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Sunday, April 08, 2007

March 31, 2007 A Light Moment

wingssail image-judy jensen
A Light Moment

We had a good practice for an hour or so. We set the main and jib and practiced tacking, trimming, all the usual stuff you do on the first day out with a new crew who are a little light on experience.

They have to learn the Wings’ way: nobody leaves the rail until the boat is turning, everyone has their routes to the other side all planned, the positions and timing have to be down pat. Releasing the jib is done a certain way and tailing…well, tailing is an art in itself; it can make all the difference in a tack. We practiced these things; over and over, and we sailed upwind past Merrabong Island.

Time to put up the spinnaker.

Judy steered when I went forward to show the foredeck how to rig it.

That’s when the wind changed.

First we got a big shift, 180 degrees, from south to north. Then it went back again and got light. Judy thought it looked like a squall was coming, maybe we should hold on the kite for a while.

Now the wind was coming from the west. Can’t set the kite now, no sea room. So we just reached along for a while, took this photo, had a laugh, watched the sky.

It turned black.

We took the jib down and started motoring back to the marina. Time to drop the main too, but it jammed. This was the second time this has happened and we didn’t know what was causing it. Maybe the headboard slides. Finally it came down. Something to check later.

Then the rain started; big drops, and wind, lots of it. With the rain and the wind we couldn’t even look ahead let alone see anything. We got drenched. We slowed the motor down. There was lightning everywhere. Some real close. Got scared, but it didn’t hit us. We told stories about other boats which have gotten hit by lightning.

After we eased in the slip, we literally ran to the club house for a shower and dry towel and to change clothes. Had a beer and some snacks and talked about sailing. “The tacking went well but too bad we didn’t set the kite, we could use that practice too. Oh well, next time.”

And that wrapped it up. A nice sail, accomplished a little, still have a long ways to go, but it’s sailing, and that’s what we do.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Singapore

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