Jessicas brother Eddie came in town with his son Camden. Jason and I had been sailing a few times and i really felt confidant in my sailing skills. big wind comes, i point sail, boat goes… i knew my stuff 😉 . I was excited to get jessica and her family on the boat and show them how good we have become. I was ready for anything. Also, I really wanted to prove to jessicas family we could handle a boat in the ocean by handling a boat in a tiny colorado lake.
This was our third time setting up the mast on our own and we did it pretty fast but we ran into a lot of problems. our spreader got caught so we had to hold the roller furler until we got it sorted out, then our topping lift was tangled, and our backstay was also tangled. Once that was all sorted out we were set and ready to go.
We left the dock pretty flawlessly for the first time and began our adventure into the wind. my hat flew off and we tried to practice man overboard… but it sank before we got back. we turned around and continued out of the protected dock area and found ourselves in some heavy wind. we didnt even have the sails up and the boat began to tip. I tried to convince Jason to brave it and we started rasing the sails. Jason didnt feel comfortable so we decided to beach the boat for awhile.
The kids played on the beach and we regrouped. after we grabbed some food we all climbed back aboard and headed out into some milder winds. I was ready to go, i was ready to sail!
We motored into the wind, I pulled the halyards and we set sail. We had great wind, the boat was on a nice lean. We were doing it and it felt awesome! i could dip my hand just over the edge and put my hand in the water. something id normally have to hang over the side to do. I dont know what it is about sliding across a lake that just gets my blood pumping but it feels so freeing and fun. just to be powered by wind.
We were going great and then our outhaul came undone. and since our topping lift was tangled earlier we didnt have it to hold the boom up while we got the sails working again. without the sails the boat was not controllable. we helplessly headed towards the shore. luckily we had a swing keel and had beached the boat many times. once the boat hit the ground we were lodged in place but the wind didnt make it easy. we dropped the main sail and the boom swung port side and went into the water along with some of the sails. I quickly pulled it up and we got the motor started and got out of there.
I was having a blast as always in a crazy situation but Ed was clearly not feeling easy with how out of control this all seemed. After we motored out of the danger zone we got to do some more sailing, boat on the lean and our sails were full. it didnt last long till the wind died. we found a nice quiet place on the lake and practiced anchoring. the kids and I jumped and played in the water. Once again getting a small taste of what i imagine the cruising lifestyle will be like.
This trip on the water reminded me how much there is to keep learning. It taught me that at a moments notice anything can happen in the water, and to remain calm, assess the situation and then act.
If I could I would sell everything and leave today. It feels amazing knowing that in only 6 short months we can start making this dream real. start looking for boats and start plotting a route to take my new home to. then the next place and the next place and so on until the time comes I have to stop and rejoin reality.