The reality is - I’m coming into this venture with way more theoretical knowledge than practical knowledge, and that rubs me the wrong way. I think its always better to learn by doing as opposed to learning from reading books. Thus, the most important thing for me at this phase is getting out in the boat as much as possible, in different conditions and circumstances, and learning how the boat behaves.
My maiden voyage was with a crew of folks from around the marina. We had about 10 knots of breeze and we headed out into Bellingham Bay to test the waters. She sailed beautifully and we cruised around the bay on different points of sail for a couple hours.
Joining me were Mark (an ultrasound tech - flashing the peace sign below), Josh (a kayak guide and badass snowboarder from Alaska), and Monica (Josh's crew and a reportedly expert dumpling chef).
About a week ago - I went out on my first overnight trip. We decided on a destination of Shallow Bay on Sucia Island. Mark sailed along in his boat, and Michael also joined as crew on my boat. We were only able to sail a couple of hours before a lack of winds forced us to motor the rest of the way. Dissapointing, but on the upside, the motor putted along beautifully and we made good time.
We made a big dinner of Thai Chicken Curry on the boat and raised a pretty good ruckus that night. In the morning, we blew up the dinghy and went to shore to explore the island.
Yesterday morning, there was a pretty strong breeze blowing (15-20 knots) and I decided to head out. Mark came along, but we agreed that he wouldn't do anything unless I majorly messed something up. I managed to get out into the bay and sail around all by myself for several hours and pilot it back in without him touching a sheet! His advice and guidance was really helpful, but I managed the boat all on my own.