Friday, November 21, 2008

Red-tailed Hawk Sail

We had a clear day in Stumptown and I took advantage, heading down to Willamette Park around eleven. As I came through the Terwilliger curves and down toward John's Landing, I could see the river and it was surrealistically glassy.

I decided to head up to the chandlery to see if my twisted D-shackle came in and maybe cause some wind to start whipping as I drove across the river on the Marquam bridge.

I picked up some new sail ties to replace the set that floated away on the infamous DR 1 sail. My twisted D wasn't in, but I found a comparable shackle, sail ties, and some other odds and ends that this sport niggles out of you.

Back down to Willamette Park and I launched about noon. There was a slight breeze and some nice little 4 knot puffs that started to pick up as I set off. I sailed upriver, tacking a half-dozen times and trying to pay close attention to the sail shape and what the telltales were doing.

I was able to get a nice little v-wake behind me, with the initial wave actually rolling over itself. The centerboard was gurgling and I was making good way upriver. On a starboard tack, the Portland Spirit headed up the channel as I made way toward her. I crossed the river toward the Macadam Bay floating home community and made a final tack back to the center of the river and around the green can.

I struggled getting the boat to go wing and wing, even after pulling the centerboard up. I was struck by how rapidly the boat makes way down river, down wind, while the apparent wind is hard to detect at all. After a thirty minute trip up, I was back to the launch in about ten minutes.

I furled the jib and put the centerboard back to about halfway down and was able to gybe to port and into the launch corral. As soon as I pulled centerboard back up, the boat slipped directly across and I came abeam on the starboard side, releasing the mainsheet as I put out a hand to brace the dock.

After loading the boat I headed home. Turning up Taylor's Ferry and rounding a corner to right, I saw a large bird dropping in front of me from the trees. A red-tailed hawk dropped a car length ahead of me, and facing up hill at windshield height, he spread every feather he had to turn his dive into a flapping recovery. I was able to pick out details in individuals feathers, a few feet away from me, as he flapped back up and away.

3 comments:

Jolea said...

Yay you got to sail again! It's freezing here! Oh and I see you have a new logo... tee hee hee! If you can change the background of that Title Box to white the logo will show up better, also if you email me joleacruzan@yahoo.com I can give you the original and some more info on the design. :)

Greg and Kris said...

booyah!

:)

Jolea said...

NIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICE!!!