Thursday, July 8, 2010

Weather Guessers

The forecast called for a north breeze, 10-13mph, beginning at noon and lasting until at least 7:00 p.m.   I though this would be a perfect day to sail along the north shore of the Norfolk's Ocean View (the "Big Bay" side.)  If anything broke I could just drift ashore. With the incoming tide, there was no chance of being washed out to sea. I arrived at the ramp around 11:00 with only a slight breeze out of the north. What the heck, I figured. Just rig up and wait for the wind. And sure enough, a half an hour later the breeze started to fill in. I promptly foiled off the beach and headed toward the ship channel and around Fort Wool.

View Wednesday's sail in a larger map

After skirting the OV fishing pier and sailing another mile or two, instead of continuing to build, the wind started to drop out and I couldn't keep the boat foiling. So, I turned around and started low riding back home. Even though I tried the pump, bounce, oooch techniques I just couldn't get the boat back up. I dropped a purchase to 2-1 on the mainsheet but just couldn't get the boat to fly. I also realized that telltales are a good thing in the light stuff (I hadn't really missed them in foiling conditions...)

For the next hour or so I got in some of the old moth balancing techniques from the 70s. My guess is the wind was around 5 kts. SO much for the forecast..... The one thing that's obvious to me is the the bridle makes low riding a pain. Inevitably it's in the way when trying to move to the center or to leeward. At any rate, once I got back to the beach I sat and wondered where the forecast breeze was. I rehydrated and thought about calling it a day, but decided to hold off for a half hour or so. And sure enough, the breeze shifted and started to build. I relaunched and head back out to Willoughby.

And then, despite any predictions, the breeze came in with a vengence. It quickly built to 15 with gusts to 20. I had to capsize and re-tie the mainsheet back to the boom for my 3-1 purchase. I spent another 45 minutes blasting around before I called it quits.  Why didn't the weather guessers foresee this breeze? Maybe it's still a black science...

On the equipment front, the ride height adjuster worked fine, with a few glitches. There is enough slippage on the barrel that I need to create a view port in my bonnet to actually see the amount of threads exposed. I certainly don't want to completely unscrew the final ball joint on the pushrod.  I also found that in marginal foiling conditions a low ride height may be preferred to initiate foiling, then once up and moving the height can be raised. I still haven't gotten to to the height that other have achieved. I read Chris' post about his rudder foil breaking the surface -- I'm nowhere near that height and not sure I want to get there...

Otherwise things are working better. I did manage to saw through the cover of my rooster rope mainsheet where it was against the ratchet. So I end-for-ended it and kept on trucking. I was actually surprised how quickly the cover went. One minute I saw some fraying (it's taken perhaps 50 hours to get to this point) and just a few minutes later the cover parted completely. So here's another question for the mothosphere -- what's the mainsheet of choice???

Today I plan on sewing the kite blocks to the tramp to get the ride height control line led outboard. A doctor's appointment this afternoon so maybe I'll hit the water again tomorrow.

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