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, August 29, 2012

Rail Meat

15 boats contested in tonight's beer can race sailed in 9-13 knots. Not too much to say for tonight's effort. We were missing two of the crew's hard core. Still, the sail handling was near perfect.

Myself? I made perhaps two too many tacks in the light breeze. But otherwise we extracted the best performance to be gotten from Das Boot in these conditions.

Trophy Wife, our 'light-wind specialist', helmed most of the time. I am more and more pleasantly surprised about how much I enjoy being out of the decision-making loop. Just being on board a well-sailed sloop as rail-meat is enough for me.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Now for Something Different -OPB

I went day sailing on a friend's Kettenberg-32. It's part of my plan to see what it's like sailing on other peoples' boats. My conclusions are mixed.

In the first place, it confirms what I've always said in these pages: any day you go sailing, no matter how briefly, lengthens your life by two days. At the end of the afternoon, I felt very refreshed.

OTOH, day sailing is not racing. In day-sailing like I went on, you have not set course or destination. When you have no destination, any breeze from whatever angle is a favorable breeze. Any speed attained is equally satisfying. There is no drama with mark roundings or crossing tacks. Without the stimulus of competition, I do not experience any sense of mastery of sailing as an art.

Whatever, being out on the water sure beats burning up hours stewing over alternative line-ups in my Rotisserie League.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

We Race Even on Our 43rd Anniversary!

Started in 14 knots and suffered for my misplaced confidence that the winds were going to build. That was partially due to instable weather forecasts (thunderstorms). Elected to go up through the straits between kelp and sand again, but having to tack often did not pay off in a breeze falling into single digits.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Don't Listen to Satchel Paige

Sachel Paige said never look back - something might be gaining on you.

What was his point?

The data on your pursuers is a critical piece of importance. I always want to know if people behind me are closing on me, or if I am opening the gap. The question is, can you afford this information. If I were on a bike in a road race, I definitely don't think I could afford many glances back. Back in the days I raced Lasers, I made a resolution based upon my devastating personal experience: In a breeze, when you're plowing DDW in a sea and especially sailing by the lee, never-ever look back. There are worse disasters than unnecessarily losing a couple of boats.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

SBA Football Club

The English Premier League season of 2012-13 kicks off in the morning. Two weeks prior, seven of us participated in a tension-filled conference call to draft our own teams in our own Rotisserie league. Since then most of us had a few adjustments.

Here is my SBA FC as the EPL starts up. There are a number of conflicts and problems contained herein. Not going to talk about them. Loose lips sink ships. The point is to post, here, my original team for the purpose of contrasting it with the finishing 15.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Take nothing for granted.

Everything we have is but for a short time.
Another beautiful, ideal day with 15-16 + knots. New Mainsheet Lady aboard and she did very well. (Glad to have her committed for the weekend because we'll be without MVP on Sunday.) Moderate seas. Ranger 33 could not fly their spinnaker, so they were not a factor. Enjoyed winning a short tacking duel with Santa Cruz 27 before the finish. I know it's sort of nonsensical to engage in boat-for-boat tactics when you're racing in a handicapped fleet. But competing on elapsed time, boat-for-boat is what gets my juices going. I think Mainsheet Lady collected a 3rd Place glass, but I'm not sure. Dudn't matter....

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Dudn't Get Much Better than This

Winds topping at 19 knots? The best hard core crew ever? Flawless sail handling? My #3 Son and his father-in-law (both down from Oakland) aboard? No, can't improve on this, much!

Priceless! High point of the summer!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Day-Sailing Can Be Fun, but . . .

A dozen boats started tonight's twilight opening to the Fall Series in 19 knots. Predictably five or so of us elected to duel it out in the narrow channel between beach and kelp on the right side of the windward leg. Why not? That's what brings us together, right? That's what helps us recall what it was like racing those one-design center boarders of our youth! Well, everything was going grrrreat guns for Das Boot until it came time to duck a couple of starboard tackers. Which she couldn't do in time because she could get her mainsheet eased in a timely manner. So, she had to tack below the infamous Ranger 33 which deliberately ran us straight into the middle of the Sargasso Sea. As soon as Das Boot could, she tacked back on to port, going maybe 2 knots. But bless her heart, she was instantly back on her feet and returnng to the chase with the day's only reversal behind her. Rounding in seventh place, we benefitted from a flawless set and excellent sail-handing for the rest of the race and caught four boats.