Two and a half years after beginning the project, the launch day arrived. Puffin was named and launched on June 5 on Lake Nagawicka, 30 miles west of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The day couldn't have been more beautiful. 75 degrees F., blue sky, a few puffy clouds, and steady winds 10-15. Nagawicka was chosen for a few reasons: First, and foremost, it's a generally shallow lake, so if we encountered any problems and Puffin sank, we'd be able to recover her relatively easily. Second, at 1,200 acres, it's a big enough lake to take Puffin for a decent spin around the block. Third, it's close to where we used to live, and so a few friends who watched her being built from day one would be able to participate on the big day. Last, I've spent many hours boating on this lake, so I know it and the launches pretty well.
|Here's Puffin on her trailer, snugged down (as best we could) for the short drive over to Nagawicka.|
|She floats!! Ignoring the sails being all ahoo, I was mostly concerned that she sat nicely on her waterlines, which in fact she does.|
|Daughter Jane was the first person aboard. All grins and two thumbs up. No better praise for a proud dad.|
|A small blessing, a brief presentation of Puffin to the gods, beseeching their protection, and a splash of prosecco (no Champagne at hand!) over the bow.|
|For the first outing, we had no auxiliary power, so a friend gave us a tow out to the middle of the lake from his powerboat. We needed to practice getting the sails out.|
|Raising the Gaff main.|
|All sails set, and off we go!|