Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bobcat sail #2

My 6-year-old had heard my promises of making him "first mate", and was disappointed that he didn't get to come along on the maiden voyage. The next day we were free, we drove the boat down the hill to go out again. This time I was going to take him along.

The whole family came along, including the in-laws. It was getting late in the day, and the weather was cooling and the wind was picking up. The ringing of halyards against aluminum masts filled the marina. It was pretty gusty, so we put a reef in. The plan was for the 5 landlubbers to go play on the beach while Reid and I sailed. Secretly, I wanted to sail over to the beach and meet them there.

The launch went fine, with the quirkyness I mentioned before: no rudder control at low speed coming off the dock.

The gusts still had me uncomfortable, so I decided not to let Reid take the helm, and not to sail out of the marina. He was disappointed again, but coping. We sailed around inside the marina, and then headed back to the dock to call it quits. A couple times I had trouble tacking, like before, but not too bad. Coming up the narrow channel to the launch, I got stuck again, and had to fend off and bail out. Damn. Then I turned on the motor, hoping it would help me not stall through the tacks, but it didn't help.

Eventually I dropped the sail and motored back to the dock. I asked Reid to step ashore with the bowline and tie up. He was pleased as punch to finally have a job. You should have seen the super-secure cleat hitch he invented.

We pulled the boat out of the water, put her to bed, and went home to eat supper.

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