August 20, 2016
A day of fits and starts. There was very little time that I felt I wasn’t making some progress, and I was happy not to have to overwork Hercules and use the sails instead. I went full sail again because the winds started to fall toward the middle of the sail. It seemed reasonable to head to the bay given the wind direction, but I wasn’t taking into account the huge number of powerboats in the river at that time, though I did think a lot might be out because of the incredible weather. Well, I was right, and there were several times as I moved toward the bay that I had my progress slowed by massive wakes from power boats. I also came face to face for the first time with a strong wake made by a little Personal Water Craft — a Jetski.
During my sail, I saw Bay Break on the way in and making decent time. He is a good person/ boat to watch since he is always faster than me, and I can only assume that has more to do with the sailor than the boat. But, I kept my trim tight (still making sure the telltales were in basically the right place) and hung tough. As we were coming in toward the marina, I saw him heel over and really go faster and about 20 minutes later, I got the same puff. Then I thought I noticed him going back out, and thought: “Dang it: if he can go out, I can go out.” I then played more in the area of west basin, and finally decided to use the shifting wind to sail up and kiss the bay by the Drum Point buoy before I came in for the last time. It worked and I got up to a maximum of 5.6 knots on the day. One really odd thing was that there was a group of people climbing up the buoy and diving off of it, which has to be illegal I would think.
One thing I noticed as I have in previous outings is that I am more comfortable on a port tack than a starboard tack regarding heeling. I don’t know if this is because of the wind during these different tacks, or because I’m right handed and have less control steering with my left, or just a matter of sitting port well over half of the time; — who knows. I did feel I made some good tacks on the day, and even allowed myself not to get annoyed that other boats, including the 40 foot boat on A dock were moving a lot faster than I was. I would still say “I won.”
Engine: 40 minutes
Chop, current Moderate, 1-2 feet; lots of wake from powerboats
Time 4 hours