Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sailing Does Work Better With Wind

I know it is a great mystery of sailing, but it is true...sailing does work much better with wind.

We booked an afternoon lesson instead of a morning in the hopes of finding some wind.  Well, it worked.  On Sunday, in addition to our 5th consecutive day of record breaking temperatures, we had wind.  It wasn't always consistent, but it was there and it wasn't hurricane force.

So, we practiced all the usual maneuvers.  Sailing the various points of sail, tacking, jibing.  Then we practiced something I think will be a very important maneuver to us, heaving to.

Heaving to is, in essence, a means of "parking" a boat.  It is a maneuver that comes close to stopping the boat while leaving it in control.  In the middle of the ocean, if you just drop the sails to stop, the boat is at the mercy of the waves and currents.  Heaving to leaves sails up and keeps the boat pointed in generally the same direction relative to the wind. : Heaving-To
It is useful if you just want to take a break, if you need to stop the boat quickly in the middle of the water where an anchor cannot be deployed, or to ride out a storm.  As the picture above indicates, it doesn't completely stop the causes the boat to very slowly slip sideways...turning slightly into and then away from the wind as it goes.  I assume with a crew of two, this will be very handy.

Even in the heat of the day, out on the reservoir with some wind made for a very enjoyable time.

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