Current Day Sailor

Vessel Name: Capricious
19 November 2014
17 October 2013 | Piney Run Reservoir MD
17 October 2013 | Lake Anna VA
17 October 2013 | Lake Anna VA
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19 November 2014

2014 sailing season

The sails are off the boat and stored away for the winter. I had a good sailing season this year but only got out a few times on my own boat. I put the boat in the water for the first time this year on 19 April back at Rocky Point Park. With the new baby bob mast float I was no longer concerned about [...]

17 October 2013 | Piney Run Reservoir MD

Windy day on Piney Run

Yesterday (20 April 2013) it was sunny with winds 10 to 20 mph on Piney Run Reservoir. The reservoir is about 300 acres with restrictions on use of gas powered motors. We got to the lake about 2pm and had the Capricious rigged and in the water by 2:30. With the steady strong winds I opted to go with the main only. The water is still cold and the air temperature had dropped from the mid to upper 80s earlier in the week to the mid to upper 50s on Saturday. The crew consisted of the commodore, the captain (our 14 year old daughter), our son in his late twenties and myself. The docks are about equal distance from either end of the reservoir so we set off tacking towards the north end of the reservoir. Even with the load and without the jib we were clipping along at a good pace (fast enough for the center board to sing to us.) After a couple of tacks the commodore started to get concerned about going for a swim in the cold water so we headed back to the docks and dropped her off. With just the three of us on board we headed towards the south end of the reservoir, with the commodore happily watching from the docks. With the winds to our backs we varied between a broad reach and a flat out run. It wasn’t long before we had reached the south end of the lake. As we came about to make our way back to the north end of the lake the winds picked up and I began to notice white caps on the water. Time to head to the docks! We made several long tacks, clipping along at a good speed before finally arriving back at the dock. We tacked to just beyond the dock and put the boat in irons. The wind was so strong that it blew us backwards past the dock. We threw the bow line to the commodore as we drifted past the dock. We were only out for an hour and a half but I was pretty tired and ready to head home. All in all a great day on the water. The commodore and the captain are both ready to go out again :)

17 October 2013 | Lake Anna VA

Bridge at Lake Anna

17 October 2013 | Lake Anna VA

Maiden voyage aka Lake Anna

2014 sailing season

19 November 2014
The sails are off the boat and stored away for the winter. I had a good sailing season this year but only got out a few times on my own boat. I put the boat in the water for the first time this year on 19 April back at Rocky Point Park. With the new baby bob mast float I was no longer concerned about turtling but I didn't capsize this year to find out if it would work. My last two sails were in the sound off near southern shores (on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.) The family went down to the outer banks for a week long vacation in August and I arranged to put the boat in a slip while we were there. I ended up only sailing the day I put the boat in the water and the day I took it out. But they were both good sails with plenty of wind. The first day I went out with my son Michael at the helm. The wind was strong enough that I spent most of the time managing the main and jib sheets and hiking out. The last day I was out on my own with more than enough wind to keep me on my toes.

The reason I haven't taken my own boat out much this year is that I joined the Baltimore Downtown Sailing Center and have been sailing with them almost every week. I began the year as a crew member and was qualified in August as a Skipper. That enabled me to reserve a J22 or Sonar any time I could get a crew. I took my wife out on each of four Friday mornings in September and we had some great sails. She is getting more comfortable with each sail.

Windy day on Piney Run

17 October 2013 | Piney Run Reservoir MD
Steve
Yesterday (20 April 2013) it was sunny with winds 10 to 20 mph on Piney Run Reservoir. The reservoir is about 300 acres with restrictions on use of gas powered motors. We got to the lake about 2pm and had the Capricious rigged and in the water by 2:30. With the steady strong winds I opted to go with the main only. The water is still cold and the air temperature had dropped from the mid to upper 80s earlier in the week to the mid to upper 50s on Saturday. The crew consisted of the commodore, the captain (our 14 year old daughter), our son in his late twenties and myself. The docks are about equal distance from either end of the reservoir so we set off tacking towards the north end of the reservoir. Even with the load and without the jib we were clipping along at a good pace (fast enough for the center board to sing to us.) After a couple of tacks the commodore started to get concerned about going for a swim in the cold water so we headed back to the docks and dropped her off. With just the three of us on board we headed towards the south end of the reservoir, with the commodore happily watching from the docks. With the winds to our backs we varied between a broad reach and a flat out run. It wasn’t long before we had reached the south end of the lake. As we came about to make our way back to the north end of the lake the winds picked up and I began to notice white caps on the water. Time to head to the docks! We made several long tacks, clipping along at a good speed before finally arriving back at the dock. We tacked to just beyond the dock and put the boat in irons. The wind was so strong that it blew us backwards past the dock. We threw the bow line to the commodore as we drifted past the dock. We were only out for an hour and a half but I was pretty tired and ready to head home. All in all a great day on the water. The commodore and the captain are both ready to go out again :)

