Monday, November 17, 2008

Air Command?

Great day for a drift! Kris got her first trip on the dinghy yesterday. I was wondering what her hold-up was. I'm certain that past events couldn't have caused the hesitation on her part. However, she did seem a little more confident that Shannon the real sailor was coming along with us on Sunday.

After a pretty hearty b-day celebration, my newly 24 (ahem) y/o wife and I set off for Willamette Park and a day on the dinghy. It was incredibly beautiful in Portland this day. We hit at least 61-deg and the sun was shining the whole time. In the morning, we took our breakfast and coffee to our favorite spot on Skyline, atop the West Hills and we were able to see as far as Mt. Rainier in the North Cascades. That's a long way from Portland, since Mt. Rainier sits just a bit SE of Seattle.

It's also a rare treat this time of year, since we are usually socked in with some Pacific Low that brings us much grayness, wetness, and thoughts of our own doom. If you've ever had a water pipe break in a closet with no lights and then you spent six months living in that closet, you can imagine what a winter in Portland is like. Not too cold, not drenchingly wet, but more of a drizzling wetness, not very well-lit, and too long.

So, we had the opposite this day and it was a great day for a float. If we'd have had the slightest breeze, it may have been a great day for sailing also. However, we ended up drifting out into the current, then heading downstream, catching a slight puff and tacking back to the local sailing club, where we sat abeam the dock for a half-hour and chatted. We took turns looking up at the club's wind indicator, the rotating three-cup type, commenting at how it was possible that thing could not be moving AT all.

A woman came down with her Feva and launched while we were there. We chatted with her as she made about a tenth of knot toward us. Then we were off again, as the slightest hint of a breeze puffed at us.

We made way to the channel and the wind died again. So, out came the paddle, which was about the fastest we traveled all day. Passing a Catalina Capri 18, we realized that our failure to stock the boat with beer, as these folks had, might have been more a cause of jealousy this day, than our envy of their motor. Drifting becomes a whole other enterprise when properly fueled. This sort of undertaking becomes a chance for reflection and deep philosophical exploration if properly lubricated.

After some more drifting and paddling we made it back to the launch where we talked some more and hung out. Then, miracle of miracles, a palpable breeze and we were underway.

At least four tacks across the river and Kris got to feel some real sailing, before it died out again as we drifted into the launch ramps.

We hauled the boat, reconvened at the Fulton for victuals and called it a day.

The legend of the DR1 is growing, I should add. I may have to re-title that post. Throughout this day's sailing, Kris and Shannon kept asking me, feigning innocence, "Where was it you capsized?"

And, "Air Command, eh? I didn't even know Portland had that sort of thing."

Yeah, they 'have that sort of thing' and they apparently aren't afraid to use it...


Jolea said...

Sounds like an awesome day! And, yes, I too have already seen posts on other blogs about your big capsizing day... You are famous, or is that infamous? :)

Greg and Kris said...

Which one means "not a particularly good sailor"? Because that's probably the one that I am.

JP said...

Hmmm drifting in lights to non existent winds - sounds familiar!