Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hella Wind

That's what we had yesterday, hella wind, blowing a steady 10+ kts at all times with bigger gusts. Lots of dinghys on the Willamette, even one keel boat, and a bunch of big keelboats out on the Columbia.

My daughter was up from Corvallis for the day and we took her and her, um, friend out for a sail with us. They seemed to enjoy it, even though a little nervous from the dinghy's rolling disposition and Kris's having told them about my previous adventures.

The wind was blowing upriver, very fresh. We set off from the launch, downriver, upwind, tacking three times and then falling off and goosewinging upriver, downwind for a bit.

We all sort of worked out our postions and rolls by the time we headed back toward the launch, and made an approach in between the heavy fishing boat traffic. The fisherman are on a shortened season here, only allowed to chase anadromous fish on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, so it's chock-a-block at the launch on Saturdays and ghost town on Sundays.

Our first attempt to dock (yes, we failed) ran a bit short, as we dropped the main a bit too soon, with a bit too little speed. We got about ten meters out and then the wind began to push us upriver, even overcoming our attempts to make way with the paddle and sculling the rudder.

We circled around, waited for some crazy boat action to calm down and made another run as one of the boats began to motor up the launch way, as though he were pulling his boat out.

We had to whip back around and head out as Mr. Stinkpot put her in reverse and started backing down on our intended docking spot.

Fortunately, the h 170 turns on a dime as well as it spins on a dime, and we were able to spin and go easily, while Kris said, "C'mon, Mister, make up your mind what you're doing."

The college kids chuckled as we made another spin and headed back in.

We had plenty of speed this time, dropped the main, furled the jib and eased in like we knew exactly what we were doing. Kris stepped off and we were done for the day, the youngsters no less relieved for the feeling of cement under their tender feet.

The rest of the day, Kris and I went up and watched the big boats sail all heeled over in the heavy Gorge winds blowing West on the Columbia, while we dreamed of Cal 43s, IP 480s, and Tayana 55s.



Anonymous said...

First of all apologies for the out of context comment but I can't find your email. It's for a worthwhile cause. In two weeks, it will be the 40th anniversary of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston's non-stop solo circumnavigation and victory in the Sunday Times Golden Globe.

From what I can tell this seems to be going largely unnoticed. This is arguably one if not the greatest feats in sailing. As a small way to celebrate this I am trying to get a movement going online to make April 22nd Robin Knox-Johnston Day on the web.

To that end I am hoping that you will join me on that day by doing a post in celebration. Alternatively you can tweat, or shout-out on Facebook about it.

If you feel that others in your network would participate too, please pass this on.

Many thanks


Greg and Kris said...

Is there going to be a Moitessier Day, too?

For that one we should all strip down and head off to the tropics like sensible Frenchmen.