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Old 30-10-2008, 06:41   #1
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let have more "good" stories

I've only sailed 1 year, but read up on it for a couple of years before. One of the things I have noticed is that so many things get written about things that go wrong and the bad experiences during sailing. There seems to not be as much time spend about the "joy" etc, which of course is the bigger part or people wouldn't do it (I hope). So my challenge to all you "salties" is to write more about when things went well or were just enjoyable in general. And not just about having a coldie at the end of the day watching the sunset (pretty enjoyable and if you didn't enjoy that it is a lost cause for you anyway).

So I'll do one. I read over and over about being out in high wind and getting overpowered etc. Everyone of course should experience this in a way that didn't involve being way out in the sea for the first time. So the day after hurricane Hanna went by here my wife and I went out in conditions that didn't appear to be what would be an enjoyable day. It was a fun and enjoyable experience to find that using all the book knowledge to reef and trim the sails to reduce weather helm etc. that it wasn't all that bad as opposed to all the fear that my reading had me setup for (yeah I still know it wouldn't always be so). We had a great time sailing with reefed sails in high wind going faster than we even had and not having the fear that we were sailing beyound our ability. What a joy to be out in the wind, crashing though the waves, feeling that we were in control and not the conditions.
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Old 30-10-2008, 12:07   #2
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We were in Marsh Harbor, Bahamas in the summer of '96 when hurricane Fran came passing by us. We had already rode out 110 mph winds in Green Turtle during Hurricane Bertha earlier in the summer, and were feeling a little beat up. We secured the boat the best we could and went ashore because we knew it would be rough with the open exposure to the west. We were sitting on the end of the dock at triple J marina. My wife, the dog, and our most valuable belongings that we could stuff in a backpack, probably looking a little pathetic. We didn't have much money and couldn't afford to go to a hotel room, so we were just trying to stay out of the rain and watching the boat bob at anchor from the dock. We'd see the whole cabin top from stem to stern as the bow rose up on a wave, and then we'd see the entire rudder come out of the water as the bow dipped under. With no insurance, all I could do is pray that I did a sufficient job of securing the chafe gear on the anchor lines. Boom! Crash! we watched from the dock as a power pole 50 yards from us splintered like a toothpick and came crashing down on a car driving by. For several hours we sat huddled on the dock watching our boat hoping that everything we owned in the world would make it through o.k.
Then a local Bahamian fisherman, Kenny Long, came by and saw us and asked us what we were doing there. We told him, and then this complete stranger said "come with me, I've got a place for you to stay." He took us back to his house where he had a spare bedroom. His wife fixed us chicken and lobster for dinner, he generously poured Rum for us all, and then after a good nights rest he towed our engineless dinghy out to the boat for us. The boat was fine, and through the kindness of strangers we ended up making a friend for life on that wet and dreary day. Those are the type of cruising memories I cherish.
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Old 30-10-2008, 12:39   #3
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Aloha Fish,
Great story! Hard to forget those wonderful times but it doesn't seem to be what most sailors write about as Don mentioned.
I really have many wonderful memories of sailing trips but entering the Straits of Juan de Fuca after 22 days at sea and having the fog clear away and the brilliant sun appear with the water like glass and Dahl's porpoise playing at the bow in my old wood ketch with the ancient Perkins pushing us along just doesn't seem to get much better. The smell of douglas fir forests on the nearby hills and the views of Ranier on such a clear and beautiful day with the radio tuned to a classic public radio station and a hot cup of coffee sitting on deck and watching the scenery pass. Unbelievably beautiful.
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Old 31-10-2008, 00:10   #4
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Good times...

Sometimes the good times are also the challenging ones...

Coming out of Gibson's Landing on the mainland coast of Georgia Straight, over the very shallow stretch but with a light outflow out of Howe Sound and expecting that it would mean a long motor to windward going up the coast toward Desolation Sound. (That shallow bar has my heart in my throat every time.)

