With our winter haul out scheduled for Friday morning, I spent one more night aboard Le Saberage this past Thursday. Lake Ogelton rewarded me with another breathtaking sunset while I removed our mooring pennant and reviewed the boat’s documentation for sling and block locations.
Slap, slap slap…
It’s 4 a.m. this past Saturday, and Lisa and I are asleep in the forward cabin of the Sabre, which lies on a mooring in front of Tred Avon Yacht Club in Oxford, Maryland. Actually, Lisa is sleeping but I have been drifting in and out for a while now. The wind is howling through the rig. Since arriving Saturday afternoon we’ve had a sustained 15 knots with frequent gusts into the lower 20s right here in the anchorage. Each gust makes the ominous noise cheap B-movie film makers like to dub over footage of the haunted house on the hilltop in the dead of night:
Tonight I needed to stop by the Sabre to check on her and retrieve a couple of items I’d left on board Sunday. This is the scene I was met with.
- Stab self in the eye with a fork
- Get a root canal
- Prepare own income tax return, then write check to the IRS for the balance due plus interest and penalties
File all of the above under the heading of “I’d rather [fill in one of the above] than …” Racing sailors have at least one more item to add to this list: trying to sail downwind on cruising boats that aren’t rigged with spinnakers. Apart from being painfully slow, cruising boats (and even race boats for that matter) often roll miserably when sailing deep angles under main and jib & main alone. Ugh. This weekend I got a great surprise: our Sabre’s centerboard underbody means she isn’t a dullard going downwind without a chute. Actually, she runs dead downwind like a champ.
For the second weekend in a row we had only light winds, and so relied on the diesel exclusively to get to and from Rock Hall. But we had an absolutely fantastic time nonetheless, and we’re happy to be putting plenty of testing hours on the engine before next season. So far we are right on track with our Fall plan of getting as much experience with the boat as possible to (i) learn how everything works (ii) learn as much as we can about living aboard and (iii) find as many bugs / problems / issues as we can so that we can work over the winter to make the boat as reliable as possible for next season. We currently have a very long list of mostly minor problems, which is terrific news. We continue to be most leery of the diesel but our confidence is growing after putting over 15 hours on it over the last two weekends.
- The best onboard shower design (in the aft head) of any sailboat we’ve been on
- The Sabre’s galley can be easily worked by two people at once
- The V-Birth is super cozy
- Two four hour stints logged on the diesel (the most suspect part of this boat by far) with perfectly reliability. Whew!
- Some unexpected, alluring boat porn at St. Michaels. Somehow a couple of beautiful Swans made in between the giant McProductionGrade powerboats crewed by the overly-tanned and the chronically over-served ….
Sunday was another wonderful day on the Bay: a 10 knot Northerly and high temps only in the 80s. This time I brought friends!
Below: I took a break between my two trips out to chill on the mooring for a while. I love having the boat on a mooring!
After cleaning the boat up I ran to the house for a couple of items, then stopped for takeout Chinese. When I returned to the boat to enjoy my takeout and settle in for the night, I was met with this incredible sunset!
Lisa and I took delivery of Le Saberage today, and she spent the day on the docks at the yacht club while we toiled away at the office. As much as we wanted to take the day off, we had to remember that toys need to be paid for! As soon as the quitting bell rang we all yelled “YabbaDabbaDo!” and ran to the Club to fetch her.
Alas, no wind, so we motored instead of sailing to her new home in Lake Ogelton. The benign weather afforded us the opportunity to do some practice manovering to make sure we didn’t slam into anything the first time we docked her. Then the real test came when we stopped off at the docks to tie up for a quick hose down. Success! No broken timbers or fiberglass. Finally we tucked her in tightly for a night’s sleep on her new mooring.
The evening was way too short to be satisfying so tomorrow we plan to bolt straight to the boat for an evening cruise and some dinner aboard. We’ve got a lot of testing to do this Fall!