Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Micro Season Apex!! 80'f in October !!!

Hi temp today 81'f!!!!!!!  No shoes, no socks, no shirt sailing.  Strong north wind, Force 4 with higher gusts.  Today shipped the rudder and steering stick.  It's good to know that it retains it's bite even when healed over, which happened a bit and to a greater degree today as I tried to find out how well the little skiff could stand up the wind. 
At times the wind died down to an easy breeze, and that made for amazing lazy sailing while laid out on the cockpit sole soaking up the heat of the sun, like charging my batteries before the cold sets in.
Looking southwest into sunny sky and cloud and shimmering water
At the auto bridge I dropped the mast and rowed under it and into the marsh.  I still had the rudder in place and with the wind behind me I decided to stand up and sail down wind using my body as the sail.  It worked! Wonderfully actually.  After sitting down all afternoon standing was nice.  The steering stick (a push pull affair) worked as if it was meant for standing and steering.  I was initially concerned about stability, the boats, mine, but it turned out to be just fine.  The floors don't extend to the edges of the boat so standing on them keeps weight inboard where it should be.  I figure that sailing this way would make reefing very easy all you have to do is sit down!
I don't know why but I find it hard to say it but I think it may be true that I am become a "small boat sailor".  I have been so certain that I am not, but my actions and delight in this boat would seem to prove otherwise.
back on the shore, a flat bottomed skiff is so easy to beach and step off dry footed. 
Well this was my 2 days of sailing this week and they were pretty great.  I am learning more and more about this boat each time we go out.  It is great fun to be the smallest boat out on such blustery days and to be doing just fine, sailing amongst the the bigger boats with crews on them, giving way, and taking my rightful way.
I have found that the little bay here, that I hardly even referred to as a bay previously, has now become my own playground with plenty of water for a boat like this and plenty of area for my kind of sailing.  I have a beautiful prominence to the north, with rock cliffs shooting up from the water and a lovely lighthouse atop, marinas all to the west.  To the east, across the river is a beautiful shore that seems like it is far away and I need not venture that far on most outings.  Sailing out as far east as the commercial channel gives me a great view to the south, down river, tall rock cliffs on the western shore and a lovely beach and a point to the south east.  I also know that looking south, I feel the presence of the Atlantic, just 40 miles away.  All I have to do is point that way and sail.  I don't need to, and don't even want to right now, but knowing that it's that easy makes it all a bit more amazing.
If that happened to be my last real outing for the season, then I've done alright, especially considering I didn't start my season until late September.  The handy ease of this boat means that my season never really ends, I just have to be ready for those nice days each month of the year that seem to materialize just to keep me sane and on the water.  I think I will invest in a drysuit for the colder season sailing.  I've been in the cold water once before and have no real desire to experience that again, although, it wasn't something I regret having gone thru, at least now I know what it's like, Hypothermia, and accepting once death in the present moment.  After that, everything seems bonus!

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