Guest on a 420

Saturday, Fourth of July weekend, winds were forecast to be gentler in the morning before getting gusty in the afternoon.  I was talking about sailing and my roommate Stacy wanted to come with.  We did make it before noon, 10:30 ish, and the dock was relatively calm, with a couple of the usual classes going on.  We took out an Ideal.  Stacy liked that there was no centerboard trunk and that there was enough wind to heel the boat.  She liked sitting on the low side so she could put her hands in the water.  I obliged, sailing with the rail near the water as much as possible.  Traffic on the water picked up as the day went on.  All the usual duck boats and Charles river cruises, more than usual recreational power boats, a couple of police boats for the fireworks barges, CBI sailboats, kayaks, and more and more kayaks.  It got interesting at times threading the Ideal through the traffic.  After a while I suggested we were done for the day but then Stacy asked about the 420s.  She had heard me talk about them.  She wanted to know what they were like.  We took the Ideal in.  We drank some water.

And then we did.  We went back out on a 420.  So much for gentle sailing.  It was after noon and the flag had gone to yellow.  Stacy’s knowledge of sailing is mostly what she has picked up from me carrying on about the Extreme Sailing Series and other such stuff I follow on the internet.  Then, without going into too much detail, neither Stacy and I are ideal physically for a 420.  Oh, lets add to the navigation challenges I just described the challenges of a skittish boat, inexperienced crew, and increasing wind.  Ha.  Oh, and me starting to get tired.  We sailed a little.  Up to the fireworks exclusion zone, then a bear away.  We pretended we were Alinghi in the Extreme Sailing Series.  Well, I did.  We had a couple of nice gusts where we planed for a little while.  Imagine that, a little heavy to be on a 420, a CBI guest, but riding a plane, for a couple of gusts anyway.  We got our experience, and I seem to have got on and off the water without hurting myself.

As we got back to the dock they were just going to red flag.  I looked back over the water and there were three capsizes going on.  We left in search of something cold to drink.

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