27 April 2008 Wonderful Sailing

It was the Saturday afternoon before when I decided to get underway. The forecast was just the ticket with mild seas and winds. We gathered a few small things and rose reasonably early (around sunrise) to pull my West Wight Potter 19 S/V Fashas Dream from storage.

We made it to Phillipe Park boat ramp early enough to be the second boat in the parking lot. After about 45 minutes I had her rigged and was backing her down. My first mate held the lines dockside while I parked the suv. When I joined her at the dock she was being chatted up by a nice guy who recognized my boat was a West Wight Potter, lamenting he had owned a 35 footer once, but it was too big.

I fired up the Nissan outboard while we talked. It seemed to take quite a while to get completely warmed up and when I finally started to reduce the choke, she oversped due to excessive gas. I have to figure out whether I’m not doing something right or something is wrong with the engine. She shouldn’t race like crazy when reducing the choke. My method for overcoming this was killing the engine and immediately restarting which alleviated the racing.

Anyway, we cut short the sailing talk and the kindly gentleman with his greyhound helped shove us from the docks pointed out to the bay while I engaged the outboard and we were off. We kept a tight watch on the depth since charts indicate a narrow channel from Phillipe Park ramp to an area below some power lines. We were motoring south nearly dead into the wind.

Winds were light at 5 to 15 knots from the south. Putting up sail went smoothly, but I’m not 100% sure of some of the details with rigging between boom and mast. There is a track stop which I’m not sure belongs above the boom to keep it from sliding up the track and off the mast or if it belongs below the boom stopping it from going too low with the downhaul and another line keeping it downward. I believe the latter is correct. [I’ve since downloaded a 2003 Owners Manual with close up picture that makes it clear. The track stop fits above the mast opening after the mansail is in the track slot to keep it from sliding back thru the track gap. The boom is kept downward with the down haul and another line.]

Pointing into the wind was difficult, but again somehow I felt the rigging wasn’t quite right with the jib halyards, but couldn’t quite figure out the geometry. Fashas Dream has a pulley outboard near the gunwales and a track inboard on the outside wall of the cockpit with a winch nearby. [That night I checked the back of the ancient owner’s manual from International Marine and realized that the jib halyard is intended to lead back to the track pulley (which is further inboard) and then back out to the gunwale to the second pulley and then thru the cam cleat. This would allow a closer haul of the genoa.

The sky was crystal blue with accents of white puffs. We tacked back and forth as I sought more southerly purchase. Running parallel to the western shore brought us further south. We tacked and jibed enjoying the peace and quiet as my mind began to run through the list of things I needed to learn.

In a eureka moment I realized the auto pilot was just the ticket. One of many great features the previous owner included. In less than a minute we had power and human hands were removed from the tiller.

This was extremely fortuitous since my first mate hasn’t gained confidence with the tiller yet. I guess the whole tiller has to be pushed opposite the direction you wish to go throws her off.

After doing my ‘auto has the helm’ victory dance I hooked up my inverter, powered up my speakers and Jimmy Buffett echoed across the bay. A small but delicious sandwich and a few cold drinks (non-alc) followed. Oh, living in luxury. The wind does the heavy lifting, auto does the steering and we just took it all in. I was surprised that Upper Tampa Bay was actually quite nice to look at from the water with heavily tree laden parks and neighborhoods. I took a little time to tie up, organize the lines out of the cockpit.

I also examined closely the lay of the main to better understand the reefing system. Although I understand in principle, I believe I’ll investigate further to make sure I’m not mistaken.

The wind dropped to a whisper and we continued to tack back and forth without making any more southerly progress. It didn’t matter. We were already where we wanted to be and it was a piece of paradise all my own.

My first mate took a closer look at the accommodations and asked that I learn more about the porta potti before we commit to an overnighter where the need may arise. She seemed to like the interior spaces comparing them to a small camper.

As the clock ticked we realized life beyond the water was calling us out. With the wind at our backs I set the whisker pole and we made excellent progress wing on wing in incredibly light breezes between the main and the genoa.

Jockeying around the personal watercraft tied up and unattended blocking all the cleats was probably my biggest annoyance.

All in all a wonderful day, just a bit light in the breezes the second half. That made tearing down a little warm.

With the first mates help tear down went quickly. My only delay was assisting another sailor raise their mast over their very large catamaran. I can’t leave a sailor hanging. They needed help keeping their stays from hanging up while raising the mast.

It didn’t take long to get Fashas Dream back in her spot, covered and settled. What a wonderful day.

