Sail 2009 #2: Sailing with Arnaa and Emily

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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