Join Date: Oct 2007
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Re: Scary night sail
Well I did it again. I was assured that the engine was working fine and would start easy, but I didn't really believe it. Last Sunday was just too perfect.
What I was really worried about was that we had up to 17 knots of wind and I knew he had never see that much wind with 3 foot waves before.
Yes I know you old salts figure that is just when things are getting good.
But I've been on boats with 6 inch seas and 4 knots of wind with people panicking and I really don't like it it.
They assured me they could take it and wanted to go out.
Getting out of the slip was a little worrisome but we had a couple guys show up to help that worked perfectly.
The engine did it's usual goofing around but once started it runs really well.
I'm very worried about stopping the engine by mistake as pulling the throttle back just a smidgen stops the engine but I think I have the feel now.
There are no reefing lines setup and the reef clew is too high for me to reach when the sail is raised so I would have to drop the sail to set a reef with dock lines.
Charlie can steer for me and start the engine. In fact he has the magic touch, I can never start the engine.
I found out he has no dock cord so his batteries are not being charged properly but for some reason battery 2 seems to be charged pretty well.
Battery 1 does not seem to be getting a charge even when the engine is running like battery 2 does.
I have to tell Charley when to turn the wheel as he is still working out the basics of sailing.
So it is still on the knife edge of go, no go.
On the one hand I'm starting to have a fondness for the boat.
On the other hand as a captain you have to take evaluate, the boat, the crew, your own capabilities, the weather and proposed route and make a decision as to go or not.
Usually it is not so hard. This one has been right on the edge both times.
The sail was about four hours and went well.
We got out of the slip with no problems as we picked up two dock hands.
The sail went well. With the wind and full main we healed a bit and everyone liked it and didn't complain.
We even got a chance to heave to. I needed the break they were fine.
The engine was difficult to start but I anticipated that and had given us plenty of room so after 10 minutes or so we were fired up.
I always take the helm on the way back as Charlie can't get high enough to have a good line of site in all directions.
The docking was a little dicey primarily because a guy on the dock offered to help.
I think he was a power boater because he held the line rather than cleating it and this boat is heavy.
But I was coming very slow and had about 10 feet to spare so he was able to turn the boat with about an inch to spare. We should have had 3 feet to spare.
I've been trying to figure out what I should have done differently. I couldn't get on the dock like I would have because he was standing in the way.
The wind was making his job harder but he should have used a cleat.
Maybe I should have told him to use a cleat or may told him to back off and let me do it.
Anyway we got close but made it.
Any other crew and they would have just fended off. So that is the disadvantage of crew with restricted mobility.
They are really and\ inspiration, just doing what they need to do regardless of mobility or or funds.
I'll start another thread about teaching issues.
Charley told me a funny story about a trip he took to the islands. He decided to rent a Skidoo. At first the operator was a little skeptical but once the got going he noticed he sold several rides to people who were just looking and trying to get their courage up.
He offered Charlie a job, figured he would be good for the business.
On the second picture I asked him to smile. It looks a little fake to me.
The lesson from the Icarus story is not about human failing.
It is a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.
If you have an engineering problem solve it.
Last edited by davidpm; 09-09-2013 at 09:24 PM.