Sunday, April 24, 2011
Sailing a Valgerda
Brandon Ford lives just a few miles north of here, so when he calls and says he's in the mood to go sailing, what can a Doryman do? Just down the road from his house is Devils Lake. This is a natural lake formed when the D River, flowing west into the Pacific Ocean silted over at it's mouth. The distance to the ocean from the foot of the lake is just 120 feet due west, so the seasonal Pacific westerlies blow onto the lake with a vengeance.
Arriving about mid-day yesterday, with our little wherry yawlboat, it was obvious that there was too much wind for a 10.5 foot tender, so we rowed out to take some pictures of Brandon in his Valgerda faering, Ravn. He was having way too much fun!
Rowing in the chop was not much fun, so when Brandon asked me if I wanted to join him, I was delighted. We headed back to the launch ramp. Mary said she wasn't too excited about going sailing and would stay on the beach with Brandon's little dog, Trouble.
Good thing she did.
Ravn uses a lug rig, which is not the best for sailing to windward. We had some difficulty tacking, which I think will be easy enough to remedy with some fine tuning. But after missing a tack (with Doryman on the tiller) I called for a jibe to wear around. With just the right combination of errors, we broached in a dramatic way. As the boat filled with hundreds of gallons of cold water, she lay gently over on her side and spilled us into the lake.
We righted the boat, but she floated too low to bail her out. Fortunately there was a fishing skiff close by who came and picked us up and towed the boat back. Those guys are saints! We hope to meet them again someday because we could not thank them enough.
I hope Brandon is busy today, designing some floatation for Ravn.
As usual, you will find photos uploaded to Flickr.