Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A skiff in the wind

Went out to the lake today with the skiff.  My wife was in her kayak.  Beautiful day.  I took the sailing rig out but didn't step the mast.  The wind this time of year is flukey, gusty and it can go to almost calm to a good 10-12 knots in just a moment.  The nice thing is that you can read the wind on the water, no tides to worry about, so you can see the wind coming 10 seconds, or more, before it reaches you.

I found an island to shelter behind and stepped the mast.  This was the first time sailing since the "Very Bad day sailing" when the venture was knocked down.  I did feel a bit tenuous, but I realize that it is not so much more than I was before that VBDS (very bad day sailing).  I learned to sail on full keeled boats, not dinghy sailors.  My first boat was a Cape Dory Typhoon.  Though only 19 feet long, it had a full keep and was a displacement hull, a little ship.  This was my formative time and very different from those who grow up spending summers sailing Optimists and Lasers and such.  I prefer a boat with the stability of a ballasted keel, I just do.

Maybe in the middle of summer, when the water is warmer and the air hot and when a dunk in the water would be welcomed, maybe then I will try this sailing rig again, but for now, I think I will stick to rowing the skiff.  I am continuing work on the Bristol and my goal is to be sailing her again.  I will also fix the Venture but I think only to sell her to someone who she might fit better than me.

It was a great day out on the water and after a few tacks and a few gusts that had me scandalizing the sail in order to de-power the boat, I decided to make my way back to the ramp and stow the sailing rig.  Going back out with out the rig to create windage or upset the balance of the boat reminded me of how nice a little boat she is.

We found a cove behind an island and I dropped the hook, my wife rafted up and we shared a nice lunch snack in the sun.  It was, is, good to be just messin' about.

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