Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Saaailin'.... takes me away...

Rob has had a dream for as long as I've known him to be a sailor. Actually, to sail around the world - but we're not going to address that just yet. I'm sure my brother Ryan influenced this realization of step one of his dream when we bought a boat a couple months ago. Ryan and his buddies bought an "ocean-going" boat not too long ago in which they plan to sail to Australia.

We had to start small... and cheap. Here are the first photos of the Overtime (the means by which we were able to buy our little vessel) She's a Cortez 16' and worth every bit of her $300.

There's been a lot of learning as Rob cleaned out and sorted through all sorts of odds and ends. We've kept most of it in case we figure out what it's for on down the road. Notice the dark yellow square of original color paint.

Needless to say, the kitties have been very curious. Lots of great smells from sitting in a field for the last 3 years.

Last Thursday we laid plans for a maiden voyage and put the crew to work scrubbing the deck and waxing the paint. We were concerned about fancy boat owners who might poke fun at our fixer-upper.

Remember that dark yellow square?

That night, after the kids were in bed, we hoisted the sails - still in our driveway - just to see how much Rob could remember from his sailing days as a youth. The rigging still seemed pretty uneven and mixed up, but we got the general idea.

We were unable to document our camping trip in the wind storm that nearly swept away our three little children in the tent as we set up camp just before dark Friday evening. Let it be said that there's a good reason we're not co-sleepers with our darlings. We were all up with the sun, packed up and on our way to the other side of the lake where the boat shop is before 8. Rob and the boat repair guys spent several hours fixing the rigging and replacing rusty parts before we launched around noon. Here I am with the kids after successfully getting underway without sinking (my biggest fear being that boat would not be water-tight) and just before all "you know what" broke loose.
With hardly any wind to get us out of the harbor, we were hoping to be able to fill the sails just a little. Within a matter of 15 minutes though, the winds started to pick up. Jeremiah was not loving his lifejacket or the sun, so I sat in the very little cabin with him crying - Audrey and Bennett climbing in and out - in and out. Then suddenly came the gusts of wind and some quick learning of the term "prepare to come about" or just "coming about!!!" as we jumped from side to side to balance the boat. In the end we learned that both of us were needed to control the boat in high winds and perhaps a few more hands to help the children - or maybe no children would be best till we get a bit better in our sailing skills. At one point we leaned far enough for water to spill in from the sides. It was then that we moved quickly to pull in the sails and then hoist just the jib to bring us back to shore. Not a day that any of us will soon forget!