Monday, December 7, 2015

Winter Sailing


Beaufort 6. The first red flag goes up the pole on the waterfront. Long waves begin to form. White foam crests are scattered across the bay.


Martin waits patiently aboard Clover. The winds are obviously increasing, so we'd better get going. As we motor out of the boat basin, there's not another boat in sight.


Some airborne spray drifts over the foredeck. Neoprene gloves lay dripping in the cockpit after having been blown off the dock into the water. Cold hands and face indicate better than any calendar that winter has set in. This blustery day heralds the first Sunday sail for us this month. Our friend Claire catches us passing in front of the ferry dock.


Soon, cold hands are forgotten in the joy of the day. Spindrift blurs the definition between sky and water. Clover scuds along at a happy six knots. There's no where to go, we're already there.


The sea heaps up. Some foam from breaking waves blows into streaks along the buried rail.
Beaufort 7 indicates a near gale. We take cover back inside the breakwater, congratulating ourselves on a morning sail well done. Looking forward already to next Sunday's congregation.


When a sailor sees a sky like this, it's recommended to take cover. Why does it give me such a thrill? (The man must be out of his mind.)


8 comments:

Alden Smith said...

It gives you a thrill because you sense adventure - and adventure is fun.... and good for a sailors soul. (And sailing adventures are the best of all, but I'm very biased).

RobertTheBald said...

Back in my college days sailing Alphas and Lasers (amongst others) that was the kind of weather I loved. Being 6'2" and well over 200 on the scale I needed that much power, but it was fun when it was there.

doryman said...

I took a friend and his grown son out for a sail a couple years back. When the wind started kicking up, the son asked how far over the boat would heel before it was a problem (I think he felt it was a problem already). His dad replied, pointing at me, "when he gets concerned, that's the time to be worried". Out of sympathy, we luffed our sails and headed for the marina.

terrapintales said...

That's my kind of sailing. Frozen hands. Excited minds. Good times.

doryman said...

You're welcome anytime, Bruce. We'll be doing this every Sunday for the rest of the winter.

Justin said...

Forgive my ignorance, but is that a Falmouth Cutter? Or...?

doryman said...

Clover is an Allegra 24 cutter, by designers Fred Bingham and Lou Nagy.

Justin said...

Thanks. She's sweet.