Monday, October 22, 2012

My third and final dinghy race of 2012 - A little better. Phew.

Please forgive my laziness, I'm just lifting a few comments I made in a Facebook post tonight! I wasn't planning on posting tonight because there's more green tomatoes plus some green onions and peppers to cook, yay (tonight I'm going to try making Green Tomato Fried Rice, now I'm totally winging it, making things up based on what I've got on hand! :D), and also a debate which I'd sort of rather not watch but am going to because I can't quite bring myself to look away. However, this afternoon O-Docker made a comment on the picture below, taken while heading out to J-bay on Sunday, that elicited a not-half-bad little nutshell review of Sunday, and then also something about whether I'm eventually going to morph from paddler who sails into sailor who paddles (short answer - probably not, but I do enjoy the sailing!), and it hit me that that would actually make a not-bad quick blog post. So here's that:
O-docker: Last thing you saw after the hiking strap broke?

Me: And I had the presence of mind to whip out the camera and snap a picture as I tumbled into the briny! Amazing, right?

Better racing this week - had poor starts for the first 3 races (first one I was just confused, 2nd I mistook the starter's shout of "Two over!" for "Do over!", and the 3rd I tried to be a little more aggressive but just got myself blocked), 4th was actually a really good start & I stayed with the pack & actually came in 4th of 6 sunfish, last start was not as good but I did stick with people better. Wish the Sebago/Yonkers paddle was on Saturday 'cause I'd love to do the last race - last weekend I was just flailing, we had similar gusty, shifty conditions yesterday but I felt like I was keeping things together better - but I just haven't paddled with my friends in Yonkers in so long, and the foliage up there is so pretty now, I think I'm going with that.

O Docker:I wonder if paddling is drawing you into sailing.

I first thought about sailing while having to row a rubber raft back to shore from the middle of Lake Tahoe against a stiff wind and chop. Around me, sailboats were making it home without paddling a stroke.

And they looked to be enjoying their damned selves.

Me: Funny, I was just thinking that with the help of the folks in the Sebago Sailing Committee, I have actually turned into a basically competent dinghy sailor - but my choice to paddle next weekend says I'm still really more of a paddler! Although if the paddle was anything other than a paddle with the Yonkers Paddling and Rowing Club, where I have a lot of friends I haven't paddled with in ages, I would do the last dinghy race of the Fall Dinghy Series instead. I think last year was more rewarding because I was able to do most of the series, I probably did the same with a horrible first race, getting it together for the 2nd & then doing better for the rest (we do six or seven, I think it is). Schedule just didn't work out for me this year.

Me: PS - Why were you rowing a rubber raft in the middle of Lake Tahoe?

O Docker: It was before I knew anything about little boats and wind.

I didn't start out in the middle, the raft just went there all by itself.
OK, there we go, a post in ten minutes - time to go start cooking!


O Docker said...

I think a big factor in choosing what kind of small boat to play with is how much stuff and hassle you have to deal with to get out on the water.

I'd guess in your urban setting, especially since you don't have a car, the kayak is just easier to manage.

But the ease of going fast on a sailboat can be addictive.

A parallel is deciding between jogging and cycling. With the bike, there's all the kit and equipment to deal with every time you go out. But being able to move yourself 15-20 miles down the road in an hour is addictive, too.

PeconicPuffin said...

if balancing stuff and hassle with going fast in a sailboat is the puzzle, may I suggest windsurfing?

bonnie said...

There IS the hassle. Kayaks are definitely way easier than sailboats. If I have 2 hours to boat, I'm going with the kayak, not the Sunfish, where fully half of my time is going to be spent rigging and unrigging!

There's also what you want to do, though. Jamaica Bay has these lovely marshes - a kayak is waaaaay better in a marsh than a sailboat. Surfing, I'd also take the kayak over the Sunfish. And speed is relative - we were talking on Facebook about those situations where you turn on the motor when the buildings start passing you - well, there we're talking about a different kind of sailing, but there are a lot of situations on the Hudson where a kayaker is going to be able to make way when a sailboat under sail goes nowhere (you don't see a lot of sailboats that haven't got auxiliary power of some sort out on the Hudson - Jamaica Bay allows it because the currents are much lighter, but even so, when the wind is from the north and the current's at max ebb, getting back to the club in a dinghy can be teetering on the fence between an exercise in patience and an exercise in frustration - 'specially when your paddler friends go zipping past with their bows pointed straight for home while you zig and zag and zig and zag and...)

For me, though, I think that a big factor is that I have been paddling for as long as I can remember, and I've grown up in paddlecentric places - I've got all these relatives in Michigan, which is definitely in the canoe-mystique part of the country, and I was being plunked in the bows of canoes and a paddle put in my hands since small-kid time. In high school, we didn't have sailing, it was the outrigger canoe team that I wanted to join (it was a varsity sport though & we left before I was old enough - still wonder what sort of paddler I'd be today if I'd been able to do that, a super paddler or so burned out by the intensity that I never wanted to touch a paddle again?)

We had friends with a sailboat, and my folks did take dinghy-sailing classes when I was very very small (and actually quite terrified of the smaller boats, although I apparently never let on to that, my folks had no idea), but it was paddling that I really grew up seeing as the "normal" way to have fun on the water.

Is funny, how we come to our preferences.

bonnie said...

PS - now I want to see a picture of O-Docker shredding it on a windsurfer on SF Bay! :D