Sunday, 21 October 2007

A Glorious Sunday

Two glorious spring days in a row? Two days pottering about with my boat in a row? Do I feel absolutely hyped and happy? You betya!

This arvo I drove the 50kms to Wallerawang Sailing Club on Lake Wallace, near Lithgow. They have a small sailing club there, so I joined in. They have LOTS of water! I knew most of the sailors there anyways, from various regattas and events over the past two years. I was the only one there from Carcoar, tho. Not to worry.

I ended up out on the water for two and a half hours... despite there not being any wind at ALL! I mean, at one stage it was literally like a mirror out there - and we were right in the middle of the lake! Now and again a vague puff would come along, just enough to propel you forward, so it wasn't all bad. But the sunshine was glorious. I was totally in my element, totally buzzing on the whole "being out on the water" thing. Again.

I am so lucky/blessed of having such a chance to be able to do this.

Thank you, dad, for sharing your passion of sailing with me.

Here's a few nice photos of my day, taken late in the afternoon as people were packing up.

I participated in their very casual race too. There was about 10 boats in all all together, and I was coming third out of five in my class, which I was very happy about. I thought I sailed quite well, considering the calm conditions. In the end the darkness beat us, and we headed home before only two or three could actually cross the finishing line! heh heh. Not to worry. I felt so relaxed, happy and satisfied. It always takes me a little while to get the feeling of the boat again after a few months lay-off over winter. By the end of today I actually felt quite comfortable with my little boat, rather than those fleeting feelings yesterday of anxiety. I make myself laugh when I start talking to 'her' sometimes when I'm out there, saying things like "good girl!" - silly, aint it? heh heh

My Laser, "Wyreema II" (Team Gherkin! lol)

While the water was flat (I've yet to find a sloping lake that's suitable for water ski-ing on... lol), it was green with algae floating on the top in layers! Yucky! Harmless, but still yucky.

And the weed...! The weed was thick and floating in big clumps at some points on the lake! The problem when there's not much wind is i) the don't blow away, and ii) it's almost impossible to avoid them in your boat! The weed doesn't cause any damage, but it's the sailing equivalent of skidding in your car on a wet road and loosing traction... you just STOP dead in the water! All of us spent most of the day raising our centreboards and rudders in and out of the water, just to get them clear of the dreaded weed! heh heh. We don't get that problem out at Carcoar... we just don't have any water! Gagh!

There's some classic catch-22 moments out there, when it comes to the weed. You can either climb over the back and physically clear the accumulated weeds off your rudder, to help you steer a bit better and go better. But the catch is that in such calm conditions, any extra movement in the boat doing such a thing instantly causes the boat to rock, and you instantly loose any wind that may have been gathering in your sail! The best thing is to sit perfectly still and drift along... yet the weed was slowing us down even further. Catch-22... what to do? Sit and feel "soggy" (thanks to a rudder-covered in weed), or move about to clear the weed away, causing you to slow down even further? heh heh. Such is life. Tis just one of the joys of inland lake sailing.

Right out in the middle of the lake were some 12-13-yo kids mucking about on a large canoe, just goofing around, swimming, having some fun. Looked and sounded like they were having an absolute ball (don't you love the way sound carries across quiet water so well?)... but none of us deliberately wanted to go swimming in that green sludgy water! Eewww! I sailed right up to them on the way back to the beach, and they seemed all fine. Yes yes, I had a shower as soon as I got home. It's not dangerous or toxic or anything nastie like that... just looks awful! You can't really notice it from standing on the shore. But when you're out on the water, it's like a layer of green slime just coating the surface of the water here and there. Not the nicest. The locals who were out sailing there last week said there was none of it there last week! Amazing how it just takes off in only a week. Sheesh!

I was wanting to practise some capsizing as well. Capsize? On a day like that? It's all just part of the whole sailing experience. Learning by doing, a practise capsize and get it up again. No harm done. But - I didn't particularly look forward to getting anywhere near that green slime... let alone getting it all over my sails! Pass on that one! heh heh

I love the after-effects of sailing, too. There's a bit of slight sunburn on my face and lower legs. The face got burnt simply from the reflected glare off the off-white deck of my boat bouncing straight back onto my face! Thankfully there was a good amount of cloud cover about to stop the full whack of the sun. The lower legs got a bit of sun simply because I forgot to put some sunscreen there b4 I went out! D'oh!

The other effect that I love... still remember it strongly from when I was a teenager sailing. Even as I'm sitting here, the keyboard and chair are slightly moving in a vague rocking motion, as though I'm still afloat! Just a very small sensation of the floating, bobbing effects of two days in a row being on the water, I guess! It's quite pleasant! I know just plain tiredness has a lot to do with it as well...

Then when I got home I made for myself a fruit smoothie to-die-for - and "The Ultimate Green Salad"! I'm sure my body will react and start shouting at me, "What the hell is all this stuff?!?" lol

I know I'll sleep like a log tonight!
Peas be with ewe

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  1. When I've been out on a boat, I always feel that rocking sensation the minute I lie down that night... I love it!

  2. Great post. You capture the fun of Laser sailing (even in no wind)perfectly.

    By the way, if you think hanging over the transom to clear weed from the rudder is hard in a drifter, try doing it downwind in 25 knots.

    I've put you on the Blogroll for Proper Course. Look forward to reading more about your Laser sailing adventures.

  3. In 25 knots? I wouldn't! Anyways, knowing me, i'd probably roll straight off the back! hahahaa

  4. Ah spring. I swear we only have Winter and Summer here in my part of the US. It's Oct which should be fall and it's going to be 78 degrees today.

  5. Nice. I'm a long way from anywhere to sail a boat and I don't know much about it but thanks for the post. I was right with you all the way.

  6. Sailing is just what you need. It always puts you in a good mood.