Wild Sailing on Falls Lake

According to Wind Finder we were gusting to 20 mph yesterday at Falls Lake. It was a beautiful day to be on the water. We did several short sails off of the boat beach at Rolling View swapping out various crew members in the Puddle Duck around lunch time. It was the first time sailing for several of them and everyone took a turn at the tiller. As the afternoon wore on the wind picked up. We started to see a little bit of white at the top of the waves. For the first time ever I got to tie a reef in the lug sail on my PD Racer. We were zipping across the lake with a reefed sail pulling a canoe with two people on a rope behind us. Things got a little bit hairy when we cut the canoe loose and they drifted down lake. We sailed down to try to pull them back to the beach, but we couldn’t make much headway upwind pulling the canoe. In the end we sailed to shore where the wind was blocked by the trees and paddled and rowed back up to the dock. Coming around the end of the dock we got hit with a headwind that took all my rowing strength just to hold position. We could have tied in another reef if needed and tacked our way slowly up wind, but it would have been a long slog. I prefer to start the day sailing upwind and making a run for home, but the canoe rescue foiled that plan. It was a great little adventure that put my sailing skills to the test. Pulling a canoe close-hauled definitely makes the boat sail differently. In the end no one was in any danger. It was a warm enough day that shipping a little water over the side from the larger waves wasn’t bad. The only real danger was the rest of the crew getting bored waiting for us to get back.

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