The forecast was mixed for the weekend, but Saturday looked like it would be a great day. Temps would be in the 60’s with bright sunshine and moderate winds – perfect conditions for our first sail on Pegu Club. As an added bonus, we were going to be joined by Jeff’s good friend Jeff O. Jeff O. was the person who introduced Jeff to sailing when they were growing up, and we were psyched to have him along on our maiden voyage.
Jeff and I arrived on Saturday morning with a few tasks remaining to be completed. We wanted to check the rigging tension one more time and the turnbuckles all needed cotter pins and rigging tape wrapped around them. Jeff O. helped us figure out how to rig the reefing lines, and after making the mandatory donation to Poseidon we were motoring away from the mooring field into a light wind of around six knots.
We drifted along for a while, and true to the forecasters’ predictions (for once) the wind soon picked up to around 11-19 knots. As we settled in we brought out the hummus and crackers, cranked up Bob Marley on the Bose, and sailed towards Latimer Light near Stonington. Pegu Club has a knot meter so cheers rang out as we hit three knots, then four, five, and six knots – no doubt helped by the current. She was flying along, so comfortable, and it was very easy to imagine sailing her to Bermuda some day.
Below is a short clip of our maiden voyage. Forgive the quality – the video is from my iPhone and I’ve discovered that iMovie is not nearly as intuitive as GoPro Studio so I didn’t play with the sound or editing. Future videos will be strictly on the GoPro.
Stonington is on the way to Block Island, and I briefly entertained a spontaneous trip. However, I knew the forecast for Sunday was lousy – and Jeff O. needed to go to work the next day – so reason prevailed. Besides, we’ll be heading to Block in a few short weeks. So we turned around and headed back, basking in a wonderful first sail.
It felt surreal after all of our work to finally be out on the water again. Although I had been nervous about it earlier in the week, my nerves vanished as we left the mooring field and I was simply having a wonderful time.
Having Jeff O. along was fantastic. The extra set of hands was so helpful as we got used to her, and he is very skilled at sail trim to I soaked up all of the tips that I could. His experience and easy going manner gave Jeff and I an extra shot of confidence. Halfway through the sail the wind picked up quite a bit (it was blowing a steady 18-19) and I suspect if we had been alone we would have turned around in an abundance of caution. But with Jeff O. being there we continued on, greatly increasing our comfort level much more quickly than if we had been alone.
The wind died down right as we turned on the motor to head back into the mooring field which was perfect timing, and Jeff managed to catch the mooring ball on our first try – no thanks to me. Pegu Club’s engine provides a lot more oomph than the outboard on Little Bristol, plus she’s almost 3,000 pounds heavier. This combination means that I need to slow down and shift into neutral much earlier than with Little Bristol.
We came up to the mooring ball pretty hot and Jeff did not appreciate it! Fortunately I had learned from our adventurous launch day the previous week so I shifted into reverse and gave the engine some throttle, which actually served to slow us down. On launch day I put it into reverse but didn’t give it any throttle, not realizing that the throttle was necessary to actually – you know – slow down.
After tying up we broke out more snacks and drinks, toasting to a successful maiden voyage!
Jeff and I decided to spend the night on Pegu Club despite the next day’s windy forecast. With 30 mph winds predicted, we knew we wouldn’t be sailing but we were hoping to complete a few projects. Unfortunately, this decision resulted in a mostly sleepless night for me. Winds of 15-20 revealed a loose threshold leading into the bathroom that creaked by my head all night as we rocked back and forth. Jeff was able to ignore it. Me? Not so much.
Sunday morning we went out to breakfast and by the time we got back it was clear that projects wouldn’t be happening. Winds were ranging from the upper 20’s to upper 30’s, and Pegu Club was rocking and rolling in our mooring field. Rather than risk dropping the solar panel overboard, we called it a day, packed up, and headed home.
All in all it was a great weekend and we couldn’t have asked for a better first sail. We can’t wait to have many more!