Our First Time Sailing Together As A Family

Yep, we finally got the kids out sailing!!

I think Evan may have gotten to sail with us once, a couple years ago, when we had our Catalina 25. But this past weekend, after much prep work each evening after work during the week before, we were finally able to take Mosaic out sailing on our own (without an instructor) and with the kids aboard.

Going Up The Mast- Installation of Our Lazy Jacks

The one project that we knew we really wanted to complete before Brenden and I felt comfortable taking the boat out to sail on our own, was the installation of our lazy jacks.

For those unfamiliar with sailing, lazy jacks are a series of ropes that attach to the boom, at the bottom of the mainsail, and then run to a pulley up the mast and then down to a cleat where you can control them. They’re used to help you control the mainsail as you drop it down after you’re done sailing.

Our mainsail is big. BIG. And, when we had those couple of sailing lessons with Captain Stephen, we did not have our lazy jacks installed and it was very difficult to manage the mainsail when we would drop it at the end of the evening. The whole thing just falls down all over the top of the boat and is just a huge, heavy mess. So heavy I can’t even manage it or lift it back up to flake (fold) it across the boom for storage.

The lazy jacks are deployed to keep the sail on top of the boom that whole time.

Here you can see the lazy jacks on Mosaic after installation.

Here you can see the lazy jacks on Mosaic after installation.

So, because those had not been reinstalled on the mast before it was put back into the boat, and because I messed up on my second trip up there, I had to go about 40-feet up the mast a total of three times in order to complete the installation of the blocks/pulleys that were needed for the lazy jacks.

Woman taking a selfie while 40 feet up the mast of a sailboat

1st time up the mast – gotta get the selfie!

Woman 40-feet up the mast of a blue sailboat

My second time up the mast.

3rd time's a charm - successfully installed block for the lazy jacks

3rd time’s a charm – successfully installed block for the lazy jacks

These three trips up the mast took place over the course of a week and a half, the last two trips up over the course of just 3 days and boy that was hard. We got the final trip up, with the successful install, on Thursday night after work. We were leaving Friday evening to head out to Government Island for the weekend with plans to sail back on Sunday if we could get the lazy jacks installed. So it was a HUGE relief to have that finished up before the weekend so that we could still plan on that first family sail.

Another Weekend at Government Island and a Beautiful Sail Home on Sunday

We had a great weekend on the Island. We docked up at West Dock Friday evening and let the kids stay up late to cook marshmallows over a campfire. On Saturday, we spent a couple hours hanging out on the beach letting the kids play in the sand. We had a few squalls pass over and hunkered down inside the boat to play Catan Junior with Kali for the first time. She almost won.

young girl playing Settlers of Catan Junior on a sailboat

We also met another boating family at the dock on Saturday. They had two boys, 5 and 7 years old, and the kids all got along great and we all hung out together around the campfire, again, that evening.

Mom, son, and daughter sitting around a campfire at night

On Sunday morning, our friends Brian and Jenn came out to meet us. We picked them up by dinghy and got to relax and hang out all morning. We met back up with the family (SV Sapphire) and the kids all got a chance to play in the mud and get real good and dirty!

a boy and a girl playing in the mud along the riverbank

mud children playing in the mud along the riverbank

And then we went sailing!

Being that we live on the Columbia River … we don’t have a whole lot of space to go sailing. Our options are upriver or downriver and the river is only so wide. SO – to go sailing – we generally have to zig-zag back and forth quite a bit! To get from the West Dock on Government Island back to our marina on Sunday, we actually had to tack 25 times! (Yep, this is one of the reasons we’re really anxious to get up to the more open waters of the Puget Sound!)

Our track is the yellow line zig-zagging back and forth across the river here.

Our track is the yellow line zig-zagging back and forth across the river here.

We put the sails up though as soon as we got well away from the dock and even sailed under the I-205 bridge for the first time with Mosaic.

The kids had a blast and it was a great first sail for the family. We had some heel but nothing too intense for the kiddos. They loved it!

A boy and a girl in the cockpit of a sailboat under sail.

Evan and Kali enjoying sailing with Mosaic

A man and a boy relaxing in the cockpit of a sailboat while sailing

Two kids in the cockpit of a sailboat while sailing.

A woman at the helm of a sailboat under sail, with kids enjoying the ride

Thanks to our buddy, Brian, for getting this excellent family photo of us sailing with Mosaic

Thanks to our buddy, Brian, for getting this excellent family photo of us sailing with Mosaic

Thanks for reading! Remember you can follow us on Facebook and Instagram @mosaicvoyage. Adios!  ~Rachel

 

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