Ferris Bueller Goes Sailing
Thursday morning (September 23rd, 2004)
felt like the last day of fine weather in this soon to be “great” white
Encountered an obstacle at the sailing club.
No signs of life whatsoever, meaning the rudder, tiller and tiller
extensions where locked up in the club locker. After an unsucessful
phone call to the club manager’s answering machine, I drove to the
closest hardware store to temporarily buy --I returned the material
afterwards-- the burglar’s classic kit. The lock was removed soon after
and I was on the water by 10 AM.
…and just behind W1378 is Mount
Orford, beginning to get its fall colors. Sailing between mountains
offers an interesting landsape, but a drawback is the shifty winds that
come with them.
Sailed in light breeze, going straight
south, for about 3 hours. At one point I headed near the shore, behind
small islands. Apparently the properties around Memphremagog Lake are
the most expensive ones in Quebec. There’s not a single one under
CAN$1,000,000, because of land value. Well, that’s not really different
from Sarasota Bay, I guess.
I was standing up in the boat, holding the
tiller extension and mainsheet, making only minor corrections with the
tip of the fingers, along with shifting my weight to port and
starboard, keeping everything in a delicate balance. What a good
feeling. Freedom, nature, perfect temperature. I thought to myself,
none of these millionnaires can enjoy such things as missing a day of
work or enjoying an old dinghy that still floats despite its war
After a while the wind shifted North and
picked up to about 10 knots. W1378 came alive as I was hiking out to
keep it flat. No pictures of this, of course, as single-handling is
enough to keep both hands busy! Then it increased some more to near 15
knots. The boat was sailing amazingly fast due to the light weight
crew—meaning here that I was alone—and also since no waves had built up
yet. When they did, I got up on a plane at least three times. Yelling
out loud as I always do under such rare circumstances.
Finally saw a keelboat in the neighborhood, motoring with its mast down. Don’t know if it was going at full throttle, but for the half-four during which we had the same heading, it kept loosing ground to the Wayfarer. Always a good satisfaction.
While having a blast I also remembered from
this summer’s capsizing exercise that it’s not possible to self-rescue
W1378. The once-watertight compartments now behave like tubs. Only the
thick foam added inside of those prevents the whole thing from sinking.
So, given the colder water and the very few sailors around, I eased up
the sheets and opted for long, close-reach tacks, making progress up
Got back to the sailing club around 3 PM.
There was still absolutely no one around. I moored the boat some
distance from the club, then took a long nap on the floorboards,
enjoying the warm afternoon, sunshine, and the light, which becomes
whiter at this time of the year.
After I got tired of resting, I stared sailing again on a beam reach to stay not too far from the club. Sailed in really shallow water, around deserted beaches. Then I came back and moored again for another nap, until sunset.
On a day like Thursday, the Wayfarer felt as
comfortable as a 40-foot Swan, although it's probably not worth more
than one of its turnbuckles.