The moon and stars are in some kind of weird alignment; I went to the boat last night for the third time in four days. My sister's family is up to help her 6 year old celebrate her birthday, and Talia wanted to go on the boat. So I met Deb and Talia at the boat for a quick ride.
Talia had never been on a boat before, and we were going to be out during her normal dinner time, so we were a bit apprehensive about how flexible she was going to be. We shouldn't have worried. She seemed to like everything about the ride. It was a bit breezy, so I decided at the dock if we were going to unfurl any sail at all, it would be the genny. When we got out to the inner harbor, it was gusting up near 15, so I told Deb that it was unlikely we would be doing any sailing. She thought that was quite fine as she wanted this to be fun for Talia, and not at all scary. So we motored out past the rocks and into the Sound. I should note that I had never seen the tide lower than it was when we left. You could see a good three feet of bottom beneath the riprap against the parking lot.
We stuck to the channel between the mermaids, and then past the rocks into the Sound. We turned east for a bit and got closer to Clam Island before we started back. I let Talia steer us for quite some time, especially when we got back into the harbor. She steered us in circles, and seemed to take her responsibility quite seriously.
Back at the dock, we unfurled the genny so she could see it, and I showed her the ladder we use to climb on and off the boat when we go swimming. She said that next time we go out on the boat, she wants to sail and go swimming. Done deal. Talia also seemed to enjoy saying "Arrrr" a lot. All told, I think we were out on the water for about an hour.
And, I figured out that the boat from the other day that I loved was a Seafarer 31. Got to get me some more info.
On Friday (June 29), Patti and Diane H met me at the boat for an evening sail. We were just beginning a second heat wave (three consec days over 90 degrees), but there was nice breeze on the water. Diane had never been on the boat before, and had said earlier that she really wanted to go. So this sail and the subsequent dinner were a birthday present for her.
We raised the sails in the harbor, then sailed straight out past the Reef. Winds were light, but I had a reef in the main to make sure that we didn't heel too much for the ladies. Diane loved the ride. She wanted to walk to the bow and do an "I'm King of the World" thing. I convinced her that with her lack of experience on a moving deck, it probably wasn't a good idea. She did say "now I see why you love this so much." A sure-fire way to get invited back. We sailed for about an hour and a half, then back to the dock so we could go to dinner at Lenny's.
The next day, it was clear and breezy. Just as hot as Friday, but not quite as humid. I did some chores in the morning, then out to the boat for a solo sail. I left the reef in the sail because it seemed very breezy at the dock. However, when I got out there, not so much. Like the night before, winds were from the west, so I took almost the same course as before too. I wound up about 50 yards behind a beautiful 31 foot sloop named "Meltemi". She looked like something from the 1960's: coamings and trim finished bright, gray, full-keeled hull with a wineglass transom. I don't think he was looking at me, but I was looking at him. I decided to try and catch him. Given the overhangs on his boat, I wouldn't be surprised if our LWL were fairly similar. And I had the advantage of a modern underbody, even if it is a stub keel and centerboard. I started paying close attention to my sail trim, and started to catch up. I even shook out the reef in the main. I was coming up on his starboard side, and eventually almost pulled even. He started glancing over at me, and I thought he had devined my intent and would begin tweaking his sails as well. But it turned out that he was just making sure he had sea room before he came about. Once we passed the marker at the Reef, he turned to port, and eventually jibed back onto port tack to head back in. I had started to think that was a good idea too, but I didn't want him to think I was stalking him, so I sailed on a bit before tacking back in. I made a mental note to find out what kind of boat that was; I recognized the name from the Wed Nite scratch sheets, but it turns out that must be a different Meltemi. The boat on the scratch sheet is listed as an X372, a modern racing machine. Definitely not this boat.
Back at the dock, I finally scrubbed the deck (stopped at Richlin on the way to the boat to pick up some soap). What a lot of dirt and grime I washed off. After I finished, I helped an Endeavor 32 dock. This new boat took Jim's place on the T. The boat's owner was Gary, and his sailing buddy with the beard was Bruce. Both asked me to sail on Wednesday night. When I said I thought my boat was too small, they invited me to sail with them on. I have a standing invite I have to take them up on it.
Last Wednesday, I went to the boat after work; it was blowing pretty good, and I wasn't sure if I was going to brave the seas. After all, I had finally put together my furling line upgrade, and it was ready to install. I decided to bite the bullet and install the thing. All I needed was some stainless hardware. So after measuring the size of the new bolts I would need, I went to the Branford hardware store (why bother to drive out to West Marine?). I spent $3.71 on some screws, went back to the boat, and did the final assembly. I mounted it on the stanchion, and voila! So cool.
I decided I just had to go out and give it a test run, so out I went for about an hour's sail. I came back in with the racing fleet. I couldn't be happier with the results.
I am still getting the "inaccurate results" message from the GPS for tide data. I called Garmin, and they said the 72 is too old to get the new data, and they won't be updating the software because they have discontinued the model. Upgrade time?