Selected entries in the log of F-27 Triple Point
12/12/90 Beginning of trip to S Florida. Brought boat down from house in the foothills of CO before snow.
12/15/90 Began the long drive to Florida. Visited the Knupp’s in Huntsville, AL on the way down. A winch eye broke near Tallahassee, FL but it was easy to replace.
12/18/90 Arrived at Clearwater, Fl. Gas mileage down was 6 to 8 mpg.
12/23/90 Drove from Clearwater to Miami. Put in and rigged, loaded gear, etc in about 1 hour. Winds calm, and motored to NO NAME harbor arriving just after sunset.
12/24/90 Motored to Matheson Hammock where we shopped for more air tanks. Boat is fully loaded with 5 adults(Vollie and me, Bill and Julie, and Chris), and all our gear including diving equipment. Had enough wind to tack back to No Name Harbor at 4-5kts. Boat was sluggish but handled OK. Had Chrfistmas lights out including a Christmas tree brought down from our land in CO and had a neat Christmas Eve.
12/25/90 Had great Christmas present as we saw a manatee in No-Name. Then we had a great spinnacker run from No-Name to Elliot Key. Winds were 6-8kts. Bill and Julie camped on Elliot Key. We took a walk on Elliot Key but it was quite buggy.
12/26/90 Picked up Bill and Julie and sailed south to the end of Elliot Key making 6-8kts on a beam reach. Returned on a single tack with winds 15-18kts gusting to over 20kts. The sail was exciting at speeds over 10kts. Broke mainsheet horseshoe bracket and replaced it and cut sail to working jib and reefed main . We anchored at Sands Key,
Pete Black, Clair, and son Mike arrived about 5PM. We rafted together off my two anchors. Had a great time drinking wine and chatting about old times.
12/27/90 Took the Black clan for a total of 8 adults and gear for an exciting sail in 20kts plus winds with reefed main and working jib. Even with that load we still made 10-12kts; Pete was quite impressed!
After the Black clan departed we sailed south to Pumkin Key in lighter air(8-10kts) but still made 6-8kts with full mail and genny. Ended up in a rain shower.
12/28/90 Woke to a pleasant morning with no rain.
Surprise, surprise an F-27 came in after dark with 2 adults and 4 kids. The owner is Charles Andrews who is sailing south N Carolina. With 4 kids it has to be more challenging than our crew.
We ran aground in Card Sound as a result of miss-reading the chart.
Had fast run through Barnes Sound. Then we hit a rain squall and had to dump the jib briefly in heavy rain.
We powered through Jewfish Creek where we saw lots of birds(cormats, pelicans) and stopped at Gilbert’s resort and marina. We refueled, restocked ice, dumped the potti, and Vollie, Bill, and Chris to a taxi to Winn Dixie to get food.
Then we sailed south to Blackwater Sound and anchored for the night in Sexton Cove. Bill Cooled a supper of rice, Salmon, and spinach.
12/29/90 Sailed south to Ron’s Marina on Key Largo. There we rented an 80HP runabout and went out to John Pennecamp State Park. Seas were rough and visibility was about 1 ft! Not so great for diving. Oh well! Fairly typical for winter here.
We sailed north to Jewfish Creek and anchored at in Thursday Cove in Barnes Sound. We saw lots of birds including Osprey, Pink Ibis, great blue herons, both in the mangroves and along jewfish Creek. Great birding!
12/30/90 Left Thursday cove about 0915 and on a single tack made it to Sands Key. We averaged over 8kts and sometimes over 13kts. Going through the channel north of Pumkin Key we passed a big stinkpot! We sailed right up to our anchorage and made the run from Thursday Cove in 2.5 hours, a distance of over 21 nmiles.
Bill left a beer can on the aka near the after cabin entrance which I kicked wetting the bunk with beer. We decided to sleep on the tramp that night in our bivy sacks. We still slept well.
We paddled our inflatable kayak over to Sands Cove where we walked to the beach.
