sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Boats for Sale MarineBusiness-World Sail-World Racing Cruising Int Magnetic Is RW Photo Gallery FishingBoating
Sail-World.com : My day of dinghy sailing
My day of dinghy sailing


'I never sailed a boat with so many detachable parts before!'    .

The events in this tale may have occurred around Long Island, New York, but they could have happened anywhere. Beth Young is a journalist for East End Beacon and has been writing for 15 years, and never more engagingly than in this small story about going dinghy sailing:

I have a confession and it’s not a pretty one. I’m a terrible dinghy sailor.


Sure, I can put on a good act of hauling in sheets, raising halyards, splicing the main brace and doing all kinds of salty talk, but when it comes down to it, I capsized the only dinghy I ever sailed while leaving Scott Scanlon’s Barcelona Beach Blast about a thousand years ago, and had to be towed home. It was a major embarrassment, especially since I’d borrowed the dinghy from a friend without asking permission.

Years and years later, two people died when that tippy little dinghy tipped them out of the boat into the waters outside the Sag Harbor breakwater. Really. They weren’t even sailing it. They were just trying to board their sailboat after a night of bar-hopping. Everywhere you went in Sag Harbor in the weeks after their death, you’d hear people saying ‘yep, that was a tippy little dinghy.’ I count myself lucky to be alive.

The truth is, any sailor worth their salt can sail a dinghy. You have no business calling yourself a sailor if you can’t. It was with that in mind that, with a heavy conscience and a healthy dose of fear, I agreed to crew a couple weeks ago on what would turn out to be one of the most bone-chilling and exhilarating experiences of my brief life.

The mission was simple: Meet my sailing buddy and get in a Sunfish on the beach in Greenport. Sail west until we land on the shore alongside the old Galley Ho in New Suffolk. Do a little sailor dance and go home. It seemed like a straightforward little task. I studied the chart at home for about five minutes and we headed out the door with the sheets and the blocks and the daggerboard and the tiller and rudder. I never sailed a boat with so many detachable parts before. I was in proverbial uncharted waters. It was time to take them on the chin.

We put in at Gull Pond in Greenport. The wind was doing a thing that it does only occasionally in late August, when it blows fairly steady, not too strong, and is actually warm even though it is coming from the bitter northeast. Our sailing voyage was looking like a straight-ahead downwind run. We smiled as we assembled our new boat. We tied a small bit of nylon rope in a braid around the handle on the foredeck, for good luck, and sailed right off the beach. Within minutes, we’d passed the breakwater at the entrance to Stirling Harbor and sailed straight through the ferry passage, easily timing our crossing to avoid causing a traffic jam in the closest thing to a shipping lane in these parts.

I claim to be an expert on the East End waters, but the truth is that I’ve never before sailed between Greenport and Cutchogue, even though I’ve studied these waters on the charts for years. I’ve never before been in a boat looking across the water to see the brickmaking tower behind Goldsmith Boatyard, the backyard of my landlubber childhood in an apartment above the old Mill Creek Inn, or seen a sailor’s view of the gazebo at Camp Quinipet on Shelter Island, which stands on the far shore from where a little kid me sat on the beach and conjured seafaring dreams.

Nearly all of my sailing has been as delivery crew, either hurriedly motoring the boring stretch of water from Newport, R.I. to Block Island to Sag Harbor, or in a creaky old 24-foot sloop in the waters surrounding Sag Harbor, Noyac and East Hampton. You can do a lot of serious sailing in a 24-foot sloop without getting wet.

We were still sailing downwind under sunny skies on the same tack on which we’d left Gull Pond, when I began a glazed-eye squint at the unfamiliar shore. A wisp of white sand jutted out into the bay, but our little crew, our eyes aging from too many years of staring into the sun, couldn’t tell if the white sand was on the Greenport shore or the Shelter Island shore. The chart memory I’d stored in the hard drive of my brain said it was Conklin Point, just east of Brick Cove and my childhood brick chimney, but my eyes just panicked the way the eyes of landlubbers panic.

We pushed our heading southward, hoping to make it around the spit of land, if it was a spit of land, without being whipped overboard by an accidental jibe. I’ve done some accidental jibing out sailing alone, but never in a dinghy and never with someone else’s life at risk other than my own. I could hear the sound of boom cracking on skull, reverberating inside my skull, which has already been whacked by more booms than I care to recall. If Albert Einstein was a terrible sailor, I justified, I could be a terrible sailor too.

