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Free Range Human, Sailor, Writer, Artist, Videographer  

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Sweltering Summer Sailing Story-SV HideAway Compac 23

A smarter than average person once said that, given the invention of ice boats, sailing the west central Florida coast in the August heat makes less sense than sailing the north eastern coast of Nebraska in January.

HideAway Under Tow

The Capt., a philosopher of no repute, observed that it’s really a matter of what you want to see in your truck’s mirror. A fully rigged sailboat, such as HideAway for instance, following you to the boat ramp or a picture of the same observed on a blog while surrounded by conditioned air in a cool place. I’ll leave any iceboat analogy to you for the moment.

Hopeful the forecasted sea breeze on Sail Flow would commence as scheduled the HideAways could not suffer the entrapment of air conditioning any longer and cast off lines. It was sunny last weekend. The sand on the beach offered 50 cent blisters for the feet of unwary souls. A light breeze blew in over the 93 degree Gulf of Mexico water equaling the actual air temperature and producing a dew point of 76 on a scale where anything over 70 is unbearable no matter how bare you may be. The concept of jumping overboard to cool off into water so hot that any activity in it can cause heat exhaustion is not a thought that occurs to the ice boater yet should be a warning to the soft water sailor.

A Hot Launch

Launching HideAway - Compac 23

Launching a sailboat in these conditions requires special equipment and daring-do. Heavy leather gloves prevent burns from handling the trailer hook-up for instance.

And other than removing the tie downs, nothing on board is prepared for sail.

The goal here is to launch and get out of the harbor as fast as possible then tie off the tiller motoring slowly stripping off the sail cover and hanking on the jib while dancing on the hot deck.

The risk of collision is slim with the knowledge that nobody could be as foolish as the HideAways to actually be on the water, busy as they are reading a blog with a picture of a sailboat framed in a truck mirror.

Although sailflow was right about the sea breeze, the air felt much like it does when you are engaged in shoveling coal into a large roaring furnace on a cold Nebraska winter night. The big genny did her stuff and HideAway leaned into the water at the prescribed angle for speed. The after sail burgers were great, the beer ice cold and the ceiling fans on full in the out door jasmine encased terrace. The HideAways laughed at told stories until well after sun down. A fine Florida sailing day without a hint of Jack Frost nipping at ones body parts.

Iceboats indeed!