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Post details: First Cruise

05/23/09

Permalink 10:34:05 pm, Categories: Race Preparation, 448 words   English (US)

First Cruise

I’ve always loved the word cruise. It denotes action with purpose though not necessarily result. In days of yore a cruise could result in a rich harvest of prizes if a war or pyrate cruise. Currently it has more recreational connotations. Conversely I’ve never liked the word training. It suggests a certain monkey-ness. I’ve since learned that it’s not a bad thing and it is not a bad thing. I guess I would like a different descriptive word. At any rate, we had our first cruise as a crew. I’ll go with the word first rather than training.

We departed for our cruise about 6:30. We had quite the send-off, so many people, it reminded me of the last race’s sendoff and we’re just going for an over-night cruise. Thanks to everyone for the sendoff, I know I felt warm and fuzzy! We had a North breeze about 10 knots or a bit less. We were able to steer about 90 to 110 degrees compass at 6 ½ knots. The breeze backed north probably 20 degrees that made us figure we’d clear Bark Point. Unfortunately the breeze didn’t stay there or keep backing so we were obliged to tack when we were about 5 ½ nautical miles from shore.

About 01:00 the wind deserted us, if not a bit before. I’ve always said that the 0:00 to 04:00 watch is the worst. It’s the longest part of the night. We had no wind, and were obliged to drift for the most part. We had a couple of puffs that pushed us a bit more in the direction we were headed but we ended up sailing with bare steerage come 04:00.

Shortly after 04:00 we had a strong Southwesterly breeze that had us firming up on a course west, figuring we would beat home the way we beat out to where we were. Unfortunately that breeze too deserted us. About 04:30 we fired up the diesel and headed back for home. There were a couple of spots of breeze but certainly not enough to attract interest.

We arrived back at 09:30 with most if not all the crew in need of a good, long nap. It was bitter cold out the entire cruise. I think it’s pretty safe to assume that this is the worst case scenario when it comes to cold temperatures. Having done the race, I was frankly surprised at how warm it was in the early part of August. None-the-less, I have every confidence in a 30 degree night out on that lake.

I hope the rest of the crew is as jazzed as I am at how this cruise went. I just hope the next cruises get some wind involved!

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