We’ve been trying to sail with my parents for a solid month, but every weekend it’s either been 100° or stormy (or both). We finally decided to just meet down there and make a dock-time decision as to whether or not we could get out there, even though there was a 50/50 chance of thunderstorms and it was still hot and humid.
As we drove into the marina, I noticed immediately that something was wrong with our mainsail cover. The leading edge where the zipper is was unzipped and the back was pushed forward, exposing a bit of the sail. I knew there had been storms, but it’s been through storms before and has never come unzipped. As I went over to look at it, I saw my parents walking through the neighboring marina. They had inadvertently gone into Downe’s Fishing Camp and were wandering around between the tarped-over popup trailer and the small paddock of goats (?).
The radar didn’t show anything too dire, so we launched the boat. Although we’ve launched perfectly dozens of times without people watching us, this time we were wedged in by the new pontoon boat that’s parked next to us and could barely squeeze by without running the trailer over the edge of the ramp. I had to jockey it three or four times to get past but we eventually got it. By the time I got back from ditching the trailer across the street Jen had discovered that the zipper had been completely ripped off of the cover. I guess I’ve got some scrimshaws to do this week.
It wasn’t long after we got the main up (on the third attempt, following some freak halyard problems) that we heard some distinct thunder from the north. The radar reports on our telephones still looked ok, and it all seemed to be passing to the north, so we pressed on. We didn’t do any amazing sailing, but we did putt around between 40 and 39 on just the main for a couple hours. The wind started gusting to 20kts and the sky was getting darker, so we didn’t want to push it, but at least we got in a short sail and a Manhattan on the water.
We definitely made the right call. Immediately after putting the boat away we went to a restaurant on the bay for an early dinner, and it wasn’t long before a strong thunderstorm rolled through—a much better show from indoors.
One of these weekends we’ll catch some decent weather and will get to do some more serious sailing. We’ve got to play with what we’re dealt, and a hot day anchoring out or a short sail on a stormy day is still more fulfilling than a lot of other pursuits.