Sunday, August 30, 2015

THIS is why

Future Sailor! Photo courtesy of Tiffany McCormick
It has been far, far too long since Kintala last filled her sails with wind and danced across the water. But today that dreary trend was ended with a marvelous sail. We have family here, Matt and Tiff and their two daughters. Two years ago they provided good support during the crush of getting our old Tartan ocean ready and on her way, but we never got a chance to take them out on the boat. Another consideration was that their daughters were much younger back then. Two years do not mean as much to a 60 year old cruiser as they do to a (then) two-year-old. This time around, with Kintala fresh from a summer's worth of work and having proved herself over 4000 NM, two trips to the Islands, and a trip down and up the East coast, they were all looking forward to seeing what we keep talking about.

The forecast was for less than 10 knots worth of wind. Just about perfect for a shake-down run and introducing people to life on the water. The Beast rumbled to life, we cast the ties away from the friends we are rafted with, who also kept the Dink so we didn't have to load it on the deck or drag it along behind. (Something that we actually never do.) We haven't sailed Kintala sans Dink since leaving the Midwest, and that turns out to be a good idea when one is scraping the rust off of sailing habits. I had to make a couple of trips to the bow and it is sure easier when the Dink isn't in the way.

My nephew Matt getting a feel for the helm
Out on the Bay we found a little wind from a direction where we could hold a close reach, perfect conditions for flying every bit of canvas available aloft. It took a minute or two, and the aforementioned trips to the bow, to get all the lines where they needed to be. But eventually I worked out all the tangles, sheeting everything in tight. I swear Kintala damn near did a pirouette of pure joy, lay the port rail near the water, and took off. Boat speed climbed into the high 8s.

This is why we came this way.

After a while our youngest guest grew a little unhappy with the angle of heel. Apparent wind was just touching 20 knots, which is about the max for flying everything anyway. We rolled in the big jib, tacked around, and headed back toward Rock Creek at a much more sedate 5+ knots.

Getting the boat out on the water was a kind of festival day for all of us. It turns out this is the last day of summer vacation. Tomorrow the girls report to class rooms and Mom and Dad, who both work in education, take up their own end-of-summer challenges. Deb and I see summers from the other side. For us summer is a season to hide from hurricanes and labor away at keeping Kintala a ship in shape. We closed out the day with a trip to the ice cream parlor, our raft-up friends joining in to enjoy the tasty treats.

This is why we came this way.

Cheese curls are better than sailing any day!
Photo courtesy of Tiffany McCormick

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