A Fine season of Hobie Sailing!
It ended much as it began - convincing us we needed lessons! We tried to sail every weekend, "Sailing Sunday" as it were, and were shut down for lack of wind about three times, and (up to Mid-September anyway) only once for one of us being out of town!!
We have progressed from the "too stupid to be scared" stage of our first trip in July when got stuck in the bushes, and now have no fear of sailing across the lake on fast reaches, in and out of the other nice sailboats, and having a super time!
There is room in each of us to learn more. The Great Hobie God taught us a lesson Sunday, our last day! It was a windy day, forcast 15-20 m/h. This didn't scare us too much as we had sailed in some 15 m/h winds in September, and hey - whats a few more since we "know what we are doing". We envisioned about three hours of fast reaches, maybe flipping over once or twice, and looking good
We launch in a small cove off of the main body of the lake. The launch area is about 150 feet east of the main lake. When we arived in the parking lot to set up, the wind was coming right at the launch area, FAST. The wind was something we had not seen before, it was coming straight down the lake, without anything to break it up. It had to be a steady 20, and the surface was long breakers about 2' tall and building higher as we rigged up, pushing hard into the rip-rap boulders surrounding the narrow ramp and "Safe" beaching area. While we knew we could get out OK, we were really concerned about coming in "hot" to the dock and crashing into something hard.
Another couple of signs - only one sail boat on the lake anywhere, and only two power boat trailers at our area. No safety net if we got into trouble on the lake!!
We should have listened to our inner voices, but - hey - we were seasoned sailors by now, and really had a clue, and isn't wind what it is all about!!. I did voice to my partner-in-crime "I don't feel good about this, and think I am goin to puke", but set out anyway.
We headed out into the wind and prepared to jibe around and head into the lake. The wind grabbed us like a toy and stood us on end before we had shifted our weight, I lost my new hat, and only a miracle and a sense of desperation kept us from going over. After regrouping, and failing to get it all together a couple more times, we tried to simply sail around the cove and live to sail again another day.
While trying to get back to the dock, we blew a jibe, and even in the hold position, were now past the dock getting blown into the rip-rap boulders. Oh "Poop"!! We managed to make it halfway back, drifting backward with the high wind, high waves, and a sense of doom before we got into the rocks. First Mate jumped off port side, using the main sheet to hold the boat while I derigged the main sail, and then we walked it back to the dock in chest deep water. At one time I thought we were going to be flung up to the parking lot!!
We waded through the dead brush, hung up fishing lures sunk logs, and got back to the launch area. We were glad to be done, for the day and for the year.
Damage was two fist size dents in the starboard hull, scratched and cut legs (Doctor appointment and tetnaus shot for me today), and a renewed appreciation for the forces involved.
1. There is a reason to buy a used boat. If I had done this to a new one, I would have tied myself to the mast and gone down with the ship!!
2. One needs lessons, especially when one thinks one doesn't
We will patch up the boat and our pride, and set out next year
Thanks to all for your support
Mike and Greg and Dee