Saturday afternoon, after much cleaning and stowing of things, we took Free Range out for our first sail. Mark, a master rigger who works at Sailcraft (local boat yard/marina where we are staying) came with us to make sure we got out of the channel without running aground and to teach the ropes. We were SO HAPPY to have him with us on our first outing. Mark brought along his sweet son, Soren, as well.
Stephane successfully maneuvered through the channel and into the Neuse River where we practiced tacking, “chicken jibing” and steering. Mark taught us a lot about our boat and about the area where we were sailing. After a nice afternoon of sailing, we took Free Range back home. Stephane again maneuvered the channel successfully and then…THE BIGGIE…docking the boat. The canal at which we are currently docked, the boats are docked one in front of the other. So you kind of have to parallel park OR turn around and come in from an angle- there isn’t much room for error. And our boat is a big, heavy girl and does not turn quickly. So you really have to know what you’re doing. For Stephane: NO PROBLEMO. So, for now, Stephane is the go-to steerer-under-power-and-in-tight-areas-man. I am the dock-line-girl. I WILL learn to dock but somewhere where the consequences are less severe.
A video of our first sail: