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South Texas Sailing
Brandon and Laura
April 10, 2010
Saturday, April 10, 2010,The lesson began with
basic sailing skills such as knots. Being able to
secure your boat at a dock is an important skill.
The wind was fresh on Saturday. Fresh is a
sailing expression that means it is blowing pretty
well. We left the marina under the power of the
main sail alone. For most of the afternoon we
were making good time with only the main. We
zipped back and forth across the lake practicing
tacking and gybing, Once Brandon and Laura
acquired their skills at controlling the boat
movement, we then went to the mooring buoy
area for a couple of games of “Good Buoy”.
“Good Buoy” is a game of precision boat control
in which the helmsman approaches a mooring
buoy on a beam reach, then heaves-to just in
time to slide up to the buoy stopping beside it.
We all reach out and pat the buoy while saying,
“Good Buoy”.

About 4:30 the wind dropped in intensity, so we
put up the jib and made for the opposite side of
the lake behind Treasure Island. Out goal was to
take a leisurely tour of the shoreline along the
backside of Kings Point, Potter’s Creek Park, and
George Ranch area near Canyon Lake Airport.  
About 5:30, the wind kicked up to more than 15
mph. You can tell when the wind is at 15 mph or
more, because you get white caps. When the
speed of the wind increases by a factor of 2, say
from 10 mph to 20 mph, the force of the wind
increases by a factor of 4. With both the main
and the jib up, we were overpowered. Our
immediate task was to reduce sail area.  
Brandon and my daughter, Stacy, moved up
on the fore deck and did a great job of
quickly dousing the jib and stowing it in the
cabin.
Executing a quick controlled gybe, I
turned the boat then made for the open lake.
Once our course was set for the north end of the
marina, I turned the helm over to Laura.
Laura
has a gift for reading the wind. Each time we
got a lift she took excellent advantage of it
to adjust our heading closer to our desired
heading.
If Brandon and Laura decide to enter
sailboat racing, she’ll be a helmsman to be
reckoned with.

With the strong wind on our beam it only took us
30 minutes to reach the north end of marina.  
Our next task was to get to the south end of the
marina where my slip is. Laura graciously
returned the helm to me. No further incidents
impeded us on our return to the slip. Most people
motor out of the marina and motor back in. I’m
pleased to say we did the entire lesson
completely under sail power.
I’m pleased to have
met Brandon and Laura and I hope to go
sailing with them again soon.
Brandon steering a steady course
Laura  at the helm
Randle Moore instructing Laura
Laura at the helm and Brandon in front
Tying a bowline
Laura tying a cleat hitch