Sunday, July 17, 2011

ahhh Sailing!

It's Wednesday night, 10:06 p.m. and just off the race course.  WHAT A NIGHT.  There was 15+ knots of wind, off shore - meaning flat seas and a full moon.  Little Ashe had her storm jib on the front and a reef in her main.  There was no sitting and chatting or taking it easy for the crew or captain tonight!

We were right on at the start, 2 seconds late, not bad for a little boat and 4 chicks on board!  What a slog to the first mark, gusty as hell and fast, doing about 6 knots average and 3 tacks to the mark, the water rushing by and the sound of the wind never giving up.  The lake looked angry as the wind swept across the water and we worked little Ashe hard. The storm jib allowed for near perfect tacks.

The first down wind leg, we decided against the spinnaker, hell we were doing 6-7 knots dead down wind with very little sail up so there was no point.  We stormed down the course to the downwind mark, rounding the mark with our nemesis, Sierra Tango on the inside, giving them no mercy.  Upwind again 2 tacks to the mark, dodging a couple boat on starboard and we decided to toss up the spinnaker for the last leg of the race.  Unfortunately, we had a couple snafus but when the chute finally burst open, we ran full speed to the finish, just sliding by the committee boat's stern with 6 inches between us.   That's a fun race!

A few days later and it's a very hot Saturday morning, but what's this, wind, 10+ knots of wind.  Off we went, the dock lines tossed off at noon!  2 hours upwind with full main and our big, bagged, old cruising jib.  So what do we do, turn back home and throw up the spinnaker.  Normally there would be a lot of tension on the boat, a lot of yelling and a few bruises.  When you are cruising, well, we took our time, once the chute was up we cleated it in and sat back to enjoy the 2 hour ride home.  I love looking up at that pretty sail, ours is mostly white with some hot pink and blue panels.  It's old, lots of patches and a bleach stain on it from storing it in the laundry room last winter.  The new one is waiting to be picked up from the sail loft. 

Those are only 2 of the reasons I love sailing soooo much.  The other reasons are my friends, meeting new people, relaxing, being outside and the sense of community.  I get to travel, I get to make decisions, I get to use my knowledge, I get to be part of nature. 

Today was really windy, but we decided to sit on our arch-nemisis' boat, Sierra Tango, drink beer, shoot the shite and talk about sailing.  The cool breeze coming off the lake, the water, the wildlife and my friends made for a perfect day!

Sailing is awesome!

This is our nemesis - Sierra one her 'better' moments...hehe

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