Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Dipping the Rail
There are a few reasons it has taken me so long to post this blog:
1) The photo upload process on this blogger is slow and therefore a deterrent.
2) Most of the photos we take while sailing look exactly like all of the other photos we've taken while sailing. (Hopefully this will change someday.)
3) Our sailing experience a few weeks ago scared the $%!# out of me and left me deep in thought (and therefore speechless) for a period of time.
Here's what happened:
I believe it was a Wednesday, about three weeks ago. After two successful SOLO sailing expeditions around San Diego Bay, we decided we were ready for the ocean. The wind was working in our favor. On a normal day, we'd have to tack (zigzag) back and forth across the bay for 2+ hours before crossing into the Pacific. On this particular day, the wind was pulling us straight down the middle of the bay toward the ocean. We were cruising fast... and we knew we'd be there before long. Suddenly, as we cleared the corner of Coronado Island, the wind shifted and knocked Mother Culture on her side (eloquently referred to as "dipping the rail"). Everything in the cabin began crashing to the floor. I zipped Lola into her Pup Tent for fear she would tumble overboard. That day, the words "batten down the hatches" took on real meaning for us. In addition to battening down the hatches, it appears we must batten down the books, batten down the dishes and batten down everything else, including Lola (and, honestly, I may even batten down myself).
Not only did everything go flying around the cabin, but the boat herself was flying...so fast that, after careful consideration (or perhaps panic) we turned the boat around, rolled in the jib, and took a relaxing cruise back to the mooring ball under mainsail alone. Let's just say we sailed faster that day than we've sailed to date. So fast that I had to give some serious thought to this sailing thing.
What did we learn?
1) Always, ALWAYS batten everything down. No matter what the weather looks like and no matter where we are going.
2) When the wind is knocking you down on your side, let out the mainsail. (This we learned from some of our good neighbors).
The following pictures were taken on our journey back to the ball. (Unfortunately, in the heat of the moment, I forgot to snap some shots of the boat on her side and everything crashing down below.)