Could Have Been Better

September 24, 2016

This should have been a better day, and it was.  The wind started out light even for me, but I was still reluctant to raise the main fully.  That eventually turned out to be a fine decision: I could have shaken it out, but I really didn’t have to.  I mean, the wind did die down, but I’m not convinced that having the main at full would have made much difference.

The wind was very odd.  In the beginning, I could only sail back and forth in the river, kind of in front of the marina, but since I am very uncomfortable heading toward the bridge, I thought it best to try to head to the bay.  After several tacks and playing with the wind episodes, including direction changes of almost 90 degrees (seriously!) I made my way into the bay, just as the wind was dying.  To be fair, it was dying as I moved toward the bay, and the smart sailor would have taken that as a sign to turn back in, but that’s hardly me (the smart sailor, I mean), so I stayed in the entrance to the bay far too long, and had to motor all the way back in, though I allowed myself to ghost for quite awhile, even once I lowered the main and had only the Genoa deployed.

It might have been possible to sail slowly back toward the marina, but I doubt it, given how light the winds had become.

On the way back in, Hercules performed well, but that was partly because I put very minimal pressure on the throttle so it kept up the rpms.  When I finally left off some of the pressure, it began to sound like it was missing.  I still did okay, until I lowered it to an idle and reversed.  The reverse kept trying to stall, and there’s nothing more nerve wracking than an engine stalling in the fairway when anything — boats, piers, etc. — can get lamed into.

After gunning the reverse gear several times, I backed into the slip, but I still don’t know what’s going on with Hercules.  I was more confident coming back in but now much less confident once back in the marina.

Engine:                        40 minutes

Sails:                           Reefed main, mostly full Genoa

Chop, current              Moderate, 1-2 feet

Wind                           Peaking at 10, then dead

Time                            4 hours

 

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