Bridge at Lake Anna

17 October 2013 | Lake Anna VA
Steve


As I indicated after having a successful first voyage I was excited to get back on the water. As I stated in my earlier post we were part of a group of several families (friends and relatives) with their boats (ours being the only sail boat.) I had purchased a 3.5 HP outboard for the Capri which came in handy on the second voyage. The winds had calmed down significantly by the afternoon, so much, that I felt safe trying both the Jib and the main. When the Commodore and I set out for our sail I decided that I had better make sure the outboard was working since I wasn’t interested in paddling back from the middle of the lake. I got the outboard started and we got out away from the dock under power. I shut off the engine and we quickly picked up the wind and tacked for some distance out into the middle of the lake, at which point the winds pretty much died. It was a pleasant afternoon so we drifted a bit with the power boats and Jet Skis providing some wake to keep it from getting too calm :) The other families we were with eventually got all their boats launched and headed towards the dam and power plant. Since there wasn’t much wind we decided to start up the outboard and follow them. This is were the learning part of the trip begins.

We were cruising along pretty well with the outboard running at a fairly low speed. The 3.5 HP is definitely more than enough engine to move this little boat. We still had the Jib and Main up since I was hoping the wind would pick up and we could sail some more. The trip across the lake took about 1/2 an hour. We stopped the engine a couple of times and sailed when the wind picked up but it never lasted very long so we went back to the outboard. With the outboard running I pointed it straight ahead and directed the boat using the tiller. That allowed me to sit further towards the bow of the boat which tended to level off the boat better.

In order to get to the dam that separates the upper (cold) part of the lake from the lower (warm) part of the lake you have to pass under a bridge. This is were the learning really starts:

1) the mast is taller than you think
2) the bridge is lower than it appears
3) the Commodore is more forgiving than expected :)

As we approached the bridge I throttled back the outboard to approach as slowly as possible. I checked the height of the bridge and it looked like we should just make it under. I was wrong. As we got to the edge of the bridge the top 3 inches of the mast came in contact with the lower part of the bridge. I heard a sound that made my heart sink but I didn’t have time to worry about how much damage I had just done to my “new” boat. The bow of the boat moved up into the air and the stern went down and began to fill with water. Without thinking, I reached back and pushed the outboard hard to the starboard. The boat immediately responded and came about. As we motored away from the bridge the bow came back down and the water drained out of the cabin. I shut off the outboard and inspected the shroud lines and the mast for any apparent damage. Since we were going so slowly it didn’t appear that anything had broken (although the sound of metal on metal that we heard a few minutes before sure sounded like the mast had broken in half.) After making sure the boat was not damaged I then turned to the Commodore. I thought, given this is her first voyage I would be doing a lot of solo sailing in the future. She looked at me and said: “That was quick thinking to turn the motor.” I was relieved to say the least.

We headed back to the dock sailing whenever the wind picked up and otherwise motoring back in. On the way back home the Commodore asked where we would be going on our next sailing trip. :) :)

Maiden voyage aka Lake Anna

17 October 2013 | Lake Anna VA
Steve


After purchasing my mod 1 over a month ago I was finally able to get it on the water this past weekend (April 6 2013.) A friend owns a home on Lake Anna in Virginia so several families went to camp out (some in the house some in trailers, winnibagos, etc.) in the yard. My brother keeps his pontoon boat there and there were three others with power boats. Mine was the only sail boat. Given that the lower part of the lake is fed from a nuclear reactor the water was around 74 degrees. Unfortunately, the air was only around 45-50 on Saturday morning. However, there was a good steady wind (8-10 MPH) so we set out to launch the boat. With my son-in-law as crew we launched onto the lake. My brother followed us around with his pontoon boat in case there was any mishap. Since the winds were strong and this was my first outing I opted to go with the main sail only. We had a great sail even without the Jib! We were conservative and only came close to capsizing once when we tried to tack and didn’t shift sides of the boat fast enough. Although we recovered fairly quickly and didn’t go for a swim. We were out for about an hour and a half and had a glorious time.

Later in the afternoon I took the Capri out again but this time took the Commodore with me. I will relate that story in my next entry, but suffice it to say that the second outing was both more exciting and less fun.
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