Small Craft Warnings

"We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds."

— Aristotle Onassis, Shipping Magnate


The forecast was for Small Craft Warnings with gusts up to 30 mph and temperatures in the 40s,  but that didn't stop our Sea Scouts from departing  Pikes Bay Marina on Saturday May 20th for their first weekend sail of the season.

Be Prepared is the motto of the Scouts, and prepared they were.  Bundled up in fleece and fowl weather gear,  and stocked with an ample supply of instant coco mix in the galley, the crew of Sea Scout Ship 336 would not let a little wind and rain deter them from the voyage.  Many other factors were taken into consideration before the dock lines were cast.

Most of the kids on this trip have been sailing on the Abbey Road for at least two seasons, so not only did they know that the boat could handle the conditions, they knew how they would support each other in the blow.

They started the trip with a reef in the main, and had a plan to reduce more sail as the conditions warranted. 

They had memorized the weather forecast and planned a course that would take advantage of the islands, sailing most of the trip in the lee and far away from the 9 foot waves on the big lake.

They scheduled watches so no crew member was exposed to the elements for more than an hour, and took precautions to avoid hypothermia.

There were a few scouts who had not sailed in weather like this, but they trusted that the youth leaders and the adult supervision would not put the ship and crew in harm's way. 

Each scout took their turn at the helm and a friendly competition ensued to see who could drive the boat the fastest while close hauled (9.2 knots by one of the new scouts).

 After tacking back and forth into the wind for six hours, sailing two miles for each mile made toward the destination, the anchor was dropped in the shelter of Presque Isle Bay.  A hot and hearty dinner was served and every scout was in the sack by 2030 (8:30 pm for you landlubbers)

We are very proud that this crew was willing to go sailing in conditions that keep most other boaters in port.  The skills learned and the self confidence gained will come in handy should when they find themselves on the water in a future storm.


It's Good to be Back in the Water Again!


Despite chilly temperatures and snow flurries, the Abbey Road was launched on Monday and moved to her slip at Pikes Bay Marina.  Members of Sea Scout Ship 336 are helping to get her ready for another busy season, including their weeklong sail to Isle Royale.

Trips with students from Bayfield School, Washburn School and Northland College are also on the schedule and we plan to continue our free Wednesday evening community sails.

Drop us a note to find out how you can coming sailing with us on the Abbey Road.


Another Great Season In the Log

Abbey Road Activity

Lake Superior Tall Ships and the Abbey Road were busy again this past summer.  The AR was out on the water 97 days (vs 83 in 2015), with 798 guests (vs 762) and sailed 1584 nautical miles (vs 1418).  Most of the trips were 3 to 4-hour half day or evening sails, and many of the guests (especially the Sea Scouts) were repeat sailors.  Of the trips:

  •  29 days were bareboat charters with 7.1 guests/day on board.
  •  5 days were with Bayfield Middle and High School students, 10.8 guests/day.
  •  11 days were with Northland College students, 9.6 guests/day
  • 23 Community Sailing Days, 9.2 guests/day, and
  •  29 days were with the area Sea Scouts, 9.7 scouts & guests/day. The Sea Scout trips included a sail to Duluth for the Tall Ships Festival in August.  Details from this trip can be seen in the September post. 

Thanks to the generosity of our donors and a revenue from the bareboat charters, we had enough funding to pay our operating expenses and still have a little money left in the bank at the end of the year.  So again with the exception of the bareboat charters, we did not charge a fee to anyone who went sailing with us in 2016.

We are starting to put together our 2017 calendar, so please let us know if you'd like to come sailing with us.