On Monday, I actually got a little bit of a head start on sailing. The lesson was offered by Third Coast Cruising as part of the Broad Reach fractional share. The major objective was to become familiar with Lily, our boat for the summer. Karen was out of town.
Lily was docked at the pumpout. I was last to arrive, and we set out to practice docking and mooring. We motored into Monroe Harbor and headed for our mooring buoy. Winds were 20-25 knots, and it was a little choppy in the harbor.
I took the helm for a while, and Captain Ted asked me to circle around a mooring can, which I did fairly smartly, if I do say so myself. I kept the helm as we approached our mooring buoy. Boats are big, and I'm glad the harbor wasn't crowded yet. We had to go around at least once, but eventually we got her lined up into the wind and drifted to the pendant. We had to use a boat hook to get it up, but we eventually got her tied up to the can.
We had some lessons about tug-of-war with the boat and how not to lose fingers when mooring. After a bit we cast off again, intending to go for a short sail.
After 50 yards or so, the motor quit! Now things got exciting! I was fairly useless, not having learned about the roller furling system or anything, so I watched as we unfurled the jib and sailed he to a clear channel. I grabbed a fender just in case, but it turned out to be unnecessary. We ended up sailing her to the dock and docking her.
One lesson I learned was that tying knots under stress is way different than tying knots at home. I tried tying off the fender to the lifeline, and got confused, even though I had been tying the clove hitch correctly. For some reason, a horizontal clove hitch looks completely different to me than a vertical one.
Very educational lesson! Don't count on the engine!
From there, we went into a very detailed orientation to the boat, learning just what was kept where and learning about a lot of the auxiliary systems on the boat.
It was a very good lesson for me. My main takeaways were:
- The book is right - you can't count on engines!
- Tying knots under stress is different than not under stress.
- All the prep has paid off - I mostly know the names of everything I need and I know what to look for on the boat.