Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Feat #9: Solo
Here I am coming in from my first ever solo sail on our family's Melges MC Scow, just before a successful landing, which included leaving the tiller and hurtling myself up to the bow to catch the post on the pier. This may not seem like a big deal because I grew up sailing and many times solo-sailed boats like Sunfish and Lasers.
But it was. A big deal.
The MC has intimidated me since we bought it about 20 years ago. It's designed for racing and is very sensitive to the smallest shifts in weight or wind. The sail is relatively large and the rigging is heavy duty and fairly complex for a boat that size.
Pretty much every summer we have to make repairs due to tip overs, mishandled Water Safety Patrol tow-ins, and rough landings. I've been on the boat when we've tipped over, including at least one time with me at the helm. And as a faithful crew member, I have flung myself more than once into the lake to keep the boat from ramming into the pier or the shore in unpredictable conditions.
What you can't tell from this picture is that the wind further out on the lake was actually quite strong and gusty, a good test for me. I told myself I had to cross the lake and to come about at least three times. Going out a little ways, turning around, and coming straight back wouldn't count. I ended up coming about four times because, full disclosure, I held back and didn't quite make the landing on the first try.
My dad and my uncle Tom, who have been sailing the lake their entire lives and who coached me well, cheered me on from the pier while I sailed alone.
Alone. I sailed the MC alone.