Gray Area July 8th

This was the day of the dock owner appreciation day at the marina there. They had free food, drinks, and music. I had planned to go to that. Paul wanted to go sailing beforehand, so I went up early. I stopped to check out a recumbent bike and a camping/canoeing store on the way. I arrived shortly before Paul.

Paul brought two girls along, one a friend of his and the other a friend of that friend. They were new to sailing. We went out and put up the main, then the jib, with no problems. There was some wind, and we got moving along at 4-5 mph (our GPS reads in mph). Not real fast, but fast enough. There was some strange object off in the distance, so we decided to head for that. We went for quite a ways, but seemed to be getting no closer. The party that we had wanted to go to had already started by this point (5), so we decided to turn back towards port.

Paul and the girls wanted to swim. Paul went off with a life jacket tied to him. He said he was getting a good pull from the boat, but he certainly slowed us down a good bit. He stayed out for a bit, then climbed back aboard. We had no ladder or anything of the sort, making this somewhat difficult. We noticeably sped up soon after he was back aboard. They had some easy cheese and some crackers, then the girls went in. The one went in first, and seemed to be quite fine. After a while, the other decided to go in. They were each tethered to seperate lines. They slowed the boat down quite a bit, and made it difficult to steer. We were having trouble moving or keeping a course. For some reason the boat only wanted to run with the wind, and when the wind got low, I couldn’t steer her at all. The girls were enjoying themselves though. They stayed out for quite a while. Paul tossed them a couple of crackers for their eating pleasure.

Finally, they decided to come back in. The one girl had some trouble getting up. After two attempts, though, she made it. The other girls turn came up. She could not seem to get onto the boat. She tried numerous times, but couldn’t seem to pull herself up. We tugged her along, trying to figure out how to get her in. We suggested we all just grab her and pull her in, but she declined. Paul made her a rope loop ladder, but this didn’t work well either. Finally, she made a strong effort and swung her leg over the back. She was up.

We then set our sails better and were able to speed toward port more quickly. The wind started picking up again finally. It was coming straight from port, so we had to tack to get back in. I went too far before the first tack, so we had to go back a ways. We had to tack quite a few times, especially as we were going into the break wall. By then, the girls had gone below to lie down. This helped us out, as the deck was less crowded and we didn’t need to have them move back and forth so much. Paul manned the tiller and main while I manned the jib. I sat in the center so I didn’t have to move constantly. There wasn’t so much heel, so this worked well. We sailed on into the breakwall area, then dropped the sails and motored the rest of the way in. We had the one girl steer as we worked to put things away. Then Paul motored us to the dock.

Uncle Al and Aunt Jan were both on the dock waiting and talking to some neighbors. We pulled in no problem. Uncle Al and Paul fought a little bit about how to wrap dock lines and stuff, as they seem to a lot these days. It was 8:30, and we had definately missed the food, though music and dancing was still going on. We finished closing up the boat, then headed down toward the cars. Me and Paul went to the bathroom, going through the parrothead party with some live musicians. We then parted.