Dror Sails the Sakonnet River 2006

by Barbara Garland

There are many things to write about this summer but one of the best was the sail I took on Saturday August 12. The plan started the week before when I was at the Allen Harbor Rendezvous. Jack and Rani - NE-TS members and new owners of a non trailer sailor, an O'Day 39 - had suggested that they wanted to get me out sailing on their "big boat". Knowing what my schedule for the rest of the summer looked like, I emailed them on Monday the 7th to say it was either this weekend or Labor day. By then we had a great weather report for the weekend so a date was set for Saturday.

Dror at anchor in the Sakonnet River Narragansett Bay RI

I arrived at the appointed hour - 9am - and boarded Dror, anchored on the Sakonnet River in Narragansett Bay RI. I had been on the boat twice before visiting after the first Allen Harbor Rendezvous and then again on August 5, during the second rendezvous. We didn't waste much time though there was one more trip to the dock for gas for the dingy outboard.

dingying back to the marina

We were under way by around 10:30 am. We headed south down the River in a Northwest wind. The tide had turned and the current was in our favor. This was the first time Jack and Rani had been down the Sakonnet. I hadn't sailed there in years, but knew it was a beautiful sail. There isn't the boat traffic that there is on the other "Newport" side of the bay, though we did sail by the beaches of Newport.

Jack raising the main sail

We were sailing out to the Ocean, sailing on a broad reach, enjoying the cool day clear sky and dry air. We ate lunch in shifts. I was happy to be a crew member till Jack and Cheni decided to play with something on the boat. Rani was sitting with Shuki so I got to sail. Once I started, I didn't want to stop. We turned around and headed in at about 1pm.

Cheni having fun

The weather man had promised that the wind would swing to west. It didn't so we had to tack back up the river in a shifty puffy breeze. As I write this on Sunday morning, my shoulders are stiff and my arm and back muscles a little sore from trimming the jib. It was a great challenge to do so much tacking and we all felt proud that we didn't just "take down the sails and motor in"

I did eventually share the sailing duties with Jack and Cheni. We took turns on the jib sheets and arrived back at the mooring around 5pm.

Rani (and Shuki), Cheni and Jack on the way back to the mooring

The best news of the weekend is that there were no equipment failures (other than a head door latch that was a little sticky). Every thing went smoothly.

After a dinner of roast chicken - heated in the OVEN - and salad, I headed for the long trip home. I drove across the Mount Hope Bridge as the sun was setting, up through Bristol, Warren and Barrington. Jack had said that that way took longer but it was an area of Rhode Island I hadn't seen in 10 years, since Roger and I had stopped launching in Bristol.

Mount Hope bridge as the sun was setting

I had a great sailing "book on tape" to listen to on the way home. Thanks Jack, Rani and Cheni for sharing one of your first sails on your great new boat.


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