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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sailing Without an Engine - AGAIN!

It was a beautiful evening, the stars were shining, the lights from shore glowed across the water and a healthy wind was blowing. The waves were just a couple feet high and didn't seem to bother Buttercup (my golden lab) who sat near me in the cockpit. But it had not been a bowl of roses getting out here:

Today my friend asked me to take her 30 foot Santana boat out (as she was away and needing someone to check on it). So I found her boat in the dock she had told me of and I set about to find the key. That in itself was a major job - as I couldn't find it - and so kept up the search until finally I remembered one little clue she had told me and I was then able to open the hatch door. Afterwards, I set about the task of getting the jib and main sail set. It was obvious it had not been sailed in a while, so finding the sails took me a while too! The next step was to get the outboard engine turned on, and this too proved difficult! In fact - I couldn't do it. I tried every trick in my 'engine starting' book but it would not turn over. So here I would go again - sailing without an engine! One big problem though: it was a downwind slip and how to get the boat out? I began formulating a plan to kayak out to the opposite dock on the upwind side, tie a rope on the dock cleat and then kayak back, attach the boat to the line and pull the boat out. Putting up the sails, I would then let go of the lines holding the boat to the dock and sail out. And that's more or less what happened after a first try mess up - the first trouble being that I only set the jib (sailing out under jib alone works with me Columbia 22 but not on this bigger Santana 30).
So once out on the water - I was exuberant (I mean after all that work I had almost given up!). It was my first time sailing a thirty foot by myself and though there was an additional eight feet from my Columbia 22, it really did not feel that much different.

The sun was now setting and as I got half way out the harbor, I knew I needed to get the navigation lights on. So I tied down the tiller in my usual fashion* (which I will explain below) and then turned on the battery and lights. But here again I was met with resistance. For every light seemed willing to come on EXCEPT the navigation lights! The boat even had some really cool amber cockpit lights that helped maintain night vision. That was all super great but without the essentials, I felt frustrated again! Thankfully I had thought ahead and put some emergency nav. lights in my backpack and now attached these to the port and starboard side and lit my lantern for the stern light. So, armed with this, I then headed out to sea. It was peaceful to be sailing over the waves again by myself. I had not been out by myself since I lost my mast in that storm about a month or so ago. And so after a pleasant sail over the dark waves, I returned back to the harbor and coming upwind, lowered the mainsail, and then cruised back under jib alone into the boat slip.

"Nicely done!" A friendly man on another boat yelled across the water. I took that as a compliment and was encouraged for all the hard work I had done to get the boat out today!

2 comments:

  1. *NOTE Just get the boat to sail on a close reach and take a line from the PORT stern CLEAT around the tiller extender(where it connects to the tiller) and then back to the STARBOARD stern CLEAT and make sure it is fairly tight. Make sure there are no knots and that nothing is tied down. It will just create a good deal of pressure on the tiller to stay where you want it and if you have to move the tiller in an emergency, the line just slides around the tiller extender. Hope you could figure that out. It took me a little while to figure it out on my boat but once I did, it has saved my life (for real) especially in storms where you have to get away from the tiller to do something important! Let me know if you figure it out!! I literally have been able to go sit on the bow for 15mins to 30mins at a time on a close reach with the tiller arranged like this! :-) Later this month I will take a picture of the setup so you can get an idea of how it looks if you like.


    ~Albie
    Columbia 22
    http://sailingwithalbie.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Albie,
    That works fine on a close reach, but what about other points of sail? My 230 lbs changes the balance of the boat when I go forward. Auto pilot can handle any point of sail but does have trouble running dead down wind, wing and wing. I have sailed from Ludington Mi across to Sturgeon bay WI ( about 70 miles ) without touching the wheel. Came accross from Washington Island to Frankfort the same way in 6' to 8' waves with double reefed main and my working jib. My next major investment will be a windvane. I love being able to run around the boat trimming sails or whatever and not be stressed about my course. I got my auto pilot after spending 22 hrs. behind the wheel one nasty day with shifting winds and waves and I could not get the boat to balance long enough for me to do more than run to the head.

    Norm

    ReplyDelete

My new Mast!

My new Mast!
Because the mast is now 29 feet, I found a Catalina 27 sail that fits it real well. CLICK on PIC to go to page all about different masts on the boat!.

Sailed to Catalina

Sailed to Catalina
A view of Cat Harbor looking out at the Pacific. CLICK ON PIC TO GO TO ALBIE'S PIRATE PAGE!

After Sailing - bonfire on the beach!

After Sailing - bonfire on the beach!
Wow! It was so hot! You could cook your hotdog two feet away from the fire!
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I made this blog because I wanted to share my adventures at sea with all of you! Some of you may be wishing they had their own boat or just want to 'get away' even if just at home on the web. So each week I decided to write down my feelings while out at sea and share them with you. If you enjoy them, please feel free to come back here weekly and see what's new. Also please share the blog with your friends and with those who you know like sailing!



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Albie

prepaydlegalast@yahoo.com

http://sailingwithalbie.blogspot.com/