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Sailing 2013

June 18, 2013

On the water at Clearfork

I put the boat in the water on Saturday, June 15. Sailed with John & Liz and Austin. Then on Sunday PM I sailed with Alex and Mattie.

On Monday afternoon, Connie & sailed for about an hour.

On Wednesday, I sailed all afternoon with Bo. Not long after getting on the water, we somehow wound up running into a tree that was down at the edge of the water. I'm still not sure how that happened - I must have been messing around with something else as it developed. I just don't recall what led up to being so close to the tree. I know that once we were close and in a position that kept us from sailing clear, I realized we were at risk, and started working to quickly take corrective action.

I realized that I needed to start the motor and quickly went about starting it. When I shifted it into reverse, I realized I didn't have the prop in the water. So I quickly dropped the engine so that the prop went into the water. The sudden load on the prop caused the propeller shear pin to shear off so the engine was running great but the prop wasn't turning. So now we essentially have no motor. Fortunately, the wind wasn't blowing hard and we were able to push our selves out of the tree with a dock pole. Once free from the tree, we raised the main and sailed easily out of harms way.

We sailed around for a couple of hours and decided to head in. The wind was still not blowing hard and fortunately it was blowing generally toward the dock. With the light breeze it took us a while to get into the area of the docks and boat ramps but we were moving along nicely and headed toward the dock. I went to the cabin top and dropped the main. It came down quickly but we were moving along pretty fast and we were already entering the slip area. I dashed toward the bow, hoping to jump over the bow rail onto the dock and be able to cushion the bow from hitting the dock. Instead, I tripped over something and went head first over the bow rail. I was staring down into the water between the bow and the dock and I saw a picture of myself in the water as the boat pinched me against the dock. But fortunately the boat was moving fast enough that the gap closed and I was spilled out on the dock as the boat slammed into it. Only my pride was damaged.

We hauled to motor onto the dock, changed the shear pin and had the motor back on the boat in about 20 minutes. It was so quick and easy, we decided to go back out. The second trip was much less eventful.. just a normal sail.
This experience shows how things can go wrong (always unexpectedly) and when they do, the trend is for a cascade of events going wrong. Going into the tree, lead to starting the motor in rush and not having it in the water. Recognizing that mistake and trying to correct it quickly caused me to drop it into the water while in gear, shearing off the pin. Then this condition of being motorless caused us to have to sail into the dock for which we weren't really prepared.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Yesterday, Mrs. Boyd & I went out on the boat at 7:30 PM. There was no breeze whatsoever so we motored out a ways on the lake and just sat there. We watched the blue herons chase each other around on the shore (had no idea they did such things) and later saw a bald eagle soar out over the lake, grab a fish and fly back up into a tree to enjoy his dinner - yes right here in Mansfield, OH.

Then a slight breeze (very slight) came up so we hoisted the sails and slowly sailed back toward the dock. It was nearly 9PM by the time we were back to the dock so I had a chance to use the nav lights for the first time.

Today Matthew and Carter went out with me. There was practically no wind (immediately after an electrical storm passed through) and we only had an hour available. So we motored out onto the lake and then motored back in. They both helped me get the boat onto the trailer and get her bundled up for the road. Matthew held the fore halyard while I lowered the mast. That was a big help. These guys make good mates!