Sailing Dileas in and out of my bay depends a lot on the state of the tide. At low tide the reef creates a fortress of coral around my home mooring. There is however one deep water channel that allows brave souls to sail through the jagged coral reefs. Finding it is the challenge as you hurtle in.
Yesterday, we, Poncie, Micheal and I, take Dileas out having rolled her down from her typhoon hidey-hole. The tide is still pretty high when we leave but after a very windy sail, heavily reefed, I am surprised to see that the tide has like totally gone out and access to the home mooring is pretty much blocked by murderous coral. I head for the channel but of course miss it and we scrape over the top of the reef with much banging of center board and rudder. Fairly stimulating.
This was the first time Micheal had been in a sailing boat. He was remarkably stoic.
Today the wind is even higher, so I spend the morning changing the main sheet and generally fumbling around. Realizing that going out would be foolhardy, I go for a swim.
Anyway I resolve to go for an evening sail, as by that time, the tide will have risen thus obviating risk of crashing into reef and hopefully the wind will have dropped a bit as tends to happen in the gloaming.
At 5:00, I go for a truly wonderful sail. The wind is still high but with a reef in the mainsail I manage to control the boat fairly well. What defines the amazingness of the trip is the shoals of flying fish that erupt around the bows and glide off some 20 meters away. Then there is a cloud of Black Browed Terns – very rare – through which I sail as they fish determinedly.
As the tide is high, I can bring Dileas over the reef and home to the mooring without too much trouble. I like this.
As I shower off the salt water, a gecko starts to run around.
I still have not used the motor. Did I waste my money?