Sunday, July 26, 2009

A little bit of racing

Saturday we left the dock with a south wind up around 10 knots, and the weather looking pretty nice. There was a threat of thunderstorms from the west, but this has been a threat every day it seems. We got in a full day of sailing, and what a day it was. With the southern breeze kicking up to over 20 knots at times, we flew over the flat water of lake Ontario. We are on the southern shore, and a southern breeze gives us perfect sailing conditions. We reached back and forth from the bluffs, to a few miles west of the Sodus Lighthouse. I would have expected every sailboat in Sodus Bay to be out there, but I counted just about a dozen or so, closely hugging shore. I guess the storm threat had some people spooked. I forgot our camera, and GPS, so no pics, or electronic log of the sail. I have to get a sail bag, that holds all this stuff, so I can just grab it and go, or just leave it all on the boat. The Catalina 30 "Reach" seemed to be chasing us, or lurking close by for an opportunity to play. Sure enough, when close hauled, trying to get closer to the bay entrance, here come Reach from the north pulling up alongside. Naturally, we had to race a little, and even though Deb was not in the mood for any rail in the water activities, we met the challenge. Do not underestimate a Catalina 30 tall rig, as they are pretty quick. Though she never overtook us, she was flying, and hung right in there. Close hauled is our slowest point of sail, and it was good to ring her out a little, and make some adjustments. We ended up getting the best speed yet out of her, close hauled. After it was over, Deb and I got a better feel for the boat in these conditions, and will not hesitate to power up, and let the boat dig in. Barb got some great pictures of us, and I only wish I had brought the camera, to return the favor. I also think it's great that the ladies were at the helm. I for one love having Deb steering the ship, as she can keep the boat on track much better than I can. Who needs auto pilot! The wind was picking up, and the clouds were coming in as we headed down the bay to the marina. The wind would be blowing us into the slip, and I was worried about the stern getting blown to port, as I went into reverse to slow it down. I did not want to come in too slow, and not have steerage, so I came in hot. A little too hot for some, as they jumped out of the way. I was going to pull a Captain Ron, and come in fast, throw the wheel over hard to port, and give it full reverse. It worked! The boat stopped on a dime, tickled the dock, and we had the wide eyed gang tie us off. Even the ass man didn't have to work too hard! Sometimes if you just react, and not over plan your move, it works out better. I had told Deb what I was going to do, and she was cool as a cucumber. Not like the running and screaming people at the dock. Just kidding, our sailing folks at the marina are the best at getting a boat in. Some of the friendliest people around. They even tolerate me!

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