Yesterday's forecast called for 100% overcast skies, 20% chance of rain and winds out of the NNE. I figured I could live with that; clouds are no big deal and I took the 20% chance of rain as meaning 80% chance of no rain.
It turned out to be a beautiful day. The wind was out of the south, stronger than I expected so I sailed downriver under mizzen and jib. Rounding up to raise the main the sun broke through and blue skies soon follow. It felt good to be on the water again.
Everything on Spartina worked just fine. I had tweaked the outhaul on the main and got a little bit smoother set on the gaff-rigged sail. Though I did not need to remove the new deck slot cap to step the main, I was glad to see it "looked" good on the foredeck, fitting in with the hardware and mahogany coaming. (I forgot to take a photograph - you'll have to trust me on this.)
I set the new gps, above, to tracking and then followed my course on both the "map" page and trip computer that has speed/distance/time sailed. Below you see my track exported to google earth. It is a very typical track for my day sails on the Elizabeth River - just relaxing and catching the breeze, watching other boats (of which there were few) and tacking up and down the river. I did about 14 miles - up and down, back and forth - on a river that I have sailed for years. It never gets old to me.
Adding to the pleasant day on the water was my youngest daughter who joined me for the last couple of hours. She, along with her older sister, had a hand in building Spartina. Grace was there the very first afternoon when we used a batten to trace out the curve of the bow stem on a sheet of marine ply. Both girls sailed with me quite a bit after we launched Spartina. Now it is something that we don't get to do nearly as often. With both off at college, having them on board is a special treat.
It was a nice day on the water, a perfect way to start the sailing year.