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First Sail

Here are a few photos from the first sailing excursion on the Tennessee  River near Paris, Tennessee. On Saturday, I made a quick sail out of a blue polytarp and wasn’t even sure if the stitching would hold together. We launched the boat and started motoring out through the little harbor until we entered the biggest body of water the boat had been on.

A view of the boat in the harbor with the polytarp sail.

A view of the boat in the harbor with the polytarp sail.

 

Unfortunately, the wind was pretty much nil so the boat did not sail; we motored on across the river to the opposite shore. Our destination was some bar/restaurant known as “Fat Daddy’s”  along the way the shore looked so appealing that I decided to land on it. Our first spot didn’t work as the bottom sloped up so gradually we ran aground on the bottom still a distance from shore. The bottom was made up of small rocks and shells so we pushed off and proceeded to another place. We made it to shore and got off for a short bit of exploration before reboarding and heading into “Fat Daddy’s Bay” or whatever it might be called. Fat Daddy’s appeared to be closed for the season, so I attempted to reach our second destination, about 1 mile up Standing Rock Creek. However the river was low, and we also were probably not in the channel. Instead we ran aground on a submerged log and then realized we were in a foot or so of water. The bottom was ooze and the wind had picked up, making it extremely difficult to get out of this area. I considered trying in another area  of this bay to see if that would allow us to get further up the creek, but decided to head back.

Stitching the sail. Somewhat challenging as the machine did not feed the material properly.

Stitching the sail. Somewhat challenging as the machine did not feed the material properly.

Not quite the Carribean destinations I hope to one day visit, but a very satisfying feeling nonetheless.

Not quite the Caribbean destinations I hope to one day visit, but a very satisfying feeling nonetheless.

Once back on the Tennessee River, we again unfurled the sail and  shut down the engine. For a long moment I was hesitant to declare victory. The wind seemed to fill our sail, and the GPS showed 2 MPH, but it could have been a current or such. Finally, the verdict came back: we were really sailing. I lifted the engine and for about 20 minutes or so we sailed across the river back to Paris Landing under sail. Our top speed was about 4.6mph. I was pretty excited that our sail boat was finally sailing after all the months we had it. We were sailing across the wind and at one point I started turning around in circles to see how the boat sailed in other directions. Not too bad though I would consider the wind to be really light so perhaps the boat could do  more in a stronger wind.

On the way back, Katherine went  to sleep for a bit.

On the way back, Katherine went to sleep for a bit.

Susan was a bit nervous as she was sitting in the downwind hull and felt that the water was flowing by pretty high on her side. I’m not sure if the boat was heeling a bit (remember, it is 3 feet narrower than the plans called for) or if it just looked close to her as I did not investigate much.  I was super thrilled though, and see that the forecast is calling for winds of 15MPH this Saturday, vs the 3mph forecast last Sunday. I’m know what I’ve got planned this weekend!

A view from the shore.

A view from the shore.

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