Sunday, August 12, 2007

Week Five

The fifth week has traditionally been the busiest week of the summer at Island Sail and this year seems to be in line with the past. We had 40+ sailors come to the boathouse on Monday. We lost four of our instructors for the week (Joanna, Katie, John, Anna), making it a chore to distribute participants into the morning and afternoon sessions in a way that would assure our efforts to send all new sailors out with experienced skippers. Our efforts to advance Taylor and Buzz up to Jr. Instructor status last week helped us and both provided new support for our afternoon sessions. They did a great job! Monday, I spent the morning going over chase-boat procedures with them and throughout the week they provided coverage that helped us with the large numbers we had in the program.

It was a mixed bag with the weather this week. We started off with pouring rain on Monday afternoon and then a nice day on Tuesday. Our original plan to have the Dogtown Regatta on Wednesday was shifted to Thursday early in the week... a good choice because Wednesday we sat in the boathouse, watching the rain fall heavy again. It was raining at 3:00 pm on Wednesday and by 4:30 pm the sun was out. I recall going out on the deck at 9:00 pm on Wednesday evening... thinking that I had not seen a sky more brightly lit with stars. At 1:00 am I was wide awake listening to a howling 30+ knot wind, which popped out two of the screens in my house, wondering what the morning would bring.

Thursday started with the strongest winds I have seen on the island this su
mmer. Our original plan was to have the larger sailboats sailed down to Old Harbor for the regatta in the afternoon. Stretched thin with staff, Karen had provided help all week and we divided the group to get the bigger boats out of the harbor and on the way to Old Harbor... It ended up being a challenge for all. The large boats struggled against a blowing head-wind to get down to Old Harbor and the Optis, with inexperienced sailors, were blown down in the inner harbor of Sands Cove. We had some scares, but overall it was a positive learning experience for all of us. The Dogtown Regatta is a new event and the first regatta that Island Sail has hosted for our program participants. Thanks go out to former Commodore, Joe Upton, for suggesting and providing the spark for this special opportunity for all Island Sail participants! Check back for a special report on this inaugural Vinalhaven event.

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