Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Different Kind of Sailing

Mark bought a used trailor last week and it just happened to have a small sailboat, a sand shark, on top of it.  We got home from the Bra d'Or Lakes last Saturday and Jen was itching to take her new toy out for a spin.  We hitched it up to the truck and drove the 3 km to a pebble beach on the North Arm of Sydney Harbour and rigged it up.  The set up was pretty straight forward but we hasd to take the mast down because we had forgot to rig the jib halyard!!
Jen and I suited up, the wind was perfect for learning a new sailboats quirks, gentle but steady.  We tacked and jibed, ran with the wind and then tried what every dinghy sailor must know how to do, tip and then right the boat.   The tipping went okay, then I explained to Jennifer what my understanding was on the technique on getting it back upright.  I had seen lots of kids climb on the dagger board and then the boat would just tip back up.  Well it wasn't quite that easy.  Jen climbed up on the dagger board and then hauled on the edge of the boat, no go. She actually had to stand on the very end of it and I levered myself up until I caught the front edge of the he boat and over she came.  Getting back in was easy for Jen but my older body did not think that it should have to preform such shenanigans and Jen had to add an assist by hauling on my life jacket before I was able to get back in, how embarrassing.  We managed to get it back to shore without damage and derigged it and off we returned home.  
Sunday we were at it again.  We made some changes to how we rigged it after doing some research on the internet. We flew across the bay on a slightly stronger wind having to hike out when the gusts hit. Jen then decide that she wanted to try it herself.  Her first object was to see if she could right the boat on her own. Over she went and after a bit of a struggle the boat was upright and again and she was off.  She dumped a couple of more times and then the boat was completely upside down.  This was way more difficult to correct because the sails were still attached to the mast and the drag on them as you try and right it is considerable.
She managed but then once she tried to sail she was constantly tipping.  I could see she was being slowly but surely being taken out to sea on the tide so I swam out to help her.  The reason it kept tipping was because it was full of water.  It must have all come in when it was upside down.  We managed to get the mast on the surface and I went and took the sails down, up righting it was easier and we slowly sailed it to shore and then walked it back to the trailer.  Barry had gone to get some supper so Jen and I pushed and shoved the trailer until it was out of the water.  We propped it on a abandoned plastic beach chair and the water came pouring out.  It was amazing how much was in the boat.  After some much needed nourishment Jen tried again although the wind had dropped.  She managed to sail it on her own and was satisfied that she would be able to handle the craft on her own.  She is going to have so much fun with it, all it needs now is a name.