Tuesday, January 17, 2012

First Night Sail

Our last post included two videos of night sailing which is our favorite time on the boat.  The videos reminded us of our first night sailing and sleeping at anchor.  Here is the log entry from that sail.

May 30, 2010

We had a wonderful weekend of sailing.  We dropped the 19 in on Lake Mendota (Madison, WI) and sailed in good winds of 12 - 13 mph with really choppy, confused waves.  Lake Mendota is known for creating bigger waves than the wind can account for and these waves were mixed in with the wakes from lots of big power boats.  It made for some fun and interesting sailing.  We sailed for 5 hours in 87 degree temps with bright hot sunshine beating down.  Brenda wanted to take a break (Actually she said, "Stop now!").  So even though we were out in the sloppy waves, we dropped the anchor in 20 feet of water and rested.  Brenda climbed down into the cozy v-berth and snuggled up for a cooling snooze.  I still can't  believe she could sleep in the cabin with all the odd bucking and rocking the boat was doing.  At least it was a really good test of the ground tackle for tonight's anchoring.
Our friend Phil gets a lot of grief for this picture as it looks like we are towing his power boat.  Phil considers any boat that does less than 30 mph to be useless.
We had some power boater friends call and ask if they could motor out to meet us and check out our sailboat.  They tied their boat behind ours and brought over all kinds of snacks for us to munch on.  The wind cooperated and calmed way down which soothe the lake out nicely for our raft-up.   They stayed and chatted until 9pm when we were treated to a fireworks display over Madison.
Phil gets teased about this photo because it looks like he is being towed by a sailboat.  Phil considers anything under 30 mph on a boat as standing still.
We have never sailed at night, so this was going to be another first for us.  The wind cooperated beautifully with a steady 9 mph wind for a beam reach.  We sailed along silently to the area we planned on anchoring for the night.  There was enough light to see easily as we sailed along so quietly that we found ourselves whispering at times.  We couldn't have had a more perfect first night's sail.  
A perfect night sail
We sailed to up within 200 yards of the shoreline and dropped the bow mounted anchor with plenty of scope.  I warned Brenda that we would be facing the other way in the morning because the winds were expected to pick up and turn from southerly to northerly.  I didn't want her to wake up, look out the porthole, and not see the shoreline that was there last night.  We were both expecting to get some reading done after we anchored, but it was already 11:30 pm which is late for us.  We closed the cabin up and enjoyed the fresh breeze coming in through the portholes.  I only got up a couple of times to check the anchor.  We slept pretty well for our first time anchoring out, but it still takes time to identify all the little boat noises first.  
Our first breakfast aboard our new-to-us CP-19 II
We got up around 8:30 and had some cold cereal and juice for breakfast before deciding that with the rain clouds closing in it would be a good time to load her up for the day.  
A day of firsts that we hope will be the first of many.
 Since that night we rarely go out for just a daysail.  We have spent many nights at anchor and now we don't have to settle for cold cereal for breakfast.

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