Saturday, January 02, 2010

First sail of the year 2010

We got off to a slow start.
But we had an even slower finish!

New Year's eve we visited with "Zorro". We'd expected some other sailors to be down for the holiday, with conditions milder than they had been previously during the holiday season, but on Friday afternoon our boat and Zorro's were the only boats in sight on the lake.

New Year's day we had a bit of a lie-in, then visited with "Bassmaster" and "Cornhusker" while waiting to hear from Zorro or Gerald. Eventually we heard from a hungry Gerald that Zorro was running an errand, so we rescued Gerald and had lunch at Big Food Express. Conditions didn't yet look very promising for sailing with most of the lake being mirror-smooth and only about a third of it with light ripples.

Arriving at the lake, we found that Zorro had gone sailing instead of running errands, and was southeast of the Rock Canyon Marina, sailing in light air. We changed to a practice mainsail and sailed out in winds of perhaps 3 knots, eventually joining with Zorro and his boat, Constellation. Then the winds became 2 knots. Then the winds became more like a knot and a half. And so went the rest of the afternoon.

As the sun came closer to the horizon the day's warmth faded and we headed for the marina in switchy, very light conditions. There was just enough air aloft for steerage, but the water surface alternated between bands with light wind ripples and mirror-smooth segments. The winds were also switchy and fickle. Nearing the marina, the wind made another major switch, turning into a light drainage breeze from the shallow canyon behind the marina. Keeping the boat going was tricky and required a lot of concentration to "tune" into the faint breeze and to catch subtle changes.

By the time we left the marina, it was twilight, with a just-past-full moon rising.


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