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Fall sail in Kentucky

Scot and I had a delightful sail on Saturday. This is the season of color
in Kentucky, and the lake was beautiful. There are high, vertical, bare
cliff faces all along, part of the original river cut, and they are always
most impressive in the fall when the color surrounds them. It was a day of
dramatic light, and both water and shore were a pleasure to see.

Wind was good, 6-15 knots, mostly, but shifty and variable, as usual. That
can be a nuisance, but it will teach you to sail, if you work at it. We
sailed 12 miles down the lake and had several miles of good reaching
breezes, both coming and going. It is impressive how a good sailing breeze
drops the wind chill, isn't it? Actual temperature never reached 50F, but
it certainly seemed cooler than that.

We are learning the boat, and like her more each time we sail. We spent
some time wing-on-wing, and were impressed how much the forefoot is pressed
down while doing that in a wind. Fore-and-aft trim seems very important to
making the SJ23 perform, at least in our boat.

We finally chose a name...Kestrel...and are having some letters made. Other
work is going along slowly, because we can never resist the temptation to
sail, rather than work, but she is almost as we want her. The jib keeps
hanging up on the outer shroud while tacking, gets backwinded. We've
ordered some vinyl covers for the shroud, which should solve that problem.

We have come to understand the comments from some that the cockpit is a bit
small. It is. We are beginning to think the tiller is a little too long,
and may shorten it so that crew and helmsman can both do their thing more
easily when tacking. Tacking in a strong wind, it can be a bit crowded.


Sail #619

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