Friday, January 2, 2009

The Learning Curve

I have to report that we took a steep ascent up the learning curve today (or a large deduction from the little black box). The winds were much more challenging (15 knots, gusts 24) and the boat handled it fine. We never felt overwhelmed or in danger. Here is the boat with 20-25 degrees of heel - seems like a lot more when you are there.

The first lesson came when we noticed that the boats we were following disappeared into a fog bank. This is what the ocean looks like when surrounded by fog. The fog burned off after a few minutes and we were ok.

The excitement came at the end of the day when the motor stopped just after entering the marina. We needed to go about 1/2 mile across the 3 t-heads to reach our slip and the wind was dead against us. We decided to unfurl the jib and go back out into the bay. There we raised the main, put in the 2nd reef, and furled the jib. With those changes we were able to reenter the marina and make an upwind landing to a general docking area - not our slip. To get there would have required a jibe to make the final turn into our portion of the dock. It would have been a train wreck with the winds still high.

The best part of the adventure was discovering that Kathy and I could work well as a team in a stressful situation. That should serve us well in future cruising adventures.

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