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31-Aug-02

For anyone familiar with my stories you are going to be surprised at the lack of detail. This will be explained later. First let me tell you that this is a story of embarrassing dumbness. Please don’t hold it against me. I figure everyone can have a day of being stupid. This is mine.

I decided that I would get up Saturday morning and would go sailing if there was a steady wind. I wanted to go sailing not motor around, but up till now Mother Nature has always screwed up my plans. This time I had a plan. As I told my wife. If the wind was up I would go sailing. If there was no wind I would do a engine test at level 4 to see how fast the engine would drain. There was no way Mother Nature could mess up my plans. HA HA!!

When I went out to the the docking area there were several people hanging around. I found out later they were waiting for someone to come in a speedboat to pick them up. They were fascinated in my boat but kept commenting on how long it was taking me to set up. As a result I was rushing my setup more then I normally would. Mistake number 1. I also could not find my notebook anywhere. My notebook is where I record times and information for this site. This is why the information on this story is not quite as specific as it normally is.

So now I was finally ready to go. The wind had picked up and was blowing nicely. It never occurred to me to check the water for whitecaps I was too eager to get out. My audience kept asking when the sail was going to go up and I felt silly taking so long getting ready. This I will call Mistake Number 2.

As I normally do I motored out to the middle of the lake for putting up the sail. This is mistake number 3. The wind was considerable and my technique might be fine for light wind, but for strong winds it left much to be desired. I should have tied off to the dock and set up the sail there.

I put up the sail and went back to put on the rudder. I do it in this order because if I put on the rudder first it had a tendancy to come loose while I am putting up the sail. The boat began to turn lengthwise to the wind and to my horror I saw the the sail was in the center position and was not playing out. The main line was tangled. Started the engine and used it to turn the boat into the wind.

So started a battle between me, the elements, and my sailing rig. After about 20 minutes of struggle and two or three incidents where I sat there and wondered how Little Squirt could possibly still be upright instead of on its side in the water I decided that I was far too inexperienced for this wind. I took down the sail and motored back to dock in shame.

I removed the sailing gear, and decided to motor around awhile. I could no longer do a engine test because I had used up too much juice in my little adventure, and too see how long the motor could be run at a particular charge I needed a full battery. I talked to a person named Paul while I was taking down the gear. He had moved into the area recently, and seemed interested in my boat. We both got in and took a little cruise back and forth across the river between Glenwood and Appleton two or three times. I then packed it in and put the boat on the trailer. I took some pictures of the sailing rig for a article I was doing on my web site about the 3-in-1’s rigging. I now had several people hanging around again, and they thought it amusing to see me taking these pictures. It is at this point that I found my notebook in my pants pocket. I never put it there because it would get wet so I never looked. I normally keep it in my toolbox or in the rear compartment of the boat.

SAFE AT LAST – Don’t judge me by the waves in the picture. This area is fairly sheltered.

I got home about 1230


LESSONS LEARNED

1. NEVER LET PERSONAL FEELINGS AFFECT COMMON SENSE (I WANTED TO GO SAILING AND THAT INFLUENCED MY VIEW OF THE WIND)

2. YOU CAN TALK TO SPECTATORS BUT AS FAR AS SETTING UP YOU CAN’T LET THEM INFLUENCE YOU.

3. IF I WANT TO TAKE THE LITTLE SQUIRT OUT IN ANY KIND OF WIND I NEED A STORM SAIL OR A WAY TO REDUCE THE ONE I HAVE.

4. THE 3-IN-1 IS AN EXTREMELY STUBBORN BOAT FOR NOT TURNING OVER. I GUESS IT DOES NOT LIKE TO GET WET EITHER.

5. IN ROUGH WATER THE PERSON SITTING ON THE ROWING SEAT GETS SPLASHED EVERY TIME YOU HIT A WAVE. PAUL WAS SITTING THERE AND HIS BACK GOT SOAKED


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