21 July 2009 | San Joaquin/California Delta
Orrin Hot and windy 25-30mph gusting to 40
Well I've been telling my parents about how great sailing is for a couple of years and when we were power boating we took them out for a couple of evening runs which they really enjoyed. So when my Mother who will turn 70 next month said that she was going to be spending a week at a genealogy convention in a small town about an hour from where I live I invited her to an evening of sailing.
She told me that she would love to and asked if she could bring a friend, of course I replied the more the merrier. Well the appointed day came last night and my Mom and her friend Caroline showed up about 2 in the afternoon we stayed at the house and visited for a little while then caravaned down to the boat.
I got to the boat a little earlier than my Mom, her friend and my wife Pegirae, the first thing I realized was that it was really blowing and there weren't any other sailboats out.
Well I went about washing the dust and spiderwebs off of the boat, and getting it ready for the trip. One of the first things I did was to get the 80% storm jib out and get it hanked on, I also put the reef in the mainsail. I figured the worst thing that would happen was that we would poke our nose out of the harbor and turn back, then have dinner at the dock. Not quite what I had in mind, but I wanted my mom to have a good time.
While we were visiting I explained to my mom and her friend the physics of a sailboat, how it is normal for them to lean over (a lot sometimes) and how if everything is working correctly the weight of the keel will bring the boat back up every time, I'm sure glad I did that.
We motored out of the harbor into some pretty fierce winds, but with the smaller sails the Catalina took them in stride, she leaned over and took off. I didn't have the sails trimmed for best performance I had them trimmed for decent speed and the comfort of my guests and it seemed to work. we stayed at about 20% lean most of the night and while we had some interesting tacks (4 people in the cockpit while trying to single hand can be interesting) we had a good sail to Fisherman's Cut where we dropped anchor and had a great dinner of warm sourdough bread and pasta salad.
The only hitch of the evening came when I tried to pull the anchor, and ended up pulling up about 70lbs of sea grass, and mud. The anchor was so heavy and the wind was blowing so hard that I had to leave the anchor tied off just above the chain rode, and motor out into the middle of the San Joaquin river to keep from being blown onto the rocky side of the levee.
Well once out in the relatively open river I had to pull the anchor up while trying to balance on the bouncing bow of the boat, I finally got it on board fully engulfed it's green muddiness. I pulled the sea grass off in hunks and was finally able to extricate the anchor, get it into it's locker and shove the rest of the crap into the river. At that point the sun was starting to set, so we headed back to the harbor, the wind at our backs doing 7knots SOG at some points in a beautiful sail. My mother and her friend left very impressed with sailing and hopefully the have a good memory that will stay with them for years. Unfortunately I do not have any pictures from last nights sail.
But after the last couple of sails it was nice to have a sail where most everything went well.