Sunday, October 31, 2010

Rosa-J Sails Into the Sunset

We had our launch this afternoon and all went very well. There was a very light breeze and as it was late in the afternoon, we almost ran out of breeze completely on the way back. We also ran out of light, which was an issue as we had no running lights! Didn't expect that to happen but when the breeze went, it went completely.

It was the Sargasso Sea, the Doldrums, the surface was glassy smooth... and it was dark. Still, we made it back in one piece and I'd have preferred not enough wind to too much, particularly for our first time out.

Gave the oars a bit of a turn but they were very unsuccessful, with all the sailing stuff on the boat; rudder, rudder box, off-centreboard, mast and sail. You either have the boat set for rowing, or sailing. You really can't do both. So the idea the oars were going to get me out of trouble didn't work. Too much movement through the water to effectively row, even with the little bit of breeze there was.

L did a fantastic little speech and we named the boat with a proper little ceremony. Champagne, toasts, the full bit. This is a transcript of how it went:

'We now call on the 1st Mate to Christen the new vessel... oh hang on a bit, that's me.'
'I name this vessel Rosa-J, may God bless her and all who sail with her, may God keep all who sail her safe. Amen'.
'A toast to the Skipper'... I was choking up by this time, the emotion welling inside me.
'A toast to the first mate'... M was choking up now, it was such a beautiful moment.
'A toast to Rosa-J' ... the boat just sat there. I think she just wanted to get wet.

'We now request the skipper to install a coin at the mast step of Rosa-J as a good luck charm and as a symbol of generosity to his vessel, to show her that they shall care for her and attend to her need'. L actually handed me a $2 coin and I put it on the mast step. I'll glue it in properly tomorrow.

I then gave a toast to everyone present (all three of us, and a passing walker and his little baby daughter).

'Fairwinds to all!'.

'May she and all that sail with her be blessed with fair-weather.'

We then poured the little champagne we had left over the bow and placed a branch of green leaves on the deck to ensure safe returns.

After all that, we hit the water and sailed off into the sunset... literally. We were sitting a bit too far back, so the transom was dragging a bit but she clipped through the water pretty well. All in all, a very pleasant first run.