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Core Sound 15 — #162 “Norma T”

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Sailing with Family Today

Beautiful day today with warm-enough temps, blue sky, and sufficient wind.  I invited my family to meet me a few hours downstate for some sailing at a State Park lake.  I wanted to introduce people to our new family sailboat.  We had two sailing sessions today with a full boat. In the first session, my wife and I sailed a couple hours with one of my sons, his wife and their two little girls... who were VERY excited. 
My son sailed a sunfish-type boat in high school and, as an adult, had joined me a few years ago in a 3-day sailing course in Lake Superior’s Apostle Islands area. That training enabled both of us to charter sailboats up to 35 feet, for which I just couldn’t make myself spend that kind of money... maybe someday.  He is familiar with sailing skills and dynamics.


A first thing to mention about the day... I had great success in preparing the boat for launch in "record time."  For fun, I even used my phone’s stopwatch to see how I did:



With the boat launched, all six of us got into the boat, motored out, and my son raised the mizzen. 

"All the way up," I said, since the tack was barely above the very bottom of the sailtrack and I wanted it all the way up. 

(By the way, I LOVE how high the sails can get, providing great visibility without having to look around the sails to see.) 

"Is it stuck?" 

I looked up to see the sail at the very top of the mizzen mast. 

"What the.......!!??" 
(Realization begins to dawn on me.) 

I HAD SWITCHED THE SAILS!!  This is the mainsail on the aft mast!  "Aaaurgh! 

I guess fast set-up speed isn't always so important. 😂  Well, at least my son then had a chance to drop and remove a sail, loading it onto the correct mast before hoisting it, while I did the same to the misplaced mizzen sail.  I find humor in these blunders that I can sometimes make.  😄 I guess that today  I decided to spell "mizzen" with the letters: "M-a-i-n-s-a-i-l" since that is what is clearly printed in very large letters (twice) on the sailbag that I placed in the mizzen spot.  I likely won't make this blunder again... I'm sometimes educable.  


We got underway and had a very nice sail.  I even tried out the heave-to technique so we could eat lunch.  My two grandkids helped me with the tiller for a while, but my son did most of the sailing.  Here's a little artsy rendition of me and the grandkids at the tiller:



The next sailing session started with both my sons, my third grandchild, and me.  We had some brisk (enough) winds for my older son to start getting a feel for the boat and for sailing.  One hope I have is that my family will want to borrow the boat for family time and that my two boys, who do canoe/kayak camping trips together, will discover that they can have additional adventures of a different kind with the  Norma T.


The winds became more intermittent — but at least sufficient — after one of my daughters and her husband joined up with us, bringing the number of this session to five adults and a little kid.  We were comfortable in this large cockpit area.  I had mentioned to people that this little 15 foot boat has more cockpit space that the 30-35 sloops I've been on, and in these conditions the boat feels very stable.  Neat.  My kids brought plenty of snacks and had plenty of conversation for a few hours.


Trying out a little wing-on-wing:



Time to head back home:


Great day today.  My wife spoke with our other daughter at supper and we might still have a chance for her to also experience some sailing with us when she visits in a couple weeks. 

Tomorrow afternoon looks great, forecasts are for sunny sky, upper 60's, winds at 11-12 mph with 20+ gusts.  If I get out it will be my sixth day of sailing in the week since I received the sails.


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Six days of sailing in my first week!! 😁😁😁😁😁😁

My wife and I took the boat out today. The winds were... um... sporty (12-14 mph with 20+ mph gusts.)  I put the reefs in but we noticed the possibility of the mizzen sprit interfering with the mainsail.  (I’ll shorten them both some more.)  I left the mainsail reefed but used an unreefed mizzen to prevent an interference problem.  

I think that the unbalanced sails and the stronger winds helped me begin to understand more about weather and lee helms and some of the effects of the two sails being “in” and “out” of balance. 

Today, the set-up and take-down processes went well and smoothly... no silly blunders. My wife also participated in the processes as well.  With the weather and waves, and her choice to ride in the bow... well... she caught a lot of splashing.  She got soaked, but she figures it’s a good story for the grandkids.  We didn’t stay out long; my main interest today was to experience some stronger winds. (I was quick to let out the mainsail in the gusts as advised by a number of B&B sailors — thank you.)


We also wanted to ride our e-bikes today and the short sailing time let us ride the whole 26 mile Green Circle trail before supper time.  Another great day with sailing as part of it.

Looking at this coming week... maybe a couple/few days of sailing among the little jobs that need to be done.  And, I might take a few days to ride my motorcycle and camp. The following week will be for camping with a daughter and husband, and moving my niece to a different apartment. 

I’d say that my first week with my completed CS15 has been a rousing success!  Plus, I shared sailing time in the Norma T with twelve other people. 

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