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, July 25, 2012


I don't know where to start in dispatching tonight's fiasco. Is it that there are things I will never learn or things I will never remember? Or things my tired old brain cannot reasses in the present?

Let's take the start to tonight's race. Where should Das Boot have started? It should have really been very elementary. Is there a reader named Watson who can answer that question before the fold?
There were about 16-17 boats on the line. 18 knots were blowing with moderate rollers which is Das Boot's best conditions. It was a Five nautical miles (plus) triangular course. The port end of the line is favored by the wind but the right side of the water is favored by the tide.

What about it Watson?

Here's my only answer.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Other Peoples' Boats (OPB)

Caught a ride for the second day of the Fiesta Cup. What did I learn?

First there was the Owner's error. My friend gave me the tiller for the first race.

I had a perfect start at the starboard pin. I thought I did. Tacked on to port right away and headed toward the beach, to take the Sargasso Sea (of kelp we are afflicted with) to port. I was too focused on boat speed to look over my shoulder to observe where other boats were starting. Obviously, up the line somewhat, but where? I know there is an optimal angle each day for the first starboard tack, but I didn't work it out. Ahead of time. Too much going on, getting used to the feel of the boat.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

On Other Peoples' Power Boats (OPPB)

In the past two weeks, I took an opportunity to comment in A Proper Course on my anti-power boat bias. I wrote, in part:
. . . . My POV comes from the Metaphysics of Value, something I first ran across in Robert Pirsig's sailing Saga, Lila. (A valuable read) many decades ago. IMHO, the use of motorized craft in recreational waters for recreational purposes adds very little value to the dynamics of the universe. Actually motorized craft have only four valuable functions in recreational waters: (1) to tow racing sail boats to a start line when necessary, (2) to tow racing sailboats back to their berths after a race when necessary, (3) to rescue sailors when they can't rescue themselves and (4) fishing [Bassboats]. Speedboating, waterskiing, and jetskiing do not add value to the cosmos because they are artless pursuits which consume non-renewable resources and disturb the tranquility of the waters enjoyed by the rest of us. . . .
I was short-sighted. There are two other quality uses for power boats (5) to set marks and start/finish lines for sailor's races and (6) carry the media around to take sub-quality photos of competitors.
Failing to get a position on either a competing boat today or even on the RC, I went out in a friend's Chris-Craft with two professional Photographers and their bags of professional equipment.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Any Day on the Water Beats the Best Day on Land

Someone asked me if we were really going to race tonight, rain being the forecast. My response was there was no rain in tennis or baseball, but yachts race rain or shine.

No rain materialized.

Neither did much wind, which stayed in the single digits for 90% of the race. Only once the sails were being covered and we were powering up the harbor did we get 22 knots apparent. That was the kind of day it was. Gave the wheel over to MVP for some light airs up wind and we had fun gybing down the leeward leg, looking for the dark water & passing boats. Flawless sail handling all around. We are grateful to have corrected out to 10th out of 14 boats in these conditions. We had a blast!

The Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race - Leg 15

The world’s longest ocean race is drawing to a close, as the final 260-mile leg back to Southampton, UK starts tomorrow.

This final three-day sprint departs from Den Helder, on the most northern coast of the Netherlands.

We will be there, on the water.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Fun, Fun, Fun Day

These guys finished right in front of us.
This "Couch-28", finishing right behind us, is the object of my dreams.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


When What Gets Wet on Wednesday, Stays Wet on Thursday

Perfect start on a line with 17 boats and 18 knots. We wanted to go right in to the beach but we were trapped by Razzle-Dazzle, who I imagined might have had it in for us after we crowded them up on the pin at the start. Rounded D Mark in 5th, caught a CAL9-2R on first spinnaker run. Caught the Ranger-33 when she gambled on an alternative leeward mark. (I think they were looking for a 1st place and to get everyone else DNFed.) Had a close finish with the CAL9-2R when she tacked onto port at the outside pin and was surprised that Das Boot, being on starboard would not give her room at the mark. "Starboard means starboard", was my response. Had a nice chat with good natured skipper in the bar.

We were a bit shorthanded and shrimped the chute on take-down. But everything else went okay. Except that I'm just getting to old to do even these short races.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Still Can't Beat that Ranger-33!

A Good-Enough Summer Afternoon

Perfect would have been correcting out first out of 22 boats. More perfect would have been first across the line. But I will settle for 2nd in corrected time. With Mastman back from Czech Republic and Germany, we had our perfect crew back. And they worked the boat perfectly.

Only problem was my conservative start in 18 knots, and the fact that we couldn't beat the Ranger-33 on windward legs.

Our only hope is when they fly their spinnaker and they screw it up so much on the gybes that we can stretch out a sufficient lead off-wind.

Only then we can accommodate their greater speed to weather. Unfortunately, they have learned that they can bag us whenever they're shorthanded and don't hoist their chute.

Maybe I should try to recruit a foredeck for them.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Clipper 'Round the World Race (2012-13): Last Leg

The official race news for on the water race gives the start time as 1700 local time.

According to Time and Date dot Com, that makes the start time in about 1 hour, PSDT.

But the Many Players' race Committee site for the virtual race says the start is still five hours from now.

What gives?

Maybe Fukitol can explain it to me. There's no substitute for local knowledge.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Candi 1

What bothers me most about this story?

First the facts:

Candi 1 is a 34-foot Silverton yacht out of Suffolk County which capsized and sank about 10 P.M. on the 4th of July in 21 feet of water off Oyster Bay, on the north shore of Long Island.  27 people were aboard. There were not enough life vests for everyone on board the boat. Three drowned. Advertisements for the yacht indicate it has a maximum capacity of just 15 people. The brothers-in-law operating the boat were not drunk or otherwise impaired. brothers-in-law. They blame the "waves":
We're coming home and a wave got us and it turned the boat around . . . It just turned the boat and everyone was in the water and chaos.
I can imagine: anytime a significant flotilla of yachts abruptly leave, as in after a fireworks display, there are going to be some wakes. Even in broad daylight, the helmsman will have to be alert and responsive. At night, he's not going to see much before it hits him.

Lots of mistakes committed in this case. But sins of omission and commission on the water is not what really bothers me the most. It's the crappy journalism, Baby.

99% of the headlines and story generated by this unnecessary tragedy refer to the Candi 1 and the Silverton-34 merely as "a yacht".

No mention of 'motor yacht', 'power boat' or 'cabin cruiser'.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Happier 4th of July (Next Year)?

What I would like to celebrate this year is an even more wide-spread ban on privately owned fireworks. In the age of earth-warming we have too many unplanned fireworks displays.
Here is my home town's this year.