dinghy sailing with cora
Sunday, January 29, 2012 at 18:30
Eric in children, underway

Eric and Cora at 18 months, ghosting along on the Walker Bay 8. Click to enlarge.I have no way of knowing if she's going to grow up enjoying sailing, but by god she's going to be good at it. 

Our dinghy is a Walker Bay 8 (that I got used, in great shape, with the sailkit, for $400). With the 80 degree weather this weekend I bent on the sail and did some zooming around. Cora was a eight weeks old when we first took her sailing. She was so small that we had to roll up blankets and pack her between them so she wouldn't roll around in the cabin.

At three months, Cora rode out a series of storms including some brief gale force action.

As cool as all that sounds, one could argue that it's easier to be in a keelboat at 30 knots than it is to be in a dinghy at 10 knots.

Can you spot Cora's backpack? Click to enlarge.So with a light Santa Ana blowing we proceeded to sail back and forth across America's Cup Harbor. On Saturday I kept it short and we just zipped over to Point Break Cafe for some daddy-daughter breakfast time. Zip across the cove, tie up at San Diego Marine Exchange's dock, and walk the hundred feet to a delicious Mexican egg scramble.

On our second day out, Cora simply fell asleep. I tacked as silently as I could, trying to avoid the sound of the cam cleat blocks rattling around and minimizing heel by shifting my weight around.

Not only did she do good, but she did much better than expected. She enjoyed it, liked looking at the birds (tweet-tweets), although she freaked out a bit when she woke up and we were still underway.

Skippers, take note. The "finger hold" technique. Click to enlarge.It's going to take her a while to develop the motor skills to haul in the main sheet, but that will be her first job I think. I'll probably control the trim and have her take the slack up and lock it in the cam cleat.

And while it has absolutely no relevance to the contents of this blog post, I'm currently listening to Harbor Lights by The Platters, and maybe you should too. Very nautical stuff. Listen to it enough and you'll probably be ready to sail Drake's Passage.

Update on Sunday, January 29, 2012 at 20:27 by Registered CommenterEric

As a quick follow up, maybe this will convince some of you non dinghy sailors about the merits of small boats. You can go very fast, and it's an intense experience. There's no room for a cocktail, no time to run down below and make sandwiches. No engine to bail you out, and yeah, you can flip these suckers over with the quickness.

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