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

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

June: Out Like a Lion!

Steady winds up to 21 knots this afternoon. Had more sailing talent aboard for this mid-week twilight than ever before. Last-minute addition was a visiting multihull sailor from Hawaii. We finished 3rd out of 16. Partied heartily afterwards. Too much for this old man! 

No photos: my batteries were dead. (In more ways than one!) This shot from my past files shows what it was like.  I will publish anything from my bud when he gets back to the Big Island! Hopefully!

Here are the shots I've been waiting for. They are not as dramatic as I expected. Whoever said that photography from deck level renders water surface much more calm and flat than photography from a camera raised above the surface--whoever said that was right!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Prescription for Sunstroke

Dismal race around the same boring buoys again. 4nm course, 2 knots of wind, 2ft swells, 2 hours of sunlit sailing. 15 boats, maybe. Despite a perfect start, we were next to last rounding the weather mark, and passed one boat at the 2nd mark. Fun.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Saturday Is for Soccer

Three of my sons are at the Rose Bowl where Team USA is tied half time in the Gold Cup finals with Mexico. Newt sent me this panorama from his ipod. We are texting back and forth. USA was ahead 2-0, but could not hold back the Favorites!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Better than Advertised

Today we had a full crew and a forecast of 7 knots. Instead, 17 turnouts enjoyed a breeze of more than 15 knots at times. We started well, had a good set of mark roundings a good spinnaker set. And a great set of photographs to show for our efforts - the last thanks to a guest crewperson. Our esteemed photographer collected our 3rd place trophy at the end of the evening.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

We took out my 12-year old granddaughters for their first sail for a couple of hours. They took to it! Sailing amidst a pod of 100+ dolphins was an added delight!

For Trophy Wife and I, it was a treat to have das boot out for some rare, much-needed non-competitive sailing pleasure!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Twilight Beer Can Racing in Marina Del Rey

The Harbor 20's now have a fleet start in this venue. I think the fleet has a future. We had four boats out there tonight. The builder was racing in one, so the rest of us assumed from the start we were racing for 2nd Place.

My son got a great start on the windward and starboard end of the line and the MIR started on the leeward end. Out story, which is what we're sticking to, is that there was more wind on the leeward side. The MIR was soon out of camera range. All the way up the weather leg, we led in the race for 2nd: close tacking, lee-bowing and threading our way through a competitive Laser fleet. At the end of the narrow channel, I mis-called for a tack because I was unaware of a crucial limiting mark, and the home team became the 3rd Place team. They stretched out their lead several boat links but we stayed as close as we could, rounding the weather mark in four foot seas and reaching back into the harbor. Winging-on-winging we gradually ate up Sparky's lead until we were overlapping. That's the way we remained until the finish: inches apart, but in 3rd place.

This was an incredible pre-Father's Day gift for him to invite me down for the race. Well-worth the drive!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Another Wednesday

5-8 knots. Beautiful. Traded off helm to light wind specialist. Took some photos. Passed more than a half a dozen boats but could not save our time. 13th out of 16.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Summer #1

Light winds 8-11 knots. Bad start. Great (tactically) mark roundings. Good spinnaker set. Good finish line maneuver. Finished 8th out of 20.

I'll take it.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sailing To Windward Under Jib Alone: Research in Progress

Some time ago, maybe two or three years ago, I wanted to register a start in 30+ knots of wind. On this occasion, getting scored as a DNF for this race in a series was all I was after. So we motor-sailed to weather under jib and cut off the engine with 5 minutes to go. We rounded the starting pin and smartly crossed the start line after the gun. The only trouble, initially, was keeping clear of leeward reefed boats which could sail closer to the wind. That we managed. Then, to my surprise, we were able to close-reach close to 60-65 degrees. At the time, I thought we could have finished the race without too much embarrassment, considering the few boats which actually chose to race.

I look forward to trying this again. In the meantime, I'm looking around for evidence that this works, even if it's not pretty!

Volvo Ocean Race Game - Beta

I'm not sure how much I'm going to throw myself into the VORG Beta Race starting tomorrow. For one thing, a decent start will require setting Mr. Alarm for 0300hrs, and I have been enjoying a good night's sleep of late. 

For another thing, I don't have a clue as to whether the software will be a step forward in terms of intuitive feel of sailing. But I think there might be issues be worth discussing... Maybe. Maybe not.