« After several months of waiting and excitement, our J / 99 “One Life” was finally in the water on February 27, 2020, at Shilshole Marina in Seattle. Shortly before the Governor’s order to stay at home we managed to make our first cruise the weekend before confinement.
In addition to the social distancing we were already practicing, we decided to visit Blake Island State Park.
We already crossed there several times with our Dragonfly (our old boat – 1969 Columbia 26 Mk II), and we’ve loved the relative solitude of the small marina as well as the trails throughout the wooded island.
By the time we got race sails off and cruising sails back on, plus all the gear piled, it was late and the wind died. So, we ended up motoring. It was a beautiful day. however and it was just nice to be back on the water again.
Relaxation, hiking, delicious barbecue dishes… And, as we are sailors, you can probably guess what enlivened our evening: Hot buttered rum! It was a very nice weekend disconnected from the troubles of the world. Blake Island is truly a jewel.
The Sunday forecast was light northerlies changing to a middling southerly late morning, strengthening into the evening. When we got up, it was already blowing southerly a nice 5 knots.
By the time we got off the dock, it was blowing 10. We weren’t going to launch the kite, so it was a day for cross-sound reaching. Why no kite? Our old boat, Dragonfly, had jib sheets, a main sheet, and a slide traveler atop the transom — that’s it. And her winches are not self-tailing. So, there is lots of learning on our first sail together on the new boat.
The wind started picking up, blowing closer to 20k most of the time versus 15k. We were amazed how stable the J/99 is and how effortless she is to sail with the AWA autopilot feature.
Kris and I finally being able to take One Life out doublehanded — a primary reason I bought a J/99 instead of a race sled — was wonderful. We learned a lot about the boat during the sail home and gained a great deal of confidence in our ability to sail her alone. »
David & Kris, owners of the J/99 One Life.
Blog : http://onelife99.com