Watching the wind predictors and wanting to splash Baggy Wrinkles, I plotted to splash her at the tail end of the front. It was overcast and not a boat on the lake when I backed her down the ramp. Winds were laying in heavy from the Northwest and made securing her at launch critical. Otherwise she'd have blown onto the swim beach at the club!
While rigging her a 2nd reef and securing items aboard, the trailing edge of the front began to tear open a brilliant blue sky. Frothy waves skipped across the bay as I watched a rainbow appear and arc across the sky planting its feet at both ends. I managed a quick photo due to the need to keep my hands on tiller and an eye on the wind!
|Brisk winds at our stern made taking this at least doable. The grey trailing edge of the front blows toward the ocean.|
|The brisk winds were out of the NW as the Dory enjoys a broad reach North into our "Bay" sailing area.|
This plan was terrific, as I sailed back and forth across the bay. The wind predictions included a switch to northerly winds but that would not happen until the next day.
The next morning I headed back to the Dory and found her pulling hard against her mooring lines with an angry north wind bristling to take a bite out of her sails. Leaving the 2nd reef in, and putting the little motor on forward, I untied the forward line and jumped aboard leaving just enough time to grab the tiller and ease the mainsail into the wind. Without the motor's assist, and single-handed, it would have been highly improbable to resist the domination of the wind. I only had about 50 feet to the shallows and shoreline.
|Although hard to capture while single-handed, the whisk of wind blowing the mist of spray from the bow wave indicates the punch of these early morning winds. The trailing edge of the front continued until about 11am this day.|
I had my new whisker pole below. But that was the problem. Although it would have come in real handy, it is nearly impossible to secure the tiller and maintain positioning with a brisk 20kts blowing the vessel along and at the same time launch into an effort to pin the genoa and secure it to the ring on the mast.
I opted to "pass" on the whisker and continue downwind a bit before jibing and heading east as the photo above illustrates. Gotta be real careful with a jibe at this point. Hauling in on the mainsheet so that it has less momentum while crossing overhead helped to lessen the stress on the dory and she jibed through nicely biting off on a terrific broad reach.
I could tell the forecasters must have done their homework on the front, the gusts were lessening in velocity and in frequency towards late morning. While sailing west I determined that a lessening breeze from the North would make return to the Club a tutorial in tacking. And with lulls, and the effects of the pine-treed shoreline, this would make the tutorial bewitching. I opted to head for home and managed to pinch just enough wind to make my entrance to the bay.
|And I do have to say, that this is what Retirement should look like!|
Pointing from the right foot, crossed over the left, to the horizon you'll see a clump of trees just left of the port shrouds--that's my entry point to the Club. Made it. Baggy Wrinkles seemed to be smiling after her performance today...