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, June 30, 2012


I'm a fan. Bandicoot is the Wyliecat-30 racing in the 6-boat Fleet A in the Singlehanded TransPacific Yacht Race (STPYC) starting today.

For one thing, I'm a big fan of single-handed racing, although I have never done it in keel boats. And I'm well past my Laser years.At my age, I couldn't ever dream of even doing a overnight single-handed race, solo. So all I have for this biennial 2,120 nautical mile single-handed race from San Francisco to Hanalei Bay is great admiration. Not envy.

The real reason I am going to follow this year's race is that the Wyliecat-30 is on my short list of bucket boats. This will be Bandicoot's second consecutive STPYC. In 2010 she finished last out of four boats in her class. This year I'll be tracking and rooting Al Germain's progress across the Pacific.

After all, I can't root for the Dodgers anymore. They're dead in the water.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

4th Generation Is Aboard for a Race

Tonight's Twilight went w/o a hitch. Das Boot has to be maintained at boat-show quality, so no ice meant no beer. Everyone had to port on & off their own water & clothes. It was like taking out a charter.

Good winds 12-16. I was set on one objective: to produce a safe positive experience for the Twins who were aboard for their first race. Toward that end, I followed my theory that a safe start is a competitive start: position at the starboard end and win the water and wind Das Boot needs to get on her feet. I will say there was some screaming, but no expletives! Thx to crew, we had a perfect start, creditable weather leg. We rounded D-Mark in 5th, held that place for the remainder of the race, correcting out to a 4th out of 15 boats or so. I wanted A&E both to go up to receive the glass, but being teenagers, they worked it out so that only one twin showed up at the podium. A&E were into the race, asking questions, into helping out on board, and I was so pleased and so proud.

Now, all I got to do is to not to make too much of it!

Monday, June 25, 2012

There's Envy and then There's ENVY.

Yesterday, Das Boot's crew served as Race Committee. It was a perfect sunlit day. What's not to like about a warm day with a steady 12-knot breeze? I wanted people to enjoy themselves, but not too much. So, I chose a jagged, 4 ½ nm course which required two spinnaker sets. The 6nm windward/leeward course would have more pleasing to me to sail. But I wasn't out there, was I? Nevertheless, a good time was had by all. I was also proud of the flawless work our team did, lead by Trophy Wife. Truth was, I was extremely envious of those out on the boats whom we, ashore, were starting, finishing, and awarding glasses to.

But that was nothing like the envy and pride I felt this morning. This was the day my two oldest granddaughters embarked on their first sailing summer camp. Conquering their fear of bottomless salt water, A & E took to the sea like fishes. First, there was the early morning swim test, which Doberwoman and I furtively photographed from afar.

Then there was - well I couldn't stay any longer for that because I had to go to work. I also couldn't stand the wave of envy that swept over me. Envy of their youth and excitement. And there is a smidgeon of worry: Whatever are we going to do if one or both of them takes to liking/loving sailing??? For one thing, maybe Trophy Wife and I might have to dispense with our vision of a boatless future.

At the very least, we might become enveloped with a sense of perpetuity

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The World

The World, a floating condominium with 165 luxury homes, has stopped by and dropped anchor in time for its residents to watch our world famous twilight racing tonight.

This ship of condos visiting this week is not a cruise ship. Every home on board the 650-foot-long vessel is owned by a permanent resident. This is largest privately owned residential yacht on Earth. The average age is 64, with 35 percent under the age of 50, according to the company's website. The ship is a complete floating condominium building, equipped with high-end facilities and amenities "that create an intimate, refined atmosphere for resident owners," who also are required to have a home elsewhere, as the ship is not meant to be a floating tax haven.

Since it first sailed in 2002, The World has visited more than 800 ports in 140 countries. It circles the globe every two to three years.

