Liberty is being free from the things we don't like in order to be slaves of the things we do like.--Ernest Benn

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Lay Day!

Means a free day; a boat-free day; a beach free of other varsity dogs; a solitary beach where my recovering ex-surfer Ballou can leisurely recreate herself and gingerly test those knees for which I paid multiple K's.
Well, maybe not that leisurely. As long as my Doberwoman doesn't return home with a limp; if she does, Trophy Wife will give me my own reason to limp.

There goes the Cinco de Mayo Regatta boats. Since we didn't calendar this event, we are out of it. Shooting it from here is not the next best thing to sailing it on the water!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Thank God the Real Beers Were on Ice

This week's Beer Can was a real bust. 2 knots of wind. I gave up the helm immediately to Trophy Wife and dedicated my beer muscle to serve the roles of providing rail meat and human preventors. Serving in those roles, effectively took me out of the afterguard's conversations. MVP selected to go where the front runners did not, arguing that today was not the day to get in an endless parade. He picked the correct side. In the rolling chop without wind, we miraculously finished 3rd overall and saved our time in 20+ boat fleet. A dozen quit (as we passed them) giving us a big score in the series. I'll have to look at the standings tomorrow.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Finally Finished 2nd Beer of the Four Served to Me!

The full crew did drink with me, but they had some Chivas Regal left over by a recent guest; I just drank my normal Silver Bullet.
Speaking of bullets, we picked up another one last night. Not that it will mean anything in the series standing because of what happened a week ago. But it was fun to get out on the water, again, and with the full hard core. With the wind oscillating between 19 and 12 knots, the boat gets the credit. I'll take credit for the controversial gunnel-to-gunnel start and the controversial track on the last leg.I'm glad to have my aggressiveness back. As for the spinnaker set? What can I say? On my boat, everyone yells at the helm which is arguably better than the skipper yelling at the crew.

But what's the diff? After that Full Monty on Sunday, why bother keeping scores?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday, Perfect Sunday

How often does it happen that you propose a trophy race, not because you have any expectation of featuring in it, but just because it should be held? And you discover, over the years, that you can never expect to feature in it because it is scheduled during the season when the winds are lighter than the currents? And You conclude that only with an easterly wind at the start, can you hope to do well? And then, that day comes and brings that easterly that you never had the confidence to hope for? And it holds, never veers, and builds from 7 knots to 20? And, instead of managing a screw-up, you attain a horizon job over a dozen boats for 15nm?

Perfection, Priceless Perfection!

Only one thing worried me. 

You know about the superstition about putting away your bats before the last out is recorded, and not getting out of your seats before the fat lady sings? 

Well, here is Das Boot's most valuable player putting on the deck covers before we even cross the finish line!

But even this did not jinx us!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Two Years Ago Today

My finest moment in the 2009 Volvo Ocean Racing Game (VORG), the virtual yacht race, on-line, real-time, with 200,000 plus boats. 

Notice in the lower, right-hand corner it indicates I am in 32nd place mid-way in the Rio-to-Boston Leg!

Two additional items need to be pointed out:.

  1. This shot was taken 15 1/2 minutes after the GRIB change, so I had driven home to check on the weather change. (Couldn't phone a mark-rounding in, either!)
  2. I had meticulously pre-nav...igated my heading approaching this rounding mark, never noticing that the buoy had not been placed by VORG on the east extreme of the island. (see the little half-moon silhouette touching Wyliecat's jib? 
Why did they have to place it thusly? Demonic malevolence is why.

Not expecting it, I panicked and used extreme turns to avoid grounding on the rock and thereby immediately lost 1,200 places.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My Beer Can Runeth Over

25 knots in the harbor (in my slip) = 30+ knots on the course.

We were missing a key bowman. Getting the boat back into a down-wind in the harbor's funnel would be risking what crew I had. Two years ago I would have gone out under jib alone, sailing at 63 angle, started and retired. That DNF would have been a very satisfactory result when you consider the series score in a 20+ boat fleet. But I am transitioning into another frame of reference where I risk less of my crew and my boat in order to obtain competitive outcomes. Call me chicken-of-the-seas. I'm down with that! And my Melges days are over, too!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Empty Beer Can

We spent three (3!) full hours out on the water this afternoon and evening, with 20 other boats in our class, and never finished.

A perfect start in decent wind with two guests and a new crewman, and lots of beer on board. When the wind shut off, all hands wrestled our displacement through the current and other boats. Competitors behind began switching on their engines. With another boat surviving, we were hoping for first place. Just think of the series points coming out of that! But the SI's had it that two boats had to finish before sundown. When the only two boats ahead of us dropped, we were finished. Er, make that, "unfinished".