Monday, August 23, 2010

Missed it by that much...or Would you believe our non-sailing adventures still continue

If I was a conspiracy fanatic I would almost think that Poseidon himself was preventing us from our first sail on "So True". As posted before, the first half of summer was a no go for sailing because the flooded cottage lot from torrential rains prevented us from pulling the boat out of its brand new protective portable garage.
Finally, on August 6th, the lot was dry, wind conditions looked good, and we pulled the boat out to go down to the boat launch and dock.

Everything looks fine in the picture but what you cannot see are the thunderclouds rolling in from the opposite direction. With much pent up frustration and some anger I sadly backed the boat back into the garage and crossed my fingers for better weather the next day. No such luck, the winds were far too strong for these novice sailors who are now having trouble remembering what we learned in our beginner sailing lessons more than a year ago.

We were unable to get to the cottage over the next 2 weeks as my mother-in-law fell down the stairs in her house and was in the hospital. Fortunately, she did not break anything but suffered some nasty cuts and bruising on her head. Her recovery is proceeding well so we decided to spend 2 days at the lake, catch up on our cottage chores, and most importantly get the sailboat out. On arrival Saturday, weather conditions looked perfect for us, a slight breeze that should cause no problems at all.

Checking some final rigging before backing down to the launch. Hoisting the mast using the spinnaker halyard has made the rigging process much less of a struggle.

Pulling the boat back on to the trailer after realizing I had the bobstay trapped through the trailer winch.

Finally in the water and all set to go. This boat is so much more stable than the dinghies we learned in. When you step on board she barely moves. While we were getting set a powerboat came to the launch and parked behind us and then used a rope to walk the powerboat to its trailer. I simply grabbed their rope for them and walked along "So True's" cockpit, up on to the foredeck and into the the anchor well and barely rocked our sailboat.

We then hopped aboard "So True" and prepared to motor out of the harbour using the trolling motor. On "So True's" christening sail the trolling motor appeared to work admirably but I guess I hadn't really used reverse yet.  In the confines of the boat launch and docks on both sides, reverse simply spun me around in uncontrolled circles. There just was no control and then we actually spun around slowly and ended up accidentally ramming the dock. It was a slow speed collision and we were still set to head out until I noticed the shackle holding the bobstay in place had popped off during the encounter with the dock. Even if I had a spare with me I would need to trailer the boat again to attach it. Therefore, we packed up and went back to the cottage determined that our bad luck was behind us and that tomorrow would be a better day.

I don't know if this picture gives you a true indication of what a "better day" turned out to be like. Winds were Force 5 to 6 and these waves breaking at the dock are 6 to 8 feet tall.
Someone had managed to back their car half way off the dock and it was taking a real pounding from the waves.

The video below shows the waves breaking right over the car. Some of the waves were large enough that they moved the car. Definitely not quite a day for us to be out sailing.  When we came back an hour later the the car was gone, either towed off the dock or disappeared into the lake.

We are still optimistic about sailing next weekend, although we are getting a little nervous that our sailing abilities are diminishing from lack of practice.

On a side note, the Pocketship prototype was only 500 miles away from us this weekend in Minneapolis.
Maybe, next year when CLC is on a Pocketship tour we can meet up and have a fleet of Pocketships in the water.


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Dave C. said...

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