We met Kristin and Kevin here at the marina. I was out walking the dogs and Kristin stopped me to see Gunner. They have a Weimaraner as well and its always such a treat to see other weims when you’re out and about. They’re not very common so many people are fascinated with them and want to know what breed they are. Pronounced “wym-er-on-er” these dogs are one of a kind. They have a very distinctive personality and many of them have the same mannerisms. It takes a certain kind of person to appreciate their quirky ways ;) If you’ve ever been around one, you’ll surely understand. Gunner has grown to be very crotchety in his older years but we still love him just as much – he’ll be 13 this March!
After initially meeting Kristin, she brought Kevin by the boat to say hello a few days later. They have a Y Flyer they keep here in Florida and Kevin has been sailing most of his life. We had no idea what a Y Flyer was, but the Y Flyer is an 18 foot (5.5m) sloop rigged racing dinghy designed to be sailed by 2 people. Sounds like a blast and something Peter and I probably should have started out with! Instead, we took the “sink or swim” route and bought a 42′ liveaboard sailboat with no sailing experience :S
We thought it would be great to get the dogs together for a play date. Sadie is Kristin and Kevin’s female weim, not quite as old as Gunner but she is in her senior years. We had a wonderful evening a few nights ago over at their house for dinner and all three dogs got along great! We weren’t so sure how Gunner would do at first, but I swear he knows his own kind… it didn’t take him long at all to warm up to Sadie and make himself at home. Betsy got totally WILD and was SOO excited to play with another puppy friend inside a real house! Its been an adjustment for the dogs living on the boat and they sure appreciate a carpeted house when they get to visit one. They rolled around and played with toys all evening.
Saturday was another beautiful day out in Charlotte Harbor so we jumped at the opportunity to go sailing again! Our new friends were available and excited to come out with us and we’re so glad they did. It’s really fun to be able to take others out sailing with us and share the joy of being out on the water. Kevin taught us a few things about sailing a Ketch – his dad built one!! Now that we own a boat we can appreciate all the craftsmanship and attention to detail that goes into building a boat. It’s mind blowing when you realize all the little things that are done both during construction and later as upgrades.
We were a little more relaxed and yet again more confident as we sailed across the harbor. Winds were up to 15-20 this time out but that didn’t scare us!! We were really FLYING at 7 knots!!! Wow that was a great feeling. We practiced reefing the mizzen and genoa, tacking back and forth, and adjusting the running backstays. We had plenty of speed with just the two sails up, we didn’t even bother with the main sail again today. It was just magical with the wind in our hair, sun on our faces, cutting the engine, and just listening to the sound of the waves and the wind sweeping us over the water.
On the way back we kept the sails reefed and had some lunch. I stopped to grab some sandwiches from The Trading Post before we left the dock. There were quite a few other boats out enjoying the weather and we were so thankful we were out there too! This was our third time out after purchasing the boat and there was one final challenge of the day. Docking has been a knot in my stomach every time, and we knew this day was a little gustier than it has been in the past. Coming into the marina through the channel was even a bit nerve wracking as we were getting tossed all over the place by the currents. We’ve got a 5′ draft and the channel is dredged out with a good 8-10′ clearance but you’ve got to really pay attention and make sure to stay inside the markers. We’ve been told “you haven’t been sailing in Charlotte Harbor unless you’ve run aground” – yikes! Hopefully we can avoid that!
The Captain did a FANTASTIC job docking, better and better every time. It took a few tries but Peter backed her stern-in again without any damage for us or the dock :) It definitely helps to have a few more available hands for grabbing a line but hopefully Peter and I will be able to get through it by ourselves next time. Cross your fingers!!