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, December 12, 2013

So back to the water...wind and water, two essential ingredients for good sailing. 

And presently, the electric company who governs the ecosystem and the level of that system for my sailing waters has determined that it needs to permit the lake a bit of a breather.  Silt build-up around the lake perimeter has stifled the oxygen levels and made life perilous for certain fish species.  To help the fish and assist homeowners with a bit of clean up and dock repair around the lake, an 8 foot drawdown has finally been reached and will remain for about one month.

I figure that provides me about two months of time to effect some  repairs on the Dory before she can be safely splashed around 1 February. 

Of course the weather is changing, getting a bit more feisty as winter creeps up on this southern lake.  Good thing is the water isn't too cold, at least yet.  I discovered the water temperature twice in two weeks by accidently falling into the lake when I least expected.  The American Boating Course always reminds its students that personal floatation devices (PFDs) are meant to help save your life in the event you fall into the water in an unexpected situation. 

I had one of those unexpected situations during my recent volunteer opportunities to assist the race committee.  Operating single-handedly all day in delightfully sunny weather, I had anchored and reset the course tetrahedral markers and was given the "all clear" to wrap up and close down the course.  While pulling the marker buoy into the skiff, we began to jostle a bit and before I could blink twice, was overboard in a lake I am keen to admit has snakes in it and in which I never wish to find myself swimming or, as in this case, overboard without a specific reason.

The tetrahedral basking on my skiff waiting to surprise me and push me overboard!
Reflecting back, it was the cold water which got my attention first after falling in.  My second thought was that the tetrahedral had an attitude.  My third thought was that I was now all wet.  Now onto getting back aboard...and the engine was idling and drifting a bit in reverse so holding onto the skiff was rather important.  My fourth thought was how savvy I was to be wearing my PFD, just as I had been taught.  However I had to also admit I was rather stupid to be working solo now but that motivated me to haul myself over the gunwhale.  Wait a minute, one leg in the boat, but I'm wrapped around the bimini support.  Fifth thought, this is going to hurt.  Well, it wasn't graceful, but I made it into the boat and realized that I'd lost my nice sailing cap in the affair but fortunately my military glasses remained on my face and despite my lack of grace and bruised pride, I was ready to muscle that tetrahedral and show it who was boss now.  I pulled the air plug on it.

And my second adventure into the water came as I had returned to the Dory the morning after the "Race" in which I'd been summarily tortured by lack of winds.  Figuring I was a smart guy, I'd pull the Dory out the next day as cold temps and high winds and decreasing water levels made for a good time to do some work on the hard for a while.  PFD on, while negotiating the Dory with the compliant winds, and just passing the dock, the micro calculation of time, distance, movement and step did not meet the window for success.  And step led to splash, again, and I was bobbing in the cool water holding the line for the Dory realizing that now, timing, was again, everything. 

It's important to keep all the right stuff in the right places and to know one's limitations.  Yet also, to already know what to do in case things don't go the way one expects them to go.  PFD's are cool.