My first time sailing Le Vilain Canard
By Donny Verdin
I finished my duck on May 6th, 2012.....I guess that is when I took her for her "Maiden Voyage" although I would consider that trip "sea trials". It consisted of her christening, leak checks, and me using the rudder to scull around the boat launch with the sail up. There was no wind that day. Although it looks like i'm sailing in the pics all propulsion is being provided by moving the rudder back and forth like a fish tail.
Since my duck was built (3 days....but each day seemed like a year) I never seemed to have the time, or the wind to sail her....Finally on May 9th, 2012, I had both.
Let me explain a little about the area I live in. We have no shortage of navigable waterways. In fact we have more water than land.....but , what we do have a shortage of is sailboats. There are a few scattered here and there but I can't tell you when was the last time I have seen one being used. I am fortunate enough to live in a place with deep ties to the sea. Most people in my area either make their living on or get their money from the Gulf of Mexico.
My community consists of four small towns split directly down the middle by Bayou Lafourche....it is here I decided to launch my duck. I slipped her into the bayou near a bridge near my house. This alone drew no attention.......When I raised the sail......That was a different story. People began to wave, and honk their horns as they passed by, some people even went as far as to shout out of their car windows as they passed by.
For the next hour I tried my hand at sailing...the boat handled like a dream. Once i had the basic concept, she sailed herself. The bayou i was sailing in runs north to south....the wind was coming from the north-ish....so i sailed back and forth for a while (the bridge was to the south of me) then.....I sailed windward.....my wife cheered from the bank.....and I'm still smiling. I found joy in sailing that I have never felt in any other boat.
Thank you to the puddle duck community for making this possible.