I know I'm the absolute worst at updating this blog! I'm more often than not on Facebook, and that's where you can read about us. But I'm keeping this blog out of sentimental reasons, so I'll post stuff here as much as possible.
My back surgery went great! I'm feeling healthy and we'll have a full sailing schedule for this year. Right now (March 12th) there's still a couple feet of snow surrounding the boat. But we'll be there for the first Thursday night race of the season on May 14th, and we're also trying to get our crew to commit to doing the Pierce Invitation on Sunday of the Memorial Day weekend. Stayed tuned for more details!
Tonight my crew convinced me to race by promising to do everything for me except (occasionally) steering the boat. I'm waiting for my OK to get surgery to repair the ruptured disk in my spine, but lately the pain has largely subsided and I'm able to do most things except lift, twist, or pull on anything.
But I can sit upright, and since the conditions were mild tonight with no chop and a light 7-10 knot breeze out of the SSE, I agreed to go.
We had a great start, hitting the line at the horn doing a nice clip.
Here's Joyce steering during a downwind leg between K and W. We kept our speed up and managed to pass or keep pace with boats that were faster than us.
Here I am being a tactician and enjoying all the boats behind us.
Danielle and Doreen did great on the boat. Doreen was our bowman and Danielle (along with Joyce) were grinders. Even though some of our tacks were a bit slow due to inexperience, we didn't make any tactical or sailing mistakes for the entire race, and they all did an outstanding job.
We cruised to a finish in a group of faster boats, and if the race had been handicapped we would have placed very respectably.
This will probably be our last race of the season, but we'll likely do a bit more cruising if my back doesn't act up and everyone is happy with doing all the work. I kind of enjoy sitting back and relaxing, but I can't wait until my surgery is done and I'm back at 100% and able to really do the work.
Finally it feels like summer is here! 85 degrees but a bit cooler at the shore.
We went kayaking for about 90 minutes today in the harbor, then came back after lunch to race with our brand new sails.
There's a little tweaking that needs to be done, but the sails worked fantastic tonight!
We place fairly high up in the fleet, beating quite a few boats that have lower PHRFs, and none with higher PHRFs were even close!
The genny is super hi-tech, and really looks great out there. We went with a dacron mainsail to stay within ODR rules, but I'm thinking we probably should have gone with a hi-tech main and to hell with the ODR rating. But it's too late for buyer's remorse, and besides we did really good tonight in 10-20 kts. breeze.
And the crew is really starting to work efficiently as a team. Except for the attention-deficit issues and the incessant jabbering about mostly everything but sailing. Fun night!
So, we got the boat in for the first race, where we did pretty good with our old sails.
This week, all sorts of shitty weather rolled in, and the race was canceled. Now, it's about 44 degrees out, blowing 20-30, and spitting rain on and off all day. We turned the heat back on in our house, on MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND!!!
Sheesh. I got to wear shorts three days this month. Summer was great, but now I'm back in my winter gear.
And so far we put the new sails on the boat over a week ago, and we still haven't sailed them yet!
A couple weeks ago I put an order in for a new #1 ODR genny and main sail from Neil Pryde Sails. My pals Bob Pattison and Jim Gregory are taking care of me, and my crew is looking forward to starting next season with quite a bit more horsepower!
Some photos from the final WAH race, with Joyce helming the boat and me calling tactics and doing sail trim. And getting yelled at by other boats when we got close to them!
Joyce sailed us to a fifth-place finish, which was our best showing of the season! Sure, we didn't exactly set the fleet on fire this year, but we had a lot of fun and got better as the season progressed.
Last night's race. No lightning for a change, but plenty of fun!
We had a great start; we hit the line driving at full speed and had clear air for a long while. We finally had to tack to take advantage of a shift, but we really nailed it this time.
Derek and me are yukking it up. When you see smiles on a race boat, you're doing well.
Danielle and Joyce during a windward tack. Joyce steered about half the time, but I had to do the mark roundings when the breeze kicked up.
Our favorite adversary, J/30 "Pale Rider" was trading places with us for most of the race. We kept pace with them for much of the time, but they managed to pass us on the final leg and beat us by a couple lengths.
Sunset on the last leg. The full moon rose just as we struck sails and headed home in the twilight.
Here's the video I promised from the Woman At The Helm Race #1, where Joyce steered like a champ, and I taunted my friends who blanketed us at the start.
We start out with discussing how we should fly a pink bra as our burgee, and it gets worse from there. You'll also see a fair amount of boozing and hear a lot of "Pirate Speak" as the race progresses. We may not have won, but we had a boatload of fun!
Very light wind tonight, so we put the crew on the leeward side to increase the heel and get the boat moving as best we could.
Joyce at the helm. "ENJOYCE YOURSELF!" became the battle cry of the race!
We became more piratey as the race progressed. Here ARRRRRRRR two guest crew who joined us tonight, Danielle and Enes.
Derek enjoying a grown-up beverage on the boat. I have to say our crew did a pretty good job cleaning out the well-stocked icebox and bar. They're nothing if not persistent!
Post-race, the crew ENJOYCES a moment mugging for the camera. Joyce did a fantastic job helming the boat tonight, and hopefully we placed at least in the middle of the pack. I'll post results when they're available.
AND, very soon I'm going to post video of the race, from my new Fuji digital camera. I have about an hour's worth of footage to edit and highlight our most embarrassing moments! Trust me, you won't be disappointed.
And, of course, my requisite self-portrait (photobombed by Ryan, also of course!)
Last night the race started with zero wind. The A class was ghosting towards the line, and we were seriously doubting that we'd make it anywhere near the line when our gun went off.
Then, a little wisp of a breeze started up, and we began moving towards the RC boat. At about 2 minutes left in the pre-start we got around 6-8 knots of wind, and it freshened enough that we were able to hit the line about 30 seconds after the start. The wind continued to increase until it was a solid 15+ knots for the rest of the race.
Here's the crew unfurling the main. Look at that sunny weather! It didn't last long.
Ominous clouds darken the sky as we get close to the start time.
Rain showers that weren't quite reaching sea level. That didn't last as the temperature cooled off. They always say that the rain brings the wind, and it sure did last night.
"Le Arche de Noe" may have barged us at the start, I don't know and I don't want to start any rumors. But they did. Anyway, we sailed right under them and got good air and left them in our wake.
After we finished the wind made it a bit challenging to wrangle the sail back on deck, but the crew did a bang up job and soon we were headed in, just before the real weather hit. At the dock, the sky opened up and some rain and lightning made us glad that the race only took about 45 minutes!