The day dawned bright and clear with a nice steady breeze. Perfect sailing weather, just right for taking RL out for a quick sail. Car loaded, boat and mast; life jackets; rudder (double check) dagger board (double check); paddle just in case. Hit the road! Clearing the base, we head toward the lake.
Enter the rec area and head toward the boat launch, wind still perfect, light but steady. We unload the boat and rig for sailing. The Snark lays ready in about 20 minutes. The mast is stepped, sail rigged lateen style, but rather low to keep the wind from roughing us up. RL is helping and excited to be getting a personal sail. Hurry! The wind can be fickle let's go!
Smooth launch, no bobble or flips. We sail gently out into the channel; still in the wind shadow of the boat launch pines. Life jackets on board but why wear them in these light winds? Clearing the peninsula the breeze picks up and the boat begins to take up sail! So cool, no motor the only sound is the hull slapping wave tops and an occasional luff of the sail as I jibe upwind.
Finally, in the clear center of the lake, I begin the work through the points of sail. RL is helping hold the hull down. Feet tucked in the hiking straps we fly across the wind. On a broad reach, the boat practically stands on its bow; we move aft to counter balance.
Time to come about, almost on the far shore. I make the call "Jibe Ho." RL looks up, but the warning is too late! Bing, funny how aluminum yard arm's ring when they hit something. Like say; RL's rock hard head. Alarmed by the hit my hold on the in/outhaul line slips and the sail immediately luffs. Quick other side! We try to counter balance the boat's attempted barrel roll to port. (That's left to all you land lubbers.) Of all times the sail catches the wind and the hull flips completely over to starboard.
What's that sound? Bing, again RL takes his second clocking in less than a minute, and we are both in the water. No life jackets on we haven't noticed the wind slowly increasing to a steady 15-knot wind. Thankfully the jackets are still nearby. A brief swim, wriggling into my vest, a peculiar noise catches my attention.
Hulp! Glubb glub! help! It's RL, who is barely floating and thoroughly panicked. The huge saucer eyes, clutching hands, yup RL is a drowner. In fact, a double drowner if anyone gets in reach.
Tossing his life vest over to him with the instruction, "Put that on."
"Come here! Help me!"
"Not until you have that on."
"Glub glub Come here!"
"Put it on first."
Finally, he complies, and we help each other swim over to the hull.
Well, playing Bob in the water isn't too fun, so we get hold of the dagger board. Lean...Flip, and we have a boat again. Fortunately, the rigging stayed fixed, so we still have mast and sail. Soon mast stepped, and sail rigged, the snark is underway again. The day seems well done, so we waste no time returning to the landing. We pack up and thus ends the attempt to drown Roland Lytle.