Thanks for the wishes! Can't believe I didn't update this after the weekend. I did on my site, but I should here too!
I'll give the abridged version, but if anyone wants the full(er) story:
A breath of fresh air
We met my Dad and brother in Ithaca around 7:30 AM on Saturday morning, spent a few minutes getting stuff loaded into my van,
and headed up to Stivers to where the boat would be waiting. I had butterflies the entire 45 minute drive, still unsure how I
would be greeted. We pulled up to the side of the road, and after a quick look around, found her sitting alongside the dock, still afloat.
Backed the van down by the dock, and started to load things up. My brother provided a little suspense by going
"Hey, the bilge pump is running non-stop". Gave me a heart attack. But it was just that the temporary mounting slipped and it was JUST
into a few inches that had been in the bottom were enough to trip the sensor on. Go figure.
But it was finally happening. The first time in a few years that she had seen water, and the first time for myself, and my very first boat:
We loaded up, and hit the canal to get to Cayuga. Made great time through the canal, and Jordan got to learn firsthand how locks work.
He thought they were really cool to see. I remember when I was young, school trips used to go to the Erie Canal and experience
it all. Sadly, they don't any more. Great piece of history that kids in my area are missing out on the experience now.
We hit Cayuga, motored out of the shallows under the RR bridge, down through the safe passage, and anchored long enough to step the mast up.
Shortly after, was the moment of truth. Would she sail, and if so, how well? There was enough wind that we started with just a reefed main up.
I was on the tiller, my brother on the starboard and my Dad to port. It didn't take too long before we got daring enough to raise all,
and I went down for a jib. Lucky me, the bag was labeled... Not so lucky, it wasn't until we had her all the way out,
that it was labeled WRONG, and I had just hoisted a 150 Genoa. But, it all worked out, and we were averaging over 6 1/2 knots most of
the trip Saturday, with a peak of about 7.8 at one point, not really pushing hard either. Was great!
Anchored halfway down the lake overnight, got up to a nice smooth lake and bright sun, but a small breeze was enough to get us moving along
at 5 knots as we continued. My brother even got us playing pole-less Wing to Wing for a spell until the wind spun on us.
Stopped at Taughannock park for lunch, where the wind started dying out, so we motored the last few miles down to the slip,
where I cleaned up a little on the deck with some very mild bleach solution and sponges, and she's been waiting since!
Heading back over Sunday to take her out for the day, and do some more cleaning. But man oh man, what a great trip, and great guys weekend!