I just got in my first sail of the year. Most of you won't recognize me, and I wouldn't expect you to - I live in Missouri. My stomping grounds are basically a conservation lake nearby, and my boat, a little Dolphin Sr! Today, however... Today was beautiful. Nice wind, bright sunshine, nice temperature outside.
>Click here to see Little Prairie Lake
Did I say "Nice Wind?" LOL - the "nice wind" became a "wild wind" around noon, about the time I got to the lake! The forecasted wind was already a bit high, 15 - 20 mph, but what met me when I arrived was a good 25 mph wind, with gusts anywhere from 35 to 45 mph! And all of this blowing straight across the lake, directly at the loading ramp.
I did it, though. I got the boat set up, rigged, and ready to go. I got it into the water. I even waded along the edge of the water to the nearby fishing pier to pull it out and away from the shoreline. I re-checked all of the rigging, made sure the rudder was down, put in the daggerboard, and raised sail; the poor old sunfish sail flapping like a flag in a high wind! I was determined, though. I pushed off, and barely managed to gain control about halfway back to the shoreline. I sailed across the wind, spilling almost all the wind from my sail, with the hull beating against the waves, cold spray all over my face. A difficult tack, into the wind, and back, still moving fairly slow, for all the wind available, now taking even more spray all across my back. I let the sail spill the wind, and headed in to shore, and again busted my tail loading the boat, bagging the sail and mast, and making ready to drive back.
Maybe it was a little crazy. I probably should have turned away, and gone back home, as soon as I saw those whitecaps on this little lake, but... I'm glad I didn't. I got a real work-out! And I got a great experience. I'm happy with my little Dolphin Sr.
Still making tentative plans for a future of Sailing... reducing the anchors in my life, until I have exactly as many as necessary to sail. Furniture, cars, all sorts of "goodies," all weigh down our lives. Some of us crave those anchors... Myself, all I crave is a good boat, a good wind, and a good woman. A difficult combination, to be sure, but worth seeking.
Capt'n Cat (Space Ghost) did not come for this trip. He prefers to do his sailing on dry land.