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  • 12 Post By jimgo
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  #1  
Old 10-04-2013
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Ahhhhh

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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Old 10-04-2013
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Re: Ahhhhh

Good show. Smart showing that patience with your wife. It will pay dividends in the end.

Now I am jealous. **:**)
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Old 10-08-2013
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Re: Ahhhhh

Why do you think the word 'patience' is ALWAYS in my boat name
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Old 10-08-2013
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Re: Ahhhhh

Never tack with wife sleeping on the bow. (Unless.....)
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Old 10-08-2013
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Re: Ahhhhh

Sounds like a nice day on the Allmand! We did the same thing this past Saturday and Sunday. The trick is getting the woman enjoying everything about it. Sunday I gave the helm to the wife and she took us down the fairway just about to the slip where I took over. Next time the water is glass, she'll do the docking manuever. YOU will have so much fun watching her have fun!
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Old 10-08-2013
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Re: Ahhhhh

Dave, my wife is afraid to take the helm. She had a hard time adapting to the tiller, and now has it in her head that she needs to steer opposite of the direction she wants to go. I told her to pretend it's a car, but that doesn't seem to help. She winds up either oversteering or not waiting long enough for the boat to respond and then second-guesses herself and steers in the opposite direction. She's scared to death of taking it down the fairway (or in our case, the river). On Friday, she was afraid that "all these boats" (there were maybe 8-10 in our "section" of the bay) were going to run into us while we were out on the bay, and when I asked her to steer us into/up the river so I could furl the jib, she panicked because a) it's "narrow" (we could fit 4-5 boats across through much of it if need be) and b) there were "a lot of boats coming at us" (there were 2, then it opened up).

Rather than push the issue, we headed out of the channel, turned into the wind, and I furled the jib. I cleaned up the sheets (lesson learned from last time!) then started the engine and took us to the dock.

On the plus side, when we got to the dock, she did quickly identify the spring line (it has silver duct tape on it so it stands out, but when you're nervous, those things aren't always apparent) and got it onto our mid-ship cleat with plenty of time to spare. That gave her some confidence. Unfortunately I had slowed the boat a lot in an effort to make her job as easy as possible, and wound up not having enough forward momentum for the spring line to do its job. I had to put the boat back in gear and slide us forward, then we finished docking. Over dinner, we discussed what I had done wrong, and how to handle it next time. She saw that she hadn't done anything wrong, and I think that helped her confidence, too. But, as for docking/pulling out? Not a chance, at least not yet. I hope to change that next season, but will let her take things at her own pace.
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Old 10-08-2013
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Re: Ahhhhh

Great post Jimgo...but where are the pictures?
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Old 10-08-2013
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Re: Ahhhhh

My wife is pretty camera shy. If I had posted pictures of Friday, I wouldn't be here today.

It's funny, I thought about taking pictures, but only once or twice (which is unusual for me). For the most part, I was just enjoying the ride and the chance to be out on the water.
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Re: Ahhhhh

Learning to take the helm and steer (not drive) a boat is yet another activity that takes patience.
It will come, or you'll get an autopilot.
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