Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Sailing with Gusto

New Top Speed

Saturday morning I coordinated with family to meet up at White Marlin Beach after a cruise in the bay. The kids wanted to ride on Papa Dave's Boat (my dad), and I found myself plowing through light green chop with my wife Mistie.

Miss Marisol was heeling, or leaning, quite a bit due to the steady winds around 20 kts, and the helm was not responding well to the winds. I decided to reef the mainsail, which is to lower it a bit and give the sail less total area. This gave us more control and made for a more efficient sail. We actually increased speed.

Just before we passed under the famous Channel 5 bridge from Florida Bay to the Atlantic Miss Marisol hit 7.4 nautical miles per hour. Amazing! We were flying.

Mistie and I sailed back and forth on the bay side of Lower Matecumbe Key for a couple of hours. She is excited about sailing, and was happy to take control and let me get some sun. 

Later in the afternoon I took more family sailing, including a bunch of kids. Their eyes got so big when I raised the sail and Miss Marisol healed to the side. I don't think they believed me when I told them it was going to get tippy. I let each of the kids take a turn at the wheel and believe their first experiences sailing were positive.

I didnt' get to introduce Alligator Lighthouse to Ms. Marisol. That will have to wait a few weeks.

Finally, at the end of the day while cleaning a boat, my brother saw a manatee in the canal. The heavy winds pushed tons of sea grass into our canal and the manatee was feasting. I jumped into the water and swam nearby, admiring the big old lug. I'm happy to report zero propeller scars on this one's back. Here's hoping it stays that way.