The boat was finally ready to leave the slip again as of Friday and I spent Saturday and Sunday sailing!
Now for those of you not following along too closely- this is my first time sailing without the benefit of somebody who knows what they are doing.
I had a guy with me who had never been on a boat before (but wants to do the Ha Ha with me if the sailing doesn't kill him) but otherwise no help. I'd been sailing on my boat with the previous owner twice- maybe a total of 4 hours and then sailing as crew once with a guy for about 2 hours. But pretty much all I had done was steer and pull lines. I had no exposure to knowing when to tack or how to manage it, no exposure to raising or lowering sails
, or setting up the sheets
Anyway, I hanked on the jib
(which I think is like a 150% or something- it is huge), attached the halyard
, ran the sheets
back (over the life lines, through a pulley, and under the lifelines
to a winch), uncovered the main, untied the straps on the main, and attached the (is it also a halyard
?) thing to the main that would let me raise it all before we motored out of the slip.
As we motored out of the channel there is an area where it widens out and there were a lot of boats messing around there. My plan had been to go all the way out out of the channel into the bay so we would have plenty of room. But seeing all these boats made me think this was a good area to learn. I think I was right I think!
I left the motor
running and idling in neutral for a bit just in case we got in trouble. Then we started with just the main. I raised it then let out enough line such that it could swing out about 30 degrees. With this we were able to sail in a couple of circles and it felt okay so I raised the jib
This did not increase the complexity NEARLY as much as I expected and we tacked and jibbed around for a while and it felt pretty good. On thing I was doing wrong (but didn't know until that night) was that I wasn't adjusting the main so the jib and the main were often out of sync.
Anyway, after a while we felt pretty comfy and decided to try and tack our way up the creek to the bay. I found this pretty tough because I think the wind
was like... I dunno... 45' off from where I wanted to go but the channel is fairly thin. So when heading to starboard we would make some progress- fairly close hauled I think- but then when turning to port we would be losing some ground. We made it out of the creek but there is a section of channel, shortly before you reach water
open enough to sail around in, where it gets really narrow. Between the narrowness of the channel, the increased wind
from leaving the protection of the creek, and the angle being as wrong as I think it can be- we stopped making enough progress for it to matter. We did about 5 or 6 tacks and made no progress. So we decided to run it home.
This was pretty fun. I am not really interested in racing
(mostly because I'd rather cruise
and I think racers break a lot of stuff) but we made our u-turn right as a couple of boats were coming in off the bay. They might not have been racing
us- but it looked like it- and we had a lot of fun with it. We held them off and considered ourselves victors.
Before we went back into the marina we anchored too- also a first- and that went smoothly too.
On Sunday we went again but this time motor
sailed until we made it completely out of the channel. We had more wind and more room to run. It was radical. We got up over 9 knots at one point, lots of tilting to the side, some splashing through waves, and, of course, the obligatory knocking of everything from any shelf or flat surface onto the floor.
In separate posts I will address my various technical questions.