Friday, July 13, 2012

Easy Wednesday Night Race

My latest sailing adventure was on an Etchells for the Wednesday night beer can races this week. It was an easy little race in relatively light air out to Southampton Shoal and back. My oldest daughter drove the last time we did this, but I was at the helm this time.

I really like driving the Etchells. I get the feel for the wind and with a few exceptions where I'm over-powered, I'm comfortable with this position. Ever since my near-collission, which I still haven't written about, I have been doubting my abilities, and had to ask which way to turn the tiller during a tack or jibe. I shouldn't have to do that but I am afraid of making a mistake. It's like I need to confirm my knowledge as I'm thinking it.

Bow of the Etchells as snapped by my daughter.

My husband and I had our two girls onboard with us. My oldest was sitting in the bowman's position and we kept having to tell her to hold onto something. She was too complacent with the light wind for my comfort. My youngest was sitting in the cuddy the whole time. It was convenient to have her hold the beverage my husband and I shared during tack maneuvers, but I really wanted her to come out to watch the waves and enjoy the sail. For her, though, it was just something to get through. (And so you don't need to ask, the entire family wears life jackets when we go out.)

The best part was that it was a nice easy sail with the whole family. It wasn't blowing too hard and I don't think I got a single bruise from the adventure. I needed that more than I care to admit, since my body is still riddled with bruises, including a new one from a fall on my mountain bike. (I merely tipped over the wrong way and didn't get my foot out of the cleat in time. No big deal.) Another best part of the trip was that we saw a cool spotted seal while we were sailing back into the harbor. I LOVE seeing seals! And I just read that they are actually dog mermaids. Now I love them even more.

The worst part of the race was putting the boat away. Since it is dry-docked, that means hauling it out of the water, cleaning it off, putting the trailer away and putting the cover on it. The cover part feels like it takes an hour. The other worst part was that my daughter was sitting underneath and not enjoying it. What I would do to have her enjoy sailing more than she does!

And even though we were late at the start, we still beat three boats in. The Etchells is great like that.

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