|Club boat with our new sail|
Taking guests out on the boat tends to bring about a comedy of errors. We like taking people out, but it always seems like 5-6 things go wrong before you're even out on the water.
Saturday one of my brothers and his lady friend came down to visit, and Thomas said he definitely wanted to go sailing again. So, we decided to take Woody across the river to the club and also use the club boat, so we could sail in pairs and get in a good, long (but not too long) sail.
We get to the club and pull the trailer over to the side away from the loading ramp. I figured I'd go grab the club fish, drop it in, and then use its dolly for Woody. But then I noticed something rather important was missing on Woody's hull.
Yep, there was a perfectly round, 5-inch diameter hole in our deck. Apparently I had forgotten to screw the lid back in tight after checking for any leaks last time out. Somewhere on the road, a lonely port lid is getting crushed by tires.
Well, dang. I hoped to still salvage this error by taking the club's Sunfish and one of the Lasers out (since we'd sailed the latter once and Mike really wanted to practice more). So, off I wandered to the boat corral to find one Sunfish, a Laser, a Force 5, and a Butterfly waiting patiently for someone to take them out. However, they were all missing a few important things: their rigging and rudders.
With the others watching me wander around the club like a lost chicken, I tried to find the club manager to ask where the heck all the gear was being stored. The only gear I could find was labeled with club members' names, so I wasn't about to pilfer there. Finally, I gave up and decided we'd take turns on the club fish and use our gear. Luckily, the Sunfish had its rudder tucked inside the cubby and cockpit, so we could substitute everything else.
As we set up, the Sea Scouts and day cruisers were coming in, each one letting us know just how gusty it was. It was coming southwest, though sometimes would shift almost dead west.
"You're going to get wet," Mike told our new crew. We borrowed some extra life jackets from the shed and scooted out into the water. Mike and the lady friend went first.
The big puffs would come and go, but we almost always had a strong breeze. Mike tended to dump wind to keep the boat flat for our guest, but it was an easy hike day. At one point, going into a tack, they very nearly tipped over, but some weight shifts at the last moment settled it down.
Thomas and I, on the other hand, went right for it.
Poor new sail. Each time it's been out, we've dunked it. This time, we were stuck in the mud. On the dock, Mike and the day cruiser instructor watched, and the instructor said "it ain't coming out." The wind and current were pushing against the hull, driving the mast deeper into the mud.
Out on the water, I was trying to tell Thomas how to lift the mast out of the water while trying to get up on the daggerboard, but it clearly wasn't going to work. So, we switched places, since it'd make more sense to have his weight on the board. Pretty soon, up popped the boat (including a triangle of black mud at the top). Now Thomas can brag that he can flip boats over, too.