Asleep at the wheel
Join Date: Sep 2011
Thanked 117 Times in 115 Posts
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I read Chef2Sail's description of his vacation last week and was REALLY jealous. The weather around here had been beautiful. A tad windy some days, but really nice. But we are stuck with a fairly full dance card for the next few weekends, and we're not sure if we'll get to the boat any time soon. It was driving me crazy, so, I decided I was going to do something about it. Late last week, my wife and I looked at our calendars and decided that today was a good day for me to play hookie from work and for us to go for a sail.
We got the kids off to school, then headed out to the marina. We left the slip with only a minor inconvenience (bumper caught the spring line again), then hit the fuel dock to get Dragon Wing's holding tank pumped out. My wife was very nervous about what to do, but the docking went perfectly. We pumped out quickly, then headed out to play.
As we emerged into the bay, it was clear that the winds were closer to 10 knots than the 5-10 that had been predicted. The bay was a little choppy, but not bad. My wife again looked nervous and I asked if she wanted to turn back. She said no, but with a reluctance in her voice that made it clear that I'd better not screw this up.
Our jib sheets come back near the wheel, so it's easy for me to play with the trim; the main sheet is on the cabin top, which would mean making my wife move periodically if I wanted to adjust it. In the end, I decided that today was all about getting her comfortable, so I decided to sail only with the jib, this way tacking would be straightforward and she wouldn't have to keep moving around. Shortly after we had the sail unfurled, my in-laws video chatted with us so my wife could see that they had picked up our youngest from the bus. That seemed to help ease some of her tension.
We sailed across the bay and back 6 times, and I was able to work our way over toward the lighthouse, which made for a pretty view. At one point, I suggested to my wife that she try sitting up near the bow. She laid down to watch the sail move in the wind, and almost instantly fell asleep. Prior to today she swore she'd never be able to sleep on a boat, yet there she was, resting comfortably as the bow bobbed in the chop. She slept for nearly half an hour before I had to wake her because we were running out of bay, and I didn't want to tack with her laying there!
We eventually furled the jib and got back into the slip without any major incidents. I washed Dragon Wing while my wife read, then we headed off for dinner and then home to tuck our kids into bed.
It was just about as perfect a day as I could have asked for. Nothing went WRONG (sure, there were issues, but nothing major), the boat behaved well, and my wife got a chance to really understand why I like boating. She even said "we'll have to do this again soon." It was a good day.
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