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Thread: Learning to Sail - San Diego

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    Default Learning to Sail - San Diego

    On Sunday the 5th of April, my wife JoAnne and I left Colorado Springs and the bitter, blowing cold and snow and headed for sunny, warm, breezy San Diego - and our sailing course.

    We spent the next seven days aboard a 30' yacht called "Karena Del Mar". The boat belongs to the San Diego Sailing Academy. We were picked up by Nick and delivered to the boat to check it out, inventory things and decide on our week of provisioning. We were "on our own" to do all of that. My wife and I raised five children and used to cook for all the kids and most of the neighborhood over the years had no problem with that part. (So we ate well during the week, and supplemented our food with various restaurants during the week.)

    We met our instructor, Mike, on Sunday afternoon.

    Over the course of the week we sailed most days, studied and tested for the ASA courses. By the end of the week we had passed all our tests, and sailed solo a few times.

    But, on Friday morning we had asked Mike to come back and run through a few things with us. He had already signed off on our certifications by then and told us to sail out, have some fun, anchor out one evening (near by) and then we could sail or whatever on Saturday.

    The instruction on Friday morning was during rather calm breezes and the day was supposed to remain pretty calm - so we were confident when Mike finished with us that we were going to do just fine.

    So we motored out of the Kona Kai Marina and out to the bay, raised our sails and noted that from the time we left to the time we got in a location we could safely raise sails and be clear of the shoals near by, the winds had changed and we'd be sailing on a run.

    So - run we did. It was great. We sailed for about an hour into the bay and decided we were pretty tired from most of the work that week and wanted to just relax so we turned around and started tacking back.

    Then the wind started getting shifty and pretty soon I was doing my best to keep the sails in the right position while she drove the boat. At one point we got caught trying to drive upwind - and of course, we stalled out.

    Then the winds changed, quickly. From one direction to another and we saw others having trouble as well. Several start dropping sails - and we weren't in a good position to do much at that point so started trying to turn to tack back, but the wind was gusty and I couldn't get control of the main.

    Suddenly the wind whipped the boom from one side to the other - I looked up at the windex thinking it was coming from behind - but it wasn't. Before I could sheet in the main, it shifted off port and the boom whipped wildly to the starboard side ripping the mainsheet out of my hand. Before I knew what happened a loud explosion rocked our senses.

    JoAnne let out a yell and I struggled to recover the main sheet as it headed over the side of the boat, along with the block and tackle which had ripped loose from the traveler. I yelled to JoAnne to point the boat into the wind at that point as best she could. She was trying. I grabbed the line and shoved it through the big ring on the traveler and cinched it down to a winch to be able to hold it until we got the boat under control.

    About that time - the strangest thing happened. A dolphin leaped out of the water well above my head, off the starboard side a few feet away. JoAnne calmed down and I heard her say, "OoooooooOo!"

    I thought, "Cool! But, not time for that now!"

    At that point she'd gotten the engine started, in gear and pointed us to the wind giving me the chance to tighten down the boom, and I clambered up and dropped the mainsail. (I should mention at this point the jib was already down.)

    JoAnne held the boat to the wind for the amount of time it took me to drop the mainsail and I tied everything down and then discovered that a shackle had practically exploded. Collected the pieces and we switched positions so I could drive the boat under power back.

    We discussed for a minute whether we should go back and call it a day, or anchor out. She was in favor of going back and thought we'd "broken the boat". I showed her the parts and said, "Check in side the lazeratte, I'll bet there's parts in there."

    Sure enough, she found a matching shackle and pin. So I made the decision for us.. Anchor out, fix the boat and let the instructor know what happened after we got settled in.

    So - we did. We anchored out that nice in very 'breezy conditions' (needless to say) and our "anchor test" passed well. Held all night (even though I checked it throughout the night) and the boat swung through over 180 degrees through the night. Other boats did the same nearby us. We left a message for the instructor.

