|Photo by Skip Rhodes - we're 28686|
So, one of the old champions in the fleet showed me the two stroke slap tack and one of the younger champions in the fleet showed me the one stroke stand and pull tack. By the end of the weekend, I had perfected my own signature technique that I called the 'oh shit, WTF'. No two tacks were the same and each began as a bit of a surprise (Doug is not used to saying when he wants to tack) and each one ended with a tangle of lines that left me puzzled. But, 10 out of 10 times, the jib came across and was set and ready once we were on the new tack. All was well until the old champion engaged us in a tacking duel. After I found every sharp, blunt and protruding object in my small space, Doug was not my favorite person.
The goal of the weekend was to get a on double-handed boat without a spinnaker so that Doug could teach me tactics. That didn't work out. Doug's head was in the boat more often than not. And I mean, it's blowing and I'm hiking and his head is literally between his legs trying to find the hiking strap to get his feet under. And, he actually dropped the tiller twice. Old habits die hard. He is used to sailing barefoot, knowing where his straps are, having a long stick with a knobby thing on the end and tacking without thinking about it. Change a few things and we're trading oh shits all around the course.
Somehow, we managed a 4th and I got the feeling we were getting better. We just might have to give that a try again. It was actually kind of fun.