i ended up running late, of course. there's nothing like a cold morning and flannel sheets to keep me in bed. fortunately, it wasn't as cold on shore, and the Cap'n spent his waiting time chatting with Arcturus. he's just about ready to take off on his circumnavigation, and is just tying up loose ends, so to speak. i caught up with him briefly as well, and made the acquaintance of the ship dog. that's one brave dog, if you ask me. loving the water is all well and good, but jeezum.
it was actually quite pleasant getting the boat set up, harbours being sheltered and all. and i got to learn some things. thing #1, and perhaps most important, was learning to get my confidence back. funny how i thought i'd learned a fair bit over the summer... until i was the only crewman last week, and it all fell out of my head. but the sail went well last week, so i wasn't quite as nervous.
i still don't want to take the helm, altho certainly it's necessary if there are only two of you on board and one has to pee. but i didn't spend much time learning how to properly steer this summer, and the conditions are a bit more exciting these days. and i'm pretty confident that i can't tip over the boat... but just you watch me try. ;)
i think that a fair bit of time this winter will be spent reading and absorbing theory. you can 'splain all you want about wind and luff and lift whilst i'm standing at the helm. i can gah-won-tee you i won't understand a bit of it. and that's sort of odd to me, because i'm a much better visual learner when it comes to stuff like that. then again, there is a difference between visual and experiential. to wit: i couldn't learn to parallel park to save my life while in the car. then someone diagrammed the theory for me on a white board, and since then, i'm all good. so perhaps reading and looking at pretty pictures will let the penny drop on that piece of information.
thing #2 that i learned was how to rig a travelling jib, also known on this particular boat as a self serving jib. it's a pretty nifty little mechanism, the explanation of which i am about to butcher. see, normally the front of the jib is anchored, and you use sheets and a fair amount of muscle to haul it back and forth. this one, tho, does all that by itself. the sail is a bit smaller, and a slightly different shape. still anchored in the front, but the foot is clipped onto a little clamp thingie (i'm making the shape with my hand, which helps you, reader, not at all) which slides freely along a bar on the deck.
so there you go. i learned how to rig another sail. of course, conditions being what they were, we didn't use it. and that was all fine, really. wave conditions were pretty easy, but the wind was out in full force, or fuller than most of the season anyway. and the mains'l was more than sufficient.
just to give you an idea of how windy it was, i looked over at another boat at one point, and commented 'nice *keel*.' not really an observation you should ever be able to make about a boat in the water, i think. most of the boats were sailing over on their ears today, some more than most.
anyway, the long and the short of it is it was a lovely day to sail. and now i know how many layers to pack. :)