First Sail on the Spindrift

We had our first sail in the newly restored SS 101 [SS ?-3] today, May 30th, 2009. It is a very beautiful boat. So! What’s it like to sail an SS for the first time in 50 years, when the once 15-year-old sailor is now a card-carrying Medicare recipient?

The boat is smaller than it used to be, I swear it is.

Standing on the bow seemed tippier than in yesteryears. And more slippery.

The boom seems much lower than when we were kids, but of course it isn’t.

The new Dacron sails are stiff and noisy and unromantic. Crackle, crackle.

We still had to bail the boat out despite the beautiful new sail cover because we had torrential rains yesterday.

The fancy sliding jib pull takes up 6” on the deck, just where I want to plant a grandchild.

The fancy mainsail winch, which is ever so easy to operate, is located on the aft part of the centerboard and we’re so big now that between the over-sized winch and the tiller there’s barely room for the skipper and not enough room for bailing, at least not with my 1944 hand-carved scoop….and, indeed, being an SS, there is still a lot of bailing to be done, just like 50 years ago.

The strong wind which I blithely called “whussy wind” was too much for the whussy senior citizens. Because as soon as we tucked in for a scrappy fast sail, the first wave came over the bow and hit me. WOW!! Was it ever COLD COLD COLD!! Now, I expected to be wet…but I never imagined that a bow wave in May felt positively Arctic.

It was a short sail. I sit here at my desk, staring out the window at the benign-looking little sailboat. How hard could it be to sail that silly little boat??

I kept thinking about the grandchildren and the fun they’re going to have learning to sail. Okay, we take away the sliding pulley and make room for their little tushes. We go out when the wind is calmer. In July when the water is warmer. Okay, this can work, they’ll love it. And then I saw the pink jellyfish. IN MAY!! What the !@#$% were JELLYFISH doing in Beaver Dam Cove in frigid bay water??

End of first report.

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