S/V Wild Haggis

S/V Wild Haggis
Our New Home

Friday, April 2, 2010

What in the world made me think I could do this!

28 March 2010
OK, before I describe the boat and where we are, I must tell of our first harrowing adventure(well, lives and limbs were not in danger, but....)!
Taylor came down for her 19th birthday weekend and we were so happy to see her! She fell in love with the boat and got very comfortable very quickly. We had celebrations each day(which included lots of cake) and showed her around our temporary hometown.
I think she feels better about us now that she has seen where we are and what we do:-).
Well, we were hoping to take her out for a little sail so she could get a feel for the boat-her first time sailing. We got our wish today. The weather sounded perfect for an early sail. Winds were supposed to pick up later in the day followed by showers. So, we tightened everything down(at least we thought we had) and headed out about 10:00 am, planning on having lunch out under sail.
Things went well coming out of our slip(going out and coming in always make me nervous) and we were off! It didn't take long and we ready to put up the sails. Jim and Cameron took the lead and I even helped a bit. Taylor was supposed to be an observer this time. The wind had picked slightly and soon we were going 7 knots and heeling over feeling the spray and having a blast. Of course, all the things I thought I had tightened down actually were not, so I made a lot of mental notes for the next time.
Also, the lunch I thought I would make underway was not going to happen-I could barely stand up plus being down below was not feeling so great to my stomach! More mental notes. Back up I went to make the announcement, so we decided to sail for awhile and then head back in for lunch. Everyone was happy and enjoying the sound of the wind and water and no engine. We even got up to almost 8 knots!
About noon we decide it was time to head back. The winds were still picking up and the waves were getting a little choppy. So, down comes the gib and we prepare to start the engine. But it was not to be. The batteries had drained so low that there was not enough power to start the engine.(The battery situation is a blog post all its own and one of the many things to be fixed, worked on or cussed over, but another time). Two hours of sailing should not have been enough time to lose all power, but there we were. Luckily, we do have a wind generator and we started her humming to try and charge the batteries enough to start the engine. All this time the wind and the waves are continuing to pick up. And we sail back and forth in sight of our marina and no way to get back in until we can start the engine. So we charge and try the engine, charge and try the engine. By about 1:30 we give in and call for a tow. We could wait up to 30 minutes and we need to be in one spot so Jim sets the anchor. I am in charge of holding the wheel steady. This I can do-steering is another thing. After the anchor is set, Jim gives the engine one last try and wonder of wonders, it starts. We cancel the tow and the fun really begins. Is this not good news, you might ask? Yes and no. Yes, at noon it would have been great news. Now, no, the anchor is set and we have to get it up. To do this you must drive forward over the anchor to get it loose. Now, Jim really is the only one who knows how to pull up the anchor, steer the boat, drive the engine and talk on the VHF radio. Of course we all think he's pretty remarkable, but c'mon, that's going a bit far! So, we all try different jobs. Oh yeah, and were feeling a little scared by this time. The boat is rocking and rolling and Jim is giving us instructions and of course no one can hear without climbing out on deck. Well, Cameron does great on the radio because the tow boat comes out anyway since the weather has deteriorated and they want to stand by in case we need help. Oh comfort! I find that I really cannot steer a boat(wind and waves don't help, but...)and I don't know how to even put the engine in gear or neutral-both very important. Taylor ends up out on the bow trying her hand at the anchor while Jim steered the boat. So much for being an observer!
After about an hour of this we finally give in for the second time of the day and cut the anchor loose. Jim marks it on the GPS(in hopes of recovering it) and we head in. The tow is following us to help us back in the slip because of the wind. When we come in to the marina we see the dockmaster, our neighbors and the tow guys all running to our slip to help guide us in. Jim does great driving us in and the friendly faces do us all good. Just to hear the words"we've got you, you are safe" made me cry. But we did get docked around 3:45 and we passed out all our thanks.

We finally ate lunch at 5:00 at a local restaurant and began to calm down and talk about our adventure. The one great thing-the boat is great and we were never in any danger of being hurt. Just frustrated, scared, hungry and tired. So much to learn!

Now I know how Gilligan and the gang felt. It was just a 3 hour tour!

Oh, Taylor says she might come back again and Cameron and I are starting a beginners sailing class next week. We'll keep you posted!

1 comment:

  1. Quite the adventure you had! Hope you recovered the anchor. Just a question, if this was Gilligan's Island; who is playing which part?