Monday, July 24, 2006

Fun with sailing, chapter 1

Sweetie and I decided to finally take the plunge and join our fellow sailing club members on a group sail this past weekend. It was our first group sail to a "mystery" location, which promised to be fun, and my first time anchoring out overnight (they call it 'on the hook').

Wouldn't you know the weather turned into one big crapfest? It was windy and chilly and raining on Saturday morning and though no one seemed real excited by sailing in lousy weather Sweetie and I decided to give it a go anyway. This was our first mistake. We also decided not to wait for the others. This was our second mistake.

We got out into the harbor and it was incredibly choppy. We motored until we were almost across the channel before raising the sails because of the wind direction and still, with the chop, the six foot rollers and the gusts, we had to tack at least 7-8 times just coming out of the bay! Normally we tack once or twice.

Should we have turned around here? Would any sane person press on? Seriously, most normal people would say, f*** that shit and turn around. But the way ahead actually looked better than going back through the channel, so we kept on tacking.

Well, I'll tell you what: bouncing up and down over six footers is no picnic in a 25 foot boat. The rollers push you up, your bow comes slamming down then the next roller is ready to crest over the bow and flood the cockpit. Oh, and did I mention those wind gusts that heeled the boat over with almost no warning? I was hanging on for my life to a self-tailing winch, hearing all my carefully stowed gear crashing from hell to breakfast below, getting sprayed in the face repeatedly and telling myself over and over 'You will NOT vomit.' 'You will NOT vomit'.

And my sweetie, bless his little hide, was ENJOYING HIMSELF. I could have killed him.

We finally made the closest port, which was not our destination by a damned site but we were tired of fighting the waves, about four hours and many, many more tacks later. We managed to trudge into town for a pitcher of Brandy Alexanders, but that was about all we could handle. We were both out cold by 10:30.

We motored home on Sunday, and found out that of all the boats scheduled to make the trip, only two had even left the harbor. The rest of them stayed behind, had a barbeque and mixed drinks. oy.

1 Comment:

spy scribbler said...

Wow! Where was this? Glenn went on Lake Erie once on a fishing charter. He's been on lots of ocean, but he said nothing was worse than Lake Erie during bad weather!

I've always wanted to go sailing!