I made my ropes ready, tied my bowlines, affixed them to the cleats on the foredeck and rear on the starboard side. The motor was in the water, warmed up, ready to go. I cast off the springlines from the boat and backed her out. The first of the firsts for the day. A solo departure from the slip. I worked my way around to the other side of the marina. On the main pier of the marina is an open area where you can tie up for a short while and allow guests to board/depart. That was my target this morning.
I made my way towards the area when my phone rang. John was in the parking lot, I told him what I was doing, he said he'd come watch. Joking with me from the dock not to scrape anything hard like the big Catalina 30 we saw a couple of weeks ago do, I came in on the far side of the channel, close to the other boats in their slips. It's a bit narrow here and I wanted to turn the 22 foot boat and lay her on the starboard side against the pier. John had grown quiet as he watched me work. The goal was to place her at one of the cuts in the pier. As I finished my turn and watched how strong the wind was pushing me at the dock I knew I wasn't going to make it unless I put in a lot of power. Discretion is the better part of valor and I took what was offered. Angling her just so I touched her down on the fenders lightly against the pier and tied off the stern. John asked for a rope for the foredeck until I pointed it it was already tied on under his nose. A successful solo docking at the main pier! Great things are on tap for the day.
The rest of the day we spent enjoying the cooler temperatures and a consistent 10 mph wind. We made our way all the way to the other end of the lake to the big sand beach before turning around and heading back. We worked our way back and forth, tacking as we went, moving upwind. Stopping at Twin Coves for a quick lunch, we were soon back on the water. The lake was very quiet this friday with everyone in school or work except a very select few. With but a few lulls we had very consistent wind today. The temporary fix of our boom-vang broke on the water at one point, the rope that had been lashing it to the mast parted. I rummaged around the cabin and came up with another short length and re-lashed the block in place, a few minutes later and all the hardware was functional again! Amazing what a sailor can do with a bit of rope ;)
I took a tip from John and followed his example for a while today. While John was skippering the boat I went forward and stretched out on the foredeck. Laying in the shade of the jib with my hands behind my head I reflected on how far I've come in a short time. Until the class in June I'd never sailed a boat, now I was able to single hand a 22 foot Catalina, have developed some new friends, and learned a whole lot of new things. There are a lot of nice things in the world you know, but at that moment, laying in the cool breeze, listening the water lap against the hull as we sailed, it was hard to remember many better.