Saturday, March 11, 2017

Big Sailor pants...

So we checked the weather yesterday and, with the exception of a few rain showers, it looked good for leaving in the morning. This morning we checked the weather again - same forecast. The sky, however, suggested that maybe someone didn't have the weather picture completely in focus. The big puffies building to our north and east sure looked to me like something that might ride along the edge of an incoming cold front. But I have been feeling like a real weather weenie lately, hiding while part timers are out galloping around. There were big patches of blue sky and, well, there was the forecast. Time to put my grown up sailor pants on and go sailing.

Red in the morning...

We did need fuel and water. The fuel dock opens at 0900. We got there around 0830 to start filling up the water tanks while waiting on the fuel guy. Crew from a charter company had one of their boats on the dock as well, getting it tanked up for the next customer. They caught our lines and we stood around talking for a few minutes. As usual they made fun of the madman in the White House, subtly suggesting that America looks a bit like the largest collection of fools in the civilized world. And, as usual, we really did try to explain that the man isn't all that popular, that most of us didn't vote for him, that we were all hoping he wouldn't be as bad as we feared, and we are pretty disappointed (though some of us not very surprised) that he is even worse. But, what are you going to do?  (Well, you could get on a boat and go visit some place that hasn't lost its collective mind yet. Something the dock guys all agreed sounded like a pretty good idea.)

They went to start pumping fuel into their big cat while we started filling the water tanks. I kept looking at the sky, something I had been doing since we had pulled up the anchor. The blue patches of sky were filling in rapidly, and the big puffies were crowding together pushing a clear wall of lower clouds out ahead of them. Rain shafts fell in the not-too-distant distance.

The wind, which had been calm and made for an easy docking, picked up and pushed Kintala hard against the pilings. Then she healed over as the wind gust hit and the temperature dropped about 10 degrees in half as many minutes. Every monohull in the harbor slewed through 100+ degrees of heading, then leaned back hard against their rodes. The cats all sailed about a bit, apparently confused as to just which way the wind was blowing, but eventually figured it out, got twisted bows into the wind, and leaned back hard against their rodes.

If it looks like a cold front...

With the first gusts fading we muscled our way off the dock. Deb headed us out into the harbor. I took off my grown up sailor pants and put on my foulies. The anchor went overboard and pretty much landed in the same hole it left when we pulled it up this morning. Sixty feet of chain went out as well, none of it piling up as the wind blew us backward. I locked the gypsy, Kintala leaned back and set her own hook without any help from the Beast. I played out a few more feet of chain and set the snubber, which  stretched out all of its own and then sprung us back in a little. Welcome to auto-anchoring.

As I type this, the visibility is a mile or so in rain and the wind is moaning through the rigging.
We will check the weather again tomorrow.

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