Saturday, February 6, 2021

test sail

A little after 8:00 at the ramp in Elizabeth City, not another boat at the ramp.  Wonder why??  (hint: it was 35 degrees)

Very little wind today but that was just fine with me.  I wanted to get SPARTINA out on the water and test a few things.

Two of the top items on the list were the new rudder and stock, above, and also centerboard pin.  The cb pin was fine, not a drop of water after almost four hours on the water.  So that's good.  The mahogany stock was fine.  The rudder, not so much.  The few times that the wind did fill in and I picked up some speed the rudder had a "flutter" in it.  This tells me I need a finer point on the aft end of the foil.  Simple enough, a couple hours with a sander and 60 grit paper, a new coat of epoxy and then some primer and I should be good for another test.  That bright red is the primer.  Once the rudder is done it will be painted with anti-fouling paint.

The temperature climbed from 35 to about 50 by midday and it was a surprisingly nice day.

Another test for today was temperature control.  My temperature.  I wore my new mid-weight merino wool thermals and my knee-high merino wool socks from Denmark under my dry suit.  I was very comfortable.  When the breeze did fill in mid-morning it was a cold breeze so I added a wool sweater beneath the dry suit.  That worked very well.

Temperature on the Sea Island trip is something I am giving a lot of thought too.  Average temperatures for March in the South Carolina/Georgia area are 40 degrees at night and 60 during the day.  That's the average, it can certainly get much colder or warmer than that on any given day/night.  I expect I will be wearing a combination of the dry suit and thermals for much of the first week or two of the trip.

Driving home through the neighborhood this afternoon, with SPARTINA in tow, I saw a friend out walking, training for the Appalachian Trail.  He did the 2,200 mile trail a few years ago and is getting ready to do it again.  He is very technical in his approach to hiking and we have often talked about dealing with the elements in respect to both hiking and small boat sailing.  I pulled over this afternoon to ask him about how he dealt with the cold and the wet while hiking the trail (he started his first trail in two feet of snow).  His reply was simple:  Don't get cold, don't get wet.  Use the right gear, use your experience and good judgement.  Chance of rain?  Be ready for it, don't wait until it rains to put waterproof gear on.   Chance of cold, be layered up.  It is a lot easier to be a little warm than too cold.  And make sure you have good warm clothes for sleeping.  

That all makes sense to me.

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