Sail 2009 #2: Sailing with Arnaa and Emily

August 21, 2009

Got to sail to day with Emily W. and Arnaa A. Nice day, hot! Winds started out around 10 kts, but after noon they increased to 15 and then it seemed like it was blowing at least 20. By then we were motorsailing back to the mooring. Southwesterly wind all day. When it was coming over the water, it was nice and cool! Over the land it was pretty toasty. Started out pretty gray and cloudy, but eventually the clouds dissipated and the sun came out.

Left Savin Hill around 10:00. Shut off the engine around red 10 near Thompson Island. We pretty much stayed on a starboard tack all the way out to the end of Long Island. A minimum of power boats on the harbor, so a minimum of wakes.

After we passed the end of Long Island, we headed south through Nubble Channel. Before reaching Hospital Shoals we turned southeast to head for Long Island bridge. We had a mostly following breeze as we neared the bridge and I started the engine just in case.

We headed northwest through Western Way, past Castle Island toward the Inner Harbor. Once we were down near the Black Falcon cruise ship terminal, the wind picked up and it was time to head for home, anyway. We were mostly close-hauled as we headed toward green #5, the channel marker off Thompson Island. The gusts were increasing and we clearly had too much sail up. I rolled in the jib a little and that helped. The jib did not set well rolled in (probably 30%) mostly because my jib track doesn’t run forward far enough. Need to remedy that.

Once we rounded green #5 we turned southwest down Dorchester Bay. The wind was continuing to build so I rolled the jib all the way in, and motorsailed with just the main. Having the engine running helped to tack the boat and keeping us moving forward rather than sideways, which sometimes happens sailing close-hauled with just the main. At one point I noticed the fuel gauge was pretty low, so I shut the engine down and ran it only when I needed to tack.

Once we rounded red 12 I could bear off a bit to the west and no longer had to tack. Despite the appearance of some clueless young adults on a cabin cruiser, we pulled up to the mooring with little drama and then dropped the main. It seemed 20 degrees hotter once we got on land (around 3:05pm).

Great day!

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Sail 2009 #1: Maiden voyage with Katie J

August 20, 2009

Wednesday was going to be a hot day: 90’s and humid. It was mostly sunny, and looked like a great day for the first sail on Tikvah in the summer of 2009!

Katie was flexible enough to agree to go with me if I could fix the mainsail. I got up (earlier than is usual for me in the summer!) and got down to the boat to see if the new sail slides would work in the new (used) mast. Katie called about 9:40 and I said we were good to go!

I went to pick her up at JFK and then we had to wait for the sub shop to open at 10:30 am. Then we went down to the boat (which was on the dock) and got everything in order on the boat. Once we finally pushed off it was close to noon.

We headed out the channel to Dorchester Bay and cut the engine somewhere around red 12. We didn’t have a destination in mind so I just headed out to the harbor and across the main harbor channel. Then we headed east toward the Deer Island marker. There was a tanker anchored in the special anchoring area and we had to sail around it.

We eventually left the mouth of the harbor and headed up the North Channel. As we neared the outer entrance to the South Channel we realized we had been on the same tack since we were near the airport! Although we were not in a hurry we decided to slowly head back. We made a slow turn to the south and got a good look at The Graves lighthouse and oil shed. Then we sailed southeast in the general direction of the South Channel and Lovell Island. We tried to determine the identity of the islands near Calf, Little Calf, Great Brewster, etc. but found it a little confusing until we passed them all.

We gave some thought to trying to find Hypocrite’s Channel so we could sail past Boston Light, but not being sure where it was, and lacking a GPS, we headed back into the harbor. We essentially reversed our course for the trip out. We got back to the mooring a little before 6pm, and I am proud to say that I managed to slide right up to the mooring without overshooting it or making Katie use the boat hook. Not bad for the first time this year!

This was probably the longest sail I’ve had on Tikvah, and is definitely the furthest I’ve sailed out of the harbor. Next stop, Scituate! Well, maybe when I get a few more things done on the boat.

Thanks for sharing this great sail with me, Katie!


August 13, 2009

The boat has been launched! The long wait is over, Tikvah is finally in the water!