So you wake up in the morning, it’s perfect weather, the wind is just enough to move the boat at a slow pace. You think to yourself, “excellent, lets to sailing”. Suddenly you realise it’s Tuesday morning and you’re supposed to be at work for meetings. So you make a decision….
I did attend the required meetings and told everybody in the office, that’s it, I’m going sailing see you tomorrow! I went home, had a quick lunch and loaded Ducky in the car. Annie and I were off to the dock…
I’m very fortunate that I can at times have flexibility around working hours, most of the time we’re very busy and I have to keep my nose to the grindstone. I’m working towards freeing more time up for playing. Annie is a school teacher and she’s fortunately still on holiday.
We’re becoming more efficient at getting away from the dock. We were motoring towards Taleisin in Ducky in no time at all. Once onboard Taleisin we got her prepped for sailing, we looked at each other. We each took a deep breath. I hoisted the main sail. We cast off the mooring line. Taleisin fell off the wind. The main sail filled and we were sailing!
Once we built up a little way Annie hoisted the stays’l, I sheeted it in and Taleisin was moving well. We only set the stays’l since we just wanted to sail at a snails pace and enjoy the water. We were not going fast but it was glorious!
Since we were moving slowly and just kicking back Annie went down below to get her fishing rod. She sat on the cabin top happily trawling while we’re moving slowly through the water. I could tell by the look on her face that she was quite content. I should point out that she was fishing and directing me where to go etc…
While Annie was trying to catch dinner I was happily sailing the boat and tacking back and forth on my own. I’m sure it was less than impressive but I wanted to experiment and it was fun and non threatening. It felt like a great opportunity to do some learning. We didn’t spend a huge amount of time out, maybe an hour or two. Then is was time to head back to the mooring.
When we got closer to the mooring field we decided to drop the stays’l and sail in under the main only. In theory that sounded like it would work, but the current was stronger than our drive under main only. Realising the error in our ways we had the stays’l up again and made our way into the mooring field. We dropped the stays’l again and attempted to approach the mooring from down wind. Things didn’t work out that well. Annie said, umm that boat behind us is getting closer. The boat was not moving, we were going backwards.
I ran forward hoisted the stays’l, yelled “sheet it in”! Taleisin picked up way again and Annie was able to steer us clear of the few surrounding boats. While she was doing this I moved quickly and maybe in a slight panic to get Ducky tied on the quarter and get the engine running.
Once the engine started to push Taleisin I dropped the sails. Annie said, “The boats not turning the right way”! Due to the fact that the engine is pushing her in the other direction. I responded, “then turn the other way”! Annie moved the tiller, Taleisin responded and we steered well clear of all other boats. In reality we were never anywhere near any of these boats they were actually well clear of us - it just felt like they were getting closer. We probably had a few boat lengths between us at all times.
Great, now we have control of the situation! “Where’s the mooring buoy?”, I asked. Annie pointed it out and we slowly pushed Taleisin towards it. While doing this is became obvious that the wind wants to blow the bow off and just using the tiller alone was not going to do the trick. I started experimenting and learning again. I found that if I moved the outboard tiller all the way over I can use it like a stern thruster and quickly point the bow in a different direction.
We tried to get to the mooring buoy, no luck, the current keeps pushing us off. “Approach it so the current pushes you onto the mooring”, says Annie, “Like I’ve already told you to do”. So we gave that a try, it worked, easily. I grabbed the buoy and tied a line to it so I could in theory relax and deal with things in a calm manner.
Nice idea, I still felt the need to haul the mooring line over the bow roller, tied another line through the attachment loop and secured it around a winch. “Let’s get this thing secured”, after a bit of effort we managed to get the mooring attached securely. I turned to Annie and gave her a high five, “success, we did it”!
I will confess that my adrenaline spiked and I was less than cool calm and collected. Annie was a champ, she never missed a beat! I needed to sit down and collect myself. I also had the greatest feeling of accomplishment as I sat on the foredeck! Who knew that something this simple can feel this satisfying! Is this what is meant by enjoying the simpler things in life?
We tidied Taleisin up, Annie put some salt water on the deck. We loaded Ducky up and went back to the dock. Once we were tied up I remember thinking, “Wow, I didn’t loose anything overboard”. That was a bad thought. Just as I lifted the outboard from Ducky I noticed the trim rod was lose and hanging out. I tried to put the motor down to get it and at the moment it fell out and I watched it sink in the water. This is just ridiculous! At this rate I’ll have nothing left to lose soon!
We went home, content with yet another adventure provided by Taleisin, she surely is turning out to be an adventure machine.