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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 03-06-2010
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From LFS to BFS- Another day sail lesson

Fair warning to John Pollard- Look away now.

After satisfying my pre-sail checklist and a brief argument with my outboard, I departed the dock with a total of 4 souls onboard and motored out to the channel.

I clipped on, we raised the sails without incident, made a U-turn and ran before a weak breeze from the north as last time, until I could round the channel marker and get the wind from a better angle.

...and then the wind fairly died for a couple hours, came in fits and starts from various points north. I shook out the reef I'd put in because of the forecast. I watched 3 other sailboats flop and flail and then give up and motor out past me. One guy was motoring with his sails up. We had no destination in mind, so we just sat there and observed the traffic around us.

At about 4:30/5 pm, a lively breeze of 10/15kts piped up from about the northeast or so. We'd drifted a ways south, so I headed north to green bouy "1A". The crew went below to warm up around the heater so I singlehanded. Once there, I headed west for home up the Rhode River. Eventually I was too far into the wind, so I called everyone up, dropped the sails and we motored the rest of the way home. Lights were called for, so I burned them.

I learned a lot during the final fresh breeze. We were zipping right along. I believe that I was getting the sails right judging by the tell tales and our good speed. I kept the heel well under control. A little more wind and I'd have been wishing for that reef that I let out though.

No one fell overboard, harnesses were worn, PFDs were broken out, nothing broke and no one died. We made a perfect stern-first docking just as the sun dipped below the horizon.

After a weak start, the day ended better than I'd had any right to hope.
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  #2  
Old 03-06-2010
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Well done...
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Old 03-06-2010
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You ll always remember the first time...trying to remember the last one gets tougher...
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Old 03-06-2010
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Sounds like you're getting the hang of it...
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Old 03-07-2010
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Yeah, I think so. I've been invited to a sail trimming lecture this morning (for free, no less) and I'm going out after that. More theory, more practice.
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Old 03-07-2010
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Today is going to be another fine day Bubblehead. Have a blast and stay safe.
Assuming Bubblehead means submariner, remember to keep the boat above the waves.

What you have there in your 25 is a perfect example of why small boats rule -

you are sailing TODAY

I'm doing maintenance 10 miles north of you. If I'm lucky I'll untie the dock lines and turn the boat around in it's slip.
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Old 03-07-2010
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BH,

That sounds like a nice outing you had yesterday. I know exactly where you were out by 1A, so you were well positioned when the wind filled from the NE for the sail home.

Today looks to be an even nicer day -- hopefully you'll have a good breeze. Just for practicing sake -- and depending on wind direction -- you might consider hanging a right turn out of the Rhode and heading up the West instead of out in the Bay. The narrower confines will encourage you to focus a bit more on practicing tacks/jibes and sail trim etc. A good place to turn around and head home is up by the anchorage off the public dock and mooring field in Galesville.

I'm debating heading out to the boat and bending our sails on this afternoon. If nothing else, my failure to cover the boat this past winter will give me an advantage when it comes to spring commissioning -- I can get a jump on a few things that would ordinarily have to wait until the cover comes off....
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Old 03-07-2010
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Bubble, dude, sweet! Look - get that story over to the BFS thread. That's what it's all about man!

You prepped, you learned, you practiced, you puckered a bit, you came home safe! BFS through and through.
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Old 03-08-2010
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Bubble sorry I missed you out there. Just wanted to let you know that when there is no wind in the river it is sometimes better to motor out past 1A. You might find a little more wind out in the Bay.
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Old 03-08-2010
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Yes John, I should definitely take your advice about practicing in skinny water. The wind was kind of fluky this weekend though. I think I would have just flailed around.

I think the high pressure dome that moved in really slowed the air down.

On Sunday, we had very light, but steady air. I sailed with Nitefly to about a mile or so from Bloody Point shoal, and back.

We easily could have flown the genoa but I kind of chickend out because I didn't know if we'd get another blow like we did on Saturday. The whole day was a text-book affair. No surprises, no excitement. Just a lesiurely day on the water.

Oh, Nitefly brought a GPS and an iPhone with a charting app on it. That was pretty cool. I ususally use my charts but it was nice to see exactly where I was for once, and exactly how fast we were going. We made between 2.5 and 4.1 kts SOG most of the time.

After I returned, my neighbor invited me onto his Raider 35 built in Holland. "Amazing" is the adjective I would use. What a great boat.

Now that I have few warm days, I'll be scrubbing the boat from stem to stern after work so that I have a clean, ready boat this weekend.
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