Thursday, May 24, 2012

Finally Some Wind

This past weekend we had our first on-the-water classes for the ASA 103 course.  Instead of our usual location, we booked it at the other reservoir in town.
Our first surprise was finding that our favorite instructor of the past lessons was going to be our instructor for this class as well.  Since he normally teaches at the other reservoir, we didn't expect to find him at this one.  The second surprise was that the other two students didn't show so we ended up having a "private" lesson.  This would allow my wife and I to handle the boat ourselves with only guidance from the instructor.  The third surprise, we actually had some wind.  We had decent wind for our first lesson, but the wind on the other two were almost non-existent.  There were a few lulls, but overall it was good while not being too much for us to handle.

We started the lesson with a brief orientation to the reservoir.  While in the marina we did a 360 degree turn to demonstrate how tight the boat can turn...and it can pretty much pivot around the keel...that was unexpected.  We then left the marina, found some open water and raised the sails.  This was the last time the engine would be on until we returned to the marina.

We practiced sailing various points of sail, and tuning the sails for best performance.  Finally figured out what the main sheet traveler is for as I practiced sailing close hauled.  There was apparently some regatta as I also spent a fair amount of time dodging boats that were coming out to race.

We then found a bit less crowded part of the reservoir and did several man overboard practice maneuvers.  Nope, no one got wet...well except the fender that we were using as the man overboard.

Then coming back to the marina we performed a heave-to so we could bring the sails down with just "two" of us on board.  That is a handy maneuver when you don't have enough people that one can stay at the helm all the time.

Having the boat to ourselves for this lesson, I think we learned a lot.  Looking forward to the next lesson.

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