September 21, 2012
Work this last week wasn’t bad — it was practically catastrophic. I mean, bad enough that I didn’t even pay full attention to my daughter’s volleyball match, and I love volleyball. My wife — sensitive person that she is — could see by my scowl that I was in no mood for any kind of spirit lifting. I had to attend an all day meeting the following day, so she suggested that I go straight home afterwards and head out on the boat. Why didn’t I think of that?
As the title suggests,. it was just about perfect. Sure, I made three separate mistakes: 1) I misjudged the current getting out of the slip and had to back out the fairway instead of motoring forward; 2) when I released the boom from the little clip that attaches it to the backstay, I didn’t notice that it got caught on something else for awhile; and, 3) I had the main reefed with the single line system, but had neglected to tie the sail down on the other three points until I had already raised the main. All things that any sailor could do — though probably not on the same day.
However, once I got the sails properly trimmed, I was able to stay on almost the same heading for about an hour as I moved into the bay. The wind was reasonably steady at about 8-10 knots, with frequent gusts to 12, and some as high as 14. I handled all of them including the additional heeling with aplomb, and got used to sitting on the windward wide with my feet up which served to lessen the sense of heeling that had always unnerved me. The few times I felt I needed to tack were smooth, almost effortless, and since there were very few boats out, I was able to reflect and just be. I could have sailed that way for hours including maybe even across the bay, but since I was pretty sure my mast light wasn’t working, I didn’t want to run afoul of the coast guard. Reluctantly, I turned around at about 6:50 pm. and after a few more changes in tack, sailed back to the marina, nice and smoothly, taking this one picture along the way.
And to top off the just-about-perfect sail? I backed into my slip with no trouble and tied up like I’d been doing it for 20 years. And given the week I had had, this was really the perfect afternoon on the water.