Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Another afternoon on the water

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The sail club doesn't race when the winds are over 18 knots and on the scheduled races were cancelled.  In addition, the air had turned much cooler from the previous week in which I had sailed in a short sleeve shirt.  I came prepared for cooler weather only to arrive at the marina to learn that I should have checked my messages.  But all was not loss as I was invited to go on a J22.  This boat is larger than the Rhodes 19 the club races.  Two club members had recently purchased this from another member and the three of them were sailing.  Five of us piled on the clothes and foul weather gear and prepared the boat for sailing in high winds by reefing the mainsail.

catching the other boat...

that'a us in a photo taken by the other boat
notice the reefed mainsail 

Before heading out, I measured the wind between 18 and 23 knots, but that was with it partly blocked by the break wall.  It was coming almost due north, the direction of the outlet to the river, which made sailing out of the marina a little tricky and required a couple of tacks within the break wall before we were able to slip out into the outrunning tide.  Sailing on a starboard reach, we headed up the Wilmington River.  Even going against the tide, the boat's electronics said we were doing over 5 miles an hour.  Coming down the river from Wilmington Island was another boat under sail.  After it passed us, we reverse course and headed down river, enjoying the outgoing tide and favorable winds, catching them just before we enter Wassaw Sound. Here, with the winds having a few miles to race over the waters, the waves were larger and splashed over the boat.

Even with the shortened sail, every puff pushed the boat over on a extreme heel.  It was exciting.  We raced back and forth with the other boat, exchanging phone numbers so that we could exchange photos.  Each of us took a turn at the helm.  After a couple of hours, the wind had soften a bit, and we headed in for a beer on the porch before heading home.  It had been fun afternoon and I was thankful for the opportunity to try out a new boat.  (I am surprised to review photos and to find that I didn't catch the whitecaps that dominated the water when we were in more open areas.)
Sage at the helm
 I'm in Orlando and am tied up most of the time with a conference...  When I get a chance, I'll get around and catch  up with everyone's blog.  Last night I had to watch (and was disappointed) with the college national championship.

20 comments:

  1. Looks and sounds like an awesome day on the water, Sage!!

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  2. Never had the opportunity to ride a sailboat but it looks like fun. We don't get many sailing opportunities here in the landlocked Midwest.

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  3. Well, at least you did make it out on the water! Cool photo too. If you were here, no way, we'd be saying out on the ice! Enjoy your conference, as well as you can, and we'll see you when we see you!

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  4. Although I should go sailing one day to experience it, I think I'd be scared. Even with an experienced sailor. I can't swim. *GULP* Haha! But it looks like a lot of fun. :)

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    1. Try it with a life jacket. Most of us were wearing auto-inflatable ones, but if you don't swim, I'd recommend a regular lifejacket (If it had been much colder, I'd worn a full jacket for the warmth).

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  5. I've been on a boat traveling fast in a cold wind. Youch. Not pleasant.

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  6. What a nice afternoon! I used to sail with friends at Lake Lanier - long time ago. It was lovely to be out when others are sailing, too.

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  7. dude...that would have been so cool...even as cold as it is...the wind and spray in the face is so refreshing....

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  8. Oh that looks.. refreshing. And exciting. :) We had water here once...

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  9. Mostly you take wind from the Gulf ?. There isn't really anything by way of a mountain between you and it, but do you have a doctor wind from the interior too.
    It was a neat bit of sailing to climb the Skidaway River from Buff drive, if that the marina you're on about, in the teeth of a Force 5.
    Looks like a lovely day.

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    1. No, the marina is at Priest Landing on the north end of Skidaway Island... It isn't perfectly north aligned, probably more northwest, was coming almost straight through the opening. The wind is variable--probably out of the southwest mostly, but also northwest and then being coastal, you get afternoon breezes that are on the water coming in from the ocean

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    2. Ahh yes, that's where you headed off in the canoe.
      I wondered about the wind for I remember reading about voyages to that area from Bristol Cork and Liverpool where they had to stand off and await the change of wind before entering the river. I'm not sure which town though. It's a while since I read it.
      Was there a time of year that had more traffic to the ports that would correspond with a weakening of the wind off the gulf.
      Oh did you know there was a battery split in two sited more or less where the marina and quay today. Is there still a house out thataways called the Red House.

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  10. Looks like a nice day for sailing!

    Did Ohio State win the National Championship? I'm from Ohio, so I'd be cheering for them. I didn't get to watch the game, though.

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    1. Sherry, I assumed they won... (they did, but I went to bed with a few minutes left, but Oregon had failed to score and needed 2 touchdowns and Ohio could pretty much sit on the ball and end the game).

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  11. You are certainly an excellent yachtsman Sage, given all of your accumulated experience in various sea vessels. I was impressed, but missed the ball game you mentioned. Safe travels!

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    1. I don't think I'd call myself a yachtsman, but I do love being on the water!

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  12. How nice! And Orlando??? I'm jealous. My husband had to go there in December for a business conference. If you're like him, though, you don't really get to see the city. That's the horrible part about traveling for work.

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    1. Yep, I spent the week inside a conference center! My only trips out was mostly to walk around the block.

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  13. What a fantastic post. I enjoyed it all of it. Great images, too. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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