Gemini DRS

Gemini, before name change, in light winds

     I sailed whenever I had the time on weekends and holidays. My residence in Sudbury was a three hour round trip to Little Current and therefore prohibited me from sailing during the workweek. I would, however, take advantage of the time I had and sail in some conditions that maybe I shouldn't have.

     On one early occasion, with my Dad, and sons  Chris and Derek, we tried to sail to Gore Bay, 25 miles to the west.  In moderate winds we sailed upwind and were making good progress until after we reached west of Clapperton Island where the wind increased to 25 knots and with an 80 mile fetch the waves were 5-7 ft and steep.  We tried sailing the last 10 miles to our destination but we were very cold, wet and uncomfortable which convinced us that we would be better off sailing downwind back to our home port.  It's amazing what a difference it makes sailing with the wind, the wind strength is reduced, you are warmer and the boat rides the waves better.

      We sailed at good speed but it was starting to get dark on this mid September day and I realized we would not make port during daylight.  We had to navigate through the Little Current channel that was very narrow and consisted of 11 buoys of which only one was lit.  I had a spotlight on the boat, that we used, but at a critical moment it became unplugged momemtarily which caused me to lose sight of an adjacent buoy missing it by inches. Docking in darkness is not recomended either.

Lesson learned: Allow for plenty of daylight to reach your destination.

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Created 10 March 2002 by Mark Smith
Last Updated on 27 December 2010