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post #41 of 62 Old 09-07-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: It Doesn't Get Any Noob-er Than This

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Originally Posted by jongleur View Post
Well, Landwalker, do you have anything to report?
Unfortunately, we ran into a cruise ship and sank.

...

...

Wait, that's not what happened.

Sunday sailing went great! It was the first time my wife and I were on the boat without an instructor, so there was some nervousness, but we did just fine (as far as we could tell, and nobody was around to tell us otherwise).

We left the dock around 10:40 AM. The location of the dock is such that you have to go a good distance straight out of the harbor before you get into the bay. (In this map, we were leaving from South Portland Sailing Center, heading NE out of the harbor.) Unfortunately, that morning had 1) fairly light wind that was 2) coming straight down the harbor, and 3) coincided with the current also coming straight down the harbor. Since I'm a stubborn bastard, we tried to tack our way out anyway. By about 12:05 PM, we had managed to almost reach the Maine State Pier at the end of the harbor.

So, lesson learned #1: If the wind isn't favorable, motor out of the damn harbor.

We were supposed to pick up some friends from the dock around 1:30, so we turned around and motored back to the dock just to have some extra time to eat lunch on the boat and avail ourselves of toilet facilities.

Lesson #2: A boat with a cuddy cabin and a portable head is not very accommodating to a dude who is 6'4". I managed to do it, but man, there were contortions.

We ended up hoping in the truck and driving down the road a bit to stop by a McDonald's to take advantage of their restroom, then met up with our friends and got back on the boat around 1:40 PM.

At this point, Allie and I had wised up and we motored out of the harbor. Once we were in the bay, we had plenty of wind to do a good chunk of sailing. We sailed northeast (by this point the wind had moved so it was coming from the SE instead of NE), most of the way to Clapboard Island, then looped around towards the inland side of Long Island, headed SW through Diamond Pass (between Great Diamond and Peaks Island), looped around House Island on the west side, then tacked our way up the channel to Portland Head Light. Once we reached that, we turned around, jibed our way back down to Fort Gorges, dodged the cruise ship that was leaving the harbor just as we were arriving, and then took down the sails and motored back down the harbor to the dock, which we got to around 6:00 PM or so.

Needless to say we probably weren't setting any speed records out there, and we spent the whole time with a 100% jib instead of any fancy genoa or anything like that, but (by our standards) we got a lot of sailing in and covered plenty of area. I spent the whole time looking at the chart every few minutes to make sure we weren't anywhere with any opportunity for an underwater rock encounter, and was successful (or at least not unsuccessful) in avoiding any trouble spots. Our friends had a great time out, we had a great time sailing, and we got slightly more comfortable with the notion of being out on the water without a supervisor.

I think it was good that we were out on the 22' Pearson Ensign. Even though we want to get experience with other boats, for our first unsupervised outing it was good to have a boat that we had a little bit of familiarity with in terms of where everything was and all that.

I may get the chance to go out again on Friday with a friend who has a Pearson 28, so I'm looking forward to that opportunity. I'd still like to see if we can rent that 26' Pearson from Portland Yacht Services before the season is over, just to see another boat, but they haven't been terribly responsive. Just have to keep trying, I guess.
Donna_F, Minnesail and Justa like this.

Current Boat: TBD
Currently Crewing: 22' Pearson Ensign (Wednesday Night Fall Racing)
Sailing Area: Casco Bay, Maine, USA
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post #42 of 62 Old 09-07-2016
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Re: It Doesn't Get Any Noob-er Than This

Excellent report! That's what this
forum is about. Great to hear about
your wonderful day!
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So sorry you got hit and sank.
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post #43 of 62 Old 09-07-2016
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Re: It Doesn't Get Any Noob-er Than This

Sounds like you will soon out grow your handle Landwalker!

By all accounts you had a fantastic day on the water with your wife and friends.

I'm no racer so, to me, you had the perfect day!

I am Jealous in the extreme!

I am sure Friday, if you get to go out, will be awesome also.

Thanks for the log report.
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post #44 of 62 Old 09-07-2016
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Re: It Doesn't Get Any Noob-er Than This

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Originally Posted by Landwalker View Post
...Unfortunately we're about a 30-minute-each-way drive from the likely candidate marinas, so there's that mental block to overcome, ....
Thirty minutes is nothing. We're two hours away from our boat and we had a dock neighbor who drove to the Chesapeake each Thursday from Ohio.

I would LOVE to be 30 minutes away.

Welcome to sailing and best of luck.

Donna


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Last edited by Donna_F; 09-07-2016 at 03:09 PM.
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post #45 of 62 Old 09-07-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: It Doesn't Get Any Noob-er Than This

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Originally Posted by Donna_F View Post
Thirty minutes is nothing. We're two hours away from our boat and we had a dock neighbor who drove to the Chesapeake each Thursday from Ohio.

I would LOVE to be 30 minutes away.

Welcome to sailing and best of luck.
My main issue isn't so much "I'm 30 minutes from the water," it's "I'm 30 minutes from finding out if I can even get out on the water or not." I'd take a two-hour drive to a boat I know I'll be able to get out on over a 30-minute drive to the possibility of getting out.

Fortunately, I'm (slowly) chatting up people about it and trying to weasel my way into invites.