27 April 2008 Wonderful Sailing

It was the Saturday afternoon before when I decided to get underway. The forecast was just the ticket with mild seas and winds. We gathered a few small things and rose reasonably early (around sunrise) to pull my West Wight Potter 19 S/V Fashas Dream from storage.

We made it to Phillipe Park boat ramp early enough to be the second boat in the parking lot. After about 45 minutes I had her rigged and was backing her down. My first mate held the lines dockside while I parked the suv. When I joined her at the dock she was being chatted up by a nice guy who recognized my boat was a West Wight Potter, lamenting he had owned a 35 footer once, but it was too big.

I fired up the Nissan outboard while we talked. It seemed to take quite a while to get completely warmed up and when I finally started to reduce the choke, she oversped due to excessive gas. I have to figure out whether I’m not doing something right or something is wrong with the engine. She shouldn’t race like crazy when reducing the choke. My method for overcoming this was killing the engine and immediately restarting which alleviated the racing.

Anyway, we cut short the sailing talk and the kindly gentleman with his greyhound helped shove us from the docks pointed out to the bay while I engaged the outboard and we were off. We kept a tight watch on the depth since charts indicate a narrow channel from Phillipe Park ramp to an area below some power lines. We were motoring south nearly dead into the wind.

Winds were light at 5 to 15 knots from the south. Putting up sail went smoothly, but I’m not 100% sure of some of the details with rigging between boom and mast. There is a track stop which I’m not sure belongs above the boom to keep it from sliding up the track and off the mast or if it belongs below the boom stopping it from going too low with the downhaul and another line keeping it downward. I believe the latter is correct. [I’ve since downloaded a 2003 Owners Manual with close up picture that makes it clear. The track stop fits above the mast opening after the mansail is in the track slot to keep it from sliding back thru the track gap. The boom is kept downward with the down haul and another line.]

Pointing into the wind was difficult, but again somehow I felt the rigging wasn’t quite right with the jib halyards, but couldn’t quite figure out the geometry. Fashas Dream has a pulley outboard near the gunwales and a track inboard on the outside wall of the cockpit with a winch nearby. [That night I checked the back of the ancient owner’s manual from International Marine and realized that the jib halyard is intended to lead back to the track pulley (which is further inboard) and then back out to the gunwale to the second pulley and then thru the cam cleat. This would allow a closer haul of the genoa.

The sky was crystal blue with accents of white puffs. We tacked back and forth as I sought more southerly purchase. Running parallel to the western shore brought us further south. We tacked and jibed enjoying the peace and quiet as my mind began to run through the list of things I needed to learn.

In a eureka moment I realized the auto pilot was just the ticket. One of many great features the previous owner included. In less than a minute we had power and human hands were removed from the tiller.

This was extremely fortuitous since my first mate hasn’t gained confidence with the tiller yet. I guess the whole tiller has to be pushed opposite the direction you wish to go throws her off.

After doing my ‘auto has the helm’ victory dance I hooked up my inverter, powered up my speakers and Jimmy Buffett echoed across the bay. A small but delicious sandwich and a few cold drinks (non-alc) followed. Oh, living in luxury. The wind does the heavy lifting, auto does the steering and we just took it all in. I was surprised that Upper Tampa Bay was actually quite nice to look at from the water with heavily tree laden parks and neighborhoods. I took a little time to tie up, organize the lines out of the cockpit.

I also examined closely the lay of the main to better understand the reefing system. Although I understand in principle, I believe I’ll investigate further to make sure I’m not mistaken.

The wind dropped to a whisper and we continued to tack back and forth without making any more southerly progress. It didn’t matter. We were already where we wanted to be and it was a piece of paradise all my own.

My first mate took a closer look at the accommodations and asked that I learn more about the porta potti before we commit to an overnighter where the need may arise. She seemed to like the interior spaces comparing them to a small camper.

As the clock ticked we realized life beyond the water was calling us out. With the wind at our backs I set the whisker pole and we made excellent progress wing on wing in incredibly light breezes between the main and the genoa.

Jockeying around the personal watercraft tied up and unattended blocking all the cleats was probably my biggest annoyance.

All in all a wonderful day, just a bit light in the breezes the second half. That made tearing down a little warm.

With the first mates help tear down went quickly. My only delay was assisting another sailor raise their mast over their very large catamaran. I can’t leave a sailor hanging. They needed help keeping their stays from hanging up while raising the mast.

It didn’t take long to get Fashas Dream back in her spot, covered and settled. What a wonderful day.

