Monday, July 28, 2008

Bobcat sail #6 - the rest of the family

Today I got the chance to get the rest of the family in to the boat. Reid was at a day camp that went to Fort Worden. There's a boat launch there, and a lot of beach, so we decided to go sail & play.

Picked up a cheap $7 life vest for Julie, so we'd be legal. Eventually she'll probably get a more comfortable vest, but having a spare adult PFD is always a good idea.

Even though I have an annual launch pass from the Port of Port Townsend, I still had to pay $7 to launch at Fort Worden, because it's a state park. *sigh*. The ramps was also covered in thick sand, and there weren't any fresh water hoses to rinse the salt off afterwards. Well, at least there were two ramps, so no waiting (especially no waiting for the folks behind me).

While the twins played at the beach, I rigged and launched. Then Julie + twins came over & hopped in the boat. We motored out and put up the sail. Dylan was scared for the first 10 minutes, but then got in to it. Both twins had a blast. Julie found a little niche where she could sit without being in the way. A 12' boat with 4 people in it is tight!

We pointed for the open channel trying to get a little more wind. There wasn't any, but there was a little more wave action, which was interesting. Especially on the way back, as each wave zoomed us forward toward the beach. Weee!

I sailed as close to the beach as I dared, showing off the boat the the beach-goers. When we got to a good spot, I put up the centerboard, ran up on the beach, and hopped out. I think it was a big surprise for the folks on the sand! I dropped off my passengers and pushed the boat out in to the water.

While the twins continued to play on the beach, I played in the boat. Sailed around until I found Reid (he was too into his play to talk to me). Headed away from the beach a little and then figured out how to pee in to the water (kneel at the transom). The wind was dying as I was heading back. Then after 15 minutes or so, I saw a broad stretch of dark water along the beach: wind! It had stopped while changing direction. The new wind was strong & smooth, and carried me quickly back to the boat launch area.

I set up a perfect approach to the dock: got a little upwind of the entrance, headed for the end of the breakwater, dropped down at the last second, rounded up at the dock, and had to bail out: there were kids jumping off the dock to swim. I ended up "walking" the boat up the dock, hand-over-hand. Got 3 splinters. One was long & thick, and broke off when I tried to pull it out.

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Backed the trailer down, picked up the boat, and down-rigged. There was a lot of sand in the boat, thanks to our shenanigans, so I decided to try to wash in salt water. There's a drain plug in the stern, so I pulled it out, and backed the trailer down in to the water to flood the boat. Well, it put a few inches of water in, but the boat was floating still, and lifting the trailer! I guess that's good for safety.

Then, with the extra weight of the water in the boat, I couldn't get up the ramp. The drive wheels kept spinning in the sand. I was able to clear sand from the tires' paths and get out. Ran the bilge pump while I helped Reid de-sand him self & get in dry clothes (he was so cold!), and then we came home.

At home, the routine looked like this: back the trailer up the driveway (wee!). Remove the spars and hang them from the garage rafters. Hose down with fresh water to remove salt: every bit of metal on the trailer I can reach + some parts of the van. Then hose down the inside of the boat, too. Pump out the bilge again. Take the battery to the bench by the charger. Drive the 20' to park on the street. Unhook the trailer, and unload most things from the boat. Lift the tongue up as high as I can, and hold it there while water drains out the stern. Say "I am He-Man!". Put trailer back down.

There, now I'm caught up blogging about the sailing trips.

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