Sunday, July 31, 2011

Going Across and East :: Day II

Sunset off Olcott Beach
 Jim likes to say that everything happens for a reason. At times, I hear myself repeating this and find it quite comforting, especially when my autohelm decided to jump ship. I was distraught beyond silliness. When sailing single handed, one relies on this instrument to helm the boat, freeing up the hands to work the sails: hoist main, unfurl jib, tack, adjust sails, have a pee, make a sandwich. It is essential. I don't know how you do without it Baker. I suppose they didn't have autohelm in the good old days of sailing and they managed quite well.

Left the Scarborough Bluffs yesterday morning at 10.30 ish. The forecast called for very light winds and beautiful sunshine. What to do? Wait for better air to cross. I might never leave. So, I bit the bullet and set out. Put all sails up in a nice breeze of 7 - 8 knots, then 9, 10 and up to 12 by afternoon. The boat speed gradually increased from a 3 to a 5.5+ knots. What started out to be a 10 hour crossing quickly became a 6 1/2 hour sail!

What is different about this trip is that I am alone. No buddy boat. The faulty autopilot and its repair date left me unable to make firm plans with anyone. The more I adjusted to the idea of sailing alone, the more I welcomed it.

I pulled into Olcott Yacht Club at 5.30 last night. The heat! The best beer in the world is the one you have once you've tied up the boat after a hot day on the water. I watched the anglers parade back in from the lake as their slight wake made the boat rock gently. The biggest decision of the night: to eat out or in. If Oak Orchard is the next port of call, fine dining will be on board. So, I gave the cook a night off, headed for the club house where I ordered a seafood platter. Grabbed a nice cold shower while I waited. As the sun set in the west, I enjoyed my takeout meal and a crisp Mission Hill Chardonnay. And a good night's sleep it was.

Today the forecast is calling for rain and possible thunderstorms before 2 pm. I'm in no rush. I might stay another day. If I do, I'd like to anchor upstream beyond the bridge for tonight. I think I've heard Annika say that it's nice there.

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