Saturday, May 31, 2014


"I feel like a princess of the water once again. A winter of sitting at the dock I needed a day of dancing on the waves and a good clean. My little buoy toy Skipper, sure knows how to treat a lady." -Corleto

There's nothing like getting out on the water. After a winter season that did not allow any reasonable time for sail, it really was the first order of business as winter transitioned into spring. My work schedule sometimes allowed me to have days off during the week and mid April provided with just such an occasion. Yet that "Shit List" beckoned.

We arrived on the dock one sunny day with nice brisk winds in the forecast. One look at poor Corleto's deck covered with that green goop that builds up over the rainy season, and I felt obligated to clean the deck. But with perfect wind out there, it was Charlene that looked at me and said "Screw it! You can clean anytime."
Winds like this almost never happen when we have the time to sail. And with that Charlene and I cast off and took Corleto out for her exercise. 

We headed for English Bay with full sails and smiles on our faces. It was just wonderful to feel the water through the tiller as we sliced our way through the chop. It was bliss.

Good wind and full sails

One of our best speeds of the day- 6.1 kts under sail

Yet, some of the old issues that caused us problems last season, reared their ugly heads, like bowline knots that would come loose at the most inconvenient time. Funny thing about that, but on this particular afternoon almost at the very same place where we had a near catastrophic incident a year before, a bowline failure on the windward sheet would haunt us yet again- just off Point Atkinson.

Point Atkinson- Corleto's "Newman"

With the wind blowing us at a good speed, but tide and leeway pushing us toward the point, I knew I would have to tack to starboard to avoid disaster. Charlene noticed that the bowline had come loose on the lazy sheet and I knew I would have to go forward to fix the issue. I engaged Otto the auto pilot and made my way forward. The wind had changed slightly. That, coupled with Otto's course, began to push us ever closer to the point.

Seeing that the boat was not happy and knowing that with brisk winds disaster would soon be upon us, Charlene instinctively took the helm and calmly steered the boat ever so gently into the wind. The luffing head sail falling right into my hands. She did this without direction from me and relied solely on her "feel" for the boat. In a heartbeat I had the sheet reattached and Charlene tacked the boat onto a new course giving us the needed separation from Point Atkinson. It was a moment that defined Charlene's confidence at the helm and one that showed us just how far we had come as a crew since our last "flirting with disaster" encounter.

We can hardly wait to get back out there.

Confident and Happy Crew