Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Let the Season Begin

Lucky with some dry, warmish Winter-afternoon weather (can I get a shout out for my friend, El Nino? Yeahhh!), I was off work a bit early and launched the dinghy for two hours+ of sailing today, despite my worry over how hard my fellow Portlanders were struggling under the jackboot of The Man.

I posted this first shot to let my brothers and sisters know that the revolution is being broadcast.

Then I took off upriver, downwind, and stretched my wings out to fly a little.

A couple of tacks back downriver and I glided into the clubhouse dock. I checked to find a VM letting me know the kids had a ride from school, freeing me up for another lap.

The wind was decent, so I went across the river a few times and tacked downriver toward Portland.

I fell off and the wind did, too, for the most part. I was able to make slow progress upriver, enjoying the partial sun and the quiet on the river. I situated my lifejacket to create the proper padding for my posterior and lay my head on the rail, the lightest ripple of wake behind me, as I contemplated shifting cloud shapes framing the lovely blue patches above.

I really love this sport more than just about anything I've done at this point in my life. I had fun at other things, but the ways that time passes when you're drifting, making reasonable way, or ripping in a good wind, are all so different and enjoyable.

I played with different sail shapes and angles, shifted centerboard height, and made way back to the clubhouse docks. As I was making my slow approach, I looked back downriver, and saw a line of ripples moving toward me. I came about and began reaching toward the East bank. As the wind filled in I brought her nose really close and tightened up the jib and main, slipped my body weight up on the rail, and really began to fly. I had to ease off the main once, to keep her from going to far over and I had as much of my body out over the water as I could possibly manage, as I made great speed.

A quick tack on the opposite side of the river and more of the same heading just down river from the clubhouse.

I fell off a bit as I neared the docks, furled my jib, raised the centerboard, and slid into the lee of the club, a very happy boy.


JP said...

Sounds good - nice to get out on the water.

Still wet and cold here.

Greg and Kris said...

I prescribe a pint by the fire at The Duke's Head.


O Docker said...

Just reading this has made my cubicle a kinder, gentler place.

Pandabonium said...

I'm green - with envy. Sigh. We had snow, sleet, and rain today. yuck.