OF SMALL CRAFT ADVISORIES
T. and I went out sailing again today. For the past two days it has been overcast and grey. So, we were a little worried that it was going to be chilly out there. Well, the sun was out and the sky was beautiful. It was chilly but what we didn't count on was the wind.
Wind was gusting at 25 knots which translates into around 30 miles an hour, I think. We changed sails before we left the dock and put up this stiff, mylar sail that really sped us along. We tacked several times out of the harbor. Basically, that's where you zigzag by switching the sail from one side of the boat to the other. First, the helmsman turns the wheel and as the sail starts to collapse and luft as the boat looses the wind the sail is pulled to the other side. Two people pull on the sheet (a rope or line attached to the end of the sail) and the other person lets their sheet loose. It's a little complicated to describe but it's lots of fun as it really gets the teamwork going and when it works it's a great feeling of accomplishment.
People took turns at the helm coming out of the harbor but I wanted to wait because I was worried about being in control of the boat in that somewhat cramped space. What I got to do was control the boat out on the ocean where we were getting five foot swells and a swift breeze. The sails made an amazing racket as they strained against the boat and the wind. Every time we'd go over a swell the bow would dip and turn and freak me out.
The wheel was extremely stiff and I'd have to fight to keep it on course. The deck on the port side of the boat was nearly dipping in the water. An occasional spray would splash over the side. I was only saved from truly losing my cool by knowing that the captain, Richard, our fearless leader, wasn't going to let me capsize or screw up his beautiful boat. My top speed was 8.5 knots which feels really damn fast.
We didn't stay out too long because Richard felt that we were being a little overpowered out there. There was a small craft advisory on which basically means that all the little boats better stay home. We were a medium-sized boat but I'm glad we went back. For most of the time we were out it felt like we were always at a strong tilt. I got fairly wet and I still feel a bit salty. T. even went to the front of the boat with another member of our crew to take down the head sail and they both got soaked.
Afterwards, we went and had the biggest, best lunch at Ruby's, a pseudo-50s diner. Then, stuffed and tired and windblown, we came home and took a two-hour power nap. Woke up. Fooled around for an hour and then did those chores that you always put off till Sunday.
What a wonderful day.
So, Christmas is coming up fast. I'm nowhere near done shopping and my Christmas cards have not yet been sent. Just where is Santa Claus when you really need him?
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