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Re: Catching up


I too identify with your very well expressed account.  I sail as often as
possible with my 14 year old son who puts me to shame with his knowledge.
He easily squeezes more speed than I do out of Siesta with careful sail trim
which he learns through dinghy sailing.  He has a great sense of confidence
and control which allows him to push Siesta farther than I do.

Clearly a sport and past time capable of bringing generations together.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Bob Spencer" <bspen@xxxxxxx>
To: "San Juan mailing list" <sanjuan23@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, October 01, 2001 4:19 PM
Subject: Catching up

> My son and I had a terrible summer of sailing here in south-central
> Kentucky. We can sail only on Saturday, and for eight weeks in a row the
> weather was not good. Mostly, it was blistering hot with calm or very
> and flukey winds, but occasionally stormy, with lightening, rain and
> strong, gusty winds. We have a standing date to sail every Saturday, but
> for the longest time had to decide it was not worth the three hours of
> driving involved in order to sail. Very frustrating.
> All things come to those who wait, though, and we did some catching up
> Saturday, September 29. Fall is on us here, and the weather was gorgeous.
> Clear blue skies with scattered puffy white cumulous clouds, temperature
> 70F and winds predicted at around 10 mph in the afternoon, the beginnings
> of fall colors accentuated by the magically clear fall air. We arrived in
> late morning and left the slip under sail within a few minutes. Heading
> south in a mild northeast wind, we had pleasant, relaxed sailing for
> minutes, mostly reaching with the 153% genoa.
> After about three miles we found an area of shallow water along the
> shore and anchored for lunch. We had never anchored with this boat,
> but experienced no trouble. One of the main goals of my sailing is to
> what little I know about it with my son, and he's beginning to leave me
> behind. He sailed the boat into the wind, shot just the right distance and
> stopped her for me to drop the anchor right where we wanted it. Good
> and a snug spot. When the boat had settled to the anchor we broke out
> and spent a leisurely hour eating, talking and soaking in the beauty of
> lake. It really is a pretty place to sail, with the steep rocky shoreline,
> a mix of conifers and deciduous trees along all the shore and clear,
> greenish water.
>  Lunch over, we weighed anchor, raised the sails and got on with it,
> anticipating an afternoon of relaxed, easy sailing. It was not to be.
> sailing a quarter-mile, just as we were turning to follow the lake to the
> northeast, the wind piped up as if a switch had been thrown. It was
> suddenly blowing about 10 mph NE, and we had no choice but to work our way
> directly into it. Great sailing with the genoa still on, and we made some
> nice long boards, one of more than a mile and a half on starboard tack.
> That one brought us to our destination,and we wore around for the trip
> back. The wind was still building.
> Sailing now on a broad reach, occasionally a beam reach, we roared back
> way we came in high style. I think that was probably faster than we've
> sailed Kestrel. Flat on her feet, with the noticeable sound of bow and
> stern waves a constant, she was really impressive. We made three and a
> miles before having to turn into the wind again, and our work was now to
> really begin.
> By this time the wind was 15-18 mph with gusts, and beating up the narrow
> lake into it was not relaxing, at all. I asked my son if he wanted to reef
> the main or change to the working jib, but he said he didn't, that he was
> in the mood for some exciting sailing. He got it, in spades.
> We broke Mr. Clark's commandment to keep the heel angle below 20 degrees
> many times in the next ninety minutes. We never buried the rail,  but
> missed doing so by only two or three inches many times. In my job as deck
> ape, handling the sails, I found myself walking on the backs of the
> seats many, many times. Exhilarating! Whoops and yells and laughter! I'm
> sure all the power boaters are now totally convinced we are nuts. If only
> they could know what they missed.
> After what seemed too short a time we arrived at the marina pool and
> prepared to approach our slip. We usually drop the sails, here, crank up
> the outboard and motor in. We weren't in the mood for that, today. Even
> though that stiff wind would be behind us and blowing us directly into the
> slip, making speed control a problem, my son decided to sail her in. He
> brought her into the wind and I dropped the genoa, then reefed the main.
> were a quarter mile out, wind dead astern, and he spent the time it took
> make that distance experimenting with speed control, pulling the main to
> the center to destroy its aerodynamic function, then letting it out in
> little increments. I got the bumpers on and the boat hooks out, then spent
> the remaining time muttering under my breath. Surely didn't want to bang
> the boat.
> Slowly and under complete control, he made his way down the channel around
> the marina, turned right into our street, turned left toward our slip,
> asked me to drop the main and then eased the boat into the slip dead
> and dead slow. Perfect. I told you he was leaving me behind.
> A perfect day, a perfect sail in a wonderful boat, and I got to share it
> with my son. Makes an old man feel good. Well, not all muscles
> feel as if I've been keelhauled. Catching up is hard work.
> Bob
> Sail #619
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