A few weeks ago I shared Skip Dieball sailing a Lightning down wind, so here is the other trip. Upwind in a Lightning. Enjoy.
Now most of you may think that is a distinction without a difference, but I learned on Sunday it most definitely is not. Let me explain.
On Sunday, my crew and I went out for an end of season sail. We were joined on the river by Laura, Will, and Brian sailing Lightning 14627, whose owner graciously let them borrow her for the day. Now, everyone in our fleet knows that 14627 rarely gets wet, and usually can be found sitting forlornly in its slip over by the PRSA committee boats. That area of the marina is also known to most of us as a bastion of mouse activity, and 14627 is a case in point of what happens when you leave your boat over there and never take her out. Mice got aboard and rather than the usual destruction of her sails due to being eaten, the mice decided to make a home in the rolled up jib. When Laura and company opened up the boat for the first time in weeks they disturbed a veritable metropolis living in said jib. It did not take very long to notice the reeking stench of mouse urine that emanated from the sail. It was so bad you could smell it from 2 boat lengths away. So much for the “Stink”, now for the “Suck”.
Came across this video on Youtube and thought I’d share. The camera is mounted on the rudder and gives a great view of Skip and crew sailing downwind. Enjoy.
Eric Johnson was PRO, with RC provided by Jim Graham, Steve Parsons, and Wilda Heiss. We got an extra hour of sleep Saturday night, as we switched from Daylight Savings time back to Standard time, so we were rested and ready to compete. The AccuWeather forecast (always subject to change) called for a partly sunny afternoon (with rain ending in the morning), a high of 53 degrees, and winds from the NNE at 10 – 9 MPH. High tide was at 6:48 AM; low tide at 1:05 PM (and high again at 6:59 PM) Sunset was at 5:08 PM. The river flow was above normal for this time of year, at 7,710 CFS (gage height 3.7 ft). The water temperature was a seasonal 57 degrees. Five Lightnings came out, along with one Cat and one Laser. The rain ended a little after one PM, and the wind picked up, making for good racing for those who came out and stayed out. Results to be posted soon.
Jeff Storck had the unfortunate experience on October 4 of catching a strong gust as he was tacking, with his centerboard temporarily on the river bottom, and quickly found his boat capsized and his crew in the water. He was asked how he recovered; his story is listed below, along with the subsequent comments that were exchanged in the email dialog.
One point not made in the dialog is that if there is ever any possibility of a capsize, you must put on your PFDs before you leave the dock, and keep them on until after your return. Also, pay attention to the water temperature and be aware of the effects of hypothermia and how quickly it can slow down your mental processes — which is why it is very important, when the water is 64 degrees, as it was yesterday, to have crash boats on the race course when capsizes are possible — to rescue CREW — not boats.
Last night I had the pleasure of taking my 7 year old nephew Spencer out for his first sail.