Sunday, September 26, 2010


One would think, having bashed our way around Long Island with all the attending adventures, that our little lake would be kind of ho-hum. I was not thinking that. Instead I was sitting on s/v Time Out's foredeck hanging onto a bow line from Nomad. The two boats would bounce off each other; WHAM, rebound to the end of the bow line, jerk like a dog hitting the end of its leash at a full run and WHAM, do it all over again. S/V Gail Force was tied to the other side of Time Out, acting a bit like a back board. It was, of course, full dark with a heavy overcast sky that was threatening rain at any moment. We were trying to figure out how to break up our little raft without doing damage to any boats, run afoul of the anchor rodes deployed from Nomad and Gail Force, or get any crew member limbs crunched in a hull-vice.

The evening didn't start out that way, of course. Saturday had started out as a day whose only real defining characteristic had been a nearly complete lack of wind. Friday night had wind, we sailed to the cove and, according to at least 2 different weather forecasters, that should have been about it for the wind this weekend. So the three boats tied up Saturday evening for a burrito extravaganza. By the time the dishes were done the wind was up. Not long after the boats starting bouncing. Not long after that things were getting right to the edge of being out of hand. Time, as they say, for a different plan. And thus I found myself on Time Out holding Nomad on a leash.

Gail Force and Time Out decided that the cove was no place for sailboats that night. Jeff pulled his way up to his anchor hand over hand in the dark. (He single-hands that big Hunter of his all the was a pretty good trick to get under way this dark night.) With Gail Force going forward we tossed the lines between Nomad and Time Out, (me jumping back to my own house at the last moment) and let the wind blow Time Out off the other way. Nomad stayed right where she was. Not only did we not need 3 boats trying to find their way out of the cove at the same time, Deb and I had decided to stay put. I loves me some Nomad, but 9 tired horses and a pony against that wind (it was due out of the North - the heading for home of course) and those waves? I wasn't sure we could make any forward progress at all and, even if we did, it would take hours for us to make it back to the pier.

Come morning the wind was still up but had shifted just enough that it looked like we could make it home. And we did, a marvelous (if damp and slightly cold) four tacks got us back to the marina, Nomad nearly on her ear for most of the way. The other two crews told us they had endured a pretty interesting night-bash of their own with bows plunging and spray making it to the cockpits. You know it was windy when Jeff elected to put Gail Force to bed bow first.

Our little lake is not the Atlantic Ocean, but it will still get you to thinking and make you work for your miles.

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