Sailing to Wild Horse Island

October 3, 2011 at 09:44 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

With unusually warm weather and a forecast calling for light winds, I ventured north to Flathead Lake with my Uncle Stanley to sail out of Dayton Harbor bound for Wild Horse Island. The folks at the harbor were busy hauling boats out of the water for winter dry dock, and after the paperwork shuffle, we were hastily launched out upon the lake. Catching the breeze, the 22 foot Capri tacked nicely on a close reach into the easterly wind. With alternating winds blowing no harder than 15 knots as a gust, we cut the blue water lake in very smooth surface conditions, nary a whitecap in sight. Stanley, being the experienced sailor ran the ship while we alternated hauling lines and manning the helm. Once we made it to the big, open lake the wind effectively died, so we turned toward shore and ran downwind as tight to the shore as we dared, enjoying the cruise past the north shore of the island and its fine stand of Ponderosa Pine. With a lunch of fruit, bread, cheese, nuts and beer while underway, it was a relaxing adventure. We sailed for about four hours before returning to port, which we manned into the slip under sail. As my first sail on this wonderful lake, I was glad to have finally made another foray into what western Montana has to offer the outdoorsman. With miles of secluded shoreline and more than a few islands to explore, after our half day sail, I realized that one could easily find interest and enough room on this lake to sail continuously for up to a week. May the time come when I can pull that trip off!

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