I managed to get a good sail in last night and took some pictures to boot. Looking for crew for the January 1st sail, if you are interested, let me know.
You may be wondering how I managed to do a midweek sail...
I had a full skin cancer screening yesterday evening. Got a clean bill of health. I'm planning to go back every year. All these watersports aren't so good for the skin. If you haven't gotten a screening recently, GET ONE!
Anyway, the doctor's office was reasonably close to the marina, so I went to check on the boat and see how she did after the 17 inches of snow we got. The deck was pretty clear due to winds. The docks were all perfectly clear. The boat was still plugged in and everything looked good. I decided to take her out. Think of it as a make-up session from when I decided that Sunday's blizzard was too severe to do some docking practice -- at least by the time I was ready, the winds had really come up.
Last night the winds were pretty light. I motored out (upwind) a little ways and then sailed back under jib only. I didn't want to leave the cockpit to get the main up and this was really meant to be a short sail, so I kept it that way.
The deck was pretty slippery from the remnants of snow, even though I shovelled a bunch before heading out. Best to stay in the cockpit.
Here's a shot of the deck. Not the most interesting picture, but it was the best lit from the hand held spotlight.
The running rigging was stiff from embedded ice. The starboard helm was covered in ice - but only on the top where you normally put your hands. During the blizzard, I had it turned 180 degrees and the "top" was down in the snow.
There were no other boats in sight. No one else at the marina. No sign of life except lights on the shore. I went below to turn the running light on, prior to starting the engine. I thought about skipping that step, 100 yards from the marina, since things can get busy close-in. But I turned it on anyway. There wasn't anyone around to see it though. I didn't bother turning on the Christmas lights, and it was nice sailing in the dark.
Here's a shot of the top of the jib.
And a shot of the bottom of the jib.
I didn't want to much weather helm from sailing with just the jib, so I let the jib out a little extra. It seemed to work out ok.
It was dark so my Droid camera didn't capture pictures too well. I used the handheld spotlight to help get these few images.
Here's the number 1 bouy, passed under sail. I passed close to it. The cell phone camera makes it look farther than it was. This part of Hempstead harbor was more sheltered from the wind, they were very light at this point.
I didn't want to sail all the way to where things get narrow right near the slip, not solo anyway. So I furled the sail just outside the entrance to the little harbor. (I like to run the furling line back to one of the jib sheet winches. They are much bigger winches and it makes the job easier.) Furling was a bit interesting because I like to keep tension on the sheets when furling the jib onto it's drum. But the sheets were crusted with ice, so they were cutting into my hand some as I let them slip through my hand with tension. So instead I grabbed both sheet with my hand raised up in the air behind me and then as I furled, I'd move my arm forward. This worked for about 4 feet of sheet movement at a time. So in small sections I got the job done right. Next time I'll go below and get my gloves.
Back at the dock, I used tie-wraps and a galley drying rack to securely mount a 75 watt lightbulb in the forward head.
Besides that "heater" I have a space heater set on low in the salon, and a 75 watt bilge-type heater in the engine compartment.
I'm really looking forward to the New Year's Day sail to Stamford Connecticut and back. I've invited a ton of people via my usual email. But for some reason only two of our sailnet members, David and Peter, plus Peter's brother replied with a "yes". If you want to sail, let me know. It should be a great sunny day. If you are near Stamford, you could join us for lunch in Stamford and the return trip. DavidPM will be driving back past Stamford and would surely give you a ride back to your car. Peter and his brother are coming from Old Saybrook, so there are some opportunities there too.
In fact, since the crew will be more experienced, I'm wondering if we should move the trip to the next day. There will be rain part of the day but more wind and there's a great Sunday brunch right at the Brewers marina at the former Rusty Scupper. But with the date set and the crew making plans, we'll stick to January 1st and suffer through some lesser lunch in town somewhere.