I am sitting aboard Charm and she is rockin and a rollin in her slip this Labor Day weekend. The thought had crossed my mind to not visit Charm because, typically, holiday weekends can be a bit of a buzz-kill. Take the mega crowds in the marina and out on the water, for example. And then there is the main channel out to the lake, it may as well be a Goliath of a washing machine, if there ever was one, due to all of the traffic going in and out of it (anyone got dirty duds they need to suds?). The abundance of turbulence throughout the main channel is all thanks to our DNRs (Department of Natural Resources) lack of placing No Wake buoys within the main channel. Which means all that wake in the channel, well, its a golden invitation for the Evel Knievel riders of Jet Skis and Waverunners to jump off and ride that powerboat wake in the channel all while various sundry vessels are exiting and entering the channel area. Umm, D.A.N.G.E.R.O.U.S!
It also would not be a holiday weekend, at the lake, without all the heavy beats pumpin every which way from passing boats. Boom-chicka-boom, chicka-boom-boom-boom!!! The beats roll on out across the water and reverberate, uncomfortably, inside my chest. Even the insides of my ears are buzzing like bees in a bonnet. Of course, there are boatloads (literally) of folks under some kinda influence, which lets be honest it all makes for some pretty dicey boating scenarios just waiting to unfold. Aye yai yai!
The above all said, I usually say Thanks, but no thanks to holiday weekends at the lake. But, being I splashed Charm so late in the season, I want to sip and savor every precious moment I have available to be with her. After all, my sailing season ends on October 15 which means, as the Old Salt (my father) would say, Time is a-wastin!
BOAT RAMP COMEDY SHOW
Charms slip is adjacent to the marinas main boat ramp; the ramp is wide enough to accommodate three boats. Gotta tell ya, it is a bit of a comedy show watching folks as they splash or retrieve their boats. Mostly, I spy a lot of sunburnt, younger-something or other cowboys whirl their shiny rigs around the turnabout, and then back them down the ramp faster than a speeding bullet. All the while, the partner of said cowboy is doin the two-step upon her steed in the harbor -trying to avoid the other cowgirls and their rides also jockeying for position to put the boat up on the trailer. It may as well be a dog-gone rodeo out there!
Yup, that is it! Just ease er on in thar! K, little t tha left, little t tha right, now gon in give er sum gas! OK, thats m gurl! the cowboy yells out to his partner.
His pardna opens up the throttle and guns the boat up onto the trailer, but her ride ends up sorta cock-eyed at which point the seemingly obligatory, prolific cussin abounds between said cowboy and cowgirl. If you have ever had the pleasure of launching and/or retrieving a boat at the ramp, surely you know just what I am talking about, here. Soon afterwards, the cowgirls backing off the trailer to give it another go. It is like this all afternoon long at the ramp, all the while I work on boat projects as Charm is berthed in her rockabye baby, hobby horse slip.
MIND MAPPING THE FIRST SAIL
I am now back up in the metro area, pontificating, while sippin my hot beverage in another mainstream coffee house. I admit, I am feeling a bit despondent. That is because I did not rock out that epic first sail over the holiday weekend as I had hoped to do. I am thinking i might, maybe, just be a bit angry with myself over it all, too.
Both days I ventured down to the lake to see Charm, over the holiday weekend, winds were as many sailors might prefer, windy. But, I got my shorts all up in a bunch over the 22 to 29 knot gusts. The conditions gave The Sailing Trickster an excellent opportunity to have his way with my dual personalities: he put Overly Cautious Chelle, on one shoulder, and she thought it best to wait for a calmer day to embark upon the maiden voyage with Charm. Then, The Sailing Trickster placed Adventurous Daredevil Chelle upon my other shoulder and she was all chompin at the bit, more than ready to jump right off with her No guts, no glory mantra.
As you already know, Overly Cautious Chelle ultimately won the show down. It was a tough call, though, as Adventurous Daredevil Chelle was a strong contender almost up until the end. She really wanted to have her way with things; to take control of the situation, hands down.
I will not lie, I am sort of lamenting over the outcome. Ultimately to use the word a second time, I am the kind of sailor who is gotta be brutally honest with herself when assessing my own skillsets and comfort levels. In this particular case, I know absolutely diddly squat about how to use my new furling headsail system freshly installed as part of the deal when I purchased Charm, and I did not want my first experience using it to be under conditions when the wind was more than lively. Plus, I have never sailed a Com Pac 23 and that is what Charm is , and I wouldn’t be one to say that sailing is just like riding a bike. There are plenty of carry overs in sailing various boats, but ya still gotta learn the ropes, especially how a boat likes to behave in varying conditions.
P.S. This coming weekend, the forecast is looking favorable for the first sail with Charm, stay tuned!