Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sailing on Lake Marion - Day 1

So I decided I would head down to Lake Marion in SC this weekend just to sail somewhere different. My local lake, Lake Norman is relatively narrow so the winds can be flukey. Plus I figured I would make a weekend of it and camp out on an island somewhere. Turned into quite the adventure, but I learned a lot about my boat and gained a few new skills. Plus any trip where you wake up to this view can't be all bad, right?
So here is a view of the google earth track. Navionics is a great little application (Lakes East is what I have), but I have heard the new version is not as good.
   There was a lot of wind, white caps on the lake, but overall not too bad. Probably should not have chosen to launch on the lee shore at a place called Stump Hole Landing though! It lived up to its name with a lot of stumps and in fact the whole lake has good stretches of stumps as well as cypress trees popping up. There was one lonely little tree right out in the middle of the lake. Considered changing my plans to come from the north side of the lake which would have made more sense. But I got out, had a great downwind run making over 4 knots with just the genoa out (the roller furler worked well although I need a longer reefing line!).
  I made it under 95 and got greedy and tried to hoist the mainsail. Well the new tiller tamer had been working great except that my tiller moves up and down so when I am not holding it it basically falls down and locks the tiller. So when I moved forward and was pulling the main up a good gust of wind came up, pushed the boat out of the wind and caught the sail. When the boat heeled over, I heard the crack of the rudder. The wind was pushing me hard into the shore for a while until I got things situated.
  So I got to to learn how to sail for the next 7 miles by playing with sail trim. I was losing light since I got a late start playing with things around the house, so I decided to hit a nice harbor I saw on the charts and just managed to glide up to a great little island and get everything on the shore and my tent set up in the last bit of light. I had a nice little spot and the Newport floated out in about 8 inches of water. Great sandy spot for my tent, sheltered from the wind and I slept like a baby, except at one point when my forearms got tight (from holding the sheets for two hours steering along) and I woke up with my hand asleep.

But again, got a perfect spot to camp and had a great night.

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