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, July 31, 2010

The King Harbor Race

Never again in my boat!

The Good Guys have attempted the SB-KH race twice. Twice we finished. Twice we became despondent in the early (0200hrs) morning doldrums and elected not to postpone the inevitable motorized trip home, beginning in the evening of the second day. DNF-ing was the best option for all of us.

As Mainsheet Guy said,
There's nothing wrong with the King Harbor Race. It's great! Only problem is that when it's over, you're in King Harbor!
I make no bones about it. I am motoring-aversive; mainly because I am engine maintenance-aversive. If I am going to King Harbor and back, I'd rather do both trips on the freeway than have to do the return trip under power on the water; even - as it is - only half the return under power. (Trophy Wife disagrees! She thinks the return sail across Santa Monica Bay easily makes the race worthwhile.) If we had gone this year, we would be finishing the sailing portion about now as I write this, or at least thinking about turning on the engine to plow through the residue chop from the day's winds.

But, until midnight of the first day, it is a great sail. If we had a different hull under us and could finish earlier or ghost through two-knot breezes in the wee morning hours of the second day, I Could feel much different. 

Such a hull could be Bucket Boat #1, about which I have already written. The reason I bring it up again is that I just ran across this video:

An E-33 would get me to King Harbor and back in a style to which I could become accustomed. At least, that is my fantasy!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Fun" Race

This race didn't apply toward either the just-completed Summer Series and the yet-to-come Fall Series. As always, 'Day' glasses were at stake and bragging lies in the bar the just rewards for all sailors. We were short-handed in these 21 knots. The fact that we had a pin prick hole in the chute caused me to pass on a spinnaker for two legs. As a previous years' Foredeck Guy we had used to say, "Put it all up; let God take it down!" Well, often in the past I passed on that advice, and I wasn't going to entertain it today. Fun is fun. It shouldn't have to be expensive. Our huge barn door main would see us through in the fun range, I argued.


How Not To Hamstring A Beautiful Fleet Before It's Born

It comes down to performance and profile. Simple as that.

There's a lot of controversy about forcing the local nascent Harbor-20 fleet into the narrow confines or class rules and restrictive boat templates which fit Newport Beach (NPB) harbor. I am stating that it would be a tragedy to do this when there are only four boats (maybe) which are (more or less) class-compliant and two boats (for sure) which are rigged with spinnakers and one with a large-roach mainsail.

Something is Fishy

This thread has been canceled.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Solitaire du Figaro

Please someone stop me before I enter another race!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dog Day Afternoon

Our Doberwoman's name is Cat Ballou. We don't ever call her by her formal name because she is named after that famous outlaw played by the renown actress, Jane Fonda; and because she doesn't want to be mistaken as a feline. Her informal names are "Miz Blue", "Dawg", and "Good Girl." "Blue" also works because she is a purebred 'blue' Dobie, as opposed to the more common black and tan.

She's about 2 1/2 years. About, because bein' a rescue, we don't know any more about her background than what she's willing to share. Which ain't much. She won't disclose much about her previous training either, but that's another story.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Race of the Day

Today, I'm land locked for a long-scheduled half-day meeting. 

But that's not the case with two of my sons. 

Number Two and Number Four have a recently scheduled meet-up on the latter's pocket rocket here...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

And I Thought I Had a Bad Day at the Office

In Our Weekly Wednesday Afternoon Beer-Can Race

We were short-handed. No one there to call out time, and operate the GPS; the vang broke, or part of it did; at the leeward mark, fewer hands meant that the jib sheet clutch was inadvertently lifted during the take down, causing the jib to twist backwards around the forestay; we may have fouled the boat rounding before us. But who cares? we had to spin the boat anyway to save the jib. This was our worse spinnaker dousing, ever. Kelp lodged in the prop gave us 'prop-walk' as we tried several times to back into our slip. Another crew member bought her own boat. She's the fourth deserter in a month to leave in that matter. I was too depressed and embarrassed to go to the Club afterwards. 

But, all-in-all, I could have had a more worse day....

Monday, July 19, 2010

Time of My Life

Things have been cruising well for me these days. I'm a habitual and dysfunctional pessimist, always expecting disaster approaching from around the next corner. I don't know why that is. Non-verbal cues from parents? I don't want to go there. But I don't function well as a pessimist, because I don't feel especially well prepared for the most probable cataclysms which could occur.

