don’t know how much I don’t know…
Almost a week ago I asked for suggestions and comments for handheld VHF radios. That prompted a good discussion with several radios suggested/recommended, some comments re issues with some models. And of course, several models had fans and detractors… Another result was discussion of compact car emergency jump start units as possible solutions to recharging/powering handheld electronic devices.
I spent nearly a week researching 11 handheld VHF radios, creating a spreadsheet comparing the features, and figuring out how to share the spreadsheet. That spreadsheet is now in the Files section of the John Welsford Small Craft Design page on Face Book.
There will be more questions… because I don’t know how much I don’t know.
Thursday, November 1, 2018
September and October were spent in physical therapy getting my right knee functional. It is that (functional enough to not need a walker or cane; functional enough to drive; functional enough to get back into my workshop and begin a few simple projects) but there is more to be done - particularly before my next knee replacement in December.
September and October were also spent thinking and preparing lists of improvements, tasks, chores and ideas to get Gardens ready for next summer. That list keeps getting longer - and I thought Gardens was ‘done!’ I’m getting the sense (which I really didn’t appreciate with my GIS) that additions, refinements, and adjustments are just a part of the joy of owning a wooden boat like the Pathfinder. That is not a criticism of the design. It is a reflection of my lack of experience and short-sightedness… Some items on the list are ‘buy’ (GPS, compass, VHF radio, etc.), some are ‘make’ (cook box, birds-mouth mizzen mast, halyard bag, paint, etc.) and some are 'buy & make' (cockpit tent, etc).
My plan is to do what I can before mid-December, update and add to the list through February and begin serious work on Gardens in March - aiming for a mid-April or early May relaunch.