Sunday, August 24, 2008

There's races and then there's marathons...

Yesterday was slated to be the next race in the Boulder Yacht Club race series for 2008. We were to crew on the Hunter of our friend Steve, a few slips down from ours in the marina. Unfortunately, Saturday dawned hot and still. During the skipper's meeting at 9:30 the flag briefly stirred so we all motored out to the race course, a highly modified one consisting of a 1/2 mile equilateral triangle. It was such light wind that we mis-calculated our start and ended up nearly last although we did make up some time during the race. A second race was begun immediately. Our start was perfectly timed the second race and we charged across the start line at a whopping 1/2 knot per hour, managing to almost crash into someone nonetheless. It was an interesting few hours, albeit brain-burning heat out in the sunshine. We very rarely sail without the bimini up so more than 4 hours of exposure was a bit much for both of us.

When I woke up this morning I could see the mainsail halyard moving against the mast through the hatch - enough breeze to cause some hopeful optimism - so we got moving and were out on the lake by 8. There were only 2 of us out there at that time of the morning but it was perfect. A very nice breeze of 6-8 knots got us going, enough to keep both sails filled and a good little bow wake churning. The wind was due out of the north and we had left our depth finder at the house accidentally, so we opted to stay where we knew there was deep water. At our part of the lake, with winds out of the north, this basically means going back and forth across. We practiced perfecting our tacking and played with the finer nuances of sail trim, trying to learn how to steer by only using the sails instead of trimming the sails with the sheets (the lines attached to the back of the sails, for those of you non-sailors).

Evey time we got back near the marina opening we would look at each other trying to decide whether or not to head in. Each time we'd both laugh because neither of us wanted to stop. After lunch (our favorite sailing gourmet peanut butter and jelly sandwiches), a whole lot of other people decided we were having too much fun all by ourselves on the lake and by 1:00 the lake was chock full of sailboats, every make and model. We caught up with two of our marina neighbors and sailed with them for a while

All in all we sailed 8 and a half hours today, the longest marathon yet for us. After a couple weeks off for our vacation it was good to be back on the boat. Now if I could just figure out how to bottle it up to get me through the rest of the work week...

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