My friends Ben and Kelly and I launched and moved Central Air into her dock last night after work, and we took her out for her first sail of the season today after I moved in, reorganized the settee storage, and scrubbed the cockpit and cabin floor.
Holy smokes!! We had 20-25 kts of wind!!! We sailed under main alone, and I was kind of regretting that I hadn't finished rigging up the reefing lines before we headed out. We did okay, for the most part, and I still can't believe that I was out there sailing 'with the big boys!' We were definitely the smallest sailboat out there today. We all got pretty wet from the spray -- laughing like little kids every time we took a dousing. What a BLAST! My dog, Judy Jetson, came along for the ride, too. She wore her Puppy PFD but still wasn't convinced that she should leave the relatively safe confines of the cabin. Poor baby. She doesn't seem to be holding it against me. This was only her second sailing experience. I really want my "Jayje" to enjoy it as much as I do.
I was a little surprised at the degree of weather helm that we had today. Is that partly because she was out-of-balance from being jib-less? She even tried to round up on a *broad reach* once or twice, but that may have been because I was being a little overly-cautious about avoiding an accidental jybe. The chop was tossing us around quite a bit, and I was concerned (justifiably, I think) that the wind might catch the backside of the mainsail if I sailed too close to dead downwind. Sailing downwind makes me a little nervous even in light winds, so today was a real challenge to both my abilities and my (sometimes fragile) psyche!
I think of every sail as a 'lesson', and I think that today I learned that I shouldn't underestimate my sailing abilities so much! I would have *never-ever* thought that I would have had the skills -- or courage -- to sail in the challenging conditions we encountered out there today. I'm still pretty much a 'hack', but I guess I'm not as much of a hack as I thought!