Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sailing Vineyard Sound

Katy and I spent last Wednesday through Saturday sailing her father's 30' Morgan sailboat from its home in Waquoit Bay to Cuttyhunk, Oak Bluffs and Edgartown. It was my first real sailing trip (I'd done one small overnight many years earlier) and, it turns out, the first time Katy has done a multi-day cruise as the "responsible adult" onboard. We had generally excellent weather; it was sunny all four days. Wednesday had extremely high winds that were, frankly, a little scary, but in general the sailing was great.

Pictures are available in this Picasa album.

Sailing, October 2011
I managed to break the 5th metatarsal bone in my right foot on the first day, as we set out to explore Cuttyhunk. I found I could stand and walk a little with the foot bandaged and shoved into a hiking boot (ouch...), so we decided not to abort the trip and, in fact, extended by a night. When we got to Oak Bluffs and Edgartown on Martha's Vineyard I was able to get around on rented bicycles, so even our sightseeing was only slightly curtailed. I did, however, have to spend most of my sailing time at the wheel; moving around on the boat, especially on rocking seas, was not practical.

We used a mixture of paper charts and GPS for navigation. The charts were good for trip planning and "the big picture", while the GPS excelled at helping us stay on course and navigate through the often-narrow channels (surrounded by shoals and, in many cases, submerged rocks...) of the Elizabeth Islands. It would be very easy to become GPS-dependent.

I had more fun that I actually expected to; I thought that much of the sailing would be boring, and it was anything but that. I'm eager to do more - next spring, once the weather warms up and my foot has healed.

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