Just thought I'd share a quick story. As some of you may know, this is our first year on the water. We've relied on the internet, a few books, and brass balls to self-teach until the wedding is behind us and we can afford a proper lesson.
So far, things have been going swimmingly on our 40yo C&C 30. We're careful to avoid questionable weather and have managed in excess of 500 miles under sail so far in our first season. A few overnights and a number of daysails.
Anyhow, having "mastered
" the big boat, we opted to rent a sunfish at one of our state parks. I really anticipated "feeling the tug of the sails and the subtleties of steering with a rudder."
Let's just say it didn't go quite as planned. We capsized twice just trying to board and get under way. With no wind vane, I quickly realized just how poor I am at judging wind direction. We made halting progress upwind and enjoyed an hour of "sailing," but a new problem presented itself. The aged vessel wasn't even close to watertight and our frequent swims had almost totally filled the hull with water.
We turned down wind and made a desperate run for the rental dock, but it was too late. We'd turned into a semi-submersible that would have made a drug-smuggler proud. Bailing seemed to have no effect and even the slightest heel would now fully roll us. We waved off numerous "rescue attempts" from 14 yo girls in kayaks and canoes... clinging to our dignity and experienced, self-taught sailor identities. Eventually though, the open sea (pond) wore us down.
On the plus side, we were able to pitchpole.. sorta in slow motion... so that's something. Finally, the 17yo that assembled the rig for us came to our rescue and towed our stricken vessel back to base while we made the long walk of shame up the shoreline.