Sunday after church Jon suggested we go sailing again since we did not make it the day before.
After lunch, we headed out again, this time to North Park because it is closer.

The wind was strong, the best we've had in Pittsburgh so far. However, it was also gusty and changed direction a lot in certian places. We had some good heeling-over clips, but I was tiring near the end because of the extra energy expended to hold onto Jonathan during those times.

We started with the jib, took it down, put it up again, and took it down a second time. Jonathan said, "jib." During a calmer space, Jonathan also took the tiller for a while and at one point said, "Ready, jibe. Jibing!"

Jon took the tiller back when we got to the windy spot again, and he never put the main sheet in the cleat on purpose, because of the gusts.

I was ready to stop soon, but we wanted a few more nice tacks with the strong wind. After a few of those, somehow Jon accidentally got the main sheet in the cleat during a come-about. When we caught the wind on the next tack, we both knew it was too strong. He tried to let out the sheet, and saw it slack in front of his hand. I saw the sheet in the cleat. Neither of us had time to do or say anything before we knew it was too late.

Jonathan and I slid neatly in between the centerboard case and the boom and floated there, Jonathan very upset about this sudden swim. His life jacket was doing its job, but mine was in the boat (no admonitions, please, I know, I know.) I held onto the gunwale with one hand, while treading water with my legs, and holding Jonathan with my other hand. This holding of the gunwale pulled the boat from 90 degrees downward, but then the mast hit bottom and it did not go further.

The people on shore were yelling concern, but I yelled back that everyone was ok.

I undid the mainsail stay and pulled the sail up (because the mast was pointing down) the mast so that Jon could try to stand on the centerboard without drag. He was afraid of breaking it, and the boat did not budge.

A couple, Bob and Angie, in a rowboat, ambled on over to us. They were trying to hurry but they were not boaters and Bob was trying to row forwards from the back seat instead of backwards from the middle.

I started swimming towards them with Jonathan, but I worked to hard trying to do his life jacket's job, and I got tired out quickly. He was screaming even more, and I wanted to hold him close to comfort him, but really the best thing would have been to just let him float on his back and pull him along by his strap.

But we made it to the rowboat and they hauled him in. I caught my breath and climbed in with help. Then Jonathan calmed down when I could hold him in my lap.

Jon swam around the sailboat retrieving our things which were starting to float away. He ended up pulling the rowboat towards the Black Rabbit by its chain, because that was easier than having Bob row.

Jon handed over all the loose things and then tried the centerboard again. Bob's idea was to pull up the "long tall round metal piece" so Jon dove down and picked up the end of the mast. He got the boat back to 90 degrees, and then handed it to Bob, who walked his hands down it and righted the Black Rabbit. There was not very much water in it, surprisingly enough.

We all headed towards a rocky part of the shore nearest us so that Jon could take down the mast. Then we transferred all the stuff and Jonathan and myself into the sailboat. We were just ready to leave when a policeman came down from the road and asked if we were all right and if we wanted to be checked out. We assured him we were all fine.

Then we paddled back under the tunnel to the boat ramp, wet and shaken but unharmed. (Jon did have a small scratch on his leg, and I discovered a few bruises on myself the next day.)

By the grace of God, the car keys, which had been in my pocket, were still there. The pencil and paper I keep notes on that had been in that same pocket were lost.

One blue towel was missing, which Jon probably could have recovered had we discovered its loss sooner.

I was thankful that I asked Jon to leave the diaper bag in the car because then Jonathan at least got to put on some dry clothes.

We stopped by an ice cream place on the way home. By that time, and with a mini ice cream cone in his hand, Jonathan was happily talking about how we went swimming. (:
Posted by Heather Daley on August 25, 2005, 1:25 pm | Read 3631 times
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Two details:
I got a cut on my hand, not my leg, on something near the centerboard; I haven't had a chance to look around to see what it was.
Part of the reason there wasn't much water in the boat after it was righted is because there are places under the gunnels where water can get in and get inside the seats (there is probably sailing words for all of these things).
I discovered the water when I got back home and walked the sailboat to its spot, and realized it was awfully heavy, and then heard the water inside the boat. It all drained out nicely, although there is a bunch of gunk inside there, some of which came out, some couldn't fit through the hole.
Posted by jondaley on August 25, 2005, 1:54 pm

Wow! Sounds as if this weekend was one of adventure for everyone! I seem to recall Aunt Prudence saying that she's capsized that little boat a few times (I can't remember what it was called before the Black Rabbit). I'm glad to hear you are save and sound!
Posted by Janet on August 29, 2005, 6:36 pm
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