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, May 30, 2012

Attitude Adjustment

We were short-handed by two, including Trophy Wife. Short-winded too, of course: 15 knots before the start, but tapered off to under 10 for much of the race. Wind was more southerly, which reduced the final windward leg to the finish to a close, close reach. Two yachts exchanged paint and shouts minutes before the start. (Not ours!)

Good crew chemistry & sail handling. Good sunset. Personally, a good workout. Finish? Not so much.... But who cares about that?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Attitude Adjustment Needed...

Approximately 15 boats started in 7 knots of wind. In the slow-going around A-Mark (weather), my impatience again reared its ugly head and I couldn't clear a starboard tacker. Then my stubbornness reared its ugly head and I yelled "hold your course". After the collision, my impatience came back and I hit A-mark in rounding. After the penalty turns, we were in DFL. I asked to be relieved from the helm for the downwind leg and, not unsurprisingly, my request for a time-out was accepted. Five minutes later the wind doubled to 15 and we were able to recover some places lost. Recovering the wheel helm for the final leg, I was able to enjoy a nice solid beat to the finish mark. Anything to keep my eyes off my smashed starboard stanchions in the stern.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Tokyo-Sydney Virtual Race!

It’s beginning on Saturday the 26th. The Tokyo to Sydney virtual challenge is a completely virtual race, with a course between Japan and Australia, crossing an incredible number of islands, as Micronesia, la Melanesia and Coral Sea. Aboard a Maxi Multi 70 with impressive performances.

All options for $15 American (approximately). For those who don’t sail the race, a spectator mode will be dispayed on the Tokyo Sydney Challenge.

Race starts in 3 hours and 35 minutes from now.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I'm a Happily-Married Man, but that Doesn't Mean I Can't Look! (Again!!!)

I just can't touch!

I first posted on the Class 2M back on 17 March. I can't leave it there because Philippe Joneau, representing Naval Force 3, has sent me this absolutely arresting and stunning photo, above. (Please don't forget to click on it to expand!) My original post follows....

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

High Winds Forecasts Keep Me in the Bar

Decision Time was 1600 hrs. Fish or cut bait. I was hedging, wavering, reaching for my email. Trophy Wife cut bait, reached for her phone and started calling crew off. Fine with me. From the house it looked like a washing machine out there. Emails from a friend in the harbor said 25 knots. And then, a few minutes  later, 35 knots. The only plus was it was warm, over 90º . Today was the vacation race, separating the Spring twilight season from the Summer series: it was not to count in either. I did not want to risk crew or rig for a meaningless race. By the time we got down there, we discovered seven out of a dozen Fleet regulars agreed with us. Two from our team caught a wet ride on a 105 and enjoyed themselves. At their age, I would have, too. Had the day's day-sail really counted as a race, I probably would have gone for it! As I always say, "A good breeze is a horrible thing to waste."

Monday, May 21, 2012


As the very limited number of my long-term readers might recall, two years or so, I had some key crew members quit Das Boot. I hasten to add that they quit (a) for the right reasons and (b) kept coming back occasionally, when I really needed them. What happened, was they had enjoyed competitive sailing with us so much that they went off and bought their own boats and started racing them against us. I loved it.

Trouble was, in the process, I discovered how important good crew is. Finding people who love the sport, are intent and focused on details, and who create energy and good chemistry on board - those people are hard to find and keep. Word of mouth recommendations are the surest and best way to find people, and I had a great mainsheet guy for awhile, but his business forced him to travel. And he had his own boat besides.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Long before I knew her, Trophy Wife sailed on her father's Barbareña. She was commissioned in 1956.
Now days, the Barb still sails in the Bay Area. We are in contact with her current owners.
Perhaps we can grab a ride this year? Hope so. Circles beg completion.

What I Got

English Premier League Withdrawal Syndrome (EPLWS): A Self-Diagnosis

I feel groggier than usual...lacking the energy to get out of bed in the morning. In the mirror my eyes appear red and irritated. feel empty and unfulfilled. Checking with others with the same symptoms, I have concluded I am suffering from EPLWS. Effective therapy will not be available until sometime in August, around the 18th. In the meantime, nothing is available as a palliative, except Dodger Baseball, in small doses.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Busted & Disgusted

Started at the port end in 3 knots. Did not do what I promised two days ago to do next time I was faced with this, which was to hang back and deliberately start late to avoid being caught like a sitting duck by faster starboard tack starters. Instead, I thought I saw an opening and drifted in and became a sitting duck with no leeway. PROTESTED! The water ways were so cluttered with drifting fiberglass, there was no space to do penalty turns and no way on even to gibe. I hated to do it but, after an hour, we kicked on the iron genny and dropped sail. We were the first but not the only. Fine crew. I'll get over it. Hope they do, too.

