Utah Lake State Park

For the second weekend in a row I was able to get my boats out on the lake.  Like last week all three of my littlest girls came along.  This time my son Zachary was able to come with us as well.  It was a lot of people for two small boats, but we made it work, and everyone had a good time.  In fact, I am not sure that taking my family boating in my small boats is not a perfect prescription for learning to get along with one another.  The kids were good to take turns on the mouse boat, and were all helpful with Stella.  We spent just over 4 hours out on the water, and everyone got along great.

The original plan was to head for Bird Island out in the middle of Utah Lake.  My kids are obsessed with the stories from my childhood where my friends and I used to row, paddle, or sail out to the various islands in Moses Lake, Washington.  They want to visit an island as well.  Unfortunately, Utah Lake really only has one island, and it is right out in the middle of the lake, miles from anywhere.  It seemed unlikely that we would be able to make it with my rag tag crew without having to turn around and come home, but trying to get there sounded like fun, and it gave us a direction to sail.

I also decided that I would try launching from somewhere other than Lindon Beach.  The advantages of Lindon Beach are that it is close to my house, and it is free.  The disadvantage is that it is a long slog down to the water with all of my gear.  With the water out as far as it currently is it is easily a quarter mile to from the parking lot to the water, and much of that distance is steep enough that it requires either stairs or a handicap access ramp with a switchback.  I actually measured the entrance to the handicap access ramp when I was designing Nephi’s Courage.  I wanted to make sure that I could cart the boat the quarter mile to the water.  This week I really really wanted to try out the new rigging changes that I have made to Nephi’s Courage, and carting the boat adds a lot of time to the setup process.  I wanted to see how much time I could save by using a launching point that was closer to the water.  The fact that the Utah Lake State Park is also closer to Bird Island sealed the deal.

So we hopped in the car and drove out to Provo.  While I was setting up the Puddle Duck Racer Zachary tried out the mouse boat for the first time.  By the end of the day he was getting very good.  I do need to make a longer paddle though.

It wasn’t long before Nephi’s Courage was ready to launch.  Utah Lake Stake park has an enclosed harbor, and I decided that instead of sailing out I would row out and then raise the sails.  Eliza took the video, she still needs a bit of training.  You will notice that I am towing the mouse boat.  I did a lot of rowing on this particular trip.  It was probably good for me.

I have spent quite a bit of time this winter tweaking the rigging so that I can raise and lower the sails out on the water, and I was anxious to try the modifications out.  It was a bit difficult actually getting the sails up with so many little girls in the way, but the rigging changes worked quite well.

Cautious listeners will notice that Eliza was still having problems remembering where we were.  You’ll also notice that Eliza didn’t quite wait for me to get the main sail all the way up.

Oh well.

The wind failed us almost immediately, but I did manage to get a bit of video of us actually sailing.  As you can see the boats are pretty well packed, but my kids didn’t seem to mind.  Even Stella is enjoying herself.

This next video is only 3 seconds long, but it is currently the best piece of video that I have of Nephi’s Courage under sail.  Eliza took the video from the mouse boat, and she went on to get a series of very nice photos.  I only wish she had taken more video.  I really need to get some video of Nephi’s Courage when there is more wind.

And here is the best of the pictures that Eliza took.

That is a lot of people on that little boat. It is a good thing we all love each other.
That is a lot of people on that little boat. It is a good thing we all love each other.

The rest of the trip was mostly just a lot of rowing, paddling and singing.  The kids took turns in the mouse boat.  When I wasn’t serving drinks or snacks I rowed towards Bird Island.  KaeLynn sent us with lots of food.  We had everything from fruit snacks to burritos, and all of it got eaten.  I need to check my GPS tracks to see how far we got.  It was clearly the farthest out that any of my kids have been out in a boat, but we still had a long way to go to get to Bird Island.

Along the way Zachary found out that he could stand up in the mouse boat.  Somehow we failed to get pictures of him using it like a stand-up paddleboard.  We did get this great shot of Eliza though.

Eliza standing up in the mouse boat.
Eliza standing up in the mouse boat.

All in all it was a great day.  All of us can’t wait to do this again.  Perhaps a trip to Deer Creek Reservoir is in order.

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