AHOY FELLOW SAILORS!
On Tuesday, July 24, we held this season’s first meeting of the Illuminator Crew Development Program. The goal of this program is to develop the skills necessary for crewing on Illuminator, a 45’ sloop, in an environment that is positive and supportive.
We began this session working on basic seamanship and maintenance skills and procedures. We reviewed some basic rope work that is often neglected or which we do not take the opportunity to practice.
We spent some time revisiting our basic knots as well. While most can tie a Bowline we do not practice tying it around our waist as in a rescue situation. We practiced rope coiling and throwing which comes in handy in docking procedures. We made a game of it by tossing coiled ropes between pairs and recoiling or retying knots. It was fun and a good opportunity to practice skills we, in fact, used during our sail.
We moved onto the boat for basic boat orientation with emphasis on four crew stations: bow, mast, cockpit and helm crews. We reviewed how each station has different responsibilities. In this way we were able to look at our pre-sailing checklist as a set of task divided among the different groups.
On larger boats the various systems that need to be checked and maintained can demand a good deal of time. Just the engine system has a number of elements that can be overlooked with negative results. Learning how and where to check the oil, for instance can be challenging if it is a task you are unfamiliar with. It is interesting to learn the various, often complex systems on a larger boat. Each system requires attention before you begin your journey and should be checked out each time you sail.
We spent time on docking procedures before setting off to the pump-out dock where we hosed down the cockpit after pumping out the head. Then we were off to the fueling dock, which is located at the next marina
down the lakefront. These maintenance trips gave us the opportunity to practice our docking and undocking skills plus a beautiful sail down the Chicago lakefront.
After a lunch break, we took an extended sail on the lake, practicing our sailing skills and enjoying the beautiful day on gorgeous Lake Michigan. We ended our session by our final docking at our new can in Monroe Harbor and an uneventful trip on the Monroe Tender.
We look forward to our weekly Tuesday sails and invite you to join us. — Richard Reed
Pictured above are (lt to rt) Michelle Gasinski, Robin Montesano and Captain Richard Reed at the helm of Illuminator on July 24, 2018. Photo by Peggy Draver.
Peggy Draver and Michelle Gasinski (lt) and Jim Booth (rt) aboard Illuminator. Photos by Gayle Booth.
2017 Photo Contest Winners
Best Scenic | Best Boat Name | Best Under Sail | Best Group Shot | Best Old Salt | Best Sunset
Read a note written 1976 Commodore Pat Kellogg about the beginnings of NWSA.
Special thanks to Elmer and Joyce Hook for providing this wonderful look at the early days of the NWSA.
Read the accompanying letter.
The NorthWest Sailing Association is an enthusiastic group of sailors living in and about Chicago's Northwest suburbs. The members share a quest for increased knowledge and improved seamanship in a spirit of camaraderie and fun.
Founded in 1974 by a small group of 25 sailors seeking others of similar interests, the Club's initial purpose was to exchange knowledge and experiences. In the course of the years hence, and continuing today, club members regularly sail together out of all major Chicago area harbors, on inland lakes surrounding Chicago, Wisconsin, and occasionally across Lake Michigan and back!
The high point of the summer sailing season, is our Door County / Wisconsin Sailing Weekend. Club members have organized charters in the Bahamas, Florida and other exotic locations, and will plan future charters to various prime sailing areas as the members interest dictates.
Who Belongs to NWSA?
Members include families, couples, singles - anyone interested in sailing; including skippers with large cruising boats or medium or small sailboats; even sailors with no boats. Members who don't know how to sail, but are interested in learning, may wish to crew with our experienced sailboat owners and gain valuable experience and knowledge of boat handling.
Ample opportunity to crew is available at each sailing event, and during the days between events with available skippers.
We Meet. . .
During the boating season, the NWSA sponsors sailing events in many of the major Chicago land lake, and Michigan harbors, as well as inland lakes. We have sponsored cruises in Wisconsin, - Door County, Racine and Lake Geneva; Indiana; Michigan and a Lake Michigan Crossing. Illinois: Waukegan, Monroe, Montrose, Winthrop, Pistakee Lake, Fox Lake; Blackwell Forest Preserve, Warrenville, Busse Woods, Elk Grove Village. Groups have chartered excursions in the Bahamas, Florida, and various prime sailing destinations.