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

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

All Is (Not) Lost!

Wednesday, July 23rd
We were tracking the King Harbor Race and Das Boot's progress with every Internet app available. Ironically, we were able to get Das Boot's position and only three or four others on SailTrack. But, just after sundown, we picked up this message on the SB-KH Facebook page:
Got a message from our friends on Celebrity.
Apparently they were involved in a crash with Green Dragon.
Their boat is badly damaged, no one got hurt.
They're motoring home.
More info as it becomes available.
That was surprising: in my limited experience, wind drops dramatically in this race right after sundown. Everything begins to evolve in slo-motion. If this collision was evidence of woolly conditions out there, it was worrisome. But it turns out, this collision happened in daylight. Not only that, but it was recorded:

Clearly Green Dragon  violated Rule #12 of the RRS's. Pretty basic stuff. I don't buy the Byzantine symmetry theory that both boats are to blame. The burdened boat is the over-taking boat when boats are on the same tack as they appear to be. Secondly, one has to question why Captain Crunch, skipper of Green Dragon 2, felt it necessary to maneuver so close when he was in the middle of a 82nm race. (There was plenty of water to go around.) Finally, these two boats were entered in different classes; they weren't even racing against each other.

This video of Captain Crunch has gone viral on the 'Net. And his real name is known and he is well on his way of becoming a poster-boy idiot of yacht racing.

But why am I posting this? 

Clearly this goes to the point as to why I relinquished the helm of Das Boot. I was at the top of my game. I had compleat crew, complete mastery of my boat's performance capability. I did not want my boat's name to be remembered because of a complete blunder I might have made years from now when I might be performing well below my current standard. Maybe after my sailing had become anosognosiac? I wanted to quit sailing my Laser-38 well before the nick of time.

Monday, July 28, 2014


Wednesday, July 23rd
When we returned to our slip from our last Wet Wednesday Race on Das Boot, we were gifted with a surprise dock party thrown by past and present crew members. It was a joy, full of tears and cheers, toasts and roasts. What an incredible group of strong, smart, supportive and beautiful people. For Trophy Wife and me this was an unforgettable, priceless moment in our life.

Back in March, Trophy Wife and I had proposed to our eldest son that he relieve us of command to this Freedom-38 which we had sailed and loved for one year short of a quarter of a century. We proposed that he select his own crew of experienced and younger sailing buddies and sail Das Boot in the annual 82nm Santa Barbara to King Harbor (Redondo Beach) race. Thence, the plan was that he continue the voyage to his home port in San Pedro. He would find a slip for Das Boot's future home.

JMR, exercised due diligence and consulted with my daughter-in-law and my two grandchildren and accepted our proposal two days later.

Friday, July 25th
Hours before JMR and his crew left Santa Barbara for the race, his prescription sun glasses disappeared off the stern in 16 feet of harbor water. JMR was about to dive for them, but Rick Sanchez and his Salty Dog Dive Service crew responded in the nick of time to rescue the skipper's specs from the murk. Not only that, but Salty Dog also gave our ex-boat their once-over hull cleaning that--no doubt--contributed to Das Boot's wonderful race performance!

Das Boot's 5th and finest King Harbor Race almost didn't happen.

After leaving the slip for the start line, my brand new radar reflector (required by SI's) blew up and sent the spare halyard to the top of the mast.

I got word of this in my car on the way to the club. Raced across town with Sean to the 'other' West Marine which still had the old fashioned ones in stock. Sean assembled the device on the way back.

JMR had already retrieved the halyard from the top of the mast and off they went to the start line.

They made it with five minutes to spare!

And Das Boot got off to a great start. Got some photos of her racing along in soft breezes and flat seas.

And the best part of the story is that they finished at 0546hrs on Saturday morning after 17 plus hours of sailing. That gave them 2nd place out their 8-boat fleet!

This was Das Boot's best performance in five King Harbor races. Even though it was achieved under new management, I am both proud and humbled.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Gracias a las Tres Lime-A-Ritas!

Sailing together for the first time ever, Las Tres Lime-A-Ritas brought wind, luck and spirit together to produce a triumph of horizon proportions over 20 other boats.

For Dave's Memorial Race, and annual event we are given a 6nm+ race which traverses the marks in our venue in unusual sequence. It is also a pursuit race with a downwind start.

Today, I cancelled my game plan of tacking back up the coast to avoid the adverse current. I just couldn't bring myself to settle on a course away from the second mark. This leg is very deceptive because your GPS tells you you can fetch the H-Mark when you begin the leg on starboard, but you are progressively pushed down by the invisible hand of the current on a higher path. Remaining on the starboard tack, for some reason we found ourselves much higher than the many boats ahead of us. The conclusion is that Das Boot can really point in 16 knots.

By the time it came to tack on to port to fetch H-Mark, there were only two boats. Ahead of us. One we sailed over on the following spinnaker run; the other could not get their spinnaker down following the run.

As Das Boot approached the finish line I was confounded by yet another boat ahead us on the finish line. "How can that be?" I asked aloud? It turned out to be Dave's boat and crew, not competing, but just sailing his course ahead of Dave's Fleet.