Friday, May 26, 2006

No Wind Today

The sky was overcast all day, with intermittent patches of rain. I started my long Memorial Day weekend a bit early hoping I would be able to take the boat out for the first time this season. Around 4:30, the grey skys surned sunny. I took my chances and headed across Brooklyn to Sheepshead Bay. When I arrived, I noticed it was at least 10 degrees cooler than it was in downtown Brooklyn with a bit more fog. The bay looked like a sheet of glass. There was no wind. It didn't look good.

When I arrived at the club, a few guys were launching Santa Marina, one of the many Pearson Ensign daysailors from the local fleet. Because the Ensign is small, at 22.5 feet, its fairly simple to launch a boat from its winter home in a cradle to the water. It took four guys about 30 minutes to put the boat into the water.
While they were at work, I was killing time, watching the water for any signs of wind. Over the course of about an hour, there were some signs of wind. The bay had some slight ripples in the water and a small tell-tale was flying in the light breeze. I decided to take my chances and try to go sailing.

I took the launch out to my spot in the mooring field, threw my bag aboard and started to prepare the boat for sailing. Less than 30 minutes later, the boat was rigged up. Thankfully, there was a slight breeze in the air. I pulled away from the mooring and headed into a little patch of air. While I wasn't moving fast, I was moving. It was indeed smooth sailing. I headed across the bay to the Emmons Avenue side, slowly tacked the boat -- in order to keep her moving -- and slowly headed back across the bay. I was happy.

I sailed around for about 30 minutes and decided to head back to my mooring. I didn't want to get stuck out there with no wind, and I noticed the sky was turning. I didn't want to try my luck. Unfortunately for me, the wind started to die a bit, just as a single raindrop fall down on my head. The single raindrop slowly turned into a few more, then a few more. I put my rain jacket on. I knew I was caught.

I sailed back to my mooring, and as quickly as I could, started bringing down and stowing wet sails and ropes in the rain. It wasn't fun. Because I wanted to get out of the rain so badly, I rushed to put everything away. In my hurried state, dropped the top of my mainsail in the water. Eventually, I got the boat put away and called the launch. It was time for me to go home.

While my inaugural sail was not ideal, I was still sailing, in New York City on a Friday afternoon. Not bad.


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