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Friday, October 24, 2008

October 25, 2008-Sail Testing

wingssail image-fredrick roswold
Nice Anchorage, Koh Nakha Yai


Wings lies quietly at anchor off Koh Nakha Yai and Gregorian chants are on the stereo.

The monk’s voices echo though our interior and it takes me back to ‘99 when these chants echoed through Bruno Trouble’s cathedral-like media center in Auckland in the mornings. Good times then when I was there to photograph the America’s Cup and good times now when we are out on Wings for a weekend of sail testing. It’s different but it still gives me a religious feeling.

It is a cool morning; surprising for Phuket. Judy sleeps. Coffee brews. Foulies and shirts swing gently on hangers drying outside under the awning after yesterday’s wet day of sailing. Life is good.

We sailed out of Yacht Haven and down into Phang Nga Bay on Friday and when the breeze filled a little we set the #1 asymmetrical spinnaker. The big new white kite looked good and we threw in a few jibes trying to get that manoeuvre, new to us after years of jibing only symmetrical kites, reliably right. We missed a few but we gradually improved. Then, with the prospect of more breeze, we dropped the spinnker and set the #3. The wind quickly reached 17 knots and it was just what we needed to give that sail a good look. We experimented with positions and leads and I marked the halyard and jib cars and checked out the tacking angles. The sail will be fine.

Then the rain came.

It caught us aback so to speak, in bathing suits and shorts and the big cold drops drenched and chilled us. I grabbed my foul weather gear coat and took the helm so Judy could dash below and get some dry clothes on. We turned downwind, away from the reefs and islands lost in the white squall. We huddled under the dodger.

When it cleared off we turned back upwind and sailed to Koh Nakha Yai looking for a quiet place to drop the hook. The rain stopped and the afternoon turned out nice and we anchored off a white sand beach.

We decided that we’d stay for the night and if the rain stayed away for another day maybe we’ll try out the third new sail on the way to the next anchorage.

That night the rain came back but we didn’t care and we cooked chicken and veggie skewers on the BBQ in the rain and drank a bottle of red wine.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Phuket

Click here to go to wingssail images to see some other shots and some more of this story.

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