Rush back the next day take off the rain cover and boy I should have screwed down those floorboards. Look at the way they are floating there. More rain must have gotten in. I wish I had kept that bilge pump I could've pumped it out instead of bailing. Bail...Bail...Bail........
Turns out she had a little leak but it was a slow one. Ill fix that in the fall. I just want to go sailing. Now how does this mainsail work anyway? Ah put it in the track, hook up the halyard and run it up. Should've set it up on the boom first ah well remember that next time. Main stops like an auto accident halfway up. What is the problem? Well just yank harder. With a snap the first clip gets by and then a little more gumption and now the second. Practically hanging from the halyard gets the main about 95% of the way up. Good enough! Jib flies up shockingly smooth in comparison. Wind is really picking up should be a good day.
My brother manning the forward crew with his sailing experience on the Meteor and me manning the tiller we should be all set. After all I remember my Father just sitting back there and steering. I can do that! Were off!
Cruising right along wind at our backs, bright sun shining. Lets try a tack, see I even remember the lingo. A little wobbly but were good. Wait were did the wind go? And why wont this ting go were I steer it? Oh well lets head over for Battery Point with the choppy water and the white caps, I bet well get some good wind over there. We are moving! Wait let the main out a little as the boats getting a little tippy. Water is getting rough! Heavy wind now, boat is heeling over! What to do? I know try and steer away from the wind. Hard to port and Oh Oh! Not supposed to go this far over. Main stuck in cleat and cant get it out. Let go of tiller and yank that main rope as hard as I can as boat is rolling. Pop! Main is free let it go. Boom flies and boat drops flat.
Breathe, just breathe! That could've gone better. How can I slowly sail this back and get on dry land? Maybe I should read a book or something or take some sailing lessons. Nah just come back when its not so windy. Good plan! Legs stop shaking, its not dignified.
Thus ends my first sailing experience as skipper. Needless to say things got better as the summer progressed. Working as forward crew during the Richmond cup helped. Learned I shouldn't have bought a woody especially one with blown sails, steel centerboard and no updates. Alas, my love of wooden boats is still firmly entrenched maybe even more so. Fiberglass is nice if you just want to spend all your time sailing but who doesn't like picking up the tools and tackling a project even though it may not turn out the way you envisioned. That is the gravy, the gusto. The reason we get out of bed in the morning. So if you are masicistic like me and want to venture forth through the adventure of the wooden Lightning, I say raise your hammer and pledge:
"I will spend my Saturdays & Sundays scraping, painting, varnishing, drilling, screwing, oops fill that hole its too big, purchasing from obscure websites, researching nautical terms and trying to figure out what this doo-hickey is and how it helps sail my boat!"
I would like to update this Lightning out of stubborn pride and a love of wood and take you along for the ride as I consult with the experts on how to get the most knots out of my woody!
I would like to replace the entire centerboard trunk along with a new Stainless Steel centerboard including the existing block & tackle system to raise and lower it. This will address the problems of leakage, dry rot & a sticky centerboard.
Granted she will never take the honors in the National's but I would like to pull up the rear & stay with the Lightning pack on Lake Massabesic
on Sunday afternoons.