Monday, May 15, 2006

A Wonderful Sail

I suppose after my rant I should get back on track here. It's easy enough after all. I mean, how can you hold any anger when sailing with the boat humming along?

This June I'll be taking my first offshore passage of any length from Bermuda back to Staten Island, NY (just past the Verrazzano Bridge) in New York Harbor. It is about a five day trip. This will decide, in some way, my future. Do I cruise to the Caribbean? To England? To the Mediterranean? Or do I sell it all and get a small but functional RV and travel Canada, the United States, and Mexico? Hmmm?

One of our crew members for the trip back is Julie whom I invited for a sail. She's very much into weather predicting and routing and celestial navigation. Still, when you go offshore with an unknown crew, you'd like to know that they're someone you can depend on. And of course, I'd like her to know the same, so going for a sail was a pretty good way to introduce ourselves.

The day was cloudy, but comfortable in the mid sixties with the wind predictably nowhere near NOAA said it would be - out of the east-southeast at about 10 to 12. In other words, perfect to see how the boat really handles with the new sails. It's the first time I've been able to sail for an extended period on one tack or another and fiddle fart around with the trim.

So we sailed off the mooring, around the southern tip of City Island, up between Hart Island (Potters Field) and City Island, through the channel between David's Island and
Hart Island, down to Manhassett Bay, back north of Execution Rock Light, southeast to Hempstead Bay, and then wing-on-wing back to City Island Yacht Club.

The sails handled magnificently, although I'd like the clew of the jib to be a little higher so I don't have to skirt it after each tack. Also, with the clew so low, in light winds I can't flatten the sail without the top hitting the shrouds. In higher winds when the jib car goes back and twists the top off, no worries. All in all though, wonderful. Listen: I'm still thrilled with the sails, and you will be too if you call Somerset Sails.

We picked up the mooring under sail in only two tries, and miraculously, no one got hurt! Another successful sail!

After putting the boat away, we popped into the club for a bit of a tipple. Mmmm. Well and good. Then the drive home.

I've met a friend for life, and would not only sail anywhere with her, but invite her aboard Inertia without reservation. She knows her stuff (actually, she knows a lot more than I do, but I found that out later, much to my embarrassment... Oh well. Color me red.)

Plans are afoot for Memorial Day weekend, and next week, the Commissioning Party at the Club. I am just still tickled pink to say that. Maybe next year I'll get used to it. Hey, maybe not.

I'll get some pictures together, and now that the work stuff is done, they'll be playtime pictures. The only project I'd like to show you is the repair to the seating in Cassiopeia. It's interesting in an engineering sort of way. Let's see if it works.

Until then, though, I'll see you on the water.

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