On Monday after dinner, Jon said, "How about if we go sailing?" So we packed up and headed down to the boat ramp near his work - on the Monongehela almost under the Birmingham bridge.The wind was nice and strong this time, the best we've had on the river. Because we are now confident with the paddles, we decided to head downstream towards the point.

For the very most part, it was a fun and relaxing sail. However, just at the highest traffic point, we lost the wind and Jon had to do some quick paddling to get out of the way of a clippership. All the clipperships were running because of the Steelers game, and there were many barges (8 we counted, but Jonathan says, "ten barge") and a few motor boats.

It was very loud down towards the point, with rush hour road traffic, clipperships, barges, motor boats, and trains. When there was no wind, the wake would toss us around like a little cork. We did not quite make it to the point, I think we had about 100 yards left to the beginning part of the park. We were having difficulty, and then Jonathan said, "home" so we decided to head back up river.

It was slow going again up to the Smithfield Street bridge, but got better after that because the wind picked up and we were past the clipperships. There are red bouys that mark the channel, or at least the place where the big traffic is supposed to go. I'm not sure there's an actual channel in the river.

One time, we passed close by a bouy and I asked Jonathan what color it was. He looked at it and then said, "pink." For sure! The bouy I "knew" was red, really was pink because the sun had faded the paint. Children are great!

It was dusk, so we turned on our lights, and it was dark by the time we got to the dock. We did have one barge pass us in the dark, and it was rather hard to see. After we docked and got the boat out, Jon talked to a motor boat owner who had gotten out just before us to ask how visible we were. He said our lights were hard to see and gave us tips on how to make them more visible. He was nice and helpful, because he had owned sailboats before.
Posted by Heather Daley on August 18, 2005, 4:51 pm | Read 2066 times
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