One afternoon at low tide I sailed slowly north out of Reeves Bay and into Flanders Bay with a light southwesterly wind. Soon I was well out from shore, moving along at a stately pace under the full 282 square feet of gaff-rigged sail carried by the boat. I set a northeast course for the green can buoy on the far side of the bay.
Steering a southeasterly course, close-hauled with the centerboard down, I was pleased to discover Kirsten was perfectly balanced on this point of sail, and needed no hand on the tiller. The centerboard increases Kirsten 's draft to four feet, but I planned to tack well before reaching the shoal on the south side of the bay. Meanwhile, I sat back and enjoyed the hands-free sailing.
A few minutes passed before I realized that the boat was stopped. The sail was still full and water was still moving past the hull, but my position in relation to landmarks on shore wasn't changing. Looking over the side, I noticed the water was surprisingly clear. Why, I could even see small fish swimming about and crabs moving across the sand. They seemed to be moving faster than the boat.
I had found one of those places marked with a 1 on the chart. I raised the centerboard and tried to pole the boat off, but Kirsten didn't budge. I backed the sail in an attempt to go in reverse—still stuck. Finally, I lowered the sail, got out of the boat, and waded around it.
Some time later, the slow flogging of the sail told me the boat had shifted position, gradually becoming un-stuck as the water level rose. I backed the sail again, and crabbed away from shore until I could set a westerly course to the entrance of Reeves Bay. As I neared the marina, I headed into the wind and lowered sail to see how far momentum and the tide would carry Kirsten into the marina entrance. The answer was easy—just far enough to dig her bow into the bank. While I was poling off, Vinny, the marina manager, motored past and asked if I needed help. "Nope," I said, "I can get her in." As long as there's enough water to float her, I thought to myself.
Last edited by administrator; 01-11-2008 at 09:30 AM.
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