But the breeze had fooled me, and there was a nice Southeasterly on the Strait so it should be a very broad run, so I set the genoa and the main. Downwind, with a rising breeze, means I'm a slave to the tiller because the autopilot absolutely cannot steer that way. But the wind became too much, and it was a wrestling match by noon. By the time I got to Welcome Pass I knew there was too much wind to risk trying to reef, so I raced up the narrow channel planning to duck into some protection beyond to shorten sail, only to be terrorized by three tugs with log booms hiding there before me.

I managed to get the sail down and tucked up into Smuggler's Cove to lick my wounds and hide my embarrassment. But I made the trip in a bit over 3 hours, nearly 7 kt over the ground average, which wasn't bad for a boat with an 18' waterline. I grilled chicken breasts and watched the trees tossing as the sun went down, snug with my stern tie to shore in a tiny land-locked inlet I couldn't even get out of at low tide but not bit of wave either.
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Old 31-10-2008, 05:13   #5
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Maybe I wrote mine up wrong and it set a "tone" that I didn't mean. My goal was just to get more good stories in general. I think this would include ones that maybe could have started a little bad, but became a good experience/sail overall. Hope to is to counter all the stories of things breaking, stroms, and other scary stuff that fill up pages to the point of making people consider whether they should learn to sail at all.
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Old 31-10-2008, 06:58   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
Maybe I wrote mine up wrong and it set a "tone" that I didn't mean. My goal was just to get more good stories in general. I think this would include ones that maybe could have started a little bad, but became a good experience/sail overall. Hope to is to counter all the stories of things breaking, stroms, and other scary stuff that fill up pages to the point of making people consider whether they should learn to sail at all.
Sorry if my last post had too much drama in it. Let me try again.

Having just inherited a large sum of money from a rich Uncle I never knew I had, we bought a brand new Lagoon Catamaran and were taking it out for it's sea trial. Luck was on our side as we were leaving the marina because it was slack tide, and we backed out of our slip without hitting anything. NOAA's forecast was spot on, a gentle 10 knot breeze and 1-2 foot seas in the bay. We sailed back and forth for a couple of hours. Nothing broke. The sun and moon must have been perfectly aligned, as there was still no current in the marina when we pulled back in. All our friends, Muffy, Thurston, and everyone else from the marina were waiting to handle our lines as we arrived. We went up to the bar and bought fruity drinks with umbrellas for everyone. Gee, I love sailing.
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Old 02-11-2008, 01:22   #7
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Aloha Fish,
You mentioned Muffy and Thurston. Where were Percy and Niles? Glad you had a maahvelous sail.
J
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Old 02-11-2008, 02:11   #8
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"A Little Good News"
Performed by Anne Murray (1983)
Written by Charles Black, Rory Bourke, and Thomas Rocco


I rolled out this morning
Kids had the mornin' news show on
Bryant Gumbel was talkin' 'bout the fighting in Lebanon
Some senator was squawkin' 'bout the bad economy
It's gonna get worse you see, we need a change in policy

There's a local paper rolled up in a rubber band
One more sad story's one more than I can stand
Just once how I'd like to see the headline say
"Not much to print today, can't find nothin' bad to say", because

Nobody robbed a liquor store on the lower part of town
Nobody OD'ed, nobody burned a single buildin' down
Nobody fired a shot in anger, nobody had to die in vain
We sure could use a little good news today

I'll come home this evenin'
I'll bet that the news will be the same
Somebody takes a hostage, somebody steals a plane
How I wanna hear the anchor man talk about a county fair
And how we cleaned up the air, how everybody learned to care
Whoa, tell me

Nobody was assassinated in the whole Third World today
And in the streets of Ireland, all the children had to do was play
And everybody loves everybody in the good old USA
We sure could use a little good news today

Nobody robbed a liquor store on the lower part of town
Nobody OD'ed, nobody burned a single buildin' down
FADE
Nobody fired a shot in anger, nobody had to die in vain
We sure could use a little good news today
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