THIS EVENING IT WAS WINDY!!!
It thunderstormed and rained all day today... but the clouds cleared, and the wind which was calm again in the late afternoon, picked up to a few breezes by the time dinner was done.
In my rush to get the boat ready, I forgot to grab my camera. It's probably for the best. I haven't sailed since watching my dad sail as a little kid, but this was SO much better.
I'll give a more detailed description with pictures in a couple weeks, we're taking a vacation with the boats soon.
All I have to say is I've got a grin like you wouldn't believe. That was SO much fun. It was a gusty day so I got to try the sail in calm winds, and in winds so strong that I actually had to furl the sail.
Here's my quick notes: (excuse my improper terminology)
1) The furling sail is GREAT for a new sailor like me. The gusts became pretty strong as I got a little ways out (this is Lake Ontario, not some tiny lake) and as things got beyond my comfort zone, I remembered to furl the sail just a little. I played with how much to furl the sail in the strong winds, and learned a lot. It feels so safe to know that if things get hectic, just release the tension on the sail, and furl it in.
2) It's faster then I thought. I heard so much about the tandem that I figured the AI must be a bit of a slouch, but I was moving pretty good out there, and it was plenty fast enough to be fun!
3) I'm really glad that I got the AI, and not the TI. The AI is heavier than the Revolution that I'm used to, but I'm still able to launch from the same beaches as the AI. I don't think I could launch the TI by myself from my usual launch spot. It would be really tough to move in the sand, or up a small hill that's near my place. I'm going to be doing a lot more solo sailing then tandem sailing, so the AI with the tramps should allow me to have all the benefits that I'm looking for, without the drawbacks.
Other notes: I got the heavy duty wheels as a compromise between the standard wheels and the beach wheels. I LOVE the beach wheels for the soft sand, but decided on the Heavy Duty wheels because I figured that I could put those back in place as I approached land much easier then the beach wheels. As it turns out, I was right. I'm comfortably able to put the wheels into the scuppers (under water) from the cockpit. The HD wheels aren't great on beach sand, but I am able to roll the boat, even up hill towards the grassy areas. It's not easy, but it's manageable.
Next step, put the tramps on... take vacation... and see if my little puppy (named Hobie) can handle sailing, he's good on the Revolution, so it's time to take things up a notch.
Thanks for all of your help on these forums! You all really helped me decide on exactly which boat and accessories are right for me.