A tall ship, and a star to steer her by...

Okay. A short boat on a sunny day. But anyway…

I have a little 12-foot dinghy that a neighbour and his brother built. It’s a sprit-rig, meaning it’s a cat-rig with an extra point in the top of the sail that is held up by a sprit.

Yesterday I wanted to position it for easy access. I put the tongue on the hitch, and clamped it down. Snap! The bolt in the middle of the mechanism broke. I looked at the socket part, thinking I could take it off and replace it, but the guys who made the trailer had welded it on. Nevertheless, I went down to the local Napa store. I bought a new hitch and removed the clamp thing, and put the parts on the old hitch. Works better than ever.

I’d asked Nymysys’s husband if they wanted to go sailing today. Seems their party went on longer than anticipated. Happy birthday, BTW Nemysys!) I headed out to Blaine harbour solo. I erected the mast and took off. Unfortunately, the wind was right at my head. The area by the boat ramp is narrow, as is the basin, and I couldn’t get enough headway to steer. I ended up rowing out almost to the harbour entrance. At that point it widened enough so I could tack.

After leaving Blaine harbour I headed across Drayton Harbour toward Semiahmoo. The little sprit-tig really took off. It’s a wide boat with high sides and a flat bottom, but I got it heeled over fairly well. I called my friend in Tennessee, and she thanked me for taking her sailing with me. Upon reaching Semiahmoo, I turned around.

Now the wind was with me. I got some good speed out of the little wooden boat, the sail fat with wind. It was a quick trip back.

Sailing into Blaine harbour I let out the sail and ran with the wind. I liked that better than rowing.

I brought the boat into the dock and lassoed a cleat. Having brought some extra rope with me, I tied the boat amidships to that cleat and tied the bow to the next one with the painter. The sail was soon detached from the boom and wrapped around the mast. I folded the mast and lashed it, the boom and the sprit together with bungees.

All in all, a nice day. :slight_smile:

I used to go sailing with my dad at Canyon Lake in the Texas hill country all the time. I loved it, especially on a fall day with a clear blue sky and a cold soda out of the cooler. Nothing like it in the world.

I haven’t been sailing in years. Even when I was living in California with my parents, I got maybe two invitations from my dad. I went and learned I didn’t like ocean sailing nearly as much as I liked lake sailing. Then, my dad gave his sailboat to my brother-in-law, because “no one else would want it”. Hey, I like my b-i-l, but I was floored by my dad’s assumptions that I had no use for his 25’ Catalina. :frowning:

My plan now, once I have a job and a steady income, is to find someplace where I can take sailing lessons, get certified, and buy myself a little sailfish or a tiny, tiny Catalina.