Maiden Voyage

Things we learned during our first foray into yachting:

  1. Sailing is awesome
  2. Sailing is much more pleasant than motoring
  3. The motor is loud
  4. Docking is scary, but less scary with repetition
  5. The Genoa sheets go outside the stays and lifelines
  6. Close the mainsail track gate-thingy before lowering the mainsail

We had a wonderful first sail on Wednesday evening. We pulled “Firefly” out of her slip by hand with the mooring lines and motored out of the marina without mishap, although both of our nerves were running pretty high. It was a bit surreal to be blithely putt-putting about in this little boat that has been land locked all this time…

Are we still in line with that marker?

The boat handled great under power, of which the engine has plenty. I had the kicker just idling and it was pushing us along just fine. We made it out the channel, put her into the wind and hoisted sail!

Pearson Ariel #412 Rides Again!

Winds were light, but even with just the mainsail up we were moving along. Not fast mind you, but making progress against wind and tide. We were about to hoist the genoa, when I realized that I had led the sheets the wrong way around the stays, so given the waning daylight we gybed with just the mainsail and headed back towards the marina.

Our slip is at the far end of the fairway right against the bulkhead (aka the low-rent district) which makes docking challenging. That being said our second try (our first being on launch day) went much smoother than the first time around. It wasn’t exactly polished, however it was successful. And no crashes occurred. Next time will be even better.

During much of our jaunt I was so focused on keeping the boat in the channel, listening to the motor, diagnosing the feel of the rudder (great, bt-dubs) that I didn’t feel any great sense of this project being completed. (probably because the boat to-do list continues to grow) Afterwards though, I couldn’t get the feeling out of my head; the slight tug of the tiller, the soft curve of the sail, the gentle heeling of the boat, and the gurgle of water along the hull was completely and utterly intoxicating. Ryan and I have been texting each other all day, giddy. We can’t wait to go out again.

Also, we may have gone a little picture-crazy. Overboard if you will.

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5 thoughts on “Maiden Voyage

  1. Congratulations on your launch!! We can appreciate the excitement and emotion. We launched on August 21st, then, somewhat boldly, set off on a six day trip. We sailed from Oyster Bay, NY (point of purchase in October 2014) down the East River, through the NY harbor, offshore of New Jersey, and up the Delaware River to our home port of Philadelphia, PA.

    We’re now considering a mini voyage through the C&D Canal to Annapolis during the weekend of September 26. Is Firefly anywhere close? It would be awesome to meet on the water and trade Ariel boat restoration stories. Your blog has been an inspiration.

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