Contrasts

It was a weekend of contrasts. Two dear friends came down to visit for the weekend and sail. We’ve had some drive-by visits where a quick sail on Red Ranger can be worked out. This visit was a stark contrast to those. These were folks looking to sail. 

To make things more complex, we have tenants on Red Ranger.

Chris was seriously entertaining a “crack-of-dawn” departure: nautical twilight. 40 minutes before sunrise. Amy was not delighted with the idea because we didn’t need to cover a lot of miles by sailing through all of the available daylight hours.

Saturday, we got a comfortably early start. The wind built from what we call 10g15 (10 kn gusting to 15 kn, or F4) to a steady 17 kn (or F5.) When we cross over to Beaufort F5, conditions start to get sporty. The good news is that the sea state in the Bay was pretty flat, so it didn’t turn into Red Ranger crashing into the waves, throwing spray everywhere.

We started the day with a relatively simple Yankee-Mainsheet until the wind was clearly past the 17kn threshold. While we could reef the main, I prefer to drop  the main entirely, and raise the mizzen. Since the winds were building and projected to keep building, jib-and-jigger seemed more prudent.

Our tenants — the crew of Island Time — were working at the United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis. That meant we could sail around with their apartment during the day on Saturday.  Chris, Amy, CA, and I went back to DC to leave Red Ranger for the tenants on Saturday night.

On Sunday, we returned to the boat. The six of us spent a long time chatting while we waited to see if the rain was really gone or whether there might be a tiny bit wind.

The wind didn’t show up, but we went out for an hour or so and drifted around haphazardly. We rigged the mizzen stays’l to see if we could coax a little speed out of Red Ranger in the nearly still air. 

On the left side of the picture is the mizzen mast and mizzen sail. There’s a red sail cover in the lower left corner. The mizzen stays’l is a vast contraption, stretching from just abaft of the main mast all the way back to the end of the mizzen boom. 

Saturday — blustery and lively, Sunday — chatty and slow: a weekend of contrasts.

  © Steven Lott 2017