Thursday, February 5, 2009

Opening Day 2009

I got out today around noon; first stop was the chandlery to pick up a shackle for my boom vang and then down to Willamette Park to launch.

I got the boat in the water and there was a pretty solid current and a gusty little front blowing in, which made it hard for me to point away from the little dock that runs perpendicular to the launching bays. I would have just started drifting down river, but the wind and current were forcing me against the dock and there was a power boat tied up, mechanic hard at work trying to fix the motor.

I tried to appear as though I were waiting for someone, checking my non-existent watch, and adjusting the boat's rigging, as I waited around for them to finally clear out.

This goose eyed me like he knew what was up. Either that or he thought I looked like a giant breadcrumb.

I got underway and sailed across the river and started tacking back and forth, making way toward the Sellwood Bridge and dodging the occasional buoy and/or anchored fishing boat.

I was a little nervous, as the wind was gusty and I still had the memory of DR-1 fresh in mind from November. I mostly used the mainsail and left the jib furled.

Managed to snap a couple of pictures with the camera on my phone and send them to people who were working while I was sailing. Yeah, I'm *that* kind of friend.

Here's my breadcrumb imitation.

I got an email from a colleague who lives up on the hill. She said she could see a boat down there with a sail up and asked if it was me. I took a picture of her house and emailed it back to her asking if that was her house.

She told me if I was paying attention I would have noticed that it of course was her house, as anyone could plainly see her smiling and waving.

She might be really good at that Where's Waldo? game.

I passed a couple of paddlers, too. Well, actually, they passed me. A guy in an OC-1 outrigger with his ama set at a rakish angle. And later, on my way back downriver, a guy in a sporty looking little dory.

I finally got confident enough to put the jib out there and got a couple of nice little pockets of wind to drive the boat across the river and back.

I find it fascinating how my concept of wind is shifting. I see it more as something that exists in pockets, or cells, almost independent of one another. Whereas, I think my prior understanding of wind was a more unified field that blew everywhere all at once.

I finally had to give it up and head in, as I had left my gloves at home and my hands were starting to get too cold.

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