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!
A perfect night for racing! Warm, breeze of 10-12 out of the northwest, and a tight windward-leeward course made for a fun and exciting race.
Me and Derek.
Here's Audacious ghosting alongside us during a light-breezed run.
Janel, Ryan, and Joyce.
Ryan, me, and my post-race cigar.
Janel and Joyce.
It was one start for about 20 boats. If they have results, I'll post them here and on the Windjammers Forum. After the race we sailed around the Gulf with just the main until well after sunset. Fun night.
Here's the results from last night's race, the first day of our boating season! We finished in the middle of the pack, not as bad as I feared we'd do. Joyce, Derek, Janel, and new crewmember Ryan crewed the boat impeccably. It was a bit breezy from the east, which meant a 2-3' chop, and we had to deal with a few light showers. But we all had our foulies and enjoyed the race.
Commodore Larry Welsh was race committee, and he did a great job timing the race and getting us these corrected scores.
Actually, this is me from last year, moored in Port Jeff harbor. But knowing me, I'll be back there soon enough, though with a new beard configuration (I finally reworked the goatee) but likely smoking a stogie and enjoying a glass of Pinot Grigio (or a Bass Ale) depending on my mood.
Here's some photos of our kayak trip exploring Derby/Shelton, and especially the creepy tunnels under some of the old factories in Shelton.
Joyce is paddling in front of the Derby hydroelectric dam where we put in and began our journey.
Inside an abandoned lock on the Shelton side just below the dam.
Joyce is