Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Cool Sailing

As you know - or maybe not - that Sunday last (Nov 20th) I took 7 of my friends sailing. Their boats are all put up for the winter and they need their sailing fix, too.

On the Long Island Sound, the saying is if you don't like the weather, wait an hour. On the Hudson River, it's only 5 minutes between wildly different weather conditions. For instance, we all started our sail under full sail ghosting along in 8kts of wind. A few minutes later, it was a nice 10-12. A few after that, nothing. Few more minutes, 18-25, and we had to reef the main and jib. Later, 10kts, and finally when we got back to the dock, calm.

Lest you think this was gusty wind, it was not. It blew steadily at each of these speeds for several minutes before notching up or down. Very little transition. It is what makes Hudson River sailing so challenging and interesting. For pleasure sailing, it's a little trying since tacking several times in a few miles is the norm, not the exception. It's fun, but wearing. So a pleasure sail on the Hudson tends to be relatively short. Also, there's not many places to go.

But for a couple of hours of really pleasant sailing, especially late in the season, there's nothing like it.

I'm not big on sailing with company - I mean, I'll do it, but not often. In the cool and cold weather, though, it's really great because my guests appreciate the 'gift' of sailing. It reminds them of the season before and the one coming up. Me, too.

It makes me really glad for them, for the boat being ready to go, and for the unmitigated joy of just sailing for sailing's sake.

See you on the water!

No comments: