02 January 2007

Sailing Solo

My final sail of 2006 satisfied one of my major goals of the year. I wanted to be sure that my boat was configured for singlehanded sailing. Last Friday, about a quarter of a second after the final deal of the year was signed, I hit the highway and headed down to the marina.

The key to singlehanded sailing is preparation and picking a battle you can win. I picked a decidedly winnable battle, 5-10 knots out of the West. Not sure I prepared as well as I could have, I didn't get the darned fenders off until about 10 minutes after raising sails.

With all of my fascination with racing lately, it's easy to forget how nice and relaxing a sail can be when you have no place you want to go and no time limit to get there. I just shot along the Berkeley Pier for a while, waved back when some kids waved from the end of it, and enjoyed the sunshine and light breeze. I love having an uncalibrated speedo, it showed me doing 8 knots upwind -- what a speed demon.

The only part about singlehanding that really worries me (and this is why light-air practice is so nice) is dropping the sails. I don't have roller furling (and don't want it) so I really need to have everything organized just so to get the sail down efficiently. And without me going over the side.

The sail itself wasn't extraordinary but the satisfaction of a goal was. In that spirit, I'll officially proclaim my 2007 goals: 1) at least one overnight trip to Angel Island with Camille; 2) at least 1 doublehanded race; 3) at least one "real" regatta; and 4) the family-icization of the boat.

With those four things, it'll be a good year with lots of sailing.


Zen said...

Sweet you got out!
The force was not with me to get behind the dock. or
bad planning on my part.

C'est La Vie, it was good just to be down on the boat.

Happy New Year.

hmm I wonder can I put a dancing smiling here

nah, I guess not :-(

too bad for you...

Pat said...

We started out the year somewhat right... a quickie sail on New Year's day. With the right sort of luck, Sunday 7 Jan. will also let us get out on the water.

Good luck on achieving your 2007 sailing goals... and once you've done them, do some more just for fun. ... But then, it's all supposed to be fun, right?