This is a little story I wrote back in May 2002. I was sailing the Weekender boat I’d built that winter. It’s a read …enjoy
Oh ya I’ll never wish for wind again….cause I got it…
The first two times I took the boat out for my shake down there wasn’t even a hint of air movement. So on Monday it was blowing real good here so I headed for the lake hoping for the same… Yup a real nice breeze blowing north up the lake. Oh boy Rob’s going sailing this time. And this is where things started not going so smoothly… First off I have a choice of two boat ramps (both halfway up the lake). I have been using the further one because its not as busy and it has real nice docks on either side with nice bumpers. BUT I thought I’d check out the first one that’s right beside the marina. I was driving past it anyway… Well no one there so I give it a go…. First thing that went wrong… I set up the mast before I back up too close to the water. Then I look up and there’s a friggn power line 12 ft off the ground at the top of the ramp !!! Ok no problem down goes the mast and I back up past it to clear the line. Fine now the boats in the water tied to the wharf (Little with no bumpers). Now I must take the time to describe the launch area here. This is located at the narrowest part of the lake ( something I figger’d out later ) So the wind’s a little faster here. And then there’s the marina and all the docks sticking out in the lake on the south side of the ramp. On the north side (wind blowing against it) there is a LOG BOOM breakwater extending about a 100 ft out. I thought I would just sail on out to the open lake….WRONG the wind pushed me hard against the boom and I GROUND my way along it …so much for the nice red paint.. When I finally got past the end of the boom the Weekender took off like a bullet, but not before the line I have from the end of the boom to the gaff boom ( for flags ) caught the stupid light they had on the end of the log boom. Snap! Oh well you can sail without that…. But wait my steering cable decided to part company with the turnbuckle, and this all happened with in seconds….. So I’m in a good blow (whitecaps) leaning over the back of the boat holding the rudder with one hand and the main sheet in my other….and I can’t reach the other lines. And I’m crossing the lake ! This was not good… so about the halfway point I turned to the wind then headed back …. I let the main right out to try to slow down but the jib was working way to good …. But I managed to steer for the launch and miss all those boats tied up at the marina. I don’t think anyone from the marina was looking outside, because if they had they might have freaked at the out-of-control sailboat blasting into they’re ramp…. sails flapping.. My halyards are cleated to the mast.. and I will change that so I can drop sails quickly…. And I thought I was smart using cable crimps for my steering lines… they will get tied now with good knots.
I think I sprained my hand in all the excitement…but I’ll live to sail again..