Saturday 6 June 2015
It was raining and breezy when Joe and I arrived at the boat. The project for today was to install the head sail onto the roller furling. I had again spent some considerable google foo to make the process as painless as possible. First problem… I attached the roller furling unit backwards. The line that spools in and out was facing toward the bow. Ooops. All in all it took about an hour to lower the main, turn things around, and slowly feed the sail up the slot. Now I know why you shouldn’t store the fore-stay curled up. It was tough getting the sail worked up.
After that we motored out to the bay. Powerboat came up and said he wanted to watch us put up our sails and see how long it would take. I had to explain that this was not only my first time raising a sail, but my first time on a sailboat. Joe had never stepped foot on a sailboat either. We probably wouldn’t be a good example to go by. It took us about ten minutes to lower rudders and dagger board, raise the main sail, and start gliding off. I kept getting the main halyard hung up on a protruding bolt or something up on the mast. The power boater got bored of watching us and wandered off.
There is no way I could have captured the expression on our faces when I stopped the motor and we started heading downwind with the main sail only. I can imagine it’s the same expression every sailor has had the first time they’ve gone out. I’m 49 and was giggling and laughing like a little kid.
We experimented a lot, learned some tacking, did an accidental jibe, maneuvered through crab pots, got locked in irons, and basically laughed and had an incredibly great time for the next four or five hours. Managed to sail back to the same spot we originally put our sails up at and motored back through the canal.
First day ever on a sailboat and loved it.
Lesson learned. I absolutely love sailing!
Motored 4nm, sailed 12nm for a total of 16nm today.
Total distance 30nm.