Thursday, March 06, 2008

A Social Whirl

Marsh Harbor OII Internet Cafe

We didn't plan on staying long in Marsh Harbor, but we're getting caught up in the social whirl and enjoying it.

Our first night here, we had dinner aboard A PLACE (a Westsail 42) with Ron and Jethro, plus Leon and Kim from GYPSY. The next night, we had the same four on board Tarwathie for dinner and Balderdash. Last night we went aboard ENGLISH ROSE to meet with Bob and Jan from Poughkeepsie. Tonight we'll have dinner aboard IDUNNO, and tomorrow night aboard GYPSY.

Yesterday morning I went on a day sail with Ron, skipper of A PLACE. Ron wanted to see how our Monitor self-steering vane worked, and to just pick up sailing technique from a fellow sailor.

Ron is a very experienced sailor. He has some chilling tales to tell about sailing Hobie Cat sized catamarans in the surf in New Jersey. He told of breaking the cats into pieces in the 8 foot waves, and of getting rescued by the Coast Guard several times, and of rescuing other people.

Ron and I left Marsh Harbor and set course for nearby Man O War Cay. We had a nice breeze, about 16 knots. With Ron watching and asking questions, I was self conscious. I explained how to set up the monitor, and I stressed how important it was to trim the sails so that not much steering was needed. Tarwathie loved it. She flew like a falcon. We zipped over to Man O War Cay and back at 6.5 knots and 30 degrees of heel. I can't remember when Tarwathie has ever sailed faster in those conditions. I should learn to follow my own advice and pay more attention to sail trim when I don't have guests.

Last night a thunderstorm passed over and the wind briefly reversed direction. A boat nearby had their anchor break loose and they scrambled to re-set it in the wind and rain as the man and woman aboard yelled at each other. That doesn't make for good on board relations. I, and most of the other skippers I could see, all sat in the cockpit standing anchor watch until the storm passed.

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