This is one of those posts where I just tell you I had a good day and things went well. Thanks for letting me tell some other sailors, "Yesterday was a good day".
Yesterday we splashed our 1984 Sabre 34 at her winter home, a boat yard on the Rhode River. We're later than we wanted to be, but much earlier than last year, so we're moving in the right direction! A few weeks earlier next year, and we'll be launching right on time for here in the Chesapeake Bay. We worked really hard over the past week to get her ready.
Thankfully, the launch went smoothly. We made a few final preps including getting the genoa on the furler. (Side note: I can't believe the number of people I see raising a furling genoa while their boat is on jack stands, but that's another thread). We had to go after work, so we couldn't pull out of the boat yard slip until about 5:30pm, and it's about 11 miles from the Rhode to our slip off the South River.
No problem! With the southerly wind blowing at 15 knots, we reached under full sail, doing 6 to 7+ knots most of the way. The boat sailed beautifully, and all the hard work just sort of melted away and relaxation rolled on in. South of Saunders Point, my wife took the helm. We gybed to make our turn into the South River, and at one point my wife mentioned a bit of extra weather helm. I eased the main sheet just a tad to dump a little air, and things smoothed right out.
In the South River, the winds were more SW, which meant an unusual beam reach all the way up the river, which runs NW to SE. The wind usually funnels up or down river. While we took pleasure in it, we discussed how since beam winds on the South River only happen once a season, we'll have a lot of winds on the bow or stern the rest of the year. Oh well.
We logged the 11 miles in about 1 hour 50 minutes...a great way to kick off the 2011 season!
Here's a pic of the boat shortly after launch, still at the boat yard: