Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Four Sails

 I'm on break for the next week and a half from the Wilderness Explorer, but will rejoin the ship in Juneau on May 17.  Happily, I have some time with Altair until that day.  Since last I posted, I've been mostly doing a lot of work and not a lot of picture taking, so that is why I don't have much to show and tell about, but I did do a nice springtime jaunt over to Lummi island, where I got to anchor in this snug little cove and see some lizards mating.
So this is what they do in the springtime, huh?  Lie in the sun and grab your lover's head with your mouth and hold her still because its mating season!  They were reluctant to move, and I even poked them a little and finally they moved a leg a little bit.  Busy with their task. 

When I got back to Altair after the long stretch of absence, I was going to dive in and clean off the bottom of the boat, what with all the growth and all.  Reason, however, prevailed over bravery and I did not go in (at least yet), but instead went out sailing to see how foul the bottom was.  In fact, with a brisk wind, the boat cuts through the sea quite nicely.  Not as cleanly as Moses could part the sea, sadly, but still forward progress and at speed.  I turned around to come back to my mooring and with the wind at my back I thought it wise to fly the spinnaker.  There was a fair breeze blowing and I didn't want to go to the work of taking down any of my sails, so I just put up the kite outside the whole mess.  Now I was flying four sails at once!  Never before had I flown so many sails on Altair, and I was quite pleased.  I scampered up the mast to take some pictures of the spectacle.  Lafawnda was steering, and she does a great job, but a bigger than usual gust came through and we heeled over quite a lot (especially with me clinging to the top of the mast), and then straightened up as the spinnaker collapsed.  Since I was holding on with one hand and the other taking pictures, I had a bit of concern, but soon the mast leaned over again (nearly touching the kite to the water) and I was able to walk down the diagonal mast again.
After I got this shot from the cockpit of the three fore-sails and the main.  It was a beautiful day on the water.