Current Boat: TBD
Currently Crewing: 22' Pearson Ensign (Wednesday Night Fall Racing)
Sailing Area: Casco Bay, Maine, USA
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post #46 of 62 Old 09-07-2016
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Re: It Doesn't Get Any Noob-er Than This

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Originally Posted by Landwalker View Post
...

Fortunately, I'm (slowly) chatting up people about it and trying to weasel my way into invites.
Well, be very, very careful. We took a new-to-sailing Sailnetter out for a few hours of sailing last month and a few weeks later he bought a boat.

Donna


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post #47 of 62 Old 09-07-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: It Doesn't Get Any Noob-er Than This

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Originally Posted by Donna_F View Post
Well, be very, very careful. We took a new-to-sailing Sailnetter out for a few hours of sailing last month and a few weeks later he bought a boat.
Unfortunately for me (and fortunately for our bank accounts), our household Minister of Finance (i.e. my wife) is pulling the purse strings tight on that one.

The rationale that we agreed on (to my chagrin, this was actually originally my idea) was that, given the ongoing costs of having a boat (between basic maintenance, docking/mooring/club fees, haul-out/winter storage/spring haul-in, etc.), it would be no more expensive for us to just rent a boat for a whole day, one day per weekend, for something like 20-25 weeks. Given that it isn't like we're missing an opportunity to build equity in a boat, the way one argues when it comes to renting vs. owning a home, it made sense for us to stick to renting until we had enough basic competence and primitive understanding to have an idea of how to start shopping for a boat.

So now we have to find rental opportunities and/or tag-a-long opportunities until we reach that point. I'm still crossing my fingers for "buy a boat next June."

The other part of the boat purchase timeline is that we (read: I) want us to take the ASA 103 basic coastal cruising course, but we (read: we) don't want to invest a ton of additional resources into "new material" lessons until we actually have a boat of our own to take the lessons on—the idea being to learn the new material on the boat where we'd actually use the material, and in the process learn any quirks about how that new material interacts with our particular boat.

The tl;dr version of this post is [Generic Internal Struggle of Pragmatism vs. Desire].

Current Boat: TBD
Currently Crewing: 22' Pearson Ensign (Wednesday Night Fall Racing)
Sailing Area: Casco Bay, Maine, USA
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Re: It Doesn't Get Any Noob-er Than This

That all sounds very wise.

Donna


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Re: It Doesn't Get Any Noob-er Than This

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I'm (slowly) chatting up people about it and trying to weasel my way into invites.
That's what I'm talking about Landwalker!

There are very few boat owners out there that do not jump at the chance to talk about their boat and, even fewer that don't want to go sailing sailing so,,,, make friends!

As for hours away from the boat, don't even get me started!
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post #50 of 62 Old 09-12-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: It Doesn't Get Any Noob-er Than This

Weekend mini-update:

I was able to get out for a couple of hours on a Pearson 28 owned (and skippered) by a former coworker of mine. Unfortunately, my wife couldn't make it due to a prior commitment with her mother (by which I mean, pedicure day), so it was just the two of us... Fortunately, my friend is a pretty experienced sailor who's familiar with the area, because it was (by my standards) a very blustery day—15-20 knots plus gusts.

We started out with a reef in the mainsail and the foresail rolled out to only about 100% (my first experience with a roller-furler), but it didn't take long for us to wind that foresail in quite a bit. By the end of the sail (just a long, distorted loop around Clapboard Island), we had the foresail down to just a little triangle. Putting a second reef in the main might have been advisable just for comfort, but my friend broke her collarbone a couple of months ago and is not a large person to begin with, so her ability to manhandle anything on the boat was limited (and I had no prior experience with reefing at all, let alone reefing while underway).

Things I learned:
  1. You can hear people say "Twice as much wind is four times as much power" all day, but until you're actually in twice as much wind (which I was and then some, as all previous sailing had been in the 6-9 knots range), you don't really appreciate what four times as much power feels like.

  2. It's a good thing Lauren was familiar with the area, because 1) Clapboard island is surrounded by rocks and ledges, and 2) Turns out that my under-strength prescription sunglasses don't do a great job for me when it comes to spotting close-to-waterline ledges, day markers, and green buoys. I'll need to get that prescription updated, and maybe invest in some low-magnification binoculars to help me pick out markers in areas I'm not familiar with.

  3. Lauren's Pearson 28 has two mainsheets and no traveler, which was new to me. It made me appreciate the single mainsheet setup on the Ensign a lot. Although we hadn't done much, traveler-wise, in our lessons on the Ensign, wrestling with both mainsheets in the conditions we were in was not a treat. Something to keep in mind on future boat-shopping adventures.

  4. I wish I'd taken a picture of how Lauren tied up to the mooring buoy, because to my mooring-unfamiliar eyes it looked ridiculous. Some of it made perfect sense to me, but some of it just seemed weird (specifically, using a separate, thin line to "fasten" the mooring lines to the bow cleat in what appeared to be a crazy convoluted fashion)—it might've been totally normal, but to the novice observer, all I was thinking was "It's a good thing one is probably never going to have to perform a fast, sudden de-mooring, because that'll take forever to undo..."

Current Boat: TBD
Currently Crewing: 22' Pearson Ensign (Wednesday Night Fall Racing)
Sailing Area: Casco Bay, Maine, USA
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