Sunday, August 2, 2009

Solo Night sail!

Well it wasn't exactly solo, since Deb and I were both on the boat. And it wasn't exactly a sail, though we were on a sailboat. On Friday and after dinner in the clubhouse we decided to make the run to Coles creek to spend the night. (And escape the carp). There was not a hint of wind so we didn't even take the cover off the main, just putted down the lake in the gathering darkness, counting on our little diesel. It was great fun, but I do understand why sailors hesitate to enter a strange harbor at night. Even with the waxing moon it was freaking dark out there! We crept into the anchoring area looking for the "No Wake" buoys remembered from the raft-up a weekend or so ago, but never did spot them. So we dropped the hook and cozied in for the night, just the two of us on our little boat. Come morning we discovered that we never spotted the buoys because we didn't get far enough in.

A check of the weather told of storms Saturday afternoon. Since Nomad has all the comforts of home except one, a shower, we decided to sail back to Boulder so we could enjoy a shower while avoiding the showers. We washed up while the rains rinsed the boat and by the time the weather moved off to the east we were ready to set off yet again. This time the wind was piping up and the trip to Cove 4 turned into the best sail of the weekend. Little Nomad heeled over under full sail and for the first time we dipped a rail in the water without rounding up. Of course we did dump everything off the starboard shelf, including 4 gallon jugs of water. Fortunately none of the jugs burst.

Orca and Paradise were saving us a spot and not long after we tied up Gail Force coasted in as well.

Good food (everything tastes better on a boat) and a rather remarkable amount of spirits were consumed.

The party went deep into the night and though there was no pain being felt in the moonlight, the same could not be said with the rising of the sun.

Deb and I don't drink that much so we enjoyed the morning for a couple of the others. After breakfast I decided an early swim was in order. The calendar might say "August 1" but the first plunge into the water? Yo Mama! After a couple of minutes I caught my breath and got comfortable. While making a few slow laps around the boats I suggested to the assembled (nursing cups of coffee while hiding behind sunglasses) that the cold water rush would be a sure cure. Deb and a couple of others joined me for a few minutes, but most allowed as their respective cockpits (and bunks) were as close to the water as they needed to be. We swam, sunned, watched the power boats come and go from the launching ramp, (including one weird looking apparition that turned out to be a VW bug mounted on pontoons)and generally just relaxed as the (lake) world went by.

Eventually we had to admit that the weekend was drawing to a close. Most of the raft-up crew was now functioning at a near normal level so we dropped lines and headed home. Nomad and Orca set sails but it was a lost cause. With the GPS reading "0.0 knots VMC" we bagged the canvas and called on our little diesel yet again.

From Friday evening to this afternoon Nomad spent all but a few hours out on the lake, did a bit of night exploring, anchored alone, rafted up, and buried a rail. Not too bad for one short weekend. And maybe some small line has been crossed as well. A year ago Deb and I were pretty happy to be back in the marina after a day's sail and were a bit cautious the few nights we were out, even when we were rafted up. Now we are much happier spending our boat time "off the dock," especially at night. And anchoring alone? That may well be one of my most favorite things.


Steve said...

Part of your story reminded me of the 4th of July at the Lake of the Ozarks. Hundreds of boats would anchor to watch fireworks, and when they were over ... well ... a few hundred boats powering up together in the dark and racing out made for an exciting ride home!

TJ said...

That's why, when we raft-up for the fireworks, we stay until the next day. Going out on the lake with a all those powerboats zooming around, at night, with a bit of a buzz on? I'm safer on the GSXR doing $1.20 down some winding road.