I had decided to tow the sausage, er I mean dinghy (aptly named 'sausage' for it's incongruous lines and tendency to drag through the water rather than on top of it). Anyway, it towed pretty well at 4 knots which seemed to be the speed we motor comfortably at. But when the breeze filled in, which it did just abeam of Tent Island, and our speed picked up to 5 knots... well didn't I look back in time to see it starting to ship water... spray, you know, off the tops of the waves that were slapping against its ungainly bow. So, without the aid of an auto-helm and using my not-very-long legs and whilst trying not to gybe (which I did several times during this comical manoeuvre) I managed to reach back and pull the dinghy closer in an attempt to raise its bow out of the water and stop the ingress of spray. After all, it was a heavy enough tow.. who needed a tub full of water dragging behind? That went well... sort of. As the wind continued to build, and the little ship began to sail well.... (couldn't possibly have been my finesse.... so it must have been the boat) our speed rose to, believe it or not, 6 knots. Yippee !! this was really fun.. heeled over with nothing flying about in the cabin. Even Sophie was having fun, ears in the wind. But, oh oh, a quick glance behind saw the horrible sight of the little sausage now attempting to submarine...bow first, into the depths..... Drats! Had to reef the foresail and slow down in order to prevent a sure disaster.
Oh well, we had our fun and besides, slowing down just when we did gave me cause to consider what lay ahead; the open expanse of water between the north tip of Thetis and the south end of D'Courcy Island. With a vision of the SE winds pouring up the channel, I realized I should down-size my sails if I expected to arrive at Pirates Cove with a dinghy still in tow, and so began another rather comical segment of "getting to know your boat". Of course everything is different on Mojo compared to Shannon and there is a real learning curve as you defy the forces of habit in favour of the 'new' experience demanded by a different set-up. Add to that the realities of no auto-helm to hold the course steady, and no extra pair of hands to release and pull-in the main sheet at the appropriate moment.. well, you get the picture. A nimble acrobat with ballet like balance is required. Having none of those attributes I had to think about this quite carefully and did, I thought, develop a pretty good plan of how to bring down the main smoothly and with some control over the situation. Hmmmph.... I did pretty well up to a point. First, I brought the boat up into the wind and then, after taking a quick turn around the tiller with a line I'd prepared, I leapt to the cabin top and forward to the mast. Lowering the sail as quickly as I could.. I thought it was going pretty well. I even managed to keep the sail out of the water when the boom swung over the port side. Then I realized my first mistake. In my haste to dash forward I had forgotten to bring the sail ties with me. They lay in a heap on the starboard cockpit bench seat - mocking me. No problem. Starting back down the starboard side I reached for the boom to steady myself (as had become my habit at the dock). Big mistake. Too late I remembered I had loosened the main sheet and, with my balancing touch and weight on that side, the boom swung neatly over towards me.. and beyond. Yup, as I looked through my knees at the water I knew that, for sure, things could get worse (and wetter). But luck was with me... and we (the boom and I) were able to fling ourselves back towards centre line.... and I continued on my way back to the cockpit.. this time without the help of the boom as balance. Phew!! The rest went well, if not prettily (is that a word??) and, with the mainsail lashed haphazardly to the boom, we continued on our merry way to Pirates Cove and the Park Host dock.
|The "Sausage" with her accessories|
The rest of the day, and the next, were spent in glorious sunshine, fulfilling the duties as park host... and visiting with a few other Club boats that had come for the practice and to assist.
|Mojo and friends at the Park Host dock (photo: Mike Weld)|
|CJ in her element (Photo Mike Weld)|
|CJ and Sophie enjoying the sunshine (Photo Mike Weld)|
|Kathy/Sophie heading for shore in the rain|
|It's all good with the right outdoor wear|
|Hunkering in during the rainstorm|
|Evening light in Pirates Cove (Photo: Mike Weld)|
|Looking out of the Cove|
Mother nature rained herself out on Thursday and Friday morning we headed off to begin our return trip home (motoring as there was no wind... and maintaining a steady 4 knots for the sake of the sausage). Still not ready to head in, we stopped off at Telegraph Harbour Marina on Thetis Island and had a visit with Ron and Tara the owner/managers. Saturday morning we relinquished our hold on our freedom and headed back to our dock in Maple Bay (you guessed it, at 4 knots :-)
|Mojo at Telegraph Harbour|
It was a great trip... only one window leak and one of those hanging glass holders that are designed for life-lines... worked very well at capturing the wee drops of rainwater that found their way in. We're home now, pleased with little Mojo and with a list of things we want to putter at as we make her even more comfortable for our summer adventures.
Hope all is well with all of you..... Here comes summer... yippee !!!!! CJ
PS: A little note about what waited for us at home.... Way back, in September, when we'd helped Dad move into his 'new' home at Sunrise Senior Living... we gave him an orchid to brighten up his suite. Dad passed in January and as you know we celebrated his and mom's life this past May. The orchid came to live with us when we returned home and sat on our living room plant table through the grey months of spring. When we left for our little jaunt on Mojo there was one bloom and it was beautiful. When we returned, there were two... side by side... touching. I'll say no more.