Do Not Disturb

Still recovering from the call I received from my youngest son & family who is vacationing in Maui.

It was facilitated and embellished by a session of Face Time (ap) on my iPad, which allowed us to see where youngest grand daughter had her first immersion in fresh water and salt water.

We were also able to see the water ...

The wind on the water ...

And the wind in the trees ...

And the peeps on the beaches....

Don't anyone call me in the office this week....

Monday, May 14, 2012

Clipper Round-the-World Race Panama To New York

Well it's all over for Open Container, now. See that red mass to the right? That's where the eventual winning boats will come from. They are now on a reach; I am beating. After the fleet rounds Cuba, the race boils down to a parade.

13 May 2320 hrs PDT
Halfway from Panama to Cuba in the Panama to New York City Leg. My Open Container III is beating at 42º trying to fetch the eastern tip of Jamaica, with the true wind of 18.9 knots at 87º. My yankee 2 is up. I'm happy about my current ranking on the leader board, but not with my position which is more important. In relation to my friends, I'm way out on the left wing. What do they know that I don't?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Clipper Round-the-World Race: Leg 11 (?) Panama to New York City

After successfully transiting the largest man-made canal in the world, the Panama Canal, all ten entries of the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race are preparing for their next venture – Race 11 to New York.

The fleet is currently at Shelter Bay and is expected to leave Saturday in the afternoon local time (+5 hours UTC). They will make their way 60 miles off shore for a Le Mans start expected to happen overnight subject to weather conditions.

This leg (I have no idea how they're numbering them any longer) is about 1800 Nautical Miles long, Jamaica must be left to port side. A  mark will be placed on the "Morant Point," at the East end of the island to symbolize the course to follow. The passage between the islands of Cuba and Haiti, then through the Bahamas archipelago is free.

Since the English Premier League is ending Sunday, Mother's Day (of all days), I will be able to devote more attention  to Virtual Regatta's simulation of this Clipper RTW leg. So that means all of the virtual skippers who have been ridiculing me for my dismal results in past legs are on notice.

That means you, Fukitol, Yachts of Fun, Contiguous, Belladonna, and No Going Back.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Lucky Miss

Light to Medium Air. We started on the starboard end of the line even though the port was heavily favored. All right by me. Clear air and we could take the right side by the beach and the kelp, un-molested by lighter boats. Personally, I like the close tacking up by the beach. I always get that old dinghy feeling if there's enough wind to get a decent heel. The downwind current was more than many boats had counted on, but only the Tri had to throw in an extra tack to scouch around the weather mark. Possibly it impeded the boat just in front of us.

After the windward mark, this year we are getting used to the fleet breaking into Group A and Group B, with us by ourselves with free air. So when we look back, we see colorful spinnakers in the distance. In adequate breezes, we're used to seeing it stay that way.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Doberwoman don't need no stinkin' leash... Just a pair of binoculars, maybe.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Spring # 4

We had every hope to have a 11-mile race around the nearest oil platform, but the Race Committee didn't believe the winds predicted. My prediction was that, an hour into the race we would have 14 knots. At 1459hrs, I showed 13 knots over the rail and building. By then, we were on the last leg of another same ol' boring 4+ nm triangle course which the RC substituted. But we had an excellent new crew. Spinnaker went up flawlessly. The rest of the sail handling was equally fine. Dicey start was very competitive in 4 knots. I was proud of our ability to thread a path on port tack through a lot hulls. Finished 7th out of 14, and we were able to present our newest crew member, who brought beer (Corona!), with a glass.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Medium Winds. Medium Results. Spectacular Sailing

The results were passable. In mostly steady winds that peaked at 14 knots, we corrected to 6th place out of dozen sailing. But after what we've been through recently, the sailing was totally enjoyable. New mainsheet crew is now totally reliable. Everyone is happy. A decent speed will make even the biggest grinch on board (me) smile and mellow out. Trophy Wife says our top speed was 7+ knots. At one point we even seemed to be keeping up with the dolphins.

The only thing I have to complain about is that all of the people in the Club Bar after the race are unfamiliar. I don't know these people. They're young. And I don't know how to fix that.