Young Parents Take Their Fast Boat Out For a Fall Cruise With Their 10 Week Old

As much as we wanted to, we didn’t do Rogue the County. When Round the County was canceled, a number of racers decided to go “rogue” — sailing around the islands anyway. And sail they did! (Editor’s note: check out an update from our friend Kurt Hoehne over at about the folks who sailed Rogue the County).

Our cruising community with the Seattle Yacht Club also recently decided to cancel the Cruise and Snooze event, an annual club cruise/fun race that my wife, Cydney, and I were helping to rally enthusiasm for.

We wanted to go sailing one way or another, and weighed options of how to do so given these cancellations. Ultimately, we opted to go for a sail locally, joining a handful of other boats who also had made weekend plans and provisioned their boats for an overnight.

An email went around that we should all go for a sail around Blakely Rock to Point Monroe, finishing with an overnight in Port Madison. The central idea behind the Cruise and Snooze is to have an easy, non-flying sail event that encourages participation. The boats that showed up honored the tradition of the canceled event. Cydney and I were game, and so was our 10-week-old son, Jack! In the end, around 20 boats decided to take to the water along with us. 

Our Young Sailor

Sailing with our infant Jack has not proven to be too difficult yet (knock on balsa core). The ability to wear him helps out tremendously. Typically, whomever is driving will strap him on if he is awake so he can look around. If he is being a bit fussy or it’s close to feeding or nap time, we have found that using his carseat on the cockpit sole works great. He is strapped in and a bottle can usually be positioned so neither of us need to hold it. That gives us the ability to do sail adjustments, focus on shifts, or take a little break to grab something to eat.

Our Boat

We are sailing our new (to us) Farr 39, Tachyon. The boat is a handful for two people, but manageable. In the first few months, we have been learning a lot about rig tuning to the conditions, especially with all the shorthanded sailing. We’ve found tightening up the rig for the higher end of the forecasted breeze has been very beneficial. Also helpful is going one jib up from the range in which we are sailing. With no weight on the rail, the boat will still scoot well but stalls quick. Trying to de-power early so we’re not on our ear has kept the boat up to speed. The Farr’s stability is most impressive. The rudder just seems to bite, and the boat is extremely well balanced. Going upwind you can almost always drive with two fingers. She truly sails like a dream. We love the boat, but there have been a few challenges. Getting that main up and down is one example. It is so big for two people; something Lazy Jacks will fix for future cruising and shorthanded sailing.

Our Weekend on the Water

Saturday started off with a smooth 8 knots, which was forecast to build to 20 by the afternoon. In the back of my mind, I thought we would be to our destination by the time the breeze built. I tuned the rig for 12 to 14 knots and put up a #2 jib.

As we were about 10 minutes out from Blakely Rock the wind built to 20 and looked like it was still building. With Jack fast asleep, we decided it would be wise to switch to a #3 and get some more turns on the headstay. Cydney went up on the bow, and both operations were done before we got to south end of the rock. We sailed the boat slightly more conservatively than if we were really racing, but were having fun still pushing a bit.

Our stop in Port Madison provided the roughest night of sleep at a dock I’ve ever encountered, with a consistent westerly battering us at 20 gusting 30+ knots and quick chop that rocked all of our boats. The only person who slept well was Jack! That breeze didn’t let up on Sunday, so our sails stayed stowed for our return trip.

For me, the highlight was Jack sleeping peacefully as we were charging upwind in a consistent 25 knots. Though it didn’t unfold exactly as scheduled, this was still a great weekend of sailing!