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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Monday, February 13, 2017

The First Mate is at the helm.

Seems the Alberg almost requires you to stand up and sail regardless of your size in order to peer over the cockpit and gain an advantage of port and starboard ways ahead.  Here, the First Mate does just that in some brisk winds and balmy temps.

I sail every week, sometimes several times, and am so often used to single-handing that I don't spend much time as a passenger aboard Nautica.  The weather has been quite forgiving this Winter in the Southern USA and temps have bounced from freezing to balmy in the space of a week this season.  We'll take it!  First Mate took a few photos before grabbing the helm.

First Mate took this photo on the leeward side which reveals the reefed genoa which, along with a reefed main, provided some balance to the vessel in gusty conditions.

The human eye grasps the colors and action but needs to relook the photos to recapture what was seen.  This photo is one of those where you see the wind flattening the genoa and the hull slicing the waters to windward, dark clouds are not ominous but drift overhead as if so, the main is also reefed and you see the crinkles bunched on the side of the photo.

So the wind projection for this past Sunday was 12 to 22 kts, temps were projected to be 73 F, and partly cloudy.  Reality was that it was very balmy, in the low 70s, but winds were a friendly 8 to 15 from the SW and fetch on the lake was quite manageable for the day, making for a delightful time at the tiller.

I always ask the First Mate what she would do if I happened to fall overboard for some reason just to probe what goes through her mind.  "Undo the blue line and release the red lines..." just having that color-coded idea in her memory might help stop the Berg under such conditions.  I told her to forget trying to pick me up this day, as that is a "practiced skill" and would require quite a bit of seamanship that we don't have time to achieve under these delightful circumstances.  Perhaps when the water temp gets into the high 60s we can try a man overboard (MOB) but not this day...

The view from the cockpit
 And so she took the helm while I took some photos, at least for a good while until the warm temps coaxed her to lie on the cockpit bench and soak up the sounds of sailing, something that ought to be bottled for busy lives.  My cell phone was buried in my backpack down below.  We don't care about answering the phone when sailing by the way, so if anyone is calling, you'll have to stand in line and take a number.  Sailing is supposed to provide a diversion to our lives, restore the soul a bit, and take you from your "rat race" into another space, where these natural elements will rejuvenate you even if they tend to wear you out at the same time.  It can be a taxing experience, but this day was not, it was simply what sailing on a Sunday afternoon should be, it was pure enjoyable fun.

The view to stern

The view past the reefed genoa looking over the bow rail

That is something rarely found in our lives.  

We were out for the wind and the sun and the sound of the water.  Crossing the lake this way and that, and drifting in the lee of several islands to scout out summer anchorages where grand children might find a mysterious Pirate hideout one day, and then catching a broad reach back toward our nearby cove where flat water gave way to brisk winds, the Alberg confidently carried us till the sun began to dip closer to later afternoon.  

Any time spent sailing is worth hundreds of dollars and sometimes thousands, depending on what you need to see and experience.  But we must keep this a secret lest the lake fill up with people searching for this infusion of goodness.  The next few days are projected to be cooler and winds less impressive.  So I will turn again to my current bewilderment, installing a tachometer on my diesel engine.  But for now, the pure enjoyment of sailing has left a balmy imprint on our minds and souls once again. 
Tell-tails, battens, bend in the sail, shrouds, stays, windex, and a beautiful palette of baby blue sky as a back drop.