Cheers to one of the greatest days of sailing in a while. Today is the reason I am out here. I woke up to the sun shining through the windows. When I walked outside I knew immediately today was gonna be that dream day. I pulled anchor and motored about 100 yards out to the ICW. I cut the engine and pulled out the Genoa. Immediately the boat began to pick up speed and before I knew it KoKoi was carrying me downwind at about 7 knots.
I sailed through 4 bridges along the way and passed several other boats headed South. Its been a busy day out here on the water. The wind picked up late morning to about 20 knots and the fetch built so at times I was surfing down little 1+ foot waves at 7.8 knots. I’ve had so much fun out here today its hard to even put it into words.
I went through my last bridge at 1:15 and sailed into the anchorage to drop the hook. Immediately after dropping the hook the radio exploded with someone saying:
Radio Guy 1: “Did that guy just sail in and drop anchor.”
Radio Guy 2: “I believe so.”
Radio Guy 1: “I don’t know about this guy. I’m gonna keep an eye on him to make
sure he doesn’t drag this way.”
Well I anchored downwind of everyone so if I drag anywhere its going to be in the flats behind me. All day and even after anchoring I have had the biggest smile on my face. Its so gratifying to just use the motor for 5 minutes and then sail into an anchorage at the end of the evening. I’m so proud of myself. Maybe I’m becoming a sailor after all.
A little Lagniappe from my past today.
I used to keep my J24 in Jacksonville and sail just about everyday after work for 3 years. I knew the boat in and out and had sailed her in every condition possible on the river. Even the day when the Navy had a chopper hover the stern rail. He was about 200 feet off the deck. There was no visibility and maybe they were trying to hail us on the VHF, but we didn’t have one back then. The copilot flips his lens up on his helmet. We caught each others eyes, he through his hands up in the air (what the hell are you doing out here look) and I through a thumbs up in the air and they took off. It was January, blowing 30+ knots, and pouring rain. My buddy and I couldn’t stop laughing.
I used to sail into the slip all the time, sometimes even out when we couldn’t get the outboard running or didn’t have gas (hence all the scratches down the starboard side). Most of these times it was with someone else who knew what they were doing. Well one day I took a friend of mine out and the sailing was incredible that day. It was a Saturday and the docks were loaded with people along with the bar/restaurant on the property. I remember asking my friend who knew nothing about sailing if they wanted to sail into the slip. Sure was the reply.
I’m feeling really good about this so I tack back and forth up the tight channel and then enter the fairway to my slip. I drop the main and loosen up on the jib. Check all my halyards and its looking really good. I have to go down about 15 slips then cut hard into mine. I knew when to depower the boat and then 7 slips away I would blow the jib halyard and would just slide right in, step off, throw a line on the bow and call it a day while jaws dropped. In theory this worked probably 50 times before.
Well everything was going smoothly until I blew the jib halyard. It had a twist, fell halfway down, refilled like a spinnaker, and powered the boat right back up to full speed. I pushed on the tiller as hard as is possible and luckily made it into the slip. The only catch is when I entered the slip I was still fully powered and rode up over the fixed dock past my waterline blasting out about 5 dock boards. The boat slid back down into the water, I tinkled my pants, then stepped right off acting like that’s how it was suppose to be done. Whew.
Maybe every now and then I will write another blast from the past about my life so I can remember these times forever.