The Schooner Sara B Log

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August 19, 2006     Post 11
Sara B Goes to a Party

Day sailing
Since her launch in May Sara B settled into a comfortable routine of day sailing on weekends and sitting on her mooring during the week. Various friends and relatives sailed with her but a run of wet weekends cut her activities down a bit in June. We also kept chipping away at "projects". I painted, varnished, and caulked some more deck. Chris got the old running lights back in operation and went aloft using his new climbing harness and the throat halyard (with his spouse doing the hauling) and attached a VHF antenna atop the main mast and a steaming light on the foremast.

He hooked up the holding tank, and we sprang for a brand new three man Mercury inflatable dinghy. Since we couldn't figure out how to carry a rigid dinghy on Sara B. And in August we went to the Oak Orchard wooden boat festival.

Day sailing
I had inquired about bringing Sara B to the party in the spring and got a prompt response - come on down - from festival organizer Lynne Menz who also placed Sara B's photo on the festival website as a featured boat. Now we had to go! The festival started up about five years ago and is held at the Orleans County Marine Park on the east side of the creek. This year over thirty rowboats, canoes, cruisers, runabouts, and sailboats ranging from 8 to 51 feet attended. We left a couple days early to be sure we got there. Winds were generally light and westerly for the 80 plus mile trip and we did get a nice spell of southerlies during the night. After a beautiful moonlight sail dawn found us motoring the last eight miles.

The festival organizers had wanted to attract more sailboats this year and they managed to get not one but two schooners. The other was a Crocker designed yacht, the Liberty, formerly Czarina, home ported in Wilson for many years. She had been on the beach and for sale for several seasons and her new owner made major repairs to keel, stern, deck and other work to get her afloat this spring. At 35 feet on deck and ten ton she was close to Sara B in size though beamier. She differed in design and construction however with her bronze fittings, winches, and finished interior. She was much more yacht-like than our old Tancook. No deadeyes or hand forged galvanized ironwork or solid spruce spars here.

Waiting for the wind off of Pultneyville
We enjoyed the food and music and the friendly folks of the festival. I ran into a couple of old acquaintances not seen for many years. A highlight was the boat parade. Sara B brought up the rear with Jake Allen the bagpiper aboard. He started us off with Amazing Grace and we heard the spectators ashore along the park bank applauding.

On Sunday Sara B's crew, Toby, got a ride home and we held down the fort alone. Though that evening a cruising friend came chugging in with her Alberg 30 to tie up at the OOYC across the way. We hiked to Browns Berry Patch for a hotdog and ice cream with her and caught up on her adventures. On a quiet Monday with a gentle south wind Sara B set out for home. She sailed all day along the shore with flat water on an easy reach under full sail, and as rain clouds moved in near dinner time she was a few miles from Sodus Bay for a nice relaxing sixty mile run with only a couple hours of engine time. We spent a quiet night behind Thornton Point and a light rain demonstrated that the deck caulker still has work to do.

Saturday morning at the festival
Tuesday morning with ten to twenty out of the west and four foot rollers, Sara B romped on home. Soon after clearing the bay we decided to reduce sail, though Sara B was behaving well enough. We opted to drop the foresail, thinking the wind and waves might build (and they did later on that day) and still proceed at seven plus with light helm and easy steering without the fore.

So Sara B's first real cruise on the lake was a resounding success thanks in part to good weather. And the purple martins and barn swallows were really glad to see her back home.

Click here for more pictures from the 2006 Oak Orchard Wooden Boat Festival.

Sara B in the boat parade with the bagpiper - a photo by Lynne Menz included in the woodenboatfest.com photo album

Going home

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