|our futures are so bright|
But first we had to do that thing we'd been procrastinating on: fixing the gooseneck's position on the lower boom. Last time out, the sheet blocks weren't hanging straight down and the mast would groan on tacks. Somewhere along the way, things had shifted.
So, like good pavement sailors, we rigged the boat in the driveway and loosened the goose to let the boom naturally roll into place, and then tightened it.
"Hey, let's just trailer it like this," Mike said as the sail rippled in the breeze.
"You're joking," I said ... hopefully.
"It's only a mile, we'll be fine."
Mike is the master of deadpan. Oh, the laughs we have.
Packed everything up properly and grabbed provisions, and I thought we were ready to go, but Mike, like a true captain, wanted to go over the dock launch contingencies in just about every wind scenario out there. Where would we set up and how would we point the bow if the wind was coming from this direction, that direction, and that other direction? He grabbed the dry erase board off the fridge, drew the docks, and started to chart it all out. I took a piece of scrap wrapper to mimic the sail's actions for the different scenarios.
FINALLY we were ready. A little behind schedule, but schedules are only a suggestion when it comes to sailing.
Off we went to the lake, where we found ourselves in full soccer season and a Huntington's disease walk and breakfast. The wind seemed pretty good - not blustery but enough to keep you moving if you stayed away from the coves.
|Windfinder report for Sunday, August 24, 2014. We sailed from 10-noon|
We had a new plan for our dock launch, and I think we pulled it off fairly well. The wind was coming from the southeast, but due to some tree lines and hills, it came closer to south-southwest at the dock, which was idea for preferred position on this nearly cleat-less dock.
Instead of grappling with stuff in the water, we half-rigged the boat on the dolly and bungee-corded the sail on the deck, so it wouldn't slip off on the ramp or take a dunk in the water.
This seemed to work out pretty well, although it adds considerable weight to our dolly that needs some repair. It held up, though I held my breath the whole time. Once the boat was in the shallow end of the ramp, Mike grappled with our stubborn rudder. There are no cleats in the shallow end of the dock, just one loner at the very deep. (We plan to sneak some more on ourselves). Then we raised the sail with almost perfection. A bit got snagged on the tiller, so we had to lower, make sure it was all clear, and then we were good to go.
I hopped in the cockpit and Mike walked the boat to the end of our dock, keeping her nose to the wind on our east-west dock. Then as he hopped in and pushed off, I sheeted in, and we were off on a nice reach for about two seconds before we turned downwind and toodled out the open belly of the lake.
Our old, spare camera had a dead battery, so I didn't bring it on board and I didn't want to risk my phone going into the drink, which is too bad. We had just rounded the southeast point when we spotted a swan enjoying his Sunday morning without a care in the world. Since we do not have a motor boat to go out and place sail points for us in the water, we figured a swan would do nicely.
Is it animal cruelty to chase a swan with your sailboat? He can fly away, so isn't it just a form of encouraged exercise?
We were on a close reach, but the bugger kept shifting closer and closer to the wind, but that just made us more determined. It looked like we might catch him too and have to deal with the consequences of an annoyed animal, but he smartly took the air and we let him be. After that, we decided to pick points on shore to aim for and, you know, tack before we rammed the boat on rocks.
<<Looks pointedly at Captain Mike>>
Sometimes the captain should listen to his first mate when she says he's getting too close to the shore and remember when they drained the lake and we saw how many rocks and tree trunks lurked just under the waterline, hmm???
Even before our loud-thunking brush with the rocks, we wondered if the boat was hiding water somewhere (we took a peek through the port hole before setting off and everything seemed dry) because the wind seemed stronger than our last outting, but we rarely could get a mild hike going. But to our eyes she did not seem to be lower in the water or listing, so ... maybe we're just awful at gauging wind speeds? Though last time had lots of lulls between short toodles (and random puffs).
The wind was dying down, the sun getting hot, and our tummies hungry, so we headed for shore, which became quite the task as we had to zig-zag through wind shifts to get there. Of course, true to Murphy's Law, by the time we had the sail rolled up and the boat on the trailer, the wind came back with some gusto. However, looking at the report, the gust didn't last long. Oh well, it was time for some BLTs.