Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sailing all Day in Key West!

We rented a Hobie 16 from the Sunset Watersports guys on Smathers Beach Saturday. The best deal ending up being a beach pass, which gave us unlimited access to whatever toys they have for the whole day. The guys had a hard time accepting that neither of us was interested in parasailing. They asked at least three times if we were sure we didn't want to go and each time we replied negatively, they said, "Well, you can make up your mind about it later. The last boat goes out at 4."

I think they were still shaking their heads as we walked away at 4 and headed back to town on our bikes.

The wind was great the whole time, blowing out of the North, steady 15 kts early and gusting up to 20. In the afternoon, toward the end of our second session, we got a nice sustained 20+ kt wind and we were about two inches away from flying the windward hull. Very fun, thrilling beam reach!

I can see why they are warm-weather boats, however. The water flys around and with the sun mostly hiding behind clouds, Kris was chicken-skinned from head-to-toe for most of our sailing.

I ditched my shirt and I've got a nice red-tint to my skin. Happy for a sunburn on my Willamette Valley winter skin.

We saw a trio of keelboats working West a bit outside of where we were, so we sailed right out to them and gybed onto their line. We passed all three of them in short order. They all had their Key West Race Week placards on their bows and looked to be in the 20' range. Not sure what class/boat-type, though. (Addendum: looks like they were J 80s.)

The Hobie is pretty easy to get caught in irons, we found out quickly. Tacking into the wind is a touchy business and we spent a bit of time blaming each other. Me, certain that Kris wasn't working the jib properly through the turn and Kris repeating, "What did you do?" each time we'd heave up and stall.

We gybed okay, however, so tried to approach everything that way. Which must have looked funny when we sailed back to the beach, directly into the wind, and did loops at each of our tacking points. But maybe experienced sailors thought we were just showing off ...

We will probably try it again on Monday and see if we can master the Hobie Cat tack.

We ended the day with a bottle of rum and a game of dominoes in the galley onboard Appledore. Looking forward to sailing on that boat this afternoon.


JP said...

Sounds great (and to be honest better than chilly London) - any pics?

Greg and Kris said...

Kris and I were lamenting our lack of a waterproof camera to capture some shots from the day. Alas, we sailed, but we did not capture pictorial evidence.

You would have enjoyed it, Cap'n. Great winds!

O Docker said...

Have only been on a beach cat once - on a Maui vacation - and my recollection about tacking is the same - we had to sort of sail backwards and reverse the helm to get onto the new tack.

Guess you'll just have to keep at it until you get it.

Work. Work. Work.

Greg and Kris said...

Good advice O'D.

who'd have thunk ...


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