Monday, August 17, 2009
I thought I had totally exhausted Murphy's Law of Laser sailing. Everything that could go wrong had already happened to me... surely.
I had broken a mast on Rutland Water and broken a boom off Cape Cod. I had broken down on the way to a regatta and broken my gooseneck when I was winning a race. I had capsized to leeward and capsized to windward more times than I could count; I had capsized by hooking another sailor's sheet around my bow and capsized by hooking another sailor's sheet round my neck.
I had done it all. Right?
On Saturday afternoon, Murphy found another way to make things go wrong while Lasering.
It was a perfect day for sailing. Sunny. Hot. 12-15 knots out of the south.
My son and I launched our Lasers out of Weaver Cove in Portsmouth and headed upwind on port tack in the general direction of Newport Bridge. It was champagne sailing conditions... hiking hard... busting through the waves. After a mile or so we cracked off on to a close reach bouncing up and over the waves. The spray was flying everywhere and I could hardly see where I was going for the salt in my eyes. Then we hardened up on to a beat again, blasting towards Conanicut.
After a while we tacked on to starboard and stopped about 40 minutes after leaving the ramp for a breather and a drink. Gatorade not beer. We were just upwind of Halfway Rock.
"Ready to go downwind?"
We rode the waves downwind on a very broad starboard tack reach. I carved up and down and tried to catch a ride on the downside of each wave and blast through the next crest. I was in the zone. Lasering doesn't get any better than this. We surfed to the west of Dyer Island and then headed back up on the wind towards Melville Marina and the launch ramp.
A perfect hour or so of Laser sailing. Looking forward to going back home to dinner with the grandkids and a glass of wine or two watching the sunset.
The ramp was busy with a queue of motorboats waiting to use it. No problem. We sailed in to the beach just south of the ramp. I held the boats in shallow water while my son went to retrieve the launching dollies which we had left at the top of the ramp, as usual.
He seemed to be taking a long time. Eventually he shouted, "Someone has stolen three of our wheels!"
I've never had this happen before. Someone stole our dolly wheels while we were out sailing? Incredible.
We worked out how to transport our boats to our road trailers without dollies. Pull the boats up on to the beach. (Ouch for the gelcoat.) Derig the boats on the beach. Bring a trailer to the ramp. Carry a boat on to the trailer. Repeat. Not a big deal except for a lot of huffing and puffing and maybe a few scratches in the gelcoat.
The parking lot was crowded. There were guys fishing on the dock. We asked around. Had anybody seen someone messing with our dollies? Apparently not.
The irony is that my son and I probably have the oldest mankiest dolly wheels in the world. If anyone is hoping to sell these pieces of shit then they are going to get laughed at. It's significant that they only stole three; they left the fourth wheel because it was rusted to the axle of my original antique galvanized English Laser dolly (now handed down to my son), perhaps the oldest Laser dolly in the world still in regular use. We concluded that the thieves were probably some kids wanting some wheels to throw around and play with. Still annoying.
Some kids in Portsmouth stole our wheels.
Posted by Tillerman at 6:16 AM