Monday, September 27, 2010


I think it was a pretty good call to break up last weekend's raft when the wind picked up. I think it was a pretty good call for Nomad to stay in the cove and safely on her hook until the next morning. When morning came Deb and I sailed off the anchor using the main and small jib then rode the wind home at twice the speed we could have made on our little motor. From the very first we realized, given the wind's direction, all of our progress north would come on the starboard tack and we set our sails accordingly. When the breeze proved a bit stronger than we thought we dropped the traveler to leeward, sheeted the main up tight, and stood the boat up a little. We would not have been remiss to put a reef in the main, but we didn't need to. When stronger gusts came along we luffed up a bit to hold the same degree of heel and not drive the boat too hard. Nomad responded by shouldering her way through the weather without complaint. We were the only boat visible out in the middle of the lake in the white caps and wind. The thought of sailors looking out over lumped up water and saying, "Oh hell, that must be Nomad," kind of makes me smile.

We sailed a Cat in 40 kt winds and 8 foot seas; spent a night on the hook in near gale force winds. We flogged a tired monohull from NJ to Block Island, around Long Island, through NY and back in 6 days, buried the bow, fixed what needed fixed, lived with the rest, kept the boat going. I stood a 2 1/h hour night watch alone, my back to 10 foot rollers, and knew nothing but the joy that comes from being exactly where I wanted to be. We are comfortable in Nomad at night and when the wind blows other boats off the lake.

I'm not a sailor yet, but I feel like we are making progress.


S/V Veranda said...

I think that if you have the confidence to make decisions whether to stay or go based on the conditions in spite of the fact that everyone else is doing something different then you're already a sailor.

TJ said...

Well thank you, I didn't think of it that way at all. But I suspect being a 10,000 + hour airplane driver and 135/121/91 Captain for the better part of 30 years might have a little to do with confidence, (or insufferable ego to some people I suppose). I suspect it will take some blue-water miles on my own before I'll claim the title, "sailor."