Heeling is Fun
People ask, “What kind of coincidences do you encounter?” We had another family go sailing from New Hampshire, so that’s twice in two days. Mike and Linda Roberge brought their grandsons from the Granite State to Williamsburg, where they all went sailing on a warm spring afternoon. We were all in shirtsleeves, a first this year.
The occasional heeling of the boat to 20 degrees reminded me of Franconia Notch and the Cog Railway, a steep incline on Mt. Washington that defies gravity. You sit in seats at a 45 degree angle to mitigate the feeling that you’re going to fall off the mountain. Linda said the place hasn’t done well lately. “Ever since the Man in the Mountain fell off, tourism hasn’t been the same.”
“Wait!” her grandson Irie interjected. “A man fell off the mountain?”
No, she was referring to the iconic stone profile of a man that was naturally carved by nature into a cliff. It sheared off in 2003. I showed them what was left of Redoubt 10, the famous place in the Siege of Yorktown that has been reduced by half due to river erosion. Nature rules the world. We sailed on quietly, except for the occasional gust.
Look at the serenity of the helmsman from a wonderful sail on Friday. He powered through gusts of 15 mph to get the sailboat to 10 mph. Heeling on a sailboat is like skiing or motorcycle riding in that it’s part of the action to gain speed. But only to 15 or 20 degrees tilt. After that, it’s inefficient and uncomfortable. People get antsy and risk slipping if they get up too quickly. Sit tight.
Let’s Go Learn that Heeling is Fun
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Heeling Is Fun
Couples discovered that heeling 15 degrees in a sailboat is exciting.
Capt Bill ODonovan
Williamsburg Charter Sails / Let's Go Sail