USA-26 One Life J/99

Sails and a christening and everything!

Over the weekend, Josh at Doyle Sails Seattle (battling a nasty bit of GI flu, such a trooper!) delivered our sails to One Life. Josh and I have been spitballing her sail plan for a long time, so it was fabulous to see them arrive and get some of them up on the boat.

Plus, a whole bunch of friends and family came out on Sunday for our christening ceremony. Kris and I were so touched by everyone’s enthusiasm and all the love sent our way.

Some of the christening crowd who joined us on Sunday
About ready to break the bottle!

Christenings are simultaneously a party and serious business, especially in One Life’s situation where her name was all over the boat before the christening. This is, as those who know their sailing superstitions are aware, bad luck. So, I started off asking Poseidon and Aeolus (god of the winds) for their forgiveness of this breach and thanking them for keeping her and those who were on her safe.

From there, I requested Poseidon enter the name “One Life” into his ledger of boats allowed to sail his seas. Then the crowd and I made a plea to both Poseidon and Aeolus to keep her and her crew safe. We made pleas to each of the four individual wind gods on Aeolus’ court to give her wind (but not too much wind). Then came the christening and the breaking of the champagne bottle!

With her properly christened, I can now risk showing her name on these pages!

And, as I noted above, we got new sails on Saturday!

Doyle Stratis race main initial fitting

In all the excitement, I forgot to get pictures of all the sail bags. That wasn’t very good of me, sorry.

After the initial fitting, we (of course) took her out for her first sail. It was pretty amusing given none of the clutches are labeled yet. But we worked through it and had a fun time fiddling around in Puget Sound. And while we didn’t plan to when we left the dock, we even flew the spinnaker while we were out!

It hardly seems real she’s here and sailing. In one sense, my friends were right she’s like sailing any of the other boats I’ve helmed. For those looking for details (keeping in mind I’ve had her out twice) she feels a lot like an up-sized J/80 — “up-sized” as in you have to stand to see the bow. She turns much more like a J/80 than a J/105. She doesn’t spin on a dime like Dragonfly (my 1969 Columbia 26 Mk II) did, but she’s orders of magnitude quieter and doesn’t heel as much in a breeze.

On the other hand, she’s much more complicated and clearly more powerful than other boats I’ve sailed often. In 11-13 knots of wind somewhere between close hauled and a close reach, and with what was clearly an untuned rig, she was comfortably at 7 knots when I was actually paying attention to steering her correctly and not busy sightseeing inside the boat.

This week will be a lot of boat care evenings to configure electronics, get them talking to the portable devices we’ll have in the cockpit, get the safety line cushions installed, and generally get her prepped for our first race on Saturday.

Saturday… yikes!

I want to thank everyone who has reached out via the comment section of this blog, on the boat’s Facebook page, or in person. Your enthusiasm for this new addition to our lives has been precious and your words of wisdom invaluable. We look forward to sharing the continuing adventures of One Life on these pages over the weeks, months, and years to come.

Kris and David on the day of One Life’s christening – March 1, 2020

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