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

Sunday, February 19, 2012

International 14's: As Best As I Can Remember

In 1968, Trophy Wife (TW) and I experienced our first sail together in a Lido 14.

Arguably we should have spent some years in that prominent Newport Beach fleet, learning the finer points of sail trim in the unforgiving classroom of one-design-racing. Alternatively, our local lake's yacht club was building an active fleet of Coronado 15's, which also could have schooled us well.

But, young and impetuous, I had an addiction to speed. One day, as my future TW and I were day-sailing a rented Lido in Newport Beach, a white monohull of the same length with a plum bow passed (flew by) us to leeward, tacked on to port and crossed us with feet to spare.

I asked our local Schock Boats dealer, Dave Anderson, who had been trying to get me to buy a new Lido instead of renting all the time. He told me I must have been slam-dunked by Roger Welsh's International 14, White Tornado. And would I like to get a ride on one? It turned out that Dave was in the process of ordering his own Int-14 from Schock Boats and could offer me a deal if he could double the order?

Slam Dunk. We ordered our tangerine tornado and named her Wet & Wild.

TW and I learned many skills in a few short years in the I-14's we never would have learned in Lidos or C-15's. We learned how to capisize. We learned how to bail out a non-self-bailing cockpit. We learned how to trapeze. We learned how to fly a spinnaker while trapezing. We learned how to right a swamped I-14 while its spinnaker was in shrimping mode. We learned trusting team work to the point where we could swap positions - helm and trapeze - depending on the weather.

The only thing we couldn't resolve was which one of us was the better skipper. So we went to the bank and bought a couple of Lasers to resolve it. Maybe that was a bad idea because that controversy continues unresolved to this day.

Eventually, we donated our Wet & Wild to Harvey Mudd College. As the years passed we realized the Fourteeners we met up with in this open developmental class were the best sailors, teachers and comrades we would ever know.

These pictures were taken 40 years ago by my father-in-law.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day?

Trophy Wife and I were going to celebrate with a day sail, but it's been so chilly of late that we scheduled Trophy Boat for a haul out on to the hard.

But I hope any of my readers who are in warmer climes, do what we woulda, shoulda, coulda done.

Monday, February 13, 2012

On The Hard

Years of maintenance deferred.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Three-Base Error in the First Inning

Sometimes conditions of wind and water and course are perfect for a boat and the teamwork of the crew is flawless. It's a heartbreaker when the skipper is not up to the challenge. That's what we had today.

The RC assigned our fleet of 18 boats a course of 4½ nautical miles, with two windward and two leeward legs. Winds were 10-16 knots. But the breeze surprising fell to 6 knots throwing off my perfectly-timed but abysmally-executed start. (Yes, it's my story and I'm sticking to it.)

Winds quickly returned and we were able to round the first windward mark in 6th or 7th. Reaching down to the leeward mark, we were compelled to round outside of the 3rd place boat. We were able to point high on the next to final leg and round in first. A tense gybing duel ensued which ended with us finishing 10 seconds behind the first place Hunter and 7 seconds in front of the third place Beneteau.

What did I learn? Had it not been for my 3-base error in the first inning, the 9th inning would have been a breeze.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Doberwoman runs through the water and sands in her morning exercise routine about 300 feet from the shortest yacht in Class 2 of the 2011 Transpac. Katana is a Westerly Kernan 47. Her average speed in the Transpac was 10.7 knots. Doberwoman beats that every morning. Not necessarily in the water. And only for a few seconds. But speed is beautiful. However, wherever and whenever beauty is encountered, 
it is notable...


Don't know who SV Zaca was or is, but I'll sure lift a glass or two of Coronas to his or her toast!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Super Bowl Saturday

No pads or helmets. No refs. No penalties. No off-sides. No unneccessary roughness. Time outs as needed but no commercials. No overtime. All fumbles were recovered.

Game was followed by a
tailgate beach party.

Clipper Round-the-World Race: Leg 8