My First Sailing Trip of 2010
by Tony DiStefano, The Beep
I missed the usual first trip to Allen Harbor RI this year and due to a family outing I could not go to Lake Champlain. Needless to say I felt depressed. So Janet and I chose to use the 4th of July as her first sailing trip and enjoy the Hudson River and the fireworks of the towns in the area. We spent all of the prior Saturday cleaning the boat, putting the stuff from the basement on the boat, the motor, sails and all but the dink. We even fixed the jenny and it does not sweep the deck any more!
So off it was on Saturday the third for the Newburgh landing and the $8 launch fee. But first fill the water tank, somehow the cover was missing and when I went to fill it took just a bit of water and it was full. I think is plugged but it's time to leave and I have extra gallons of water on the boat. As usual the tow was perfect and by 10am we were at the ramp. It took about 50 minutes to set up as I forgot overt the winter how to do it.
We launched and a hobby cat was at the end of the dock so rather than block the ramp we chose to bend the main out in the water. Once again we find that Murphy was on optimist and after the boom was attached it was noted that the topping lift was never put on the mast. OK I can live with that but the main halyard was tangled at the top of the mast. This was not good, so like any good sailor I let out the Jenny in the light wind and put the main and the boom back in the cabin to fix
later. we sailed past the Newburgh bridge before I realized the GPS, VHF and I POD were in the truck in a bag we forgot. On went the iron jenny and back to the ramp. When I furled the jenny it only went in 90%. I went forward and the jib halyard was tangled at the top of the furler. Once again a command decision, fix it later. We were lucky, no traffic and pulled in and got the stuff and back out jenny only going up river. With Janet at the tiller and me at the halyard in about 5 minutes the halyard was free and the jenny out to the full 150% but still no main.
Our goal was Wappingers Falls and Bowdin park at NewYork Trap Rock beach. After 2 tries at anchoring we held and chose to make dinner and wait till dark. There were 8 boats in the same area so we were in the right place. As darkness closed the number of boats went down to 2 us being one of them. But there wasfireworks on the opposite side of the river from 3 or 4 town that were off the river so we could see them but no noise. We found out later that they changed the date for the
fireworks at the park. After a great night of sleep on the water, great sunrise we chose to make Cornwall Yacht Club for Breakfast. Still no main as someone forgot to fix it the night before. The wind was on our nose so it was iron jenny and 4.5 knots all the way. It took just shy of 3 hours but we made CYC only to find the kitchen closed on the 4th of July. But there was a breakfast party going on and as good boaters we were invited and spend a great couple of hours eating and talking with the members.
Then it was time to go sailing. The wind was at 7 knots from the southeast so as the jenny pulled us along I started working on the main halyard. After about 30 minutes of shaking, throwing,
pulling, yanking etc it still would not go up or down. Per the GPS we were doing 5 knots so who needs a main. We spent the day going up and down the river with the jenny only and able to pass some other sail boats. On our way to Cornwall Bay for the night Janet was in the cabin getting snacks and a gust of wind caught the sail and we rounded up. This being her first trip she did not hold on and was thrown against the port side of the cabin, breaking the trash bag holder and putting two good scratches in her wrist. Not to mention that her head hit the wall. Not a great way to learn about rounding up. But she was ready the next time. As dinner time neared we found a good anchor spot in Cornwall Bay and ate and waited for the fireworks. As it got dark the number of boats went down but we were at the mouth of the bay and could see Newburgh, Cold Springs, Cornwall, Beacon and a few in CT. We were amazed at it all till a flood light lit the boat up and our
neighbor who was about 100 yards away said you are dragging. We were so busy watching we did not pay attention to the drifting of the boat. I started the engine went forward while Janet turned the boat around and we went back to our anchorage area and really set the anchor and put out an extra 50 foot of rode. Then back to watching the fireworks. By the time they were all done it was late and it was time to turn in. We woke up to a very hot day. It was 7 am and it had to be 90. with no bimini I made a command decision that I would spend a couple minutes fixing the main halyard then we would eat and leave. Needless to say the first pull and it was free so out came the boom and the sail. As I was ready to bend the sail the wind stopped, time for another command decision. We will eat while the iron jenny takes us back to the ramp. So that we did and we pulled the
boat at about 9:30am just before the crowds on the 5th of July hit the ramp. It was hot deriging but sure felt good pulling away as the fights were starting over who got there
first, how to backup, where and when to set up the usual ramp fun.
So if you were in the Newburgh area of the Hudson river the boat with only one sail was me and Janet and I had a great time on the 4th.
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- Mildred Rose
- Blue Marlin
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