Since I have a sailboat, I much prefer sailing to motoring and the day started out with wind of around 10 knots from the southwest. This sort of wind wouldn't give us very good speed with the traditional genoa and main sails. Fortunately boat came with an asymetrical spinnaker that we thought might be a better option, and since I've been dying to try it, we thought it was time to give it a try.
It took a little bit to figure out the best way to rig it on the boat, but with a little trial and error, we were able to get it setup reasonably well. We tacked the foot of the sail to the windward cleat on the beam that runs between the hulls and supports the forestay, ran the sheet line to a block attached to an eye mounted on the deck of the boat near the sheet winches, and attached the halyard. We raised the spinnaker (housed in a dousing sock) and then raised the sock to unfurl the spinnaker. Pretty soon we were sailing at 5 knots in an 8 knot apparent wind.
|The Asymetrical Spinnaker|
With the color transfer stains in the sail, it was apparent that it spent most of it's life stored in it's bag. But on this day, we used it twice, once sailing the Neuse River and Pamlico Sound, and a second time when we crossed the Pamlico river. I wonder if we used the sail more this day than it had ever been used.
After it's first use, when we rounded the corner from the Pamlico Sound into the Bay river, we had to douse the spinnaker and, in an increasing wind, had to tack several times to make it up the river. But we made it most of the way to the first ICW canal without having to burn diesel, how cool is that. Hearing the rush of the water past the hull without the drone of an engine is one of the true pleasures of sailing.
We did have to do some motoring, as it is extremely difficult to traverse a narrow canal under sail. About 4pm we arrived at the Dowry Creek marina where we spent the night.
The marina had a little Memorial Day celebration and cookout for the locals and transient boaters that were there. Like many of these sorts of gatherings, it is generally pot luck style. The marina provided hot dogs and most of the boaters brought side dishes or other snacks (note to future cruisers...always have something on board that you can whip together to bring to a party...this sort of thing happens on a semi-regular basis). I'm not sure who it was, but someone even made homemade strawberry ice cream that was a very welcome treat. It was another great day of traveling by boat.