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Adjusting our sails

How we sail has changed since we moved aboard Spindrift. When we would sail on Lake Ontario it usually meant trying to get between two points as fast as possible. I have to admit, it was always my time to relax with a good book while Tony ran around the boat adjusting sails.

I knew my sailing tactics would have to change, I would have to be more involved in the actual sailing instead of depending on Tony to keep the boat moving. We received a couple of good tips from sailors before we left, "never do anything that you're both not comfortable with", and "reef early and reef often". Now we are more concerned with not how fast we get somewhere (of course Tony still has be faster than the boat next to us) but getting there safely and comfortably. We wear life jackets and tethers on all island passages and clip into safety lines whenever we leave the cockpit. We can put off sailing somewhere if the seas are high and the winds are too strong, or we can change course and decide to visit an island that is at a better angle to the wind for a more enjoyable sail. The times when we find ourselves in squalls where the wind is shifty and gusts are blowing over 30 knots we reef early and often, and we learn to grin and bear it when we have the occasional passage from hell. The more time we spend on the boat the more confidence we have in each other's ability, and the boat's, to arrive safely in the next port.

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