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T200 2008 Launch and Day 1

Page history last edited by Kevin 10 years, 5 months ago

Previous:  T200 2008 Time to head out


The Next Morning:


We were not off at the crack of dawn.  I'd never rigged the boat on the water before, it took some thinking about.  Laurent and I were busy stowing all the stuff we could in the hatches and trying to make the rest fit somehow on the tramp and on the 'trunk', the little triangular tramp I made to go on the port side, which would be aft for almost the whole trip.  It was to eventually prove to be useful, but not right away.  I tried to stand on the tall piers to see if I could reach the hounds where the little stay between the masts goes, but I was still a foot or so short of it.  We also looked at the fish cleaning station on the other side of the pier, which had a roof that was tall enough, but probably not sturdy enough for me to stand on.  We decided to skip it and rig it as soon as we got in the Land Cut.  I'd sailed the boat a dozen times or so with only the windward stays attached, so it wasn't a new thing, but I'd become fond of the two 'forestays' and the little stay between the masts since seeing how they keep the masts from flexing; they hold the masts in the right place (forward, that is) and improve the sail shape when beating, and keep the masts from flexing too much in a swell.  When I mentioned this, Laurent shrugged.  A very expressive thing, the shrug of a French person.  "Don't worry so much," he expressed.  "It will be fine."  "Also, there's nothing else we can do."  "And we're going downwind, it's really not much stress."  All with a shrug.  Very efficient method of communication, that shrug.


Laurent had made me a killer new leeboard, which I had not had the time to test out.  He and I had tried a leeboard that was larger than my usual tiny 3 ft^2 in the water model once before, with less than spectacular results, so I was a  bit worried about controlling the new board in addition to all the other stuff that was new on the boat.  We decided to postpone that particular test, and we managed to foist it off on Tim and Pete, who very kindly agreed to carry it on their CS17, and instead I bolted on my old, small leeboard, which I knew worked and which we could control but which was not really big enough to make us go to windward as well as I might like.  That done, we raised the sails, attached stays, ran the sheets, and tried to get out of the harbor before noon.  I think we actually left around 9 am.  Joy hung around to take a picture of us leaving, and chatted with the old guy who had the big trimaran, Piver or Brown or something similar, down the way from us.  He seemed very forthright and gruff, so I think she believed him when he said, "Ah, they'll be fine."


Here we are rigging the boat before we launch:



Sails up, rudder down, you sit here, I'll sit there, fine, and we're off!  I am informed I did not turn and wave goodbye to my lovely wife, for which omission I'm very sorry.  She really was worried, I think, Pete and Tim had left an hour before and we were the last ones out from the windward side.  We were not, as it turns out, the last ones out of Port M, but she didn't know that. 


We headed out, everything fine but one swirly header right at the harbor mouth, then we were out into the bay.  I had a bad moment when we bore off to turn into the ICW and we hit a big swell; I looked up just in time to see the aft mast go 'boinnng!' and flex way back for a minute.  AHHHGH!  But it didn't break, and once we were running in front of the swell we were fine.  In fact, we ran wing and wing for fifteen miles or so until we hit the cut which we could only do because the stay wasn't there, then we pulled over to finally flip the boat over and finish rigging it.  That fore and aft staying really does make me feel better, the masts are pretty good up top, they're windsurfer masts for the top 17', but the bases are just some fiberglass tubes I had in the garage, not really mast material.  They need to be stayed. 


We pulled over to rig it, and who should come along but Dan and Brian on the Hobie 18; so we weren't the last ones to leave, then.  We had a chat, fixed a few things that needed sorting out, and took off.  Dan rolled up the jib on the Hobie to reduce the area a bit, and we kept everything up, so we were actually pretty closely matched.  The Hobie would start to pull away from us, then they'd head up in a gust, we'd make up ground, I'd think we were going to catch them, then we'd do it all over again.  We must have chased them for ten miles down the cut, perfectly flat water and mid-20s wind gusting to over 30 we were told later.  Great sail.




Camp 1:


Remarkably quickly, we saw a bunch of boats on the starboard (island) side.  We'd made the first camp!  Woo hoo!




We headed up, Charlie tried to yell something at us but I couldn't hear him very well.  It might have helped if we'd had our VHF on, I don't think we'd had it on all day.  No big deal anyway, right?  Head up to the bank until the rudder scrapes, then jump over and grab the boat.  Easy.  So Laurent heads the boat up, the rudder scrapes, I jump over into what turns out to be the expected three feet of water, and about another three feet of the stinkiest, most sandal-grabbing oozy black mud I never hope to see again, until next year, at least.  Oy, was that nasty.  Wow.


Aside from the mud, though, Camp 1 was a nice place.  There was a tiny fishing cabin with, miracle of miracles, a dozen or so good sized pine trees out in front, and a picnic table.  Pine trees!  We pulled the boat out of the wet mud and onto the dry mud and I grabbed the two little folding chairs we'd brought and headed for the shade.  I wore long sleeved SPF 30 shirt and pants and a hat and sunscreen all week long, but I was still not too enthusiastic about standing around in the sun when I didn't have to, and it was quite a bit hotter on the shore than on the water.  So we sat around in the shade, tried to remember names, chatted, ate trail mix, read books, and relaxed until the sun went down.  Good camp.


Next: T200 2008 Day 2



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