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Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Winds Ticket Home - Another Story of Sailing Without an Engine.



"If I was lucky, I would just have enough time to make it back to my slip before the wind died completely at 11pm. From experience I knew that the wind that was currently blowing was my ticket home."

This evening I went out with a good wind off the starboard bow. Of course, since I don't have an engine, I did a lot of tacking out of the basin. The wind was pretty constant and full of energy and its pretty hard to imagine such a good wind begin to fail. Which is why I had high hopes to get out to sea this evening. On one tack, I passed an interesting boat called 'The Star'. I suddenly realised that I really liked the word 'star' and that if I was going to name a boat, I would call it something with 'star' in it. Perhaps 'Northern Star' for instance! Anyway, soon the sun had set and the evening sky became dark. Usually after sunset the wind can become sporadic and die down. But tonight the wind increased instead! Which really made the sailing nice and it was very pleasant to fly along the waters edge at a good clip and watch the lights glow as they were mirrored off the wavy dark glass like surface of the water. For an hour I tacked up and down the channel toward the sea until I finally come close. And then I noticed the strength of the wind decreasing slightly. Its not like the wind makes it all that obvious either. Its just little subtle things like the sail luffing suddenly for no apparent reason, or it just feels like the boat is going slower. Tonight my clue was the surface of the water. I noticed that there were calm patches on its face instead of the constant wind blown effect it had all evening long. Yes, the wind still be could be seen on the water, but more like a 'river' as it blew down through one area on the northern side of the channel. So I thought: 'Oh, this will just pass, and the wind will come out again.' This is what I was really hoping! But then I realised it was after 9:30pm and this was the winds first time to calm. If I was lucky, I would just have enough time to make it back to my slip before the wind died completely at 11pm. From experience I knew that the wind that was currently blowing was my ticket home. So I forced myself to listen to reason and come about. After all, if I went out to sea and I was wrong, it would be hours before the little puffs of wind would bring me back in. Getting back in my slip at 2am was not exactly all that appealing of a risk. So with sails now flying out in front of the boat on a run, I cruised back through the marina. After about fifteen minutes, the wind came back out like it had been before and I was happy with the speed the boat and I were going. Having to make a little diversion so that I could make sure I got my four hours in for my captains licence, I then sailed down my basin to my slip. As I turned the corner to enter, the wind died for the night! I guess that was perfect timing. I had really cashed in my ticket for a ride home at just the right time this evening and it was all because of those little clues and the knowledge of the winds general behaviour at this season of the year.

~Albie
Any questions? Feel free to email me at prepaydlegalast@yahoo.com

Thanks for your comments!!

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Welcome to Sailing with Albie!

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/