No motor? No coach? No backstay? No problem!
Early in the day, there was practically no wind, so we told the prospective new team member that we'd be working on Black Magic
for a while, and then if the wind came up later, we'd take her out on Syzygy
Much to our surprise, when we arrived at the marina, we found Larry, Braxton, and a friend of theirs working to get the boat formerly known as Intrepid
-- whose slip Black Magic
will now have -- onto the trailer. The trailer kept getting hung up on a sandbar before it got deep enough to get the boat onto it, and our efforts involved quite an aerobic workout, with some of us holding lines attached to the trailer or the boat, running back and forth alongside up and down the boat ramp and the courtesy dock in an effort to get everything together. We got some help from a bass fisherman with a large motor, and finally from one of the State Parks boating safety boats, and eventually we got the boat onto the trailer straight and out of the water.
Then Larry, Braxton, and their friend wanted to go out sailing; they set up Constellation
, and Larry suggested that when they got back, we could take Black Magic
out -- even with the backstay in bad condition, we could still sail in the light air without a headsail. About this time, the prospective new crew member showed up, and she was game for that idea, so Larry and crew set out to sail for a bit while Pat, Gerald, PNCM, and I rigged the boat. We were just about ready to sail when Larry came back, but instead of coming aboard, he helped shove off. "I thought you were coming with us," I said. "Sorry, I have to get back to El Paso," he said. "If the mainsheet gets too hard to handle, use the fine-tune. "
So now we were under sail, tacking out of the marina, in my new boat that has a whole lot more strings to pull than any other boat I've been on before, and all of the experts were piling into the truck to head south. I really didn't have any choice but to sail on.
As it was, it was a great experience. The wind came up, but not to any sort of fearsome level. We got that boat going fast even without a headsail, and we did some trial-and-error figuring out what happens when which string is pulled. PNCM is no longer PNCM -- she's now CNCM, confirmed new crew member. It's a bit of a pity Larry couldn't be along -- he's been eager to sail this boat since he first heard I might buy it -- but I also wonder whether he might have done this on purpose, to let me know I can sail the boat without him or any other coach on board. I probably needed that, although with light air and no headsail, the task was easier.
We sailed close-hauled to the far side of the lake to give CNCM's former skipper the honor of being one of the few people to see Black Magic
's maiden freshwater voyage. He isn't expected to live much longer, but he's making the most of the time he has left; he was out on the lake yesterday with family members to help him sail. He has a house on top of a mesa overlooking the lake, and he and his wife have a telescope through which they watch everybody sailing. Any victory we have in the Adams Cup, CNCM and I will dedicate to him.
Then we had a great run back to the marina. I was really wishing we didn't have the problem with the backstay; it would have been great to get the spinnaker up. Once we got to the marina, we decided we didn't need to use the motor; we just gybed into the lane behind the houseboat dock, pointed the boat at its new slip, and dropped the sail. I did have to scull just
a little to get in, but all in all, I didn't do too bad.
Well, tomorrow the parts for the backstay are supposed to arrive at Larry's, and Tuesday he plans to come up to the lake to work on the boat. Friday, I'll be back at the lake, back working on the Adams Cup preparations on J/24s, but I hope I'll be able to find some time for Black Magic