12/31/90 We motored to Boca Chia Key which is pretty but very crowded. When we lived down here it was privately owned but is now owned by the State.
We had a spinnacker run back to Matheson Hammock where we prepared to fold the boat, hauled it and gave the boat and trailer a thorough hosing.
Sailing Yellowstone Lake
8/4/91 For years I have wanted to sail in Yellowstone Lake. Situated in the heart of the caldera of Yellowstone in a large prestine wilderness with bear, elk, moose, and birds abound it should be a wilderness experience without the congestion of organized campgrounds. Staying on the boat, we should not have to worry about Gizzlies raiding our tent.
On Thursday morning I decided to haul Triple Point out of Horsetooth Reservoir. The plan was to get to the boat about about 0730 and have plenty of time to get to a 1000 project meeting I had organized.
When I attempted to start the 8HO Nissan I noticed a strange click when I pulled on the choke. After numerous attempts to start it with the electric starter I decided the choke must have stuck on when it made that click. After pulling the solenoid that worked the electronic choke I finally got the OB started. It was now 0830.
I drove Triple Point to the dock folded and loaded it on the trailer. When I attempted to put the fulcrum bar across the top of the beams I found I could not get it into place. The I realized that I had not set the locking pins into the beams(akas) properly so I had to back down into the water and reset the pins. By this time it was 0920. Finally after a number of times back to the winch and up on the boat to clear the shrouds, I got the mast down. It was 0950. I wanted to get this far because leaving the F-27 folded on the trailer with the mast up if a big wind started blowing. I left the boat with the mast down but a very untidy state and raced off to the office for my project meeting.
About 1600 I returned to the boat and tidyied it up and hooked it on my truck and left it in the office parking lot. That evening I began packing to be ready for early departure for the 9-10 hour drive to Yellowstone. The plan was to meet Peter Olsson, a graduate student of mine and his wife Cindy on Monday morning morning at the lake. I would drive up on Friday and launch Triple Point by myself and go it alone until Monday.
Vollie said she had enough of hauling the boat around the across country and sailing in mountain lakes. The 4-day drive after our Christmas holiday sail in South Florida with freezing drizzle covered roads still burned bright in her memory.
But Thursday evening she proclaimed she wanted to go. Her decision was based on a combination of fearing she would miss out on the adventure and that I would get into trouble all by myself. There is a bit of history to this that I won’t go into!
By noon on Friday(Vollie is notorious for a slow start in the morning) we got to my office and hooked up the trailer. When I attempted to start the truck I gave a few grunts and wouldn’t start. The battery was dead! After a roll start I took it to the GMC dealer to get a frozen pollution pump replaced which caused the generator belt to slip.
By 1600 we finally got underway arriving at a small private campground in central Wyoming. We popped the top on our pop-top truck camper. When I attempted to turn on the camper lights, guess what; no power! I found that the fuse had blown and didn’t have a spare so put in a piece of metal to get us through the night.
By this time I was beginning to wonder if someone was trying to tell me that this trip should not be.
The drive to Yellowstone was uneventful and we arrived at Grant Village about noon,
After waiting in line to get all the park passes and backcountry permits including assignments for the next 5 nights we got underway about 1330. The Park Service retricts overnighting to a very few anchorages and docks. Naturally instead of anchoring alone in the wilderness we had to share the limited number of permitted spots.
The sail up West Thumb bay was a pleasant beat to windward in 8 to 10kts of wind. I got us underway with the help of Buckley our electronic autohelm while Vollie stowed all the and gear we had just stuffed into the boat at the dock. As we sailed into the main lake and headed south to our assigned anchorage in Flat Mountain Arm, we saw numerous flying and nesting bald eagles. We also saw a few white pelicans. It was a beautiful afternoon with only a few scattered cumuli and no afternoon showers or strong winds which Yellowstone Lake is infamous for.
