Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Skipper rating: Attempt #1

We went sailing yesterday. Sara is 'this' close to getting her skipper rating, which means we will be able sail the club boats freely in Lake Washington.

Ideally, we would like to take the ratings exam in the lowest winds necessary for the rating itself...i.e. we would like it to be as easy as possible. Unfortunately, strong wind doesn't come up too often in "summer", so you take what you can get.

And we got it.

No, not the rating...we got our arses kicked.

At one point it gusted so strongly while we were headed downwind, that the boat doubled its speed and began to hydroplane. I actually caught myself looking back to see what could have caused us to gain speed so quickly. Had Sara attached a jet engine to the stern? Was a giant lifting our boat up? At that point, anything explanation seemed plausible.

And that was right before we ended up in the lake. This didn't surprise me for a couple reasons. Its actually not unusual to capsize while sailing with Sara so I was ready, but moreover, it was bordering on hazardous winds and it had just gotten hairy.

The boat turtled. She is captain and supposed to do most of it herself, however, we found that Sara wasn't actually heavy enough to right the boat on her own...thank goodness my weighty buns were around so we could right the boat and watch it flip right back over the other direction.

After a few more attempts, I was exhausted, from swimming around, hauling my walrus-like** self onto the bottom of the boat, pulling on the centerboard, all with white caps splashing in my face ...and to be honest, I had chosen to wear some really cute cottony/stretchy gloves which had no added traction therefore my grippers were fatigued just from manning the jib sheet. So when we ended up in the lake and I had to rely on clinging with my arms, because my wee hands had given out.

Here. I made a graph.
Despite the conditions, it wasn't unsafe. The club commodore was out there on a power boat, along with two other experienced club sailors on power boats giving instruction, tips and finally pulling me out and giving Sara a handsome young sailor to help her right the boat. His name is Will and he is dreamy. I might be in love.

Besides a lot of pretty outstanding bruises, including ones on my hands where I wrapped the rope around to keep it from slipping (damn those cute gloves). We were able to safely gain some outstanding high-wind experience.

I am just to tired to post about how I am a realist/borderline pessimist (or worst-case scenario girl) and Sara is an staunch optimist. I will save that for another day. Besides, I have to go check out my kick-ass bruises again.

**ANYONE in a black wetsuit, flopping themselves on to the slick bottom of a boat and belly-inching their way to a secure position will feel like a walrus. This is not a personal statement, but a simple fact.

6 comments:

weese said...

"Its actually not unusual to capsize while sailing with Sara so I was ready"
ah...true love.

sageweb said...

Uh I am a huge baby when it comes to cold water...I would have been soooo cold. But I would have loved to watch...see that would have been a great video.

Syd said...

You can find me in the power boat with Sage and the video camera. That sounds like NO fun at all.

Jen said...

Weese -Ain't it true? When you are in love with an adrenaline junkie, you have to be prepared for anything.

Sage'n'Syd -A video would have been wild! I was actually more scared for my safety in the power boat with the 3 ft lake swells than I had been in the sail boat. Hm. Control issues?

Nick said...

Bonus points for the recreational use of a graph.

Jen said...

Yo Bra- There is VERY little that cannot be graphed or charted. Recreational graphing is a guilty pleasure of mine...that I suspect you share.