Sunday, May 29, 2011

Be Careful Out There II

It was Andy's first day at the marina, a day for washing and cleaning and scrubbing but also a day to enjoy anew the camaraderie of perennial dock mates, slip mates and friends. I was a quite visible beneficiary of this renewed camaraderie, as I went aloft yesterday to replace a small block on the starboard spreader. While others monitored my safety line, Andy winched me up the mast, literally doing the heavy lifting.

Later in the day, the skipper of a 30' Catalina, temporarily moored next to Andy's 30' Pearson, decided to shift to his permanent slip. In a narrow fairway and with a less than favorable wind, the Catalina, having difficulty, began to drift toward a bow to bow collision. Andy leaped from dock to deck, slipped/tripped racing to his bow and did something fairly awful to his right knee. Early reports are that a bit of surgery and twelve weeks or so of recovery will make him right.

It's early in the season and if you haven't noticed, the physics of boating and sailing have, as is most often the case, changed over the winter. What worked last year doesn't seem to work this year so we should take our time and learn the new rules. (This phenomenon really should be studied; the MIT professor who takes this one on is sure to win a Nobel prize.)

I'm hoping that Andy's recovery is swift and that he can enjoy a good sailing summer. From a more personal point of view though, I need to go aloft again today, to finish (or at least advance) the project I started yesterday. Who'll winch me up this time?


Monday, May 16, 2011

"I've been wet before"

Oh man, what a miserable weather weekend. Cold, raw and rainy doesn't usually define perfect sailing weather. We didn't let that didn't stop us, though.

We got through our land based activities on Saturday morning, arrived at Marina Bay around 1300 and were underway at 1410.  Wind was ESE (or so) and about 10 knots, which made for good close hauled sailing through Dorchester Bay on a starboard tack, Western Way (under the Long Island bridge) on a port tack and finally to the anchorage (Perry's Cove at Peddocks I.) on a starboard tack once again. We furled the Genoa just outside the cove and sailed to anchor.

It was no surprise that LIQUIDITY was alone at Peddocks, as I counted no sailboats on Dorchester Bay, one near the Long Island bridge and only a handful more in the distance.

Anchored at Peddocks, I rowed ashore in the dinghy, walked the dogs, rowed back, enjoyed a quiet dinner on board and spent a warm, cozy night in the v-berth while torrents of rain gave LIQUIDITY a well deserved fresh water wash down. (The rain was a good test of the rebedding I did on the forward hatch last year.) The following morning, rain past, I rowed the dogs to the beach, rowed back, ate breakfast and with little wind, motored home.

Total count of sailboats I saw out over the weekend is less than the fingers of one hand. Total at the anchorage at Peddocks was one Cape Dory 28.

We had a great weekend, and I suspect those I saw out sailing might say the same. For the 99% though who will say, "What a miserable weekend," all I can say is, "I've been wet before (and I didn't melt then, either)."

Friday, May 13, 2011

Helping there, helping here

I'm just back from a great week on board the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, where I helped educate over 300 New York kids about the river, its history, a bit about sailing and a lot about environmental impact.

Twice a day I taught a little bit of traditional navigation, a bit of history, a bit about life in the river, a bit about life on the river, a little about climate change and more. (As I said to the kids, "I'm a not a teacher pretending to be a sailor; I'm a sailor pretending to be a teacher.") I learned a lot, too, about sailing a 105' gaff rigged sloop, about life on board and about how few of the 300 it might take to make a difference.

The impact of ships (and other programs) like Clearwater isn't felt just along the Hudson. Let's listen to Clearwater's message here in Boston, where we have a harbor that's gone from gross to great just like the Hudson River has. Let's be sure we teach the next generation (and remind ourselves) to "do the right thing."

Fair winds.