November 19, 2010
Today, we had “mandatory fun day” at our office and took the team sailing. It was quite a day and the first time we had guest out sailing. We arrived at the slip at 9:30 am and met some of the crew that arrived from Virginia. In all, there were 6 of us, 4 men and 2 women. We stowed away the day’s provisions and gave a quick safety brief. Everyone donned life vests and we were off…sort of…we had a line tied on the forward cleat and I under estimated the amount of time it would take the admiral to get it off…so, we bounced around a bit in the slip…then took off. No damage done, but to ego… We crepped out the harbor, into the river. Again, the wind was out of the north, so we crossed the river and turned back into it. When raising the sail, the reef lines were crossed and became stuck against the boom. Suddenly, there was a pop and something dropped from the boom area and hit the deck and bounced in… Later, I found out it was a small cleat on the side of the boom that secured the outhaul of the main sail. Looks like the rivets gave way and it broke loose under the strain of the stuck lines. No problem, turns out it was not needed…as with many things on a sail boat, there is a backup. Luckily, the outhaul line was secured with a figure eight knot before going over cleat. So, even though the cleat gave way, the knot saved the line from going into the boom. The foot of the sail was looser than it should have been, but still worked well.
There were light winds (8-12 knots) for the first couple of hours, then it dropped off rapidly to 4-6 knots… So, for the first couple of hours, we sailed fine, down the river. Several of the new crew members took turns at the wheel and they made fine sailors, indeed. At noon, we set an easterly course, adjusted trim and set back for a nice lunch of sandwiches, cookies and soda… The cookies were pumpkin and very tasty. We turned up the radio and enjoyed our lunch in the cockpit.
After lunch, we turned back, about that time the wind dropped off. So, after a couple of attempts to tack into better wind, we decided to just drop sail and motor back. It was great to have more hands on deck to stow sails and tidy lines… Yes, we have to do that more often.
We backed into the slip, with precision of a ocean liner…not bragging, but getting better for sure. I can tell that less people come out of their boat and prepare to fend us off…:-)
All in all, it was a fine day on the Neuse. Can’t wait for next trip. See photos.