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Log for 5/19/02

Finally, a decent day!  The two weeks following launching were full of frustration.  It seemed that the wind blew 25 or 30 knots out of one direction or another--southwest one day, northwest the next--which kept us on the mooring.  In between the wind, there was rain--lots of it--and general poor weather.  On top of all this, the period featured below-normal temperatures, with rain and even mixed frozen precipitation falling on several occasions.  I got a few small projects done on the boat, and did get out for a quickie sail one afternoon, but in general I was wondering why the boat was in the water.  Then, to top it all off, we had a late spring nor'easter with 40-50 knots of wind and, evidently, large seas that caused damage to the anchor platform and, as a result, the hull forward.

But today dawned bright and clear, if a bit chilly, with light wind.  The forecast was for partly cloudy and west winds at 10-15, shifting to the southwest later in the day.  Sounded like a good one!  Heidi and I headed to the boat at about 1100, and were soon under sail under full main and genoa.  The sun ducked behind a number of clouds, but the day was generally nice.  With the sun out, it felt warm; when the sun was hidden, it was decidedly chilly.  We headed where the wind took us and sailed a broad reach away from the mooring.  As we got farther away, the wind lifted us, and we  headed between Sturdivant and Basket Islands on a screaming reach as the wind gust seemed to grow stronger, and stay higher, than the predicted 15.  We hit 6.8 knots at one point.

onereef51902.JPG (171796 bytes)Before turning and heading in the other direction, I decided that we'd be more comfortable, on the closer point of sail, if we threw a reef in the main.  Plus, I wanted to try out my newly redesigned reefing system.  Because we were well off the wind, I figured we'd better head into the wind with the full battened main or it might be tough to lower the sail; over time, I'll figure out if this is really necessary of not, but it seemed like a good idea for now.  With the sail luffing, it took about 30 seconds to tuck in the reef.  From the mast, I lowered the halyard and hooked the first reef cringle over the reefing hook on the mast.  Then, I cranked up the halyard, cleated it off, and pulled the nearby reefing line on the boom through the sheet stopper I installed.  It worked great!  Cleaning up the excess lines (I've got to figure out a better way to secure the excess) I returned to the cockpit, retrimmed the boat, and we were off.  The boat loved the new sail combination; I took a few rolls on the genoa as well to make our ride comfortable.  Heading nearly upwind, we were enjoying a comfortable 5.8 knots or so (lower in the lulls, of course).  After a while, the wind seemed to lighten somewhat, so I unrolled the rest of the jib, but left the reef in the main.

As we trucked towards Portland with Heidi steering, I relaxed in the cockpit, looking up towards the sails.  As the mainsail covered the sun, which was shining through a gap in the clouds, I noticed in the reflected light a white substance floating through the air.  My first instinct was that it was snow; when I voiced this to Heidi, she suggested pollen.  That seemed reasonable enough, but the more we looked, heidi51902.JPG (148280 bytes) the more we became convinced that it was indeed snow in the air above us--not coming down to the boat, but staying in the higher levels of a hundred feet or more.  Virga, they call it--precipitation that falls but does not reach the ground.  Wow!  May 19, we were sailing, I was wearing shorts, and it was snowing.  How about Maine in Springtime...

After a very nice beat towards Portland, we tacked again and headed more or less towards the mooring.  With the exception of a few significant, and brief, fluky wind shifts, the wind stayed fairly constant at 15 or so with higher gusts, pulling us on another close reach back to the anchorage.   The sun shone brighter than most of the day, and this was the "warm" tack--the sun was not blanked by the sails, so we were comfy cozy in the cockpit.  AS we neared the anchorage, we were pleased to see our dasein51902-2.JPG (152424 bytes)friends on their new (to them) Triton Dasein just leaving the anchorage under sail--their first time!  We sailed close aboard and snapped pictures of each other.  I'm still waiting for Nathan's shot of Glissando...hopefully it comes out!  

We returned to our mooring and spent a nice rest-of-afternoon aboard.  I fiddled around with stuff, watched the boats, read, and simply enjoyed.  Heidi took a snooze.

 

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Glissando, Pearson  Triton #381
www.triton381.com 

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