So, I started to restore a Norfolk Gypsy, which was more or less a wreck, just over a year ago. It has been a wonderful project during which I have been much helped by many kind and skilled people. Today was historic. I sailed her for the first time.
I have gone in baby steps since putting her in the water. First it was chugging around using the engine, then bits of sailing only with the jib. Today with Nick and Rika we raised all sail and had a glorious afternoon in brilliant sunshine.
The wind was blowing more or less straight offshore and we ran out to sea with the main and jib gull-winged.
Nick is a professional boat racer and it was great to have him tell me what to do!
We ran quite along way out, went on a broad reach up the coast for a bit and then beat our way back into the harbor.
Beating back to Okinawa has always been a lengthy business in my previous boats. This time it is completely different as the boat points much better into the wind but also because Nick really knows what is doing! He uses terminology that I have never heard before, “bump, lift, being in the channel” these all refer to how the boat is responding to the wind.
We come back in with 4 taught tacks, the last taking us straight through the harbor entrance, where we elegantly take down the sails and chug onto the mooring.
Hooray! I am so pleased! Everything worked and although I might make some tiny adjustments, the boat is ready to go. I look forward to a Summer of intense happiness and joy.
The day after tomorrow I go to San Francisco. I worry about the cockpit filling up with water and so flooding the engine compartment if there is intense rain while I am away. I have been fabricating a cockpit tent that should keep out the worst of the rain.
What a great day!