Last, Saturday, February 22nd, was a great day for sailing: the winds were beating a steady ten to 15 knots, with occasional gusts of up to 20 knots. True, it’s not the kind of wind where you’d expect to find the casual day-sailor. But, boy, it sure gets your juices flowing and your boat to vibrating with joy. Everything about the day was a joy, from the sun to the wind to the tilt of the boat under our feet to the three killer whales we saw off our starboard quarter. Sadly, it was the last few minutes of this voyage that turned the sweet adventure into something sour.
Motoring into our slip, the wind gusted suddenly, caught my bow, and caused me to misalign the slip by only a couple of feet to starboard. No problem, I thought, I’ll just do a quick 360 — plenty of room — a little more on the throttle, and pull right in again. Only this time, as I was coming around, the wind guested again and put my stern into the path of the exposed propeller of a motor boat. All hands were scrambling to keep us clear with boathooks, hands, and feet. But it wasn’t enough. The bow of our boat came into contact with propellor of that motor boat. It was slight but enough to leave a long pencil mark reminder to never underestimate mother nature. Be prepared for that wind to blow, the same way it’d been blowing beyond the breakwater. And never — never! — come in underpowered.