“Irrational exuberance” has been overused, but so has my sailing optimism, and I’m still not tired of it. After a training bike ride along the Rillito and a bracing cool off in the pool, it was time to tend to White Dogg’s hull. Water and a wash cloth rinsed off the dirt and two coats of McLube Hullkote spread on, and wiped off, easily. The next thing to do, of course, was to see if the hull was slippery when wet. Except it was calm. A breath of air once in a while cooled my sweat, but the tree across the street, one of my informal, but reliable, anemometers was barely rustling. And it was quiet.
To the northeast, dark clouds were forming over the Catalinas and the stock “30% chance of thunderstorms” forecast started to look more plausible than the prediction of 5-10 knot winds. Assuming more clouds would fill in and fly west, toward Silverbell Lake, my exuberance rationalized that winds would swoop down ahead of the clouds.
At Silverbell Lake, a birthday party was underway at a ramada with ranchero music playing from the open doors of a pickup truck. Ripples shifted on the water. A breeze blew over my shoulder.
On the water, I sailed to the wind, or at least what looked like wind, and kept the boat moving. I alternated between inducing leeward heel while coming out of tacks, and then Glenn Bourke’s Laser technique of inducing windward heel in light air to generate more speed.
The hull seemed more slippery, but by the time the sun was sliding behind the Tucson Mountains, I knew there would be no wind ahead of the storm. The storm never materialized. The clouds were still parked over the Catalinas. (See the photo above.) It was calm. It was quiet. It was worth going to the lake.