Just helping a friend sail back for the winter in a nice leisurly way. Crew was one of the sisters who co-owns the boat, the other sister's husband, and myself. We went through Woods Hole and past Hadley's, where the shark is, at 1200 on Friday with no clue as to what was up. Made our way into Plymouth after dark for a night of luxurious shoreside dining. Just ahead on the float was a lovely 55+ foot yawl, finished bright, lovingly beeing kept up. Because the family was settling in to pizza I didn't intrude enough to get a light under her stern to see. Same next morning when I took it that the kids were fishing in the predawn. Actually, it turned out that they were not supposed to be on deck unsupervised and were feeding the swan. They scampered below with giggles when they heard their Dad stirring. I think he was trying to give them a chance to disappear.
Gorgeous boat - looks sort of Rhodes like from the cabin shape but more Aldeney in the bow and Stevensish in the stern.
Saturday morning in over 10 fathoms of water we took a big bash like I'd never heard before. I've hit rocks and timber and even a container. In our wake came up a really ticked off 300+ pound sunfish. I guess they don't look up when surfacing.
Not too long after that we had a chance to do a cushin over-board drill. After a few failed attempts to approach the cushin as you might a mooring in the slavish way the teach at some Coast Guard Auxilary squadrons, and the main sheet all wrapped about the helmsman, I asked to take the helm just for an exhibition. I brought her up under sail, engin back to neutral, till the cushin was just a bit to weather. I then tacked into a heave-to by keeping the jib belayed and as we got into the wind putting the helm back to lock the otherway. That is, from the starboard tack, I put the helm down till the jib was filling backed and then put the helm back to a starboard turn such that by the time we'd settled the jib held the bow off, the main provided marginal movement and together with the helm countered the jib. Then we made a nice square drift to the cushin for easy retrieval over the leeward rail.
We then practiced a few times so everyone could do it.
And so by Saturday late afternoon we came to Rockport. Just like the set of Popeye. As we entered I saw a nice schooner ahead that I mentioned looked like Appledore II. And it was. I'm happy to say she looks good and seems to be taking dollars from the tourists at a fine clip. We saw one bold gull stick to his perch atop the main topmast till they'd cleared the breakwater and were hoisting sail.
Rockport is a dry town but the other sister brought more beer and scotch by car.
Good company, good sailing and good food make all well.
[ 09-27-2004, 08:26 AM: Message edited by: Ian McColgin ]