Saturday, October 29, 2016

Rewind----64'f good SSW winds

The day before yesterday was snow, sleet, rain and today I'm overdressed for a nice sail in the afternoon.  64'f and a strong breeze from the south and west, with some gusts that send us planing when we are running down wind, well almost.
Today I launched from a different place.  The Haverstraw Bay park's ramp is open year round, free for kayaks, canoes and row boats, and the skiff qualifies.  It's a really easy place to launch from and really the only place that I can launch for free, no matter the state of the tide.
Today was also the first time using the new, longer push-pull tiller.  It works great!  Very comfortable to use from midships facing forward.  Mission accomplished.
We had some "rollers" today, large long waves, about 3-4 from trough to top.  It's so much fun in a boat that sits so low in the water.
We sailed from the dock on departure and back up to the dock on the return.  Wasn't sure we'd make it with out using the oars, but we did.  The oar blades stayed dry today, but the handles got a little bit damp when a wave came up over the windward side and into the boat, and on me.  The water is cool but the day was so warm that it just seemed fun.  With the tiller I am better able to steer the boat over the short chop and eliminate a good bit of the pounding that the flat hull might do otherwise.
Today while sailing I remembered something I had just read about the hard chined sharpie hull.  In shallow water the hard chine can dig in and work as a bit of a keel and allow for a bit of sailing to windward with the board up.  I think that for this kind of sailing that I want to do this makes up a lot for the tendency for the flat bottom to pound.
when I came back to the dock a guy was watching me land and haul out the boat.  He eventually came up and asked if WHISP was a homemade boat.  He said it looked it.  I don't know if that is meant to be a criticism but I don't take it to be because as I was sailing today I sailed close to a 30 something foot long boat with the big dark sails, mylar or carbon fiber, or something.  We were sailing in the same water.  I'm sure I was having just as much fun as they were on that big boat but I'd wager that the sails on that boat alone cost more than all of the boats I own, or ever have, and yet there they were sailing in the same water using the same wind, but my home built boat cost less than the sailing jacket any one of the crew was wearing!  In my mind, I win.
Today was a bonus day for my micro season this 2016, but I think I've sailed more days than many who had their boats in the water since early Spring.  Again, I win.
I look forward to next months anomaly day and hope that the wind and tide and fortune will let me back out on the water.

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