Well, with the two of us (my son and I) having passed our ASA101 last weekend, we lost no time and went sailing today. Aside from the two of us, we had my wife, her sister and 3 little ones. I know a bit crowded but my sister in law came 400 miles to go sailing and I didn't want to disappoint.
Forecast called for NW winds 5-10 in the morning with 10-20 by afternoon.
My son was the skipper for today (we've decided to alternate skipper days), so he manned the helm and gave orders as we departed the dock and motored out close to the practice area.
My 6yr old son was terrified (even cried big tears) to get on the boat, but as time passed he became more at ease. So much so that within 15 min he came with me at the bow. The most awesome part was that by the time we came back to the doc he didn't want to get off. He was now whining that he wanted to go back out and sail.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. everything was going great and the ladies were taking lots of pictures, that is until we decided to head back and go to lunch as it was getting close to 12. Wind by now was likely 15-17 knots, at least. My son was at the helm and we needed to close-haul so that we can make it back into the channel. Unfortunately that caused the boat to heel so much so that our rail was just above the water. That's when the heel alarm went off. At first one then 3-4
. That meant that we had to beam/close reach, which then took us out again. Well this happened a couple of times and my son had had it. He was now scared of tipping the boat over himself.
I've decided to try it myself. Taking the helm I've tried to tack beam reach to beam reach but couldn't get us positioned to enter the channel. By now my son was hinting that maybe we should drop sails and just motor in. Deciding to give it one more try, we hove to (starboard tack) and put a couple of reefs in. This made the ride a lot more pleasant and allowed us to close-reach and after a couple of tacks we were in the channel safe.
We made it back to the doc by 2 PM, but we all had fun. Everybody forgot about the heeling and all wanted to get back to sail after lunch. Unfortunately the lunch took a longer then expected and didn't make it back on the water.
1) It seemed extremely tough to stay in Irons (boat was Capri 22). Hence, raising and especially lowering sail was extremely hard. We ended up lowering sails under engine. Is there a secret to this?
2) Have to practice a lot more without any passengers because heeling is pretty scary even for us.
3) Next time, got to bring snacks on board in case our sail gets extended, especially when kids are on board.