The gooseneck on the boom creaked around the mast. The sail held steady on our heading. We rounded the point, waving at the seagulls basking on their spit of sand, and then stared befuddled at the expanse of Southold Bay.

Southold Bay was big and it was wide, and there was bound to be some chop to the water, I thought, as the wind whistled over that expanse of open water. Sailors call the distance from one shore to another the 'fetch,' and the bigger the fetch, the more time wind has to rustle up the water. It’s one of the big reasons the waves are bigger on the ocean than they are on the bay. They’ve traveled that much farther and built up that much more energy.

We weren’t quite sure where we were heading, but our heading was pushing us over to Shelter Island. It was at that moment that both of us realized our dyslexia would prevent us from being able to turn around into the wind and tack, so we jibed instead. The sail sang and the boom sang as they crossed our little ship. The little fish printed high up on the sail laughed and sang because the wind was suddenly stronger on our new tack, stronger than you could ever guess if you spent your whole life heading downwind. We began to heel over. The sheet whistled through my hand as I thought of the Intensity Sails video and panicked. For just a second. Really.

We had a problem. I saw it before my sailing buddy could. I worry about everything, but he worries about nothing. It’s why we work well together. The outhaul line attaching the sail to the back of the boom had come loose and it had come loose because, after so many years on land, I don’t remember how to tie a rolling hitch. It was too far away to reach and it was getting looser every second. We were headed straight for Paradise Point but we may as well have been heading for a collision course with the moon. It would take another tack or another crazy, ill-conceived jibe to get us around the point of paradise.

We jibed because the wind had entered our heads and there was no room left for thought. The outhaul line disappeared into the bay and the sail began flapping. The flat fish printed on it laughed and laughed, but the boom missed us. Our heads were still intact and it looked like we might just round the point. We took a heading, gritted our teeth, and watched the edge of the sail creep up the boom, flapping more and more as the wind tugged harder.

If there’s one thing that always seems true about being at sea, it’s that little problems quickly become big problems if they’re not fixed. It’s that way in life too. And if there’s one thing that’s true about life, it’s that bad fortune comes in threes.

We were perpendicular to Paradise, watching the point, and we knew we were moving fast because all we could hear was the wind whistling through our ears. The boat lurched and was suddenly stopped, hard ashore on the sand bar off the point, while our little crew lurched forward. Our stomachs lurched forward and then our bodies lurched and then we were grabbing at the daggerboard and yanking for our lives and Einstein was in the clouds laughing above us at the simplicity of inertia. I wouldn’t be surprised if the great physicist himself had run aground on Paradise Point because his essence is in the air all around that place, whipped up in the irony that there is no paradise in this treacherous spot.

The daggerboard came up easy but our sail was still getting looser and the boom end was still out of reach and the outhaul line was still somewhere miles back drifting on the sea. The boom tried one last time to kill us on another accidental jibe. Green water began pouring in over the lee rail and both of us became monkeys, climbing out the windward side of the boat, mast in the sea, paradise drifting beyond our transom and the daggerboard pointing out of the bottom of the boat toward the mid-morning sun. We were on the boat bottom, clawing pushing and crawling, when the Sunfish suddenly popped upright and began sailing again as if nothing happened.

My shoe and two sandwiches floated around in the cockpit. A sleeve of Ritz crackers pretended to be a floatation device. The sail was still flapping and we were headed straight for two fishermen, a father and a small boy, pointing at us in amazement from the shore of Cedar Beach. We beached just south of them, our legs quaking and our stomachs around our necks, as we crawled to shore and kissed the ground.

I quaked and shivered and opened up the soaking sandwiches and decided to chicken out and call my mom. My sailing buddy poured the sea out of his shoes and walked around the Cedar Beach point to investigate the lee shore. Across the water, a hairy head of land jutted out at me, like the middle finger of the South Fork stretched far out into the sea.

Jessup’s Neck! Of course! I’d never seen it from this angle before. On the charts it looks like a finger of land, but out here, in the real bay, it was covered in hills and trees. It seemed the ghost of Elizabeth Morton, the girl on the salt box, was wandering through those woods, feeding salt to the deer and the birds and watching us from her family’s wildlife preserve. I waved and then I thought about where we were and what the water must be doing as it funneled through the land between Paradise and Jessup’s. This was not a pretty place for novice sailors.

My sailing buddy was running back toward me around the point.

