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Rounding Up

January 7, 2012

What a day. My good friend Dr. Brant and I didn’t really sail all that far; from the slip in Point Richmond to inside Raccoon Strait and back. But it was everything a day on the Bay is supposed to be: exhilarating, demanding of a bit of skill and even somewhat athletic. At about 20 knots, the wind was plentiful. And with just two of us on the Michelle today, it was important to find a place on the high side and stay there, even though she sails quite well even when knocked over.

All sailboats are prone to what is called rounding up. You could think of it as a safety feature; the tendency to turn into the wind when the breeze picks up. Weather helm is another way to phrase the phenomenon. But while Dr. Brant’s venerable 35-year-old Folkboat doesn’t exactly sail itself, she does allow the sailor to sail. Which means that although one has to adjust constantly to changes in conditions, the boat doesn’t turn around and look at you when a gust carrying an additional 10 knots shows up. And so, sail we did. Lee rail buried, hiked out to weather, slicing through the chop, spray flying everywhere. Dr. Brant turns 80 next month, and I’m all of 65. You’re only as old as you feel.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 8, 2012 10:14 am

    Very, very well said!

  2. January 8, 2012 11:02 am

    Thanks, Jeff.

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