Monday, March 3, 2008

First Sail of 2008

For those of you living in the Southeast, you may have noticed some strikingly beautiful weather this past weekend - Wonderfully fitting for the first couple of days of March. The weather guys nailed this one and true to their predictions we had temps in the mid-60's and winds out of the Southeast in the 10mph range - for our style of recreational boating, that's about as perfect as perfect gets.

So with hot water in the thermos and a wife, dog, and good friend along, we headed on down to the boat for the first sail of 2008. For all you snow bird boaters out there, you might want to cover you eyes for the next part... we get to 'winterize' our boat on the water, our power plant keeps our little sailing lake warm year round... So there's not much to do but open her up and head out...

And head out we did. We had the sails up in short order and after a quick adjustment from Genoa to Jib we settled in to seriously relaxing afternoon of sailing. The conditions were a welcome sight to more than a few other sailers in the club, and a lot of the fun was watching the other boats in the stiff breeze shake free the cob webs of our short off season.

Of particular note was a Catalina 22, flying a Genoa and making some serious speed for a small cruiser. There's a craft where the lines of hull combine with the sweep of sail to create something truly beautiful in motion. No less beautiful was an open Flying Scott with a crew of five (including dog) scooting along at a raucous clip with just a hint of abandon... her baby-boomer crew hiking out to off-set heel as if they spent their teens in the 90's instead of the '50s. For the record, they completely smoked us.

There was a Laser out there too, single handed and shooting for a spot up on plane which I'm sure he made a time or two in just the right puff. Where I saw him make the best action though was back at the docks with a few friends gathered around a charcoal barbecue... Sails set loose across the dock and idle in the wind... smiles everywhere.

I'm quite sure I wouldn't have changed a single thing.

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