10 May 2012

Sailing on a Silent Sea

Becalmed after sunset, we towed some fellow sailors back in.
The winds have been great over the past several days so I was anxious to finally get out sailing last night.

Wouldn't you know it though, the steady 10-15 knot winds we've enjoyed for the past week decided to take a break tonight.  (But they seemed perfectly happy to nearly blow away the neighborhood barbecue Monday night.)

There was a little breeze though - a fairly steady 5 knot breeze that blew out of the southeast for three hours, so it wasn't all bad.  I had two friends accompany me for the guys night out sailing tonight.  Both spent a few miles at the helm and we made 3 1/2 to 4 knots for much of the evening.

I need to add a spinnaker to the Unsinkable 2.  Instead, I flew the big 150 genoa that had just enough air to shape nicely and give us some great lift across the lake.  With such a light wind, Utah Lake stayed fairly flat all evening.

Cruising across the silent sea, the only sounds we could make out were the outboard prop dragging in the water, interrupted distantly by an occasional distant powerboat.  Utah Lake is a beautiful, peaceful place to sail.

We talked about switching to silent running by lifting the outboard out of the water, but as the only experienced sailor on board I knew that if I fell off it might take a few minutes before the boat made it back to pick me up.  And the best sail for speeding that process up is the iron genny.  So, down she stayed.

There is usually a breeze that picks up right after the sun goes down, but tonight when the lights went out the lake went completely still.  After listing around for 15 minutes, we finally gave up and started motoring back to the marina.  Just outside the entrance, we came across a hobie cat, crewed by two sailors-turned-paddlers.  We threw them a line and towed them the last few hundred yards to the docks, as seen in the first picture in this post.

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