Made some final preps and estimations last weekend and brought her home on 04/28/13. The trip would have been near three + hours motoring. Problems with the Morse controls left us powerless at mile 3 due to a flat battery! I knocked the power back to turn back up stream to fetch the dink that went adrift.
Well! Gotta go get it...might as well run up the jib and see what's what. My partner on this expedition is well versed in all sorts of power boats; but never sailed before in his life. With him on the tiller, I ran up the 85%'er and she came about and started running DW quite nicely for a bare 3 knot breeze. I went fwd with the hook and he brought her up to windward and we had the dink retrieved in a trice.
In for a penny; in for a pound; I decided that we might as well run up the main, too. Wind was varying from the SW and WSW and we needed to follow the (generally) SW side of the Neck. Tough running that close to the wind and we managed some few yards direct travel in several tacks!
Wind shifted some to more Southerly and we were close hauled running at near 6 knots. Looking down the a little more than a mile to Turkey point, I spied the weather front moving in from the West. Remembering the adage "reef when ya think of it", I suited actions to thought and we kept on track with shortened sail. Taking a sudden gust that put us over to near 30 degrees and back upright suddenly; my buddy sez: "Mebbe we should see if the motor will start?!"
Providentially, it did start and we motored down to the Point and rounded the bend. An hour and a half of fighting the tiller to stay on course up the narrow-is channel was strenuous. Following "seas" from the tide and wind on the opposite caused the bow to fluctuate from several points off the Port to more off the Starboard. Standing in the 'pit, tiller to hip to roll with the swells; I felt at home. If only my knees and hips felt so !
My buddy brought us up to the dock and willed it in when the motor conked out 30 yards away. Amazingly; only a couple hours from low tide and she still floated at her new home! I spun her around on her keel and tied her off stern to. Other friends/wives showed up to help and celebrate. A fresh bottle of premium Jamaican rum was produced and I quietly slipped fwd to the pulpit.
Doffing my cap, I uncorked the bottle and ceremoniously dipped out a dram for Neptune, once again for lost friends and poured a liberal shot down my own gullet in salute. Gifts were showered on myself and the boat. New blue fenders. A fleece cover to match the sheet set I found in Navy Blue. A new Victorinox mariner's knife and heartfelt card with a traditional dollar enclosed.
Rain overnight and during the day today prevented much needed work; but other items were checked off..and on the to-do list.
The one thing my buddy commented most on was the way she handled crossing wakes and when inadvertently, we could not avoid taking one abeam, she rode it out without a roll or hitch!. My retort was "A displacement hull and 3500# of keel tend to stabilize.. don't it!?"
He pronounced her quite comfortable and sea-friendly. High praise from a (big) power boater! During our couple hours under sail, he commented on how peaceful it was; just lapping along at 1 to 5 knots with only the wind to accompany the hull sounds.
He was sooo right!
He *did* express some concern that a friend had presented me with the boat's mascot... an 18 inch plush stuffed Wile E. Coyote..who was dutifully strapped to the mast before we pulled out. With Wile E. being the icon of mishap, he felt it tempting fate. I responded with the double negative make a positive comment since this was my first trip out and I was *sure* to screw up....so it was all good!
Next trip up the mast, Wile E. will be stood on the spreaders and fixed facing fwd..ala Bill Murray in "What About Bob?" shouting...