Sunday, 27 July 2008

Exciting, Challenging & Freaked Right Out

Matt & I head out for an afternoon of sailing with sunny conditions and 28C. The winds were not steady today, but gusting. We find out when we are on the water that the winds are changing directions quite often as well.

During the setup today, the jib was unfurled slightly when we put the boat in the water. This caused us some problems as it made it difficult to turn the boat into the wind to raise the sails. I finally gave up and turned the boat downwind and raised the main sail first. That move was a mistake as the boom came flying over to the port side breaking the middle batten in the sail, which was discovered during tear down. Once the main sail was secure, it was time to raise the jib. We definitely had too much wind in our sails as we were flying up the lake at a pretty good pace. OK, everything finally set, lets get this boat turned around. 

To get back toward the harbour we were going straight into the wind, plus we were a little too close to shore. I didn't feel comfortable with our position so I decide to take us out toward the middle of the lake. That allowed us to get some good wind into the sails and to work our way back down the lake. We then turned 90 degrees to the port side and started heading back toward shore, but still working our way back down the lake. It was a zig zag effect to work our way back. I was now on the part of the lake where I wanted to sail, the south end.

The winds were so crazy that day that we just kept going back and fourth on a SW direction from the harbour. It was great when we turned around to head back toward the harbour as we also wrote the waves, it was actually much calmer. When we got back to shore we thought, we that wasn't so bad, lets do it again, so we would turn and head back out toward the middle again, only to fight the wind and waves. It was tough but it was also fun. 

Even though we were having some fun we were also getting pretty freaked out every time we had to turn. We almost tipped a few times. It amazed me how fast we would jump from one side of the boat to the other, then hang way over the side to keep us afloat. I was a little stressed ha-ha. I really wasn't in the mood for taking a dip, but I really thought it was going to happen today. While we did our run back and fourth on the same course, there was a catamaran just up the lake doing the same thing as us. He gave up after about an hour. 

After what seemed like eternity, was in fact only a 2 hour fight with the wind, so decided to pack it in for the day. When we we back on shore, during the tear down, Matt pointed out that the facecloths* that were stuff into the boat cleats along the starboard side were wet. Those cleats are right up near the top of the boat, so yes I would say that we were leaned over quite far. 

*Facecloths are tucked into the boat cleats to protect the boat cover from ripping.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

More company in town

Terry just left for home after a week in town. Then Chris (Cheryl's brother) drives up with the two boys: Brady & Dustin (Buttercup*) for a week in town. It took a few days, but we all decide to head to Moyie Lake and take the sailboat along. Moyie Lake is about a 30-40 minute drive east of Creston. It was a beautiful day, sunny and close to 30C. 

Cheryl & Buttercup head to the beach while Chris, Brady & I set up the boat. Luckily the launch is not busy and we get into the water pretty fast. There appears to be a problem though, no wind, I mean none at all. Groan. I think that if we get out into the middle of the lake there might be a chance of some wind picking up, but no such luck. We kill the motor and decide to turn a sailing day into a swimming day. It is nice just diving off the boat, the water is quite warm. The Hunter has a good design with no transom at the back of the boat, which makes it so easy to get out of the water. That type of a design is also good as water drains right out the back of the boat, a bailing bucket is not required. Anyway, the lack of wind is such a drag, Chris compares our day to fishing, which to him is a total drag. 

We head back to shore, drop off Brady and take Buttercup out for a spin. Still no wind, more swimming required. Oh well, Buttercup doesn't mind. So back to the harbour we go, tear down, pack up and head home. Overall it was a good afternoon on the water. We stop for ice cream in Yahk at Two Scoop Steve's place. A nice scenic walk down to the river from the ice cream stand. 

Friday, 18 July 2008

Three in the boat

Company in town, Terry, Cheryl's brother. So Terry, Matt and I decide it's a great day for a sail. A good wind and 31C degrees. We head out to Kootenay Lake and get into the water just after lunch. 

We do the usual tour of the south end of the lake, across to the other side and work our way up to the mouth of the Kootenay River. This is Terry's first time on a sailboat, so we do a few turns and such, but it is mostly just a tour of the lake. A nice relaxing sail today, with just under 2 hours on the water. 

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

A Full Lean

Beautiful weather plus some nice winds. You know what that means? Thats right, head to the lake with the sailboat. This time I have a new partner, Matt, Cheryl's nephew. 

It was nice to finally get to explore the other side of the lake today, I will do that if the winds are nice. With it being Matt's first time in a sailboat, he was getting the full deal. We had to pay attention with the winds as they were filling the sails out nicely. We scooted across the lake very quick and both of us were leaning over the side the opposite gunwale pretty much touching the water, wow! Talk about exciting. So with the conditions pretty much perfect, lets try practicing our turns, in no time we were turning like a couple of pro's. That is the nice thing about the conditions being just right, it makes for great sailing. Both of us had big grins on today and we spent 4 hours on the water. Most Excellent!