'It’s another world on the other side!' he said, then untied our lucky braid from the bow handle, tightened up the sail outhaul, bailed out the boat and pushed us offshore. We were going to try to reach our destination and if we didn’t succeed we were going to die trying. It was no different than the rest of life.

We were out now in the big Little Peconic Bay and the sun smiled on us but we had a new problem: The winds were different over here and we were afraid to tack. Nothing made sense. The sheets and sail, boom and wind, were all a jumble in our heads. Our vision was clouded by the memory of that daggerboard pointing to the sun as we capsized. We were almost to Nassau Point before we worked up the courage to tack.

Along the cliffside shores, new bulkheads and plantings shored up houses that had come perilously close to falling off the edge during Hurricane Sandy. The shore was a massive construction site and we, in our foolish innocence, were alone in a 14-foot boot on the sea that had ravaged the East End last October. What morons we were!

In the distance, children played with buckets and shovels along the beach while their parents lounged in chairs reading and keeping just one eye on the monster sea that was playing with their precious children. We finally worked up the courage to tack and their faces faded quickly.

We were bound for the long spit of land at the end of Nassau Point, halfway to the South Fork, before we braved the crossing of that sandbar. We still ran aground, but, no longer novice sailors, we quickly pulled up the daggerboard and drifted into a familiar sea, Robin’s Island to our left and the Galley Ho directly ahead as the sun crept low into the late afternoon sky. By the time we beached our legs were rubber mushes, like the legs of trans-Atlantic veterans. We wandered down First Street to find someone to tell our tale.

The first shopkeeper to hear it didn’t believe, so the story of the great Sunfish delivery has remained a secret until now.

'That’s too far to go in that little boat,' he said. I don’t think we learned our lesson yet.

Read more stories by Beth Young in the East End Beacon


by Beth Young, East End Beacon/Sail-World

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=114719

1:12 AM Fri 20 Sep 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







Sail-World Cruising News - local and the World

The spirit of the ARC is the spirit of camaraderie and adventure, which makes every one of the 1,250 ARC sailors a winner, not just those on stage to receive awards. After a 20-hour delay to the scheduled start, caused by strong winds in Gran Canaria, ARC 2014 got off to a flying start for this trade wind classic. ... [more]  

The hidden fruit was found when Ministry of Primary Industry staff and a special sniffer dog named Snoop checked boats heading to Opua and Whangarei. Biosecurity checks have been ramped up following the discovery of two Queensland fruit flies in Whangarei earlier this year. The finds sparked major detection and containment exercises costing more than $2 million. ... [more]  

The Atlantic hurricane season will officially end on November 30, and will be remembered as a relatively quiet season as was predicted. Still, the season afforded NOAA scientists with opportunities to produce new forecast products, showcase successful modeling advancements, and conduct research to benefit future forecasts. Improved model, new surge forecast products and research projects debuted. ... [more]  

The second edition of this alternative route to the traditional ARC route saw 50 yachts and over 200 crew enjoy the same great activity programme before and after their ARC crossing, but also an interesting and enjoyable stopover on São Vicente, one of the less visited of the Cape Verde islands. Crews were full of praise for ARC+ route, now an integral part of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers. ... [more]  

Waves within waves by Leslie G. Baehr
Scientists have a name for this phenomenon—internal waves. By definition, internal waves occur in the deep, well beyond people’s purview. Scientists have generated miniature internal waves in small tanks in the lab, but out in the wild, they’re as elusive as a white horse in a snowstorm. ... [more]  

Over the past 30 years, the Arctic has warmed more than any other region on Earth. As sea ice continues to thin and melt, understanding the rapid changes going on in this sensitive part of the world and its ecosystems becomes even more crucial. The new vehicle, called Nereid Under Ice (NUI), is remotely operated by pilots aboard a surface ship via a lightweight, micro-thin, fiber-optic tether. ... [more]  

The Lakefest Aquatic Week on beautiful Lake Macquarie – just south of Newcastle – is set to become a reality with a number of events confirmed to occur during the February 20-27 week long celebration. ... [more]  

Marine Auctions is proud to announce that they will be pioneering their 2015 auctions with live internet online bidding from around the world. This is a huge step for Marine Auctions who have cemented themselves at the forefront within the industry. ... [more]  

The second edition of the Christmas Caribbean Rally (CCR), after months, and in many cases years of preparation, set off from Marina Rubicon, Lanzarote on 14th December at 12 noon. The fleet enjoyed almost perfect start conditions sailing in 20-25 knots of breeze from the NNW in a calm sea. ... [more]  

