I feel much better now! Today we took our first sail. It was amazing! Lightning Rod feels so nimble. She is like a different boat.
We started our day with a good breakfast, as usual. By 11:00 we were at the boat and started on final rigging. We put the old main on. We left the dock at about noon and headed for the beautiful azure waters of Key West. The weather is cooperating. We had a cold front come through this morning and it brought with it 20+ knot winds. The skies were a little cloudy first thing but they cleared. When we left the dock we headed out into 20 gusting to 22. We are on what today was the leeward side of the island, so the waves were not too big though.
First we needed to finalize calibrating our instruments. We motored in a circle to calculate deviation and then we motored upwind and down to calibrate our speed log. The sea state was a little rough to do the fine calibration sailing so we skipped that for today.
Next we put up the old 110. We sailed upwind for awhile. We were sailing 6 knots upwind on jib only. Amazing! Later we put up the main and sailed some more upwind. Total under sail today about an hour and a half. It was great. The weather cooperated and the wind came down to 14 knots by the time we struck the sails. Just a wonderful day sail in about 70 degree sun.
At the end of the day we took care of turning the keys to Thunder over to the man who will drive her, Tom over at the Truman Annex.
We finished our day with the most wonderful barbecue New York Strip steak, baked potato and corn on the cob.
Tonight four more crew members arrive, Craig, Scott, Stu and Deborah. We will start practice in earnest tomorrow with nearly a full crew.
Ashore today was an interesting day too. Elysium, the S2 we will race against declared for a 3 second weight penalty as we did, which makes their handicap 132 as is ours. There is also a Mac 30 in the fleet with the same handicap so for three of us it will be like one-design.
More later D