For over a year now when the dream was born, and after 4 exhausting months of preparing my first sailboat, I let go of all ground attachments and was out on the water, on my own, on my vessel to freedom!
Narf! Well it’s not all that romantic, here’s the lowdown.
After 2 weeks of high winds and no sails attached, I was scared shitless to let go and just rolled about on a mooring figuring out stuff (fresh water leaks, dinghy leaks, commuting to work etc). Friday morning was the day the boom and sails went on. With the help of Kostas, the boom and mainsail were attached and all looked good. The genoa was another story. the halyard wouldn’t cooperate getting caught half way. Kostas said we gotta go up the mast to see what’s wrong. And guess who went up. and forgot the camera. ME… yup… my first time with the courage of whatever, battling my fears to be overcome. “Up there”, the halyard wheel was stuck and wouldn’t roll and the rope sticks somewhere in the mast. So the solution is to use the halyard I’m (gulp) hanging on. Paula had me on a second line (I think the boom topping lift), lifted me further, I untied (gulp) the good halyard and tied up the other one for a second safety, which took a good 10 minutes due to the fact that I was scared(!) and was doing a bow knot upside down which my life depended on. Would I do it again… you bet! And I’m still kicking myself for not having a camera with me even though it was the last thing on my mind, believe me! Then I blasted back to the city for work (oops, late). Should have called in sick and gone out for a spin.
When I got back, that Friday afternoon was a small clubhouse race. I missed it of course but I refused to sit around. I “let go” of my mooring and motored out to a bunch of boats with sails hanging like laundry. So (after declaring loosing) I unfurled mine as well. I was so happy there was no wind so I could test things out and all the mechanics seem to work fine. That night I anchored in the harbor and joined friends and talked about Saturdays race and the crew I was to obtain. In the morning, after I had to dive in the free my anchor which had caught some old mooring chain (pfff), I picked up my crew (nice guys) from the dock (yikes, my first dock approach) and we where second off the buzzer. The moral was high but after a while everyone pasted us ’cause Zoot Allures is an old 8 tonne slug… and I love her. 3miles out the wind died, the sails flapped like laundry, the sun was brutal, so we packed it in. I dropped the crew off and returned to my mooring to tidy up the boat and my brain. I am sooo not interested in racing!
Sunday, I skipped the race, and after some visiting friends canceled, I took Zoot Allures out for a stroll. The winds where light but not enough so I motor sailed. On my way back there was a small breeze which allowed me to “run” with my mainsail only. The race was over and some of the guys and Kostas were anchored close to my mooring. I sailed by them, jibbed around and dropped the hook (without motoring up) to join there floating picnic. I got alot of admiration being a “fresh” sailor, single-handed without the motor. So we had a great picnic and I kinda got drunk on some fine homemade raki… which was reeeeeally good! That evening I tied up to my mooring quite content.
And for your listening pleasure… Seu George from “The life Aquatic” movie
Thanks for reading
ps… still got to get to grip’s with the $$ for an outboard and dinghy. Mine is soo sad. The pump I have just won’t pump it properly and it leaks air and water…wet butt. I’m not sure if I should spend any more on it (already 50euro for oars, oarlocks, repair kit). Both are against my religion as I would prefer a hard rowing/sailing dingy but…
pss…. heatwave in Athens 40C (approx 104F). Why am I in the city working?! Oh yeah, still need the $$ for “stuff” as in the previous ps. One day all this will change. I hope sooner than later.