Sunday, September 13, 2009

real men don't reef

Had a very nice day sail today on the Elizabeth River. Cool and breezy, it was cloudy in the morning. I guess I was getting to comfortable with rigging the boat - once out on the water I found I had made a couple of mistakes. To start off with I had switched the lines that run from the top of the mizzen to the mizzen lazy jacks (seen in the photo below). This meant I could not raise the mizzen through the crossed lines. So I had to unclip the lines and switch them. (I have lazy jacks on both the main and the mizzen, they really simplify handling the sails for the single-handed sailor.)
It was breezy enough that I decided to tuck in a reef at the ramp. (Real men don't reef, but smart ones do.) There I made my second mistake, putting the reefing hook in the grommet for the second set of reef points instead of first. So I had to take care of that also. Maybe I was enjoying life too much and not paying attention to the details.
No harm done, but it was a good reminder to double check the rigging before getting out on the water.
I also took along my gps, an old Garmin Etrex. I wanted to make sure I remembered how to set up the trip computer and tracking functions. Below is part of today's track imported into Google Earth. I sailed a little over 18 miles today, according to the computer, with a moving average of 3.7 knots. (Not bad. My typical moving average from cruises is usually 3.0 knots - though with the great wind on the Skeeter Beater we did 3.3 knots over the seven days).
We'll have Bruce's newer Garmin gps on the Crab House 150, it has the high resolution maps. Much nicer than the simple black and white charts on mine.
A lot of boats out on the water including a fleet of dinghies from Old Dominion University. It looked like they were having fun. They said on the Elizabeth River just east of where the Lafayette River joins the Elizabeth.
By late morning the clouds had moved on and I had sunny skies and a great breeze. You can see I still have the reef tucked in. Just about noon I shook out the reef and had a great sail back to downtown Norfolk
Less than two weeks before we leave on the Crab House 150.


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