Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sunday Sail

The wind is strong today, and the weather site says it is still around 20 knots. I thought it was the perfect time to go to the lake and try out some of the high-wind skills. I made a few mistakes, but nothing serious. First mistake was in leaving the camera in the car. More about that later. Second mistake was in not reefing at the launch ramp.
I rowed out into the big winds then dropped the dagger board, cinched down the rudder and set the mizzen sail. The winds were blowing me onshore, so I had to row out into the lake again and raise the sail. I got it set just fine, but it was the full sail and again no room to pause and reef. As it turned out, the boat handled the full sail very well, scooting along without too much heeling. If I were braver, I may have left the full sail up.
I sailed up the lake to find some sea room then put in one reef. I was able to take my time with it as the boat was stable and drifting slowly back down the lake. Once that reef was in, the boat seemed to go faster? Can that be? Certainly sat up straighter and I was not at all spooked by the gusts! Great sailing back and forth until I waited until I was too close to the trees to come about, so I jibed and headed down-wind for a bit. It was then that I saw a disabled motor-boat trying to cross the lake, back to the launch ramp. The wind was on their beam and was sure to blow them far down the lake, past their ramp. I sailed close by and asked if they needed help. The skipper, stroking with a conoe paddle shook his head, but the two women on board nodded vigorously! So, one more tack and I was along side where they hooked their line to my stern cleat. I tightened the sheets and steered up-wind of the ramp and slowly towed them back to their truck. It was then that I regretted not having my camera! Who will believe me now?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sure do enjoy your blog. Please keep up the interesting navigator, and associated retired educator musings. (I'm a beginning teacher!)

3:46 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Gerry I love hearing about your trips and excursions. Very interesting and envy your adventurous outings.

8:46 AM  

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