But, of late, I've trying to feel content within my skin and with the moment. Sunday, we went out with a sailing buddy and spouse to a play written by Alan Ayckbourn, Time of My Life. The theme is a timely one for me. I think I'm summing
Ayckbourn's piece up fairly accurately if I state that the happiest times of our lives are not often appreciated in the moments they occur because we are too distracted with superficial static. Sadly, the happiest times are only recalled in memories and  reflections.

In the program I was careful to save, playwright Ayckbourn reflects on the body of his plays:

.....It's true that not much of my stuff finishes on an up curve. On the other hand, I hope it doesn't finish dismally desolately - maybe one or two of them do. I once said that a comedy is just a tragedy stopped at a certain point and I think that's true.

.....I'm now running so-called comedy and so-called tragedy side-by-side, like two electric wires generating emotional sparks between them.

.....I have this theory that we spend most of our lives looking forward to things or looking back ..... As a race I suspect we are quite often unable to be happy. We look forward to moments of happiness, which are often an anticlimax. We look back to times when we should have been happy, but were probably worrying about something else. I suspect we spend a lot of time looking for happiness.
It's absolutely true that I have spent gobs of time in recent years meditating or daydreaming about bucket boats: boats I want to own or sail before my owning and sailing is done. I have often expressed a little panic that my present boat is my last boat and that I'm not meant to have a next boat.

I hope that's not as much the case this season. At least I sense a change. I think I'm now more looking out for bucket occasions to experience. I am experiencing one of these at the moment.

A few years back, my youngest son purchased a small one-design keel boat, new. For years it sat in its slip three hours away from us. My son was newly married and fully and successfully engrossed in his corporate world. This summer, Trophy Wife and I volunteered for crew. We discovered that Corporate son knows how to sail and how to direct crew. Last Saturday I checked the previous evening's results on-line and discovered we had missed 2nd Place (out of 10) by two seconds. I immediately emailed a screen shot and phoned him to check his mail. It was fun scooping him!

Even better: I have just learned that he has hooked his older brother
up to crew for him in another series.

I am happy.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Original Open Container

I think it was in 1990 that I was going though my last (of several) mid-life crises. I purchased an SR> Max 21, a brand-new design by Glen Henderson. Its LOA was a couple of inches over 21 feet and its beam was 8½ feet. At the time it was an attractive pocket rocket with flared topside and drop-keel.

But this was a miscalculation. I discovered I was past my dry-sailing stage: the queue in front of the local hoist was just too much of a wait for an out-of-towner (which I was then). Moved it to Newport Beach and parked it in a slip. Enjoyed twilight racing for a year or so, but I always felt the boat was designed for trailer storage: I didn't like to think about what was happening inside the keel's trunk while it soaked in salt water 24-7. Plus, Trophy Wife didn't enjoy foredeck as much as I hoped. She took this photo of Open Container sailed by myself and #4 son.

I never liked selling any boat I have owned because I always had the thought that there was something more each had to teach me. Open Container was no exception: we were clearly not done with each other, but I had to set her free.

It was still very, very, very hard to sell her off to a (younger) Lake Tahoe sailor!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bastile Day Massacre

These are two of the three guys I'm losing to a nascent one-design fleet. I love 'em anyways. If I were any younger, would join them. And yes, I lost to them tonight, boat for boat. I'm sayin' because the wind never got above four knots, not because my helming was any better than my camera work. I also note we had four extra (surprise!) "guests" on board which was fun. And good, because their weight on the leeward rail really helped heel our aircraft carrier to leeward for the whole race. My only regret is that I wasted my camera's battery on filming these louts and didn't have any juice left to capture my guests.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

More One-Design Racing

One of my best friends and ex-crew took me out in his new boat this afternoon for a scrimmage with two other identical boats. They're going to have seven in fleet starts in a few weeks. They're excited about this and I share their enthusiasm: here, at last, is a one design fleet designed for seniors. 

