September is both a good and bad month for sailing out here. Good if you like a lot of wind, bad if you like the right amount of wind. Afternoons generally fall into the category of "more than the right amount" of wind when you're bringing young kids out sailing.
My July/August tried and true method of sailing with kids is to leave the dock between 10 and 11, sail to Angel Island for lunch, eat, reef the main and sail home in the afternoon wind. Usually it's blowing around 10-15 on the way out and 15-20 with occasional bigger gusts on the way home. Nice and manageable with kids on board.
I always forget that September is a bit different. On the way out, it was 15-20, on the way back it was around 20-25+. And, yes, this explains why I was obligated to spill blood to satisfy Neptune's and Aeolus' insatiable desire for sailing sacrifice. It's amazing what that next 5 knots of wind does.
The thing was, I also had to satisfy Camille's tillerlust. The kid insists that she needs to sail the boat every single time we go out. So, we were beating out into the bay, heeled over just short of dipping the rail, and she marches into the cockpit demanding the tiller. So, I hand it over with one caveat...she can hold the tiller (actually the extension) but I have to hold her.
I wish I had a picture of this...she is straining to keep the boat straight and doing a damned fine job while I'm holding her firmly in place up on the coaming. The other kids on the boat are looking on like it's their turn next when I had to announce that today wasn't the day to learn the fine art of steering a keelboat.
We were going to have her start tacking the boat but I figured we should wait until the summer winds die down a bit before the next step in her sailing education. I figure if she can keep the boat on track in the September winds, she's going to be able to do figure eights in the October-March winds.
On a blog-related note that doesn't deserve its own post, I just had my 30,000th hit, somebody from Richmond, Virginia looking for pictures of the SS Minnow! Thanks for joining the party.