Liberty is being free from the things we don't like in order to be slaves of the things we do like.--Ernest Benn

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Tale of Two Cities

Henan, China and Sandy Hook, USA

Yesterday, a man with a knife slashed 22 children and one adult outside an elementary school in Henan province Friday morning, China's worst such incident in more than a year. But these kids were wounded.

Today, in Sandy Hook some guy killed 20 kids and 7 adults using three guns.

It's hard to identify crazy people and keep them medicated. But I think the Chinese have a better idea on gun control than we do.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sparhawk-36: The One Who Got Away

More than 20 years ago, when I was ignorant of keel boats, I was entranced with this Laser-36. I call it a Laser because of its un-stayed, carbon fiber masts. I had been a dinghy racer. I was a chicken of the seas, then, as well as too chicken to hoist myself up a mast to check shrouds. These carbon fiber poles were indestructible. That sold me on the boat.

At that time, I didn't know about Wyliecat-30's. I knew about Nonsuch's but they were too heavy and sluggish. We looked at Freedom's and liked what we saw. For myself, I guess I liked the price.

We bought the Sparhawk, owning it for about 40 hours after we had it surveyed. A major doubt developed during the survey. Trophy wife insisted that we turn it back to the broker before our "buyers' remorse time" expired.

Given that we turned right around and bought Das Boot, our beloved 'Laser-38', I have always been grateful and respectful of T.W.'s judgment in boats. (And in other areas, too!)

But I have always liked the lines of this 36-footer. To be fair, modern sails for this craft are cut with a great deal more generous roach than these puny triangles pictured. A Sparhawk-36, Andiamo II, is currently listed in the Bay area at a very attractive price.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Weekend Spent on the Hard

Today's race was a make-up race that I didn't intend to do. Because it was a make-up, it would have been more attractive with a more reasonable course. (If careful readers squint, they can see my reduced fleet on the horizon.) But crew was distracted into night-time boat parades and such and I didn't care enough to recruit replacements. Far more responsible to do some honey-doos. Far better to relieve Ballou's cabin fever. She's been restricted indefinitely from off-leash running and fetching because of her sprained knee.

(Careful readers please note leash in photos?)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Crew Letter

Hey Team!

The most important news is that we will not be sailing the make-up race on December 9th. This has been an agonizing decision for me, because I hate to pass up an event whenever the stars are in alignment. But in this case, they are in slight misalignment. Holidays are upon us, and a critical mass of our elite crew is already into celebrations. Additionally, this is a make-up for a race we never intended to sail whenever it was originally (miss-) scheduled. A one-way trip to Goleta Beach Pier? Thirdly, we are not in contention for the fleet's High-Point Trophy for 2012. Finally, in 2012 we have already had too much good stuff (AM/PM!) to spoil it with a lack-luster finish.

The best part of this year is that Trophy Wife and I have been able to entice some new and talented sailors onto Das Boot. (You know who you are!) I have never had someone new aboard without learning something new about sailing! And at times we have been able to blend in some veteran Das Boot sailors who have gotten off their current boats to lend us a hand when we needed it. (And you know who you are!) So, for all those reasons, 2012 has been a GR8 year for Das Boot.

We have to arrange a party sometime, somewhere. And there will be a Fleet Trophy night sometime in January. (Don't have the date, because Light-Wind Specialist has not had her coffee yet.) Our next race will be around Valentine's Day, Mid-February.

In the meantime, in response to several inquiries, here are some photos illustrating our past enjoyment of time on the water together.(Just click on this private album.) If we don't get to see you before Christmas & the New Year, Best Wishes!

 ~DH & TW

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Have a Galaxy Day!

I had a firm invitation to crew on a winning boat for a two day regatta this weekend. But the starts were not in alignment. My # son has his 49th birthday. So, I wanted to be with him. But he's off with two of his brothers to watch the Galaxy win the Major League Championship in Los Angeles. (If you can score tickets, you have to go!) That starts a minute from when I post this.

The Regatta? not worth a photograph: about 15 or more boats bobbing up and down by the committee boat. The electronic masthead wind indicator on my Das Boot is not moving a lick. This Yachting scene does not measure up to today's soccer event.

This will be Los Angeles Galaxy's finest hour: after today's game, these three veterans of the English Premier League will hang up their spikes. As far as Los Angeles is concerned, anyway.