Look guys, all kidding aside, I appreciate being straightened out when I'm wrong, and I make errors and have misconceptions about many things, so thanks of the AW thing - I learned to sail in dinghys, and that's all seat-of the pants sailing, no instruments, and little time to study the finer points of apparent vs true wind angles - I was taught to watch and read the wind on the water to get its direction, then to whatch the luff of the jib for helming and trim.
No tell tales on the shrouds of my laser, because well, no shrouds.
Old habits die hard, but hey, they can be useful too:
One memorable evening, just as the sun was setting off MDR (I like to sail at night) the wind started dying and shifting around. I was under full canvas
- main and 110 jib
Something just didnt feel right, so I grabbed the mainsheet held it, and continued sailing along in perhaps 8 knots of breeze that was alternately backing and veering 90 degrees or so.
It was a clear evening.
Then suddenly, it hit me, dead abeam - a HUGE gust ( I have no idea how strong) that would have absolutely flattened Nomad - kelp in the spreaders style - except that when it hit, I immediately sprung the mainsheet, avoiding a severe knockdown.
After that, the wind blew steady from the SE at 15 knots, and it was no problem - but in shifting from the West to southeast there must have been a turbulent boundry - This is not infrequent though usually its not so sudden or intense around here. I call them "dry squalls" because they happen without rain, and unless you know what to look for, you'll get surprized. A few years ago, the Wed. night race
fleet was hit by one of these dry "microbusts", and several spinnakers were blown-out, and a couple of boats dismasted.
Anyone who things coastal sailing in Santa Monica Bay is easy is right: Its deceptively easy, most of the time, lulling many into complacency.
Then Nature asserts her authority, and reminds us who's in charge.
That's the humility you speak of with experienced sailors, and its born of hard won respect for the elements.
BTW, Here is the CBS Goodmorning America interview with our lubberly blind sailor:
"If I know if I can walk across a busy street out street here, I can sail this boat out here in the ocean"
Then read the comments, one from a dockmate who questions his sailing ability, and says he had developed a reputation as a "zen leech" and freeloader around the marina.
Please don't confuse my attempts at satire and humor
here online with an overall attitude of clueless hubris when it comes to the seriousness of dealing with the sea. Anyone who's sailed with me knows I take it very seriously, and while I ocassionally push the boat's limits, I do so in a gradual measured way, to find out where her boundries lie for future refference.
My initial plan was to spend a summer cruising the Northern Channel Islands, including San Miguel, after spending a couple of weeks anchored at Cojo playing hide and seek with the 35 knot summer winds and big seas off of Point Conception the "Cape Horn of the North Pacific" probing the limits of my ship and building my heavy weather
sailing skills and tactics.
Then I realized I was just punishing myself and my ship needlessly, and courting disaster with such a plan.
It would make sense if I had several Flicka's, and was planning a Southern Ocean great cape circumnavigation
aboard a small boat.
I'm not planning a circumnavigation
. No way. Not yet. I still have too much to learn, and Nomad is probably not the right boat to do it in.
First, I'm going to attempt to day-sail her to La Paz
and spend the winter and spring relaxing and cruising the Sea of Cortez
And this is what I dont understand understand about the glory seekers.
What's your hurry?
As long as I'm out on the water life is good, and I'm happy. Things make sense to me outside, surrounded by nature - I find it profoundly beautiful and spiritually uplifting, even at its worst.
Even beating to weather - though I much preffer reaching before the wind with a following sea.
To me, going out on the ocean is like going to church. It is a form a prayer, and I've experienced what I can only describe as "divine revelations" through it.
IC Engines spoil the essence of that experience for me. They are an affront to nature, rather than holy communion with her.
And they are not "neccesary" if you are willing to sacrafice speed, convience, and comfort.
is a wash from the evidence I've seen.
Maybe that engine
will save your ship, maybe its raw water
will electrolize at the dock
and sink her.
We all have to make the right trade
offs for our ships and our goals.
Then, blind lubberly sailors not withstanding, we must fully, personally accept the consequences of those descisions.
@ Limejuicer: STFU means just what you think, and I'll make a deal with you: Post a video of yourself sailing in what you consider gale force conditions, and I'll STFU and delete the acronym.
Think of it as a challenge - its easy to critisize the exploits of others from an armchair, its harder to head
out on the sea and document and publish your own exploits for public scrutiny and comment.
I think its a fair challenge, and its specifically addressed to those calling me a liar - which I find offensive.
How about it?