Baggy Wrinkles

Baggy Wrinkles
S/V Nautica, Hull #614, Built at Whitby Boatworks Ltd., Ontario, Canada 1977, one of the most recognizeable Carl Alberg designs. A masthead sloop displacing 9000 lbs, keel hull, Yanmar 15 hp diesel, LOA 30.27 Beam 8.75, Draft 4.29, roller furling headsail, tiller, berths for 4, interior teak bulkheads, teak cap rail and cockpit teak coamings, 12 volt lighting, aluminum mast support, Harken self tailing winches, in its day was designed for customers as a Cruiser-Racer, the Alberg 30 remains a Classic design of the large Alberg inventory.

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Just another fabulous day of Sailing.  What else can be said?  Simplicity of vessel makes the Cape Dory Typhoon the sort of sailing that is so effortless, one can relax, and take in the entire panorama of sea and sky while giving little thought to rigging or weight distribution.  You can be utterly wrong and enjoy it as if it is right. 

After all, this sort of sailing is not competitive, it is reflective!  And BaggyWrinkles feels like a friend in the water, rather than a boat.  I'm sure all of us who sail have this inner compass about sailing vessels and can find our "center" on most any vessel because we know what "right feels like" as is often said.  Yet on the Typhoon, for a sailor, it's simplicity of design and rigging enables one to so easily drift into the wind and adventure.

The other day was typical of this.  The wind forecasted 10kts gusting to 18 by noon.  I arrived to splash the Dory at about 9am.  The lake was a sheet of liquid glass, only ducks created faint ripples.  This provided me plenty of time to haul out the sails and rig her up.  I monitored the radio for the forecast.  It cycled over and over with the same monotonous forecast of 5 to 10 kts of wind from the North or something such as that.  I hardly paid attention to it as I lashed things in place and prepared to depart.  I knew the wind was on the way.  I ignored the quiet and talked to myself a bit as I rigged her.

A typical view from the helm.  Green grab bag with comfort items at easy reach, radio for weather and emergency comms, Galaxy with its Nav program for compass and speed readout, lines abound.  Notice the compression bar semi-permanently installed underneath the mast in the cuddy cabin!  A cool and windy day for great sailing this week.

A slight breeze began to muster as I worked.  I thought to myself, "Hmm, here she comes..."  And by the time I was ready to cast-off, I never lowered my aging outboard.  After all, I never know if it will truly work or not.  It's not much insurance, but I tell myself I'll somehow get through in a pinch if the wind fails me.  I always have a radio too--but what if nobody is listening?  Oh well.

The wind was ever so slight, I calmly loosed the fore deck line and brought it along the gunwhale and dropped it into the cuddy cabin.  The same with the stern line and then I actually shoved her off and stepped aboard using the rudder ever so slightly to drift to the end of the rigging dock.  Physically pushed the mainsail to leeward and then raised the genoa, letting her bulge to grab even a whisp of air.  She did.

And off we went.  I'd downloaded an APP for my Galaxy phone that provided speed and compass direction for my tacking (I'll post another piece on the 2 Apps ).  After one reach to the Northeast, I jibed her to leeward and set off south at about 148 degrees.  The photo here is the view I had.  It wasn't stormy, just cloudy and the wind was building.  By noon, I recalled from the Wind models online, she'd be even stronger.

Starboard reach, southeast at about 148 degrees.  This is the view from the helm.  Radio on squelch monitoring the weather band.  Line from the genoa runs from the portside through a spring-block, 4 to 5 wraps around the winch, then I tie it off on the starboard cuddy cleat to keep it accessible to my position on the starboard bench.  lines from genoa and mainsail cleated and run into the cuddy as well.  It looks like the genoa didn't quite get locked!
So I was off at about 1030am and she sailed assuredly toward the southern part of Lake Murray.  Reminded me of a homing pidgeon the way she ran across the lake.  Gave me plenty of time to remind myself to enjoy myself.  Stop thinking about the metrics, just enjoy it. 

Realizing that some who read this are Cape Dory enthusiasts and others are fans from afar, I am always in search of how to convey the sense of the sailing with my limited capabilities for such.  I really need a photographer alongside in a skiff to take the photographs I really wish, yet without that, I must rely upon imagination and a few creative photographic means.  The following 40 second slide show from YouTube attempts to chronicle the port reach to 290 degrees with her heeling to starboard and taking the small windswell on the lake.  Notice the waves periodically splashing upward.  Yes I got wet.  And then notice the rise and fall of the bow which illustrates how she is bounding across the lake.  I love to sit on the quarter deck as she runs.  Feels like a little stallion running freely across the waves.

In total, I sailed for about 4 or 4.5 hours this day.  After turning east to run with the wind I traveled from Bomb Island on Lake Murray to my entry point for the marina taking only 30 minutes to run the distance downwind.  Risking balancing my camera on the cuddy I managed to get this selfie.  Yes the sky was really that brilliant and the slight swell pushed the Dory along with glee homeward.  You cannot but smile at the helm of a Cape Dory.