Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Solo Day Sail On The Harbour

Sharing the channel with the bulk cement carrier 'Golden Bay' as we leave the narrow confines of the upper channel.

Full mainsail and number 3 'working jib'. The south westerly wind begins to fill in nicely. I am heading for those hills in the far distance.

I wink at my trusty dinghy and give her the thumbs up. She puts up with a lot you know, gets towed around and has to put up with all that diesel exhaust when I am motoring. When I go outside into the ocean I leave this rigid dinghy on the mooring and take on board an inflatable. It is too dangerous to tow a rigid dinghy in really bad weather - it can surf right up and into the cockpit - when this happens its not like the dinghy wants to hug you or anything, its more like it wants to head butt you for taking it out in bad weather.

Heading back up the harbour and looking for a place to drop the anchor and have some lunch. I feel good because the wind is increasing just as the weather forcast said it would and we are starting to really fly.

Anchored in a favourite anchoring spot just below the big Pohutakawa tree. We are sheltered here from the Southwesterly which is now blowing at over 20 knots - yippee! its going to be a great ride home.

As we start the journey home 'Mariner' starts to build up hull speed. When this happens she starts to generate this 'quarter wave' that you can see on her starboard quarter - the faster she goes, the bigger the wave. While this happens the dinghy dances and weaves generating her own little wake behind us.

A lull in the wind and I take a photo of my old friend Mr Right Foot resplendent in his best jandal (his only jandal in fact) - "This is a good sail," I say " How do you think we are going to handle sailing up through the channel where the wind funnels strongly out between Onerahi and Limestone Island" - "Real easy", he replies, "Its just a case of taking it one step at a time."

Hmmmm, I think he's right.

Approaching Limestone Island and the wind begins to die away as evening approaches. A beautiful rainbow appears through the misty rain. Quite appropriate really, because it's been a bit of a multicoloured day. Sun, rain, calms, roaring wind - some days are just like that, multicoloured just like the weather.


Mr. Kinder said...

I got a kick out of Mr. Right Foot's metaphor, "one step" at a time. He seems to have his philosophical feet on the ground.

I loved this post. I feel like I got to go along with you in spirit.

Alden said...

Dan thank you for your kind words, it is a privilege to have you commenting on my postings.

Both my feet are great philosophers. They both know that any journey is best shared with another and they seem to get along so well together.

Delwyn said...

You put your right foot in
you put your right foot out
you put you right foot in
and you shake it all about
you do the hokey pokey and you turn around
thats what its all about!

Katherine said...

Oh dear. Such a short distance and already you are talking to inanimate objects, dinghy, Mr foot and Mr thumb... the perils of solo sailing insanity... :-)

Alden said...

Delwyn - that folk dance my classes really love - they especially like the bit at the end where you put your whole self in - that's the big crashing together part - need to take that bit slower otherwise you end up with a lot of sore heads.

Alden said...

Katherine - on long solo voyages, psychological problems can and do occur big time with certain sorts of people who are either ill prepared or not cut out for solitude. Even pretty successful singlehanded sailors on extended voyages from time to time have reported hallucinations, visitations and all sorts of other tricks of the mind - its a pretty serious undertaking.

As for my short trip? - well what do you expect? I have always been a bit crazy.

Katherine said...

In my mind I have a funny picture of you dear Alden, dressed up as Fozzie bear, just outside the heads, and asking your Mr Bimble who lives in your thumb, should you tack port or starboard first. :-)
I would direct you to a YouTube clip but I've just wasted the last hour looking and can't find one.
It was in 'Muppet Treasure island'.
I think your post was really great, very funny and please don't mind me - I'm just taking your Mickey.

Alden said...

That's ok Katherine, I'm not offended in the slightest.
The muppets I have seen, Fozzie Bear I have heard of, I will do a google.