Aug. 8th, 2010

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Some days the wind is just a bit fickle.

I took my little brother sailing on Saturday morning. Discovered a fuel spill on the boat that took a while to clean up, then had to wait on the fuel dock to open. It's okay, it was nearly dead calm very early in the morning. Once we were finally out on the water the first part of the sail went well. We had enough wind that he had fun, started picking up bits on how to set the sails such. We stayed pretty close to the marina, or at least that end of the lake. There was something about the wind that didn't feel right. About halfway through our time on the water I noticed it started to swing a bit. We'd ghost into a windless spot on the lake and slow to a stop, bobbing about until the wind decided to catch up with us. It was a good experience reading the water, looking for where the wind was, where it was coming from. When the wind would finally show itself though it might be from the south, the east, or even the north. We spent an hour or so on the far side of the south end of the lake from the marina trying to find enough wind to set a point of sail more towards the dock.

In the end I furled the jib away, lowered the motor in the water and started her up. I still say I love the motor on Brown Eyed Girl, it will start with one pull most days. She runs well. I pointed the bow towards the docks and we motor-sailed in from where we were. We'd move into some wind and I'd set the sail to catch it and we'd pick up speed above what the motor was doing for us, then the wind would change again and I'd reset. Sometimes we'd be dead in irons with what little wind there was. It didn't matter, she'd keep on chugging and taking us home.

As we got closer I handed the tiller off to my brother and had him keep us pointed into the wind. I lowered the mainsail, flaked and tied it on the boom as well as deployed the fenders. Taking the tiller back over I brought us into the marina and to our dock. Chris stepped off the boat nice and light and held us to the dock while he handed me the stern lines to make fast. Then I stepped off and brought the bow all the way home and made fast the spring lines there.

The wind may have been fickle but it was a good learning experience. Another sail with a non-club member guest and I'm feeling pretty good about single handing the boats now. I may not be the best sailor. But I am a competent one.

Till the next sailing adventure...
Wait.. That's later today!

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