In a world first study researchers have found a coral-eating fish that disguises its smell to hide from predators. 'For many animals vision is less important than their sense of smell,' says study lead author Dr Rohan Brooker from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (Coral CoE) at James Cook University. ... [more]  

Writing in the Journal of Animal Ecology the authors set out to answer important and fundamental questions on how life in the ocean will respond to projected changes in the coming decades. Despite evidence of increasing acidification of the world's oceans, questions remain over whether marine species will be able to adapt to these changing conditions. ... [more]  

By studying the colour of seabird guano in the infrared part of the spectrum the researchers from British Antarctic Survey (BAS), University of Cambridge and University of Edinburgh were able to identify and isolate the poo's unique spectral signature from bare rocks and snow. ... [more]  

Keep safe on the water this holiday season by Transport Roads and Maritime Services
School holidays are under way and with only a fortnight to Christmas, Roads and Maritime Services urges boaters to keep safe this summer holiday season. ... [more]  

Sail-World is now live testing the changed website format. If you are using this format for the first time, please scroll to the bottom of the site and check that your region is set for your region and not some other. It can be correctly set up using the drop down boxes. Then go to the top, click refresh, and you should be away. ... [more]  

Oceanographer Bob Pickart will never forget his first cruise aboard Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s (WHOI) research vessel Knorr. It was February 1997, and the ship was headed to the fierce Labrador Sea in the dead of winter. Sailing into the teeth of wintry conditions was the whole point of the 47-day research cruise. ... [more]  

Fifty-five years ago, the group of twelve nations who’d been involved in the International Geophysical Year of 1957 signed the Treaty. The Treaty has ensured that Antarctica remains a natural reserve, devoted to peace and science. ... [more]  

Scientists urge protection of world's deltas by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Extensive areas of the world’s deltas — which accommodate major cities such as Shanghai, Dhaka and Bangkok — will be drowned in the next century by rising sea levels, according to a Comment piece in this week’s Nature. ... [more]  

The BBC has reported that nine Somali pirates should get thousands of Euros because they were not immediately brought before a French judge, the court ruled. One is to get 9,000 Euros (£7,000) and the others sums of up to 7,000 Euros. The judges faulted France for keeping them in custody for an extra 48 hours. ... [more]  

Yacht lost on Majuro by John Martin
Monday morning I awoke early and watched the sky grow light listening to the quiet morning sounds here in our anchorage off the island of Eneko. At 7:30 the cruiser’s net anchor started off with the usual good morning, and she asked if there was any emergency traffic. ... [more]  

When we taught the intense 12-week Professional Mariner Program at the Chapman School of Seamanship, top priority the first week was to get each student into a mindset where they inspected a boat from stem to stern before casting off and after they tied up. Note the dual inspections. Bookends if you will. Before sailing; after sailing. Every time. ... [more]  

This summer families are invited to spend the day having an undersea adventure at the Australian National Maritime Museum as it presents a range of activities for children inspired by its brand new exhibition Voyage to the Deep: Underwater Adventures. Have fun making undersea craft, take part in short film making and photography workshops, go on an after-dark tour or enjoy a hilarious theatre show ... [more]  

Leopard by Finland crossed the finish line in Rodney Bay Saint Lucia this morning at 01:09:51 UTC (02/12 21:09:51 Local time) smashing the ARC Course Record by 2 days 6 hours 45 minutes and 19 seconds. Sailing across the Atlantic from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia in a total of 8 days 14 hours, 39 minutes and 51 seconds. ... [more]  

Summer guide to Sydney’s Aquatic events now available by Transport Roads and Maritime Services
The Roads and Maritime Services guide to all of the events planned for Sydney Harbour this summer, including maps, safety advice and tips as well as on-water traffic restrictions, is now available. ... [more]  

Try as you might, it just won’t work. Ropes are for pulling, and pulling alone. Similarly, most things on a boat and in a rig have a specific job to do and hence reason for the way they’re designed. Form follows function, after all. So with this adage firmly in mind, let’s see what Sydney Rigging Specialists have been up to and why they stick to this theory, like rust marks on a trusty kite. ... [more]  

Both animals have been recovering from their ordeals at Reef HQ Aquarium’s turtle hospital in Townsville. Aquarist Krystal Huff said one of the turtles, Izzy — rescued by Ecobarge Clean Seas volunteers after she was washed up on a Whitsundays beach — had suffered a series of traumatic experiences before entering into care in August last year. ... [more]  

