Finally the weather looked good for the weekend and the maiden sail of my 30 year old converted Hobie Turbo. The girlfriend was a little nervous, but I assured her the predicted 10 knot winds would be easy - we would just cruise along nicely whilst I explained how things work and we tested the boat to make sure nothing needed replacing. Some friends also came down to the beach - wiser than I, they predicted a good chance to have a giggle at my expense!
Rigging went fine - if anything I was worried that there wasn't enough wind to have any fun (be careful what you wish for!). Then we pushed out into the water ready for the time of our life. Straight away I was impressed that the boat had far more buoyancy than I expected with 2 on it (girlfriend impressed that it actually floated!). THis was going to be great!
And then the trouble started. Couldn't get the rudders to drop - pushed and pulled like a maniac while my girlfriend tried to stop the boat tipping from my exertions. Noted in passing that the wind appeared to have picked up a bit as I finally jumped into the water and tugged the rudders down. Climbed back on board - backed the main to get out of irons and all of a sudden we were OFF!!!!!
Despite our speed I noticed that the traveller was all the way out and that the main was not sheeted in at all - and that the waves we were bashing into were a good metre high. And that was the moment my girlfriend saw my expression change to this
Yes, the 10 knot training wind had gotten up to 20-25 knots in the space of about 2 minutes. Thought about turning around, but we were whipping along so well, riding the waves, spray flying, girlfriend whooping with delight - and of course I got cocky. I was the God of Wind and Sail. Decided to sheet in a little and really get that baby moving!!
I know what you're thinking - we flipped the boat. But no, we were saved that humiliation by the boom block shackle disintegrating and totally losing control of the mainsail instead!!!! So now we are bobbing like a cork in a washing machine, and every time the bow went up a wave, the wind would get under the tramp and try to flip us. We spent a few minutes throwing ourselves over the front beam to balance the boat whilst I tossed around ideas about getting back to shore. Curling up into the foetal position and sucking my thumb was the first to come to mind, but I discarded it on the grounds that Mum didn't know I was out on the boat.
In the end we managed to get back to shore (albeit a looonnnggg way from where we started ) by running with the boom resting on the shrouds and ducking the occasional accidental gybe.
So the friends got the giggle they expected and the girlfriend and I got to hike a couple of miles through the shallows towing a boat behind us.
Bring on this weekend!!!!!