Capsize!

Today was my 30th sail in the Terror of the Sea. I met Matt out on Falls Lake with some pretty light winds. We meandered around the lake at an easy pace, sipping on some soda waters and snacking on some pretzels. I got a few good pictures of Matt’s Melonseed before he had to head back to the dock.

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I kept wandering around the lake and the predicted wind finally started to fill in. We got moving pretty well and I decided to head toward a couple of buoys on the North side of the lake that mark a shoal area. I zipped over the top and didn’t see any shallows and then decided to jibe. I was being pretty lazy and didn’t center myself in the boat. I pulled in the sail so it didn’t go flying over to the other side, but with my weight on the wrong side of the boat it was enough to send us tipping toward the drink. There was no stopping it and Rocket started getting nervous as the spare life jacket, flotation cushions, dry bag, chips bag, oars and cooler all started sliding to one side of the boat. In a flash we were over and swimming. I pulled Rocket around with me to the far side of the boat and started trying to climb on the leeboard. It took a couple of tries, but I finally got the boat righted. I got Rocket back into the boat which had a good 6″ of water in it and saw that a boat cushion, a paddle and the bag of chips were floating away. I almost started to swim after them and then realized the boat would sail off without me. I got into the boat and with one oar and sail managed to come about and pick up the other oar and boat cushion. There was too much water in the boat to sail, so I dropped the sail and started to bail. The biggest bailing bucket was the cooler, so I dumped all the contents into the boat, dumped the ice overboard and started bailing. It probably took 10 mins to get the water out of the boat. I totally forgot about the collapsible bucket I had in my dry bag. Need to keep that more readily available. With the majority of the water removed we got the sail back up and headed after that rogue bag of chips. We caught it a short time later with no further jibes and started heading back across the lake. The wind really picked up and we had a good fight into the wind and waves to make it back to Rolling View. It was a great adventure, but I learned that I really need to tie things down better and make sure the dry bag is more tightly closed.

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