Today our goal was to squeeze in a short sail before our vacation. Jeremy didn’t have to work until 3pm, so he was able to come along for his first time ever sailing on TIKVAH! Jeremy has been on the boat in the past, notably the first time we launched it and had an adventure stepping the mast using the boat club’s derrick. But somehow he didn’t get to sail that first ‘season’ (8/13/2005 – 10/31/2005) and last year the boat was launched in August and he left shortly thereafter for his first year in college. Emily did get to go out with me a few times last year, and even Marilyn went out for her first time. This year promises to be one where we can have many more sails with many more friends.
Jeremy’s first sail! and first of the season
We got out to the boat before 11 am (teenager time) and I began by tuning up the rigging with the tension tool I picked up used somewhere. It worked like a charm, although I forgot to check what the lee shrouds looked like once we were close-hauled. Oh well, next time.
Once the shrouds had more even tension I fired up the engine. Since I started it up at the beginning of the season, it has been started right off every time. I know it’s supposed to do that, but given all the struggles I’ve had with that A4 over the years I’ve been very pleasantly surprised with its consistent performance so far. After raising the main and showing Jeremy how to cast us off, we were underway.
We had a following wind all the way to Castle Island so we jibed back and forth across the channel. I showed Jeremy how to read the chart and get an approximate idea of where we were. It was his job to say when we should tack, and to his credit we did not find any water that was shallower than our keel. As we jibed back and forth across the channel we ate the lunch we had brought along. It was a beautiful, sunny day in the mid-eighties with a fair amount of humidity, although that wasn’t really noticeable until we got back to the mooring.
Both kids needed to be back home by a certain time so we turned around before we got to the tip of Thompson Island. They both wished we could stay out all day, but it was not to be this time. We came up to close hauled and the kids handled the jib sheets while I shouted orders. (They were very tolerant of my pirate’s accent.) They learned about backwinding the jib to help my slow-tacking, full-keeled boat turn through the wind. Each took a turn steering for a bit. They also learned the steps for starting the engine, and the basic procedure for man overboard.
Too soon we got back to the mooring, and after one missed pass (captain’s mistake) Jeremy picked up the lines and the boat was secure. We’ll be leaving town soon but we look forward to many more sails through the rest of the summer.