Small Steps

Well, I shot a selfie video while out on Further yesterday, but upon further review (no pun intended), it sucks. So I grabbed a screen shot to use as a still photo to accompany this post and called it good.

And it was a good day. I was accompanied, as I was last time, by my friend Meghan Matthews of Orca Green Marine (product plug: OGM makes LED lights and were the first LED navigation lights to be approved by the U.S. Coast Guard). We motored out onto Chesapeake Bay where there was a small-craft advisory (that means winds of 18-33 mph are forecast or occurring). When we emerged out of Back Creek, however, we found just light breezes bouncing around here and there. There was enough to hoist the sails so we did that and killed the engine, and found we were doing about 3.5-4.5 knots. Oh well. Still, it was nice to be out there.

But we tacked and headed south on the west-northwesterly breeze and the farther south we got, the more wind we got. By the time we got down by the Annapolis Harbor One marker, we were doing a solid 6.5-7 knots without even trying. And unlike last time, I didn’t forget to secure everything below, so there wasn’t stuff crashing around the galley once we started heeling. Live and learn.

And on the same live-and-learn front: I was trimming the genoa as we were headed back toward town when Meghan, who was at the helm, remarked about how I was sticking to my Luddite tendencies and not using the electric winches. To which I had to honestly reply: I’d completely forgotten they were electric. Seriously. In a way it was cool: I don’t want to depend on electricity and winching the headsail can be a good workout. On the other hand, it was utterly clueless on my part. Whoops.

The other big positive from the outing was that Meghan and I agreed beforehand that upon approaching my slip at the end of our sail I would bring Further near the piling at the head of the slip, drop the spring line over the piling and then back in the boat, pivoting on the spring line around the piling. We were simulating me singlehanding the boat and it went very smoothly. In fact, our docking procedure was much smoother than it was a couple of weeks ago when we took Further out. And it made me realize that I can do this by myself if need be. I’d still rather have help (and company), but I can get out more frequently than I have been. And that’s a good thing because practice makes perfect.