Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Winds 12 - 26 mph

We were up early Sunday knowing the winds on the lake were going to be decent. By 7:15 the boat was rigged and ready to sail out of the marina. Michael, an old salt who works at the marina yelled out as we motored out, "Only use one sail today. It's gonna blow and one sail will be good enough. Yesterday it really blew and it's gonna do the same today."

We blinked and looked at each other. One sail? It can never blow enough for one sail. Gotta have two. Always.

Once on the water I fired up the outboard, pointed the boat into the wind and handed the helm over to Wifey so that I could raise the mainsail. Once raised I took the helm, shut off the motor, tilted it up out of the water and started catching wind in the mainsail.

Crap, I thought. Might as well raise the furling jib, too. The jib is attached to the boat much like a window shade. No fuss. No muss. Just pull one of the lines and it unravels. If you wan to retract the jib pull on another line and it ravels up.

So I raised the jib and pointed the boat as high into the wind as she would go to maximize speed. Well, had I left the jib up we could have put the rails in the water. It was blowing. There were white caps. And there was too much wind to sail comfortably with both sails up. I quickly pulled in the jib.

Putting the rails in the water defined: On either side of the boat there are life lines and rails to hold these lines. Putting the rails in the water means that the boat is heeled so very far over that the rails on one side of the boat are hitting the water. That's a lot of heel for if you're sitting down you'll be standing up whether you want to or not.

It turned out to be a great day for sailing from early morning to early afternoon. When the wind died down the sails came down and we motored into the marina. If you're a sailor on a fresh water lake, you also know that when there's no wind that's when the power boats come out.

One woman at the helm of one power boat towing a kid on a tube nearly ran us over as she was paying more attention to the kid and not a lot to where she was going. Two people in kayaks cut in front of the boat was we were entering the marina causing me to put the boat in reverse and turn to avoid hitting them. The masses were out in force and it was definitely time to call it a day.

Once on the dock we found that it was just over 100 degrees. Securing the boat took about a half hour's sweat then it was home to an air conditioned home to let the dogs out who had been confined for well over five hours.

Are you getting tired of Wifey and Bob at the helm pictures? Get used to them because there will be lots before this season is over. Here are two taken Sunday when the wind had died down.

On this day I taught Wifey how to come about and how to jibe (plain terms - change direction) . . . something she'd been longing to do. There is some skill and knowledge required to perform this task. Do it the wrong way and you'll tear up the equipment or possibily hurt someone on board.

Wifey was a good student and did both maneuvers well. It's a good idea for her to know how to do these things. If I fell off of the boat as has nearly happened a couple of times (unexpected waves hit the boat causing it to rock and me to lose balance) Wifey definitely needs to know how to pluck me out of the water. It wouldn't be a good thing to leave Bob in the middle of the lake while Wifey sailed off into the sunset.

We'll sail through November and into December before hauling the boat for winter. Once out of the water the hull will be cleaned, repairs made, some rigging replaced and the outboard serviced. She'll go back in the water come March/April all depending on the weather.

Sailing. . . damn it's a lot of fun!

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4 comments:

Flyinfox_SATX said...

Captain Bob...they should name a drink after you!

Max said...

Fantastic!! I've been concerned that it was going to be flat when I visit, but if we can have just ONE day like you just had, it'll all be worth it.

evalinn said...

Da boat, finally! :-)

Jes said...

You and The Wifey look like naturals on that thing!

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Whiskeytown Lake, Very Northern California, United States