I would love to obtain regular access to one of these. Just to think of going sailing on a morning or afternoon breeze without having to hook up with two or four others: just me and my Trophy Wife and Dawg. After two weeks of sailing two out of three days, I'd be ready to race!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Clipper Round The World - 13th and Last Leg

For the life of me, I can't figure out why they say it's 1800hrs GMT +2?

That must mean it's either 1600hrs GMT or 2000hrs GMT. Why can't they just say which it is? 

Euros just gotta make it more complicated than it is!

Click to expand chart!
From the above dip on the morning of 12-July, it can be seen what sacrifice Open Container has paid to reach the wind line providing 16.2 knots. It's virtually the finish line. But I'm in it now and hope to reclaim 100's of boats before finishing. We shall see.

In the meantime, look (below) at the achievement of Marie Brunet! This is a boat my boat bested routinely,as I remember it, in the last VORG! That's her in 1st place! I hope that's where she finishes!

Open Container III is that large dark hull, way back in the leaders' wake!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Another So-So Day at the Office

Tonight offered us another (boring) 5.39 nm trapezoidal course in an average 15kt breeze.

I could have exploited my good start longer, tacking prematurely on to port at the urging of my crew. Nevertheless had a good weather leg, rounding in close quarters ahead of two very competitive boats. We had a good spinnaker set, and a good third leg, rounding the leeward mark in very close quarters. The final beat was occasioned with the typical raucous debate about going in (for the lift) or going out for the wind. (I love conflict!) Crew thinks the boat performs better to weather on starboard than port. I think that's balderdash. But, For some reason going out produced the more satisfying sail, which I eventually did.

Every race is an accumulation of good and bad tactical decisions and sail handling. Can't tell from the results these results which side of the equation we were on. Finished 13th out of 26 boats on corrected time, and 10th elapsed time.

This locally handicapped fleet which we have been a member is by far the most successful fleet in this venue. Membership wise, it has decimated the PHRF fleets. It allows for fine, boat-for-boat competition. In a steady 15 knots the fleet divides itself into two groupings and we find ourselves in the back of the fastest. And I guess tonight was no different.

One more comment: Going up to the bar I was talking to a skipper who said she was going to talk to the race committee in order to withdraw because she had grievously fouled another boat. I commiserated with her. But later, I discovered that (a), she had corrected out to 2nd place, and (b) she did not withdraw, and (c), the boat she had fouled corrected out to 1st. In a conversation with me, tonight's winning skipper did confirm that he was fouled and that he did not fly the protest flag he had on board. He is a nice, chivalrous Christian kind of guy. As gently as I could, I told him that he had let us all down by not enforcing the rules of our sport; and, as a consequence, our sport was rendered more dangerous than it was the day previous. All games and sports have rules. A race becomes nothing other than a group day-sail if there are no rules observed.

That is crap. Stuff like all of the above leads me to feeling that something is stale, something is missing. I gotta problem.

21st Century Capitalism 101 in Eleven Minutes

Pre-British Petroleum Spill Version

Readers should pass this over if they don't have the time or energy to adjust their speakers for some attentive listening.

Personally, I'm not sure we're doomed, exactly. But I do think America has already seen her best days. In any event, I've definitely seen my better days!

Monday, July 5, 2010

World Cup Weekend: Half-Time Entertainment

During the half times, we were entertained by a couple of scrimmages. Tango, on the left, represented the visitors team; and Doberwoman, on the right, represented the home town crowd.

Eventually, they had to 'take it outside'!

And eventually (again) the fútbol games resumed!!!
Scrimmages always end in a tie without sudden death shootouts.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

World Cup Weekend

We have all four Pods (sons & families) arriving tonight! They're coming from Oakland, Long Beach, Pasadena and Malibu!
Politics and sailing is out. Everything is kids, dogs, food, and group photos. And fútbol! That's the guarantee! Sleeping arrangements are scary! Tents will be broken out. Trophy Wife and Trophy Doberwoman may sleep on the boat! For the first time in years. Don't know how it will all turn out and I can't promise news at eleven!

What more can I say? I'd like to see Ghana advance, but I don't think Uruguay is to be denied. I think you have to pick Spain over Paraguay. The others are harder. The Dutch have a strong side, but who's going to put bucks on them against Brazil? Germany & Argentina? I'll have to think about that one.....