Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Fall Sailing Is Fun!

Finding a fall day that is perfect is always a surprise. This weekend I had planned to work on a new server install, but it went totally well and I finished Saturday. So Sunday I got up early and headed down to the boat.

I got there around 9 am, and it was lovely with a terrific breeze, and overcoming my natural inertia, I decided to see if I could go the whole day without the engine!

Clearly, if you're a powerboat owner, going a day without the engine is, uh, well, not going. But for a sailor, it's a day of challenge and a rosy feeling when successfully accomplished. Rosy in a very different way when not so successfully done.

Anyway, I sailed off the mooring through the mooring field around the island and off to infinity and beyond!

Almost a guilty pleasure, this found sailing time. A fluke, a gift. Perfect weather, perfect seas, perfect wind, perfect temperature. Another one of the days that makes owning a sailboat such a pleasure.

One of the things I did notice, however, is that my rig needs adjusting. So I'll have a bit to say about that later. It's ok if the leeward shrouds are a bit loose, but they shouldn't be flapping about.

Still, I sailed about for a few hours with nowhere in particular to go and then returned to the mooring to pick it up under sail. Only two tries!

I strongly recommend anyone with a sailboat learn how to perform four activities - sail up to and away from a dock (oops! ran out of fuel!), sail off and back on a mooring. There's books about that, but you know what? I think there are at least two more entries here on those subjects. And no, the day's activities were not experiments. I really do know how to do them.

Clearly sailing into a slip is a bunch harder, but it can be done if there's room to tack or jibe. But most marinas, with good reason, don't allow it. It's one of those activites that lead to good judgement. (Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.) Definitely and emergency type of thing.

Anyway, more on that later.

And since there's still some great weekends left to the year, I hope to see you on the water!


Anonymous said...
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Zen said...

Good post, good advice.

Know your boat, know yourself.
Know the "we" that it makes.