According to ResidenSea, the management firm that runs the affairs of The World,
The residents are participating in a lifestyle ... Residents are very active, entrepreneurial and philanthropic, and they have a thirst for knowledge, adventure and travel.
Well as much as I thirst for knowledge, adventure and travel, not one ounce of me is entrepreneurially gifted or philanthropically enabled. So, The World is really marketed to the 1%. However, it's a creative idea for those who can afford it: different seascape almost everyday! What could beat that?

As for myself, Das Boot did not sail tonight. Brokers have spiffed her up so much, I couldn't have enjoyed it. Some suitor is going to look her over tomorrow. I want this girl, not quite too old to be my granddaughter, to clean up good and look her very best. I want her to see more of the world than I can show her.

Monday, June 18, 2012


If I were to work today, I would work on my lack of patience.
Patience is on my finger. It's a Duffy & Duffy 35. As much as I typically disdain power boats, the lines on this vessel are very pleasing to my eye. I'll probably never have a power boat. But someday I hope to have some degree of patience.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Clipper Race Round the World: Halifax to Londonderry

On the master schedule
the next leg is the next to last leg. But you never can tell in this race. I've been fooled before. A two-day celerbration is planned at the end of the leg. That would suggest to me that this 2,350 mile leg is the final leg and the end of the race.

Whatever the case may be, I will contend in my current yacht, Spectator Boat, sailing in the Virtual Regatta version of this race. Start is Today. I'll be ready.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Clipper Race 12 Round the World Yacht - Leg 12

Today sees the ten-strong fleet of ocean racing yachts which compete in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race leave New York and start the race to Halifax, Nova Scotia. I can't tell GMT worth a bag of fish & chips, but the race is said to start at approximately 1930 local time (0130 GMT) at North Cove Marina.

Joff Bailey, Race Director, says,
This short race will be dominated by the low pressure systems coming off the US coast and the cold Labrador Current flowing down from the North. Fog banks and changing winds will make for similar conditions to the end of Race 11 as the teams stay reasonably close to the coast.
The real fleet is expected to arrive in Halifax, Nova Scotia between 11-12 June. However, my virtual boat, recently renamed (appropriately) "Spectator Boat", will beat them all in this Virtual Regatta mode.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

DNF-ed & Skunked!

Seven knots from the east. Great start. Course down coast and down sizable swells. Trophy Wife helmed this great starboard leg! We had hoped that when we rounded the weather mark and spinnakered up against the rollers, the wind wouldn't desert us. But it did. Shit for wind. In the middle of the fleet, we had to call it a day: couldn't get separated from this @#$%^&-ing tub that kept drifting back on us. These rollers were going to smash hulls. Had to save my paint and the legs and arms of my crew. WTF! Why do I have a world-beating crew and the world's worse wind? Went home to a good, 1st class dinner. Watched my TIVOed Dodger game, which was another good one. Only problem was that during the 7th inning stretch, Doberwoman ran in the backdoor with her ass totally skunked. Actually, it was probably her face. When will she ever learn?

When will the rest of us ever learn?

Since Das Boot is featured in the lower right hand corner of this photo from the story in the local Press, I'll add comments of Red Flyer's skipper:
[Radio Flyer] opted to take a route farthest from the shore and head directly east toward their first mark - it would become the only turning point of the race, as the course was shortened due to a lack of wind.
.....Unfortunately, the wind stopped cooperating altogether when a southerly breeze met up with winds coming in from the ocean that essentially negated each other. Radio Flyer [and the larger boats] faltered as smaller boats from other fleets began crowding the lanes.....
Then the wind went from light to nonexistent.... we got ourselves pinched in with a bunch of little boats and weren't able to switch gears rapidly .....
What I was sayin' .....

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Crew Email

This morning, Ledbetter Beach was sparkling with a good morning breeze. A few white caps at 9 A.M. I made it out to be 12 knots. My impression is that the breeze built all day. Wednesday might be a winds-day, too. I see 17-25 knots predicted. We can certainly use a little change in the weather as we are in 13th place out of 19 boats after the first race in the twilight Summer Series. In any event, I smell fun in the air.

Doberwoman sure enjoyed herself this morning! Hope everyone can make it!