October 6, 2003: The Last Sail of
It was a beautiful fall day, and I had to take advantage of it.
The winds were quite light, and there was much drifting involved, but it
was quiet, sunny, and relaxing--a great way to end the season.
With such light winds, I couldn't venture far, but enjoyed a pleasant
couple hours just soaking up the experience, hoping that it might fuel
me through the long winter ahead.
Back at the mooring, I stripped the sails and unnecessary rigging in
preparation for the chore a head tomorrow: mast unstepping.
October 7, 2003: Mast Unstepping
I had an 0800 appointment at a boatyard in the Royal River, a trip of
about an hour and a half from the mooring. This meant leaving
early! Because Nathan (Dasein, 668) was also unstepping and
hauling in close conjunction with me this year (since Dasein was to be
stored at my house), the two of us decided to carpool and bring the
boats around together. Since we needed to dinghy to the boats, we
met in Yarmouth at the boatyard at about 0530, then drove in one vehicle
to Falmouth, where we launched the dinghy and motored out to Glissando
in the dark. Once on board, I got the engine going and towed the
dinghy back to the dock for later retrieval, then dropped Nathan off on
Dasein. By a little before 0630--with the sun still only an orange
hint in the predawn sky--we were away, and motoring smoothly towards
Yarmouth and the Royal River.
was a beautiful morning, but very cold--the thermometer at my house when
I left had read below freezing, though it was significantly warmer on
the coast. Amazingly, sea smoke formed on the water, and before
long I found myself motoring through low clouds just off the water's
surface. It was kind of cool, like the smoke on the stage during a
I rounded the northeast corner of Cousins Island and made the turn in
towards the entrance of the river, the wind picked up--right on the nose
(cold)--and the thickness of the sea smoke intensified, making it
difficult to see the water (and buoys and boats), although the shoreline
remained clearly visible above. Weird! Despite my several
layers and heavy coat, I was freezing, as I had not grabbed my hat and
gloves from inside the boat, and going for them now, besides being too
late, would have meant stopping the boat, etc. I soldiered on,
Dasein a few boat lengths behind. I was glad for the map function
on my GPS, as it gave me a clue where the buoys in the narrow, tidal
river were. Nathan later said that he could see my mast, even when
the boat was invisible, and that helped him find his own way in.
arrived at the dock just after 0800, only to find that the boom truck
was broken down. No matter...I had nothing else particularly
planned, so we enjoyed a relaxing couple hours waiting for the crane to
be repaired, after which both of our masts were unstepped with
dispatch. I spent some time removing rigging and halyards, and
securing the mast to the boat for tomorrow's trip home. Then, I
left the boat on the dock overnight.
October 8, 2003: Haulout
was another early start, as Steve Morse wanted to pick me up at 0730,
with Nathan right after. So both of us got to the boats early, and
motored the short distance down the river to the town landing.
Steve arrived 15 minutes early, and soon Glissando was on the trailer
and standing proud of the water. I hurried home ahead of the truck
to prepare the barn for the boat's arrival. Steve had some minor
difficulty backing the trailer into the new driveway, but only because
he had never done it before and made some miscalculations as to whether
he could do all the twists and turns in one go. (No!)
he made it in with no serious problems, other than straying too far onto
the soft grass on the sides of the drive, and soon Glissando was happily
ensconced inside the new barn for the first time! Wow! As
soon as the boat was off the trailer, Steve departed to return and pick
up Dasein at the town landing, which he then deposited on the gravel pad
to the south of the barn. Finally, Steve picked up the Daysailor
hull from the other side of my property and backed the hulk into the
barn next to Glissando. By 0900, he was done, and left.
I spent the rest of the
morning marveling over the boats in the barn, and scrubbing the season's
growth from the bottom of the boat. This was a bit of a trick with
the boat inside, and I first had to run some plastic sheeting around the
boat to protect the electrical in the walls, the heater, and the shop
area behind. Then I ended up with a mess of green paint residue
and water on the floor, which took some time to clean up. It was
weird at the end of the day to leave the boat inside the barn with all
hatches open; I found myself fighting the urge to close them in case it
Why haul out now?
Isn't there more good sailing time in October?
But then we get forecasts like this one, for October 14-15, 2003
(excerpted from the NOAA marine weather site on Oct. 14)
SE WINDS 15 TO 20 KTS...INCREASING TO 35 TO 45 KTS LATE WITH FREQUENT
GUSTS AROUND 50 KTS. SEAS 2 TO 4 FT...BUILDING TO 6 TO 9 FT LATE. VSBY
LOWERING TO 1 NM OR LESS IN RAIN LATE.
SE WINDS 35 TO 45 KTS...WITH FREQUENT GUSTS AROUND 50 KTS...SHIFTING
TO THE SW IN THE AFTERNOON. SEAS 12 TO 16 FT. VSBY BELOW 1 NM IN RAIN
NIGHT SW WINDS 25 TO 35 KTS AND GUSTY. SEAS SUBSIDING TO 4
TO 8 FT.
Not the kind of forecast
that would make me happy if the boat were in! Yuck. Scary,
when your boat is moored in an open and exposed anchorage like Falmouth
Foreside. No, I'm quite pleased the boat is inside the warm and
cozy boat barn!