There is nothing like the smell and feel of a crisp new sail. Sure, we convice ourselves that old Trusty is a lucky piece of cloth that has carried us to glory and will again. But that speed comes from familiarity with the cut, the practice time over various conditions and hours of tinkering with adjustments to get the feel of the groove. But there is something truly special to a sailor about that crinkly sound of fresh out of the box dacron. Watching the folding wrinkles smooth out as the first waves of pressure glide over the still firm weft and warp. Sliding the battens in for the first time and feeling the spring of the bungee push them back firmly into the leech.
Then there is the crack as the cloth pops across the boat with the first roll tack, the flutter in the wind and the taught look as the strings are pulled on upwind. It was inspiring to see this new sail emblazoned with my name on it. It was an even more awesome moment to see my children rally around the flag.
Looking forward to our journey together. It looks as though the weather may turn in our favor Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. Lisa and I will keep you posted.
Thank you to my sponsors for the Beaufort to Annapolis distance record adventure:
Shoreline Sailboats of Avon, N.Y. who provided the boat that will get me there.
McMurdo who provided the safety and emergency alert gear.
Gill, who provided all of the clothing that will keep me safe during the journey.
And Magellan, who provided the GPS navigation system.
Thanks too, to Lisa for the tireless work to coordinate and promote the project at to Old Dominion University and sailing coach Mitch Brindley for the support, encouragement and friendship.