27 April 2008 Wonderful Sailing

It was the Saturday afternoon before when I decided to get underway. The forecast was just the ticket with mild seas and winds. We gathered a few small things and rose reasonably early (around sunrise) to pull my West Wight Potter 19 S/V Fashas Dream from storage.

We made it to Phillipe Park boat ramp early enough to be the second boat in the parking lot. After about 45 minutes I had her rigged and was backing her down. My first mate held the lines dockside while I parked the suv. When I joined her at the dock she was being chatted up by a nice guy who recognized my boat was a West Wight Potter, lamenting he had owned a 35 footer once, but it was too big.

I fired up the Nissan outboard while we talked. It seemed to take quite a while to get completely warmed up and when I finally started to reduce the choke, she oversped due to excessive gas. I have to figure out whether I’m not doing something right or something is wrong with the engine. She shouldn’t race like crazy when reducing the choke. My method for overcoming this was killing the engine and immediately restarting which alleviated the racing.

Anyway, we cut short the sailing talk and the kindly gentleman with his greyhound helped shove us from the docks pointed out to the bay while I engaged the outboard and we were off. We kept a tight watch on the depth since charts indicate a narrow channel from Phillipe Park ramp to an area below some power lines. We were motoring south nearly dead into the wind.

Winds were light at 5 to 15 knots from the south. Putting up sail went smoothly, but I’m not 100% sure of some of the details with rigging between boom and mast. There is a track stop which I’m not sure belongs above the boom to keep it from sliding up the track and off the mast or if it belongs below the boom stopping it from going too low with the downhaul and another line keeping it downward. I believe the latter is correct. [I’ve since downloaded a 2003 Owners Manual with close up picture that makes it clear. The track stop fits above the mast opening after the mansail is in the track slot to keep it from sliding back thru the track gap. The boom is kept downward with the down haul and another line.]

Pointing into the wind was difficult, but again somehow I felt the rigging wasn’t quite right with the jib halyards, but couldn’t quite figure out the geometry. Fashas Dream has a pulley outboard near the gunwales and a track inboard on the outside wall of the cockpit with a winch nearby. [That night I checked the back of the ancient owner’s manual from International Marine and realized that the jib halyard is intended to lead back to the track pulley (which is further inboard) and then back out to the gunwale to the second pulley and then thru the cam cleat. This would allow a closer haul of the genoa.

The sky was crystal blue with accents of white puffs. We tacked back and forth as I sought more southerly purchase. Running parallel to the western shore brought us further south. We tacked and jibed enjoying the peace and quiet as my mind began to run through the list of things I needed to learn.

In a eureka moment I realized the auto pilot was just the ticket. One of many great features the previous owner included. In less than a minute we had power and human hands were removed from the tiller.

This was extremely fortuitous since my first mate hasn’t gained confidence with the tiller yet. I guess the whole tiller has to be pushed opposite the direction you wish to go throws her off.

After doing my ‘auto has the helm’ victory dance I hooked up my inverter, powered up my speakers and Jimmy Buffett echoed across the bay. A small but delicious sandwich and a few cold drinks (non-alc) followed. Oh, living in luxury. The wind does the heavy lifting, auto does the steering and we just took it all in. I was surprised that Upper Tampa Bay was actually quite nice to look at from the water with heavily tree laden parks and neighborhoods. I took a little time to tie up, organize the lines out of the cockpit.

I also examined closely the lay of the main to better understand the reefing system. Although I understand in principle, I believe I’ll investigate further to make sure I’m not mistaken.

The wind dropped to a whisper and we continued to tack back and forth without making any more southerly progress. It didn’t matter. We were already where we wanted to be and it was a piece of paradise all my own.

My first mate took a closer look at the accommodations and asked that I learn more about the porta potti before we commit to an overnighter where the need may arise. She seemed to like the interior spaces comparing them to a small camper.

As the clock ticked we realized life beyond the water was calling us out. With the wind at our backs I set the whisker pole and we made excellent progress wing on wing in incredibly light breezes between the main and the genoa.

Jockeying around the personal watercraft tied up and unattended blocking all the cleats was probably my biggest annoyance.

All in all a wonderful day, just a bit light in the breezes the second half. That made tearing down a little warm.

With the first mates help tear down went quickly. My only delay was assisting another sailor raise their mast over their very large catamaran. I can’t leave a sailor hanging. They needed help keeping their stays from hanging up while raising the mast.

It didn’t take long to get Fashas Dream back in her spot, covered and settled. What a wonderful day.

Author: 21Buzzards

Mid-life retired reservist in the corporate IT world parenting a grandchild. Sharing my evolution as age and priorities impact life.

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