Sunday, August 30, 2009

Captain's Log, #4

Hurricane Danny, you rock! Winds in the high teens! Wave surfing! w00t!

Learned stuff:
- Don't try to launch near a bunch of trees all by myself with both sails up when there are gusts over 20 knots.
- When you see cat's paws on the water ahead, hike out. It takes less energy to prevent the boat from heeling than to level to boat once the windward side is up.
- Sheet in before the puff so you can sheet out if need be.
- Downwind if the boat starts rocking, turn up a little and the rocking will stop.
- Beware pointing too close to the wind and hiking out hard.
- Don't just lean out when hiking. Lift your legs against the straps as if you were trying to pull the leeward side of the boat up.
- The main sheet ratchet is noisy and useless in light air. But you need it on during a blow unless you want to loose all feeling in your hands.


  1. Hey, I followed you over here from SBM and found: a fellow sailor! I spent most of my twenties sailing around on big wooden boats, and I'm a little nostalgic. Never was very good at sailing fast, though.

    Sounds like you are learning some of your boat's idiosyncracies...we used to spend hours changing the rig ever so slightly for maximum performance (on boats that maxed out at 10 knots!) or trying to adjust the sails so the boat steered itself. Anyway, I look forward to more of your captain's log!

  2. Really enjoy your captain's logs. Brings back memories of my younger days sailing a 14' Grummond canoe that had been outfitted with dagger boards on each side, a lateen rig and a tiny rudder. It wasn't all that comfortable, but it was pretty fast owing to it's minimal surface area. And the best thing about sailing a canoe: they're made for paddling if necessary!!

    We'd sail that contraption from early March until November in the Potomac River near Wash, DC. We were rank amateur sailors, but we never once tipped it over.

    One tip I'd like to pass along. I'm sure by now you've experienced dropping something important in the water and losing it forever. After that happened to us a few times, despite really trying to tie the important things down or stowing them away, we started "sacrificing" things (cigarettes, sandwiches) at the boat dock as an offering to the River God(s). We'd still occasionally lose things, but who knows how much worse it might have been if you hadn't performed the ritual!

    Happy Sailing!