Sunday, February 17, 2013

Choppy Sailing

On Friday, Adam's desperate desire to go sailing finally got the better of him. And I gave in, of course. The sun was bright and the sky was clear. We headed out about 2:00. There was good wind, and thus the river was choppy.
We struggled a bit with the sails. Adam put up the little foresail, so we wouldn't get too much wind (or speed). But he had a twist in the top of the sail. It took him several attempts, going up to the front of the boat while we were clipping along, bouncing from wave to wave, before he untwisted it.
The mainsail also would not go all the way up, and the boom was rotated onto its side. Clearly, we are novices, learning from our mistakes on each outing.
Honestly, after our last sailing adventure, I was a bit skittish. A gust of big wind filled the sails, we heeled over sharply, and I was scared. So this time, I was still nervous of handling the tiller. Adam took it for a while, so I could get myself calmed down.
I took some pictures of the water and sky and reminded myself of how beautiful it all is.
As novice sailors, it's always nice to see other sailboats out when you're sailing. It means you weren't the only total idiot, out on the water on such a day. Actually, there were five other sailboats, plus some power boats, on the river. The afternoon was fine for catching the wind across the river and back again.
Yes, we wore our life vests, plus our sailing jackets. That's a mighty big vest. At the tiller, I'm learning how to keep the boat turned in just the right position to catch the wind as I want. I can tell by looking at the river (its waves) what direction the wind is coming from, and adjust the boat accordingly to catch as much wind (and thus speed) as I feel comfortable with.
Feeling in control is reassuring.  Feeling out of control is rather terrifying to me, on a sailboat over water that cold, from shoreline that far away.
 The sail master: His hair is getting fluffy and long, but the older ladies at church like his curls, so I can't convince him to chop them off. I think they would be sad if I did. I know he looks grumpy; he's not really grumpy at all.
When we came about, the wind going home was even finer, and we had a nice ride back to the marina. It was about 4:00 or so.
The sun shone through the Spanish moss as it dipped toward the water.
Our home marina -- it's a lovely, comfortable place.
Cold weather has set in now, so we won't be sailing for a bit. Not me, at least!


  1. looks like y'all had a fine ole time and Adam is fighting the sun in his eyes.
    one day, I'll have to tell you my sailing story...BVI and never been on a sail boat in my life!

  2. Good job, Ratty! I am so happy to see you wearing your life vest!

  3. I read my husband your boating posts because he has such wonderful memories of sailing with his dad in the Chesapeake Bay area. He said that depending on the size of the boat, you can sometimes let go of the tiller and it'll right itself.

    Just repeating what he's said. I have no idea about any of this! :)

  4. Yes, Melissa (if you read this) -- your hubby is exactly right! Last time, when I got scared, Adam had just told me moments before, that if the boat was heeling over too much, and I was afraid she would tip (she's not likely to), I should just let go of the tiller, and the boat would turn into the wind and stabilize. So ... when I was scared, I let it go, and Adam (at the same moment) said, "This would be a good time to let go of the tiller!" Phew! He told me later that the boat was in no danger of capsizing; it's really hard to make this particular boat go over. It just FEELS precarious. But then, I'm a nervous type.


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