|looking up at my newly restored mast|
As we pass the point on a windward beat, the wind gusts and the boat heaves to starboard. Our adrenaline rises as we climb up on the port side and hold on for the ride. I pull the jib and main sheets tighter, flattening the sail as we skim across the water, banging into the whitecaps as water splashes over us. It’s wild. When we move close to the far end of the lake and need to come about, I have release the jib sheet and motion for my friend who’s at the helm to turn us through the eye of the wind. As he pushes the rudder, the boat turns, stalls for a second as we climb to the starboard side. I pull the jib sheet and it catches the wind, pulling us around. I set the jib sheet, then out the main, putting us on a beam reach. Soon, the boat is flying again as we enjoy the ride.
It’s a great day to be on the water. We debated going out when we arrived on the lake for it appeared a storm building and the water was really rough, but since there didn’t seem to be any lightning (and there was none on the radar), we decided to try it. At first it was rough and we sailed only with the main. Twice, I about lost my cap, so I took it off and threw it up under the bow. The wind continued strong for nearly an hour as we raced back and forth between buoys. Then the storm blew over and sun appeared. The wind calmed and I set the jib, giving us extra sail to enjoy. I pulled my cap out from under the bow, in order to shad my eyes (and keep my bald head from burning). We enjoyed a cold drink and talked as the boat leisurely tacked back and forth across the lake. But the winds returned and the skies again darkened. With the main and the jib, we sailed even faster than before, charging back and forth across the water. The western sky began to look threatening and wanting to get the boat safely moored before any lightning appeared, we headed in. It was a good afternoon sail as we'd been on the water for a couple of hours and experienced everything for a hard blow to a gentle breeze.
|My friend Jim at the helm|