Last sails of the season

I’m a fair weathered sailor. If it’s too cold to sail in flip flops, it’s too cold to sail. Yesterday afternoon, we took the boat out with three of our regular climbing buddies. Though we all had jackets and long pants on, none of us thought to wear covered toe shoes. At the end of our three hour sail, everyone was shivering, and my feet were completely numb for the next hour or so.

Still, we had a blast – although Susan was tense throughout the trip. The water was somewhat choppy but the winds were strong. The conditions were a little too intense for us to break out the wine and the cupcakes and cookies that the girls brought though.

Then this morning, Jeff and I went out again. We would have been perfectly happy to sleep in some, given that the other two friends who were supposed to go out with us bailed at the last minute, but the club wanted to make good on our reservations, so we donned on thicker and supposedly warmer clothes, and went out into the wind again. Because we were going during the club sailing hour, we were thrown together with two people who were already starting to push from the docks when we arrived.

As the club sees it, club sailing is a great opportunity for sailing enthusiasts to meet new friends and have a great time out on the water together. In theory, I can see the appeal. I doubt we’d be going back for club sails any time soon though, especially with strangers without much sailing experience. Because we had essentially invited ourselves onto their boats, Jeff and I were content to sit back and just crew. But it was almost immediately apparent before we were out off the harbor that the other two didn’t really have a clue what they were doing. For starters, they didn’t finish rigging up the main sail before we pushed off, and then they didn’t even want to raise the main before we were out of the harbor.

It was an even colder and windier day than the day before, and the waves were much rougher as well. If we had gone out on our own, Jeff and I would have elected to not raise the gibe, and perhaps also reef the main as well. But the other two wanted to sail on full power, even though the girl couldn’t quite control the boat. A few times, she pointed the tiller too much into the wind, causing us to unexpectedly tack. Other times, she beared away too much from the wind, while still keeping the main sail tightly sheeted in, causing the boat to tilt at an alarming angle and waves to come crashing into the deck. We were soon soaked to the bone and my teeth started to chatter. Although they had wanted to keep the boat out till noon, I had to be a party pooper and gently suggested coming back in. Heh. Still, I can’t say it wasn’t a thrilling end to the season!


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