Sunday, July 4, 2010

Smooth sailing... sort of.

If I've never told you about the time I got stranded at sea - let me summarize: Small boat, no motor. We got in the water around 5 on a Friday - followed the big boats around, but when the wind died they all went in and we were stuck with one paddle. Then, the tide changed and the sun went down, and I don't know how to sail. The man I was with was wearing prescription sunglasses and had nothing else. I did make it home around 11:30, freezing cold, quite hungry, and wet.

So, I'm telling this story to a couple guys after work last week and one asks, "Do you want to go sailing Friday after work?" I was like "Yeah!" "Wait! Do you have a motor?" "Yes? Okay!"

Friday did not disappoint in the weather department. It was beautiful when I arrived at the (just go ahead and pardon my lack of boat jargon knowledge) boat parking area.

I headed over, reminded the guy that I can't sail for my life and he said I was still invited, so off we went. It's what I call "the Friday night saily thingy", but turns out, it's a RACE! I totally looked the part.

Scott, boat owner and man in charge, had two helpers - the young woman you see below, and the young man in the next picture. I did very menial things like "pull on the red and white rope", while they jibbed and hoisted and reefed and did all manner of sailor-y things.

I did learn the difference between the three sails, although I'm having trouble remembering their names now... there was the main, the jib and the spinnaker (thank you, wikipedia!).

So, the race... What happens is, you head out into Port Townsend bay and there is a committee boat with "directions" on the back (in this case 2SWYF, or something) and then you follow the directions, and I'm not really sure what you win besides the bragging rights. In our case, the W meant this yellow thing:

So, we had to start, go around the yellow thing, go around another thing, then finish. Then, the 2 meant we'd do it all again with another start and everything. Well, we had a bad start the first time (and by that I mean we started last) but finished near the middle of the pack. Then, the wind died. So we sat around for a while. All of the sudden, the wind came back with a vengeance! So, we reefed the sail (by we, I mean they) and while that happened Scott fell which was not cool. Then, we were going really fast and tipped over way far and sitting all up on one side of the boat, and you have a blind spot - as you can see from this photo:

So, imagine our surprise when we're flying along and all of the sudden hear a crash as we hit another boat traveling perpendicular to our boat. Needless to say, I discovered that sailors really do swear like sailors! But, the people involved were super chill about it and went to work on straightening it out. There was some damage to each boat, involving things like a bulkhead and a cleat, so I took my limited sailing knowledge and headed for home, where I had trouble calming down because it was so exciting!

Before any of that ever happened, I was thinking, the phrase "leisurely sail"? Not really possible. Because either you're constantly adjusting the sails and ropes and this and that, or there's no wind and you're not really sailing.

That being said, I loved it, and I think I can't wait to go again.


  1. Great story! Sounds like a whole lot of fun.

  2. I can help with the boat parking spot. It's called a marina and when a boat is "parked" in a marina at a dock then it is moored. I'm glad to hear you didn't get stuck out in the middle of no where this time. Ben said we should have taken you out on his boat when it was in the water.


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