Friday, July 17, 2009

Stern First -- A First for Speakeasy!

Last year we arrived in Manistee amidst a rain storm so Mark steered us in and up the channel to our mooring at the Manistee Municipal. (The Marina that recycles everything!)

This year the weather was sunny and calm. I motored Speakeasy in and slipped her into her slip with ease. Sigh of relief. But then a glitch! Our power cable wasn't long enough to reach from their socket to Speakeasy's stern. Mark suggested we skip power; however, we planned to anchor the following night (i.e., no electricity), and the fridge was filled with food, so I didn't agree. Only one solution! Dock Speakeasy stern first.

Mark hauled the electrical cable on board. Julia (Municipal Marina) stood ready to let the lines go. Speakeasy was raring to go! Remember, she's "rassig." As you may know, sailboats have prop walk usually to port. In layman's terms, that means that in reverse, the boat swings to her port (left) side. Remembering that, I backed her up with aplomb. But the river current negated her natural swing. Somehow we made it out of the slip and into the river. I put her in forward and eased down the river. I turned the wheel. She pivots beautifully. Then I motored back up the river but missed getting her stern into the correct position. I pulled away for another try. Mark was ready to call it quits, but Speakeasy and I were determined. By now a man from a nearby boat had casually sauntered over to lend a hand. So we had Mark and me on board. Julia and helpful man on dock. I eased Speakeasy along side the ends of the docks as close as I could get. I eased her forward until her stern starboard was at the corner. Then I put her in reverse and turned. Lines were tossed. Fenders fended. She was in. Good girl! Stern first.

Julia said, "I've never seen a sailboat maneuver in stern first!"
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