2014-08-17

Sailing North toward St. Edwards Park

Map of Lake Washington
Lake Washington (from USGS sources)
In the morning, we hit up West Marine for more stuff. We got another type II auto inflating life vest, a chart for Lake Washington, a 50' dock line, and a new electrical panel. More on the electrical panel on an upcoming post.

The chart for Lake Washington is nice to have, but Lake Washington is pretty easy to navigate. Unless it is completely fogged in (which is rare and we'd be unlikely to be out), there is never a time when you can't see the shore. There are good landmarks on the shore. The lake is about 26 miles long and about one to four miles wide. Carved by glaciers, the depth is predictable, and it is about 200' deep at the center. There are few obstructions and navigation markers in the water. Still, it's good to have a chart. The boat came with one for Puget Sound which probably we will not use this season.

There are various obstacles that won't appear on a chart. There are frequent sea-planes taking off or landing on the North part of the lake. There are the typical power boats and jet skis. The power boats are frequently towing inflatables, and less frequently water skiers. Kayaks, sail boarders, paddle boarders, and the occasional swimmer are frequent. There are a relatively small number of sail boats out on the water. The sail boats on Lake Washington are Lasers and Flying Js (mostly rented at Sail Sand Point across the lake from our moorage), a few Hobie Cats, and a smaller number of larger boats up to about 40 footers. Most sail boats larger than about 40' would be on Puget Sound, not on the lake.

We went out for a sail, leaving about 2 p.m. Heading out from the dock was better than yesterday's sail, but we again tried to point out to sea too soon and came close to the hydraulic boat lift. We should back all the way into the lake under motor before turning around.

We sailed North toward St. Edwards park, tacking across the lake at a leisurely pace. The wind was good at about 6 knots, and the weather low 80s and clear. After when we turned around we sailed downwind at about 3 mph back to the dock.

Coming back in was much easier this time, with one exception. After dropping Greg off at the end of the dock, Sandi motored around and started pulling in. Suddenly the boat came to a stop. DOH! Have to winch in the swing keel. The draft with the keel down is 5', but the water is shallower than that near the dock. The bottom is sand and small rocks so no damage done. With the keel up, the draft on a Catalina 22 is 2'. After lifting the keel, docking was easy, especially compared to the day before.

We're starting to get the hang of this.

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