Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Long Island, NY
Thanked 54 Times in 49 Posts
Rep Power: 13
Don't worry, you'll gain more experience, and soon, weather like that will make you just yawn and think 'no big deal.'
No matter how much experience you have, sailing can always surprise you.
Just a few weeks ago, I went out on the boat with my 15 year old daughter. I just replaced the raw water impeller and I wanted to test run the engine. So we rowed out to the boat (my boat is kept on a mooring), left the dingy tied to the boat and not the mooring, dropped the mooring lines, and motored out.
After 15 minutes of running, all was well, so we headed back to the mooring. I have been pulling the boat to the mooring for years, and it's a piece of cake: motor upwind towards the mooring, have the boat hook ready (just in case), approach the mooring float at dead slow speed, walk forward and pick up the mooring stick, or grab it with the boat hook, place the mooring pendants on the bow cleat and that's basically it. I usually do by myself, no problem. This time my daughter asks if she can help, so I tell her to go forward and pick up the mooring float. The weather is calm, I motor towards the stick, then walk forward to help. It seems that I stopped the boat a little short of the pick up stick, and she could not grab the stick. I offer to help, but I was too slow and the boat drifted a little to far away. No big deal, I walk back the wheel, put the boat in reverse and then shift forward, except that now I can't turn the steering wheel. The wheel is locked and I can't move it! This is very bad. We are now drifting into the channel. I run forward to drop the anchor but now we are headed right at my mooring neighbor's boat. I run aft and put the boat in reverse. Fortunately we backed right up to an empty mooring, so I grabbed it to find the problem.
It turned out that when I originally backed up, the dingy painter got wedged between the rudder and the hull and prevented me from turning the wheel. By pulling the line out, I could steer, and all ended well.
So, no matter how many times you have done the same thing, sailing can always surprise you!
Deep Blue C, 2002 C&C 110
Mt. Sinai, NY
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