Today was my first solo sail in quite a while. Since I have officially decided to embark upon this adventure of sailing to Hawaii alone, I have been thinking about my solo sails very differently. Every solo sail before now has been for pleasure, and without any particular purpose. Today took all of that conceptualizing (the only thing it could have been because my engine has been out of commission the past 2 weeks) to a new level. I was finally on my boat alone, and there was actually a significant amount of wind (which surprised me since my trusty predict wind app said it was only blowing 8-10knots). I quickly realized that I was not just on a pleasure cruise, but was rather practicing for my upcoming solo races and adventures. Everything that wasn’t working became really magnified and I started to think of it all so differently. I was especially thinking about efficiency of movement, and since I was clipped in (I promised my dad today that I would not sail alone without my PFD/harness anymore) it was not as easy as usual. Also, it was a totally impromptu sail, and I wasn’t even wearing what I would normally wear, I mean, I had a sundress on for God’s sake, and no shoes. Plus, I had my 2 dogs with me, (which always adds an extra level of vigilance for me, even though they wear life jackets and are tethered into the cockpit). Anyway, it was not what I would call a relaxing sail. I had to be focused, and I quickly realized that I was out of practice. I was rusty, and I was not as centered as I should have been. Even though the conditions were not horrible, I was handed just enough weather to give me pause and remind me of what I somehow, in my haste to get out on the water and rusty-ness, had forgotten….that I need to approach each sail with mindfulness and intention. I was fairly gently, but necessarily humbled today, and was reminded how important every detail and every action is. In a 3 hour sail, I got very clear that I need to reframe my approach, and get serious about practicing. I learned a lot today:
-that I need to make strengthening my body (especially my core) a huge priority.
-that I need to figure out how to most securely and efficiently keep myself tethered to my boat…..even in these solo day sails in Santa Monica Bay
-that each solo sail from now on has to be more focused and I need to make sure I am very centered and prepared before I step on my boat.
-that my dogs cannot be with me when I am practicing.
-that I need to reorganize my cockpit and economize my movements more than ever before.
-that wearing a sundress is not really the best sailing attire, especially in 18 knots of breeze. :-)
All of that being said, it was a very fun sail. My girl was honking along at up to 7.5 knots, close hauled with a reefed main. That is fast for her (especially at that point of sail) and it felt good to stretch our legs a bit. I am praying for wind like that on Saturday for our race. It will be my 1st PSSA race, my 1st race on this boat, and my 1st solo race. Lots of firsts!! Thank goodness it is a familiar trip (to the Isthmus on Catalina Island), and I will be in great company with the rest of the PSSA gang.