Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A First

I'm sure there will be a number of firsts as we make our way toward this goal (and we have already had several) but yesterday was definitely an important one.  This past weekend was the first time we took a sailboat out by ourselves.

It started out like a lot of our lessons, lacking any significant amount of wind.  That was probably best as we had a couple mis-steps, fortunately they were pretty minor.  We took most of our lessons at one particular reservoir, so of course the only available boats were at the other reservoir...and it is a bit trickier to get out of those slips.  After some maneuvering issues (somewhat equivalent to the 3 point turn in a car when it takes about 12 points) we were out of the marina and ready to raise the sails.  Oops...we forgot to rig the main halyard before we left dock.  Oh well, easy enough to correct that as well.

Of course, once we got the sails up there wasn't enough wind to fill them.  The interesting thing is that the water is apparently choppy on this reservoir even when there is no wind...how does this happen (the power boats I guess).  So we bobbed around for a little while, then decided to fire the engine back up and see if we could find a little wind elsewhere on the reservoir.  After a few attempts we found a very light breeze starting so we sailed...very slowly.  Good practice in light wind sailing anyway.

Fortunately the winds did pick up slowly so the last half of our 4-hour rental provided some decent sailing experience.  The winds were a bit variable in intensity and direction, but it was fun with full sails up.

Docking was uneventful, we returned the boat safely back to it's slip.

It is definitely a bit different only having the two of us on the boat.  Typically on the lessons we had at least three, so there was someone to handle the bow dock line, the stern line, and a third at the tiller.  While underway having someone work the jib, another on the main, and again a third on the tiller.  With only two of us, tasks are definitely more interesting, but very manageable.  Not sure how people do some of this stuff solo, at least on a crowded reservoir.

I guess we are now sailors...with a lot left to learn.

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