In addition to spending some wonderful creative time with Mom and Rowan this weekend, we all went on our first sail. It's hard to believe, as much time as we've all (well, except Mom) spent on boats, but none of us had ever been on a sailboat before. After a week of trying to get out with some friends, Sunday finally presented an opportunity: the sun was shining (mostly), there were no gale-force winds, and there was no pea-soup fog.
Mark and Ben (Emmie was unfortunately out of town) took us out on their 38-foot boat Segal Stuga. Mark told me the name is Swedish, and roughly translates as "the sailing summer cottage." We met at 11:00, got Mom, Rowan, and Henry (the dog), outfitted with life jackets, and motored out of the harbor. It was beginning to look like we were just going to have to putter around Port Valdez without ever putting a sail up when Mark noticed some unidentifiable change in the water that indicated a breeze. Sure enough, we raised the mainsail and jib, and both filled nicely. We spent the next couple of hours tacking and jibing across the port, chatting and enjoying brief spots of sun. Rowan and Ben retreated to the cabin to play cards and munch on gingersnaps with cream cheese and deviled ham (I think Rowan stuck with plain cookies).
At best, we picked up 10 - 15 knots of wind and made a top speed of just over six knots. Mark played it just right so that we got a taste of heeling over hard. The port rail didn't quite go under water, but it was only a couple of inches up. I was surprised at how stable the boat felt. I never felt like it was going to roll, even though I was standing on the starboard aft seat the whole time. I was, however, very grateful for my non-slip X-tra Tuff boots! I also learned a bit of sailing terminology (I hope I'm using it correctly), and even less sailing physics. The latter is no fault of Mark's; I'm just physics impaired.
Here are a few photos from our day. I hope we get a chance to go out again so I can get more photos with my better camera (hint, hint, Mark and Emmie).