Sailing Log:  5/17/04

reefedmain.jpg (28221 bytes)I completed my day's work in the morning, and headed immediately out to the boat, arriving at just after 1100.  It was a beautiful day, albeit slightly on the cool side.  The winds were a bit stronger than I had anticipated, registering 15+ apparent on my new wind instruments at the mooring, so I decided to tuck in a single reef in the main as I hoisted it, choosing to play it safe.  It's always easier to shake out a reef when sailing alone than it is to put one in, though of course that is possible as well.

raildown.jpg (48520 bytes)With a steady southeasterly wind of about 15-20 true (up to 24 apparent), I had an excellent first sail, cruising down towards Portland Harbor--one long tack--before turning and enjoying a screaming reach in the highest winds of the day, back outside of Cow Island Ledge and then finally turning round the northern tip of Clapboard.  As I sailed past Hussey Sound, the fog bank that I had noted lurking offshore earlier began to blow in on the fresh seabreeze, oozing its way over and around the islands and through the passes.

sailfog2.jpg (30983 bytes)     sailfog3.jpg (42916 bytes)

sailfog.jpg (38149 bytes)Though the fog nipped at my transom, it never truly took over the inner bay, and the day remained clear and bright.  As I sailed towards the mooring field, I rolled up the genoa and continued towards the mooring under main alone, as I usually do.  As I approached my mooring ball, the wind gusted as strongly as ever during that afternoon.  My normal mooring-under-sail technique, which I use each time I sail to the mooring--which is 99% of the time--is to approach from upwind of the mooring, sailing downwind.  I let the boom way out during the approach as I weave between the nearby moorings and boats.  Then, I sail nearby to my mooring ball and continue past for a distance that changes each time, depending on the wind speed, boat speed, and the anticipated current.  When I deem it to be correct, I turn the boat sharply into the wind, which has the multiple effect of allowing the mainsail--which was all the way out--to easily luff, as well as significantly canceling the boat speed from the sharpness of the turn.  When done correctly, the boat usually maintains enough way to drift to the mooring pendant, which I pick up easily.  To enhance the dumping of air from my sail, I release the boom vang as I make the turn, which raises the boom and effectively prevents any wind from catching in the sail.  As soon as I have gotten a mooring line on the boat, I return to the mast and lower the main.

This day, with the wind quite strong, I misjudged my boat speed a tad--I had been going over 5 knots coming down--and made my turn just a bit earlier than I should have.  As a result, the boat did not slow down nearly as much as I had expected, and completely slid by the mooring before I could grab on.  Oh well!  No harm done--I simply resheeted the main and came round for another pass, which ended up being nearly perfect, and I grabbed the pendant easily.  We all get a little rusty after 7 months on the hard!


Glissando, Pearson  Triton #381

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