Weak wind but just enough for sailing. Went out, first with my aunt Ulla Bjartmar and my daughter Veronika. After ten minutes, Veronika was cold and we returned her to the home shore, and continued sailing. Everything was quiet, and we enjoyed listening to the birds living on rocks and islets we passed by.
Finally, a video worth sharing.
If overpowered downwind on gennaker, the correct actions are hiking more and/or bearing away (turning downwind). This time I reacted too slowly and capsized.
When I capsize with gennaker I choose between two evils:
A: Raise the boat by stepping out on the centerboard and heaving. This is very easy, but I risk getting the gennaker tangled or waterfilled, dragging me down again.
B: Dropping the gennaker, while the boat lays on its side. But while I do this, the boat has time to continue the capsize to totally reverted upside down, a.k.a. “turtle”. Raising the boat from a turtle is slightly more complicated, but much safer with the gennaker retracted.
As you see on the video, I lost a few seconds hesitating. But then I started doing the best of the two, alternative B, and could safely continue sailing.
I need to practice this more. If I first climb out on the centerboard, then stretch into the cockpit, I might be able to retract the gennaker before the boat inverts.
This day was windstill so I went kayaking with the kids.
Good stable wind. Went out with my friends Anna Sandelius and Tord Larsson, the experienced Anna acting as my coach. Certainly a bit heavy and sluggish with three adults on a Vareo. But all sat comfortably while I took the helm.
On one leg with gennaker we were planing and the geotracker recorded 8 knots, thus Vareo can plane even with this load.
When we passed the last isles and reached open sea, the waves combined with my limited competence, made us decide to drop the gennaker.
This was very interesting, being offshore between Swedish mainland and Gotland, some 50 NM away, feeling the waves breaking against the last rocks. Scary and exciting.
Also feeling the wobbliness in the Vareo, I concluded that Vareo is not the first choice for long distance offshore cruising. Vareo is great for sports and training on safe waters. But perhaps not on open sea with me at the helm :-)
Thus, eventually I will need a second dinghy for safe offshore cruising. Any suggestions? Perhaps Laser Stratos, Laser Bahia, RS Vision or RS Venture?
Anyways. we turned back to mainland and tacked home. My homework for today was:
- minimize the tiller movements, in order to save speed and momemtum.
- practise roll tacks and roll gybes (if anybody doesn’t know what that is, google it)
Good stable wind. One long (perhaps one nautical mile) leg planing with gennaker. Great fun.
Unfortunately I hit an underwater rock, causing damage both on the daggerboard and cracks in the daggerboard housing. More careful next time.
Total time on water, one hour.
First sailing day at the summer house, facing the Baltic Sea.
Light but gusty wind. Took 6-year old daughter Veronika and my guest Liana Ambarova on board. I told them to sit on the flooring on either side of the daggerboard, facing me. “Just stay there, stay low no matter what”. All went well. Three was not a crowd for RS Vareo. We all sat comfortably and the boat did not feel very heavy. We visited the neighbor’s salmon farm and turned back home. Total sailing time 30 minutes.
I also installed the new waterproof Sony action cam, replacing the compact camera in “watertight” case, that drowned last year.
Two hours in medium wind. Practicing gennaker gybes. No problems. Towards the end, a bit of rain.