Log for 6/19/01--a Great Sail

Under the guise of picking up the old companionway ladder from my boat--which I had promised to him months ago, Mark Whipple (Choral Sea, Triton Yawl # 59) drove up to Maine for the day.  The fact that I had offered him a sail had nothing to do with his trip, of course...

About the time he arrived, the southwest wind started picking up...quickly, till it was really honkin'.  In about a half hour, the winds were a steady 18-20 or so--heavier than normal, but still nothing terrible, of course.  The problem was, I had my new mainsail...but no way to reef it, since I had removed all the hardware from the boom previously since I knew it would all be replaced.  Given the wind strengths, a single reef would have probably been perfect along with the full 130% genoa--or maybe a partially rolled up one.

However, reefing was not an option, so we just went for it.  It was no problem for the boat, but she probably would have gone just as fast and been a little more comfortable with shortened sail.  I have to spend some time in the next week or so rigging up my reefing system.

Mark enjoying the helmWe sailed outside of Clapboard Island, the island that rings our anchorage, on a very pleasant close reach.  The boat loved it, and I gave the helm to Mark for him to enjoy.  When we ran out of water near Chebeague Island, a couple miles out in the bay, we tacked and sailed southwest toward Portland.  In the mile-wide gut between the mainland and Diamond Island, the wind was really being funneled, and was decidedly stronger...perhaps up to 25 knots or so.  We sailed up a ways, closehauled, and then turned around on a near reciprocal course, ready for some fun.  With the sails eased--one of the best sounds known to man is the sound of a loaded sheet being eased off a winch--Glissando showed her stuff, and we took off.  The sun was hot, the wind was just the right temperature, and the beers were cold, kept that way by my sophisticated radiant air solid-state hydrogen/oxygen cooling technology that I have on board.

After another hour or so, we were back in the relative lee of Clapboard, and dropped the sails and motored back to the mooring a short distance away.  The day was far too nice, so we relaxed and didn't head right back to shore.  Was there really another world going on out there that didn't involve sailing?  It was hard to imagine.


Glissando, Pearson  Triton #381

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