Winter sailing – first sail of 2016

With dirty snow still lining the edges of the highway, I headed up to Falls Lake for an afternoon of winter sailing. The temps were in the upper 40s heading toward 50F. The wind was blowing out of the south light, but steady. I got to the Ledge Rock ramp at about 1:30 pm and was tacking into the wind shortly thereafter. I wore jeans, wool socks, a long sleeve thermal undershirt & wool sweater, rain pants and jacket with a wool hat. I brought along winter gloves and used them about half the time. I wore my big rubber boots to make sure my feet stayed dry at the ramp. The southerly breeze meant I was taking it on the nose and had to make 15 tacks to get into the main body of the lake. Then I made a nice close reach southeast down the lake before tacking about for an awesome run to the west toward Rolling View. At one point the wind really kicked up and I even jumped up on the rail. I had spotted another sailboat and was hoping to meet them mid-lake, but they tacked back toward the ramp at R.V. With my monocular I did manage to see that it was a Buccaneer with 2 guys aboard.

lots of tacks

happy guy

happy guy

After that it was time to run on home north to the dock. I practiced a few jibes along the way and then stood up for a while. The sky was a super blue. There were lots of gulls and cormorants on the water and black vultures circling over the eastern shore. It was a fabulous afternoon for the first sail of 2016.

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