AS we approached the arm winds weakened to the point we were drifting at 1-2kts. Just as we were about to start up the Nissan the winds backed from easterly to southeasterly. They picked up to 15kts with gusts to over 20kts. We tacked our way up the Arm in those gusty winds. By 1930 we sailed into Grizzly Bay, our assigned anchorage. We anchored off the shore accompanied by a powerboat.
That evening the winds died and we enjoyed our wine and scalloped potatoes while viewing the setting sun with surfacing trout all around us.
The next morning we awoke to a beautiful red sunrise and no wind. I got out the inflatable dinghy and trolled up the Arm in the region designated for hand-propelled craft only.
Returning with no fish I rowed to the shore near a small inlet where I spied numerous trout feeding and spawning. I donned my waders and fly fished catching four 12 to 16 inch cutthroat trout in about 30 minutes. The rules are you can keep two cutthroat trout under 15 inches.
By 1500 regular thunderstorms hit and we battened down the hatches and waited out the storm.
We motored down the Arm and sailing into Yellowstone main lake in light winds. We set the spinnaker and ran into west thumb to meet with Peter and Cindy at Grant Village. About half way there a ranger hailed us and informed us that Peter and Cindy left a message that they couldn’t join us because Cindy was sick.
So we dropped the spinnaker and tacked our way back in diminishing winds, eventually motorsailing up Flat Mountain Arm with thunderstorms all around us where we anchored for the night. I took out the dinghy and proceeded to fish for our supper. I caught a 11-12 incher and then a 15 incher. I thought it was a keeper but Vollie looked it and said 13 inches was the maximum to keep. I also caught and released about an 18 incher.
Following a gourmet supper of fresh caught trout, scalloped potatoes and wine, we rowed up to the end of the Arm in hopes of seeing some big game. But so far we haven’t seen any.
We awakened to a beautiful clear, calm morning with hardly a sound in the forest.
I decided to make a pancake breakfast. Vollie dug around in the lockers to find vegetable oil for the mix and frying. The labels had following off the glass jars and what looked like vegetable oil was actually dish soap! It doesn’t make for the tastiest pancakes!
We sailed out of Flattop Mountain Arm and attempted to sail up the South Arm. Shortly after entering the Arm the winds weakened and a thundershower developed right over us. I elected to head to our assigned dock in Wolf Bay. After several hours of showers we had supper at one of the picnic tables . Following that I did some fishing with no luck, We met a couple where the guy was a United Airlines pilot and had an enjoyable time chatting around their fire.
8/7/91 The next morning we awoke to clear skies. We were entertained by a group of 7 otters which swam across the bay and scampered across the sound into the main lake.
About 0930 we decided to go sailing and took the United pilot and friend around Frank Island in light air. We spied numerous osprey as the island is a sanctuary. We returned on a spinnaker run as storm clouds built and winds became gusty.
After lunch and a nap I went fishing and caught 4-5 nice cutthroat with one over 19 inches,
I returned to a spaghetti dinner with wine and enjoyed viewing several deer one of which strolled through the campground,
Earlier in the day a ranger mentioned that a couple let their dog run loose(strictly forbidden in the park) on the shore of Grizzle Bay where we camped earlier and the dog was eaten by a grizz.
That evening we had Wolf Bay to ourselves.
8/8/91 We awoke to a calm morning. I tried some fishing but the fish were not feeding.
Just as we were about to depart for West Thumb a group of Boy Scouts canoes arrived. We escaped just in time!
In light air we drifted back and I trolled. I caught a 15 incher and promptly returned it to its home.
About half way back to West Thumb the winds quit entirely so I started the iron wind(made by Nissan) and we motored back to our truck while folding up the akas and derigging.
We drove out the east entrance to Yellowstone along a curvy, bumpy road but it was quite pretty. We camped along a stream for the night. Next day we drove back to Fort Collins where we put Triple Point back on her mooring In Horsetooth Reservoir.
A note looking back: This was the last major outing with Triple Point. After that Vollie refused to sleep on the boat and I figured there wasn’t much sense having a 27’ boat on this 7 mile long lake.