    Next morning they met us at the slip as we pulled in and congratulated us on "being REAL sailors" and handling ourselves without problems....

    We have the broken shackle and pin and I'm going to put it on our own boat and keep it as a "good luck charm".

    We want to thank Mike and Nick, our instructors, San Diego Sailing Academy and a nameless dolphin for all the instruction, advice and "help".

    So - we're no longer "wannabe" sailors.

    We are sailors.

    Rick and JoAnne Donaldson
    Colorado Springs, CO
    S/V Winds of Change

    (A few pictures)
    http://www.anything-sailing.com/album.php?albumid=66
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    Default Re: Learning to Sail - San Diego

    There you go, Backstop. Filled your request to tell about our trip.
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    Creepy Ass Cracka & Site Owner Ryan Ruck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning to Sail - San Diego

    Wow! Sounds like a hell of a trial by fire!

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    Member T.L.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning to Sail - San Diego

    That's great, Rick. Sounds like you had quite the adventure here on San Diego Bay.

    Congratulations to you and JoAnne.

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    Default Re: Learning to Sail - San Diego

    Man Rick - sounds like you 2 have opened a new book of grand adventures.

    Very, very cool.

    Glad you folks are safe.

    PS - can't see your pics. It asks me to log in.

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    Default Re: Learning to Sail - San Diego

    Maybe you can explain what the hell "over the bounding weigh" means?
    Sure sounds like you folks had fun.
    "Still waitin on the Judgement Day"

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    Default Re: Learning to Sail - San Diego

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke View Post
    Maybe you can explain what the hell "over the bounding weigh" means?
    Sure sounds like you folks had fun.
    It's "Over the bounding main"....


    http://kids.niehs.nih.gov/lyrics/sailing.htm

    Sailing, sailing over the bounding main
    Where many a stormy wind shall blow
    'Ere Jack comes home again
    Sailing, sailing over the bounding main
    Where many a stormy wind shall blow
    'Ere Jack comes home again

    I think it was a nursery rhyme.

    That what you mean?
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    Default Re: Learning to Sail - San Diego

    Quote Originally Posted by Backstop View Post
    Man Rick - sounds like you 2 have opened a new book of grand adventures.

    Very, very cool.

    Glad you folks are safe.

    PS - can't see your pics. It asks me to log in.
    I'll get them posted here I guess.
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    Default Re: Learning to Sail - San Diego

    Put up some pictures here on the site.
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    Default Re: Learning to Sail - San Diego

    That is exactly the rhyme that came to mind. My hillbilly logic tells me that to go "over" would indicate going across. I am not sure what bounding means, guess I will have to go to the old Websters. I am guessing since boundless means without limits, the "bounding main" would mean going across a limitless area?

    I have seen the Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic coast but never the Pacific Ocean.

    As a lad I used to spend the first week out of high school with my deliquent compadres at the Lake of the Ozarks. We would rent a ski boat and spend the daylight hours on water skies, and night time hours chasing females. Normally this right of passage would involve mass quanties of illegal alchol. I do seem to remember the odd sensation of getting my land legs back.

    It would seem to me that it would be downright cool to be on a wind powered vessel. Have you any plans for night sailing?
    "Still waitin on the Judgement Day"

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    Senior Member samizdat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Learning to Sail - San Diego

    "OoooooooOo!"

    sounds like you need an extra mate so someone can water ski while you're havin fun.
    Bet that dolphin was glad he caught you without the drop on. They must taste the same as tuna fish.

    canto XXV Dante

    from purgatory, the lustful... "open your breast to the truth which follows and know that as soon as the articulations in the brain are perfected in the embryo, the first Mover turns to it, happy...."
    Shema Israel

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    Default Re: Learning to Sail - San Diego

    It was a bottlenose dolphin, Sami! LOL

    Those are mamals
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    Default Re: Learning to Sail - San Diego

    Nice pics, Rick.

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    Default Re: Learning to Sail - San Diego

    Sounds like it was fun. I love adventures.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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