Storm Days 4, Sailing Days 4

Since launching the Sunday before last (was it really just 9 days ago?) we have had two pretty nice storm systems tear through our anchorage. This current one is just blowing itself out. Both have ended up with Gale Force winds from the Southwest which cuts right across a small spit which is our only open exposure to the winds. Even without the fetch of an open body of water the winds churn up a nasty chop. So far two boats have ended up on the beach. The fall storm season is here.

I really enjoy having the weather information from the Washington State Ferry system. They maintain a wind plot of their routes. Here is the average wind as the storm was leaving. Fisherman Bay is just above the "L" of Lopez Island. You can see the spit the barely makes it a bay and the lovely southwest winds.

Although it is not unusual for me to have a boat on a mooring this time of year (I hauled late November last year) having a new work of art on the mooring has caused me a bit of anxiety. So I check on the boat once or twice a day and have been rowing out before every storm to check the bilge, double up the mooring lines and tighten the cover.

So I have loads of photos of Bolero (and that is my old Bluenose off to the right with the green sail cover) on her mooring bucking into the chop.

Mostly I am impressed with the way the old, free, cockpit cover stays put and keep most of the rain out. I have had to sponge out the interior bilge once or twice and I pump the cockpit bilge now and then but she rides well and the cockpit cover works great. It has also been helpful to see how this old version works so I have some ideas when we get to sewing this winter on the new canvas.

But... This isn't a lopsided ballgame. First here are some pictures of Bolero during our first sail the Sunday before last. Ironically, they were taken from my old Bluenose by a friend of the new owner. I am very, very grateful as pictures under sail are priceless.

I have single handed her the last two times (out of four) that I went out and I am starting to feel more comfortable. I feel almost as comfortable as I did sailing the much smaller Bluenose and I am still on the steep part of the learning curve. The really nice part is having high quality sail control systems in place. On Sunday I installed a two part continuous line jib sheet which really helped speed up my tacks and the mainsheet system with two Harken load sensing ratchet blocks is a joy.

I hope to get a handful of more days in before I haul her back out for the winter. I don't care for storm anxiety.