Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sail #27: What a Sailing Day - “1 out of a 100”

37.5 nm, 5 knots per hour average speed, 8:16:18 elasped time

As we weaved our way out of Victoria Harbour, the winds were strong south-westerlies and the swell was running 4-5 feet so we opted to only run with a headsail.  Our theory was that if the conditions worsened, we could easily furl the headsail and avoid having to go on the deck to deal with the main.   Jude was also uncomfortable with the prospects of me bouncing around on deck trying to get the main up.

We were making 6 – 6.5 knots with the headsail only anyway so we weren't concerned about falling behind Silver Seas.  It turned out though that running with only a jib meant that our bow was constantly getting pushed into the water as we navigated through the swell.  Ever time the boat pitched into the swell, the anchor would swing up with the momentum of the bow coming out of the water. 

If figured if I left it, one of two things could happen.  One, the anchor dislodges from the hangers and punches a hole in the bow.  Not good.  Second, the anchor dislodges, misses the bow, but drops to the bottom and firmly fixes itself, while we're under sail.  Again, not good.  We turned back briefly off the swell so I could go forward and secure the anchor to the bow pulpit.  Better safe than sorry.

We had a perfect reach across the Strait to Cape Tormentine, NB.  As we turned back towards Summerside, we raised the main and headed towards the Confederation Bridge (affectionately refered to as the Flink...fixed link).  As we neared the bridge Judy was worried that our line wasn't going to allow us to cross under the bridge at the highest point.  It wasn't until we were right up to it that she realized that it was over 150 feet in the air and we could have pretty much crossed anywhere along the 10 mile span.
What an impressive feeling to cross under the fixed link.  Driving over it is pretty neat, but you really don't appreciate the structure until you are directly underneath it, looking up.

The winds dropped off as we made our way into Sevenmile Bay and up to the lighthouse at Fernwood Point.  As we motored sailed into Summerside several boats from the Summerside Yacht Club were heading out for their Wednesday night race.

After a long day on the water we had a quiet evening.  As the Skipper for Silver Seas noted however, “we got to enjoy a perfect sailing day – THAT was 1 out of 100 days”. 

I think he was right!

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