Celebrating its 10th anniversary the company's founder, Australian boating industry icon Bill Barry-Cotter, said conditions in international markets had continued to show improvement during the year. He said the launch of the new M65 cruising motoryacht this month and its public debut due in May next year should set the scene for another solid year for the company in 2015. ... [more]  

Available to Club Marine members via Club Marine’s Australian and New Zealand websites, Online Claims provides an intuitive, mobile-friendly way for members to lodge claims and get them moving – fast. 'Getting our members back on the water as soon as possible is Club Marine’s priority,' said Club Marine CEO Simon McLean. ... [more]  

2014 has truly been an Odyssey year, as our boats have criss-crossed the Atlantic on epic journeys, starting in January when the Atlantic Odyssey II yachts sailed from La Palma to Grenada, and followed by the summer adventure of the Blue Planet Odyssey yachts up in the High Arctic attempting the transit of the North West Passage. ... [more]  

Sailing within the ARC+ fleet, Alubat Cignale 18 Eleonora 2 crossed the ARC+ finish line at 07:38:46 local time after a fast 2100NM passage from Mindelo in the Cape Verde Islands. The international crew on board were in great spirits having enjoyed their 12 days at sea and are now looking forward to experiencing the delights of the Caribbean. ... [more]  

Every year, thousands of people suffer from CFP, a poisoning syndrome caused by eating toxic reef fish. CFP symptoms are both gastrointestinal and neurological, bringing on bouts of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, muscle aches, and in some cases, the reversal of hot and cold sensations. Some neurological symptoms can persist for days to months to years after exposure. ... [more]  

Bum breathing icon’s future in doubt by James Cook University
The white-throated snapping turtle (Elseya albagula) is notable for a number of reasons including its large size (five kilogram +) and ability to extract oxygen from the water via cloacal respiration ('bum breathing'). JCU’s Jason Schaffer has been studying turtles in Queensland rivers for the last eight years. His focus lately has been on the White-throated turtle. ... [more]  

Little Pines Multimedia has released a new series of instructional apps for Android available at their website Apps4Sailing.com, Google Play and Amazon. ... [more]  

A late night emergency operation has saved three people left clinging to the hull of their boat after it overturned north-west of Cook Island off the Far North Coast of NSW. ... [more]  

Underwater robot sheds new light on Antarctic sea ice + Video
Win $5000 Cash to Splash with Club Marine
New exhibition takes kids on a Voyage to the Deep
Oceanair debuts two new products at METS
PredictWind launches new Offshore Application for Mac and PC
Govt eases yacht permits for marine tourism boost
FLIR M625 Review – Let there be light!
Results in from ‘Operation Go Easy on the Alcohol’
29th Atlantic Rally for Cruisers sets sail
Sometimes the waiting is just as good as the journey
Tips on boating with dogs
Four Tips - How to safely truck your boat over the road
Atlantic Odyssey – Emergency Medi-Vac from Cocojet III
ARC 2014 - ARC start delayed
Antarctic ‘ghost mountains’ preserved by ice sheet
Clear the Decks!
Sail-World Team holds first Continental Conference at METS
British Cycling grows by over 500%, can sailing do the same?
Extinction risk not the answer for reef futures
ARC+ fleet sets sail for Saint Lucia
Auction to be held at Runaway Bay Marina   
Sail safer with these 'landfall light' secrets   
Sailing the Mediterranean – An infographic   
New transducer line from Garmin boasts scanning sonar   
34 Atlantic Odyssey yachts cross start line off Arrecife   
World ARC fleet explores Zululand   
Visit Doyle Sails New Zealand at METS 2014   
ARC 2014 Opening Ceremony: Flags and bands, one week to the start   
Australia strengthens commitment to Coral Triangle   
Sailing veteran celebrates his 20th Atlantic Rally for Cruisers   
A Sailor's Dream Home in the beautiful Bay of Islands - Auction 22 Nov   
All set for ARC+ arrivals in São Vicente   
Caribbean 1500 - Lest We Forget: Crews who won't make it to Tortola   
Crews visit ARC Forest at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria   
Pantaenius Insurance - 'Know boats, me.' *Feature   
Security Council renews action to fight piracy off Somali Coast   
World Odyssey Race cancelled   
SSCBC - The once little club with a big heart   
Caribbean 1500 - One fleet, two very different stories   
Eccletic ARC fleet assemble in Las Palmas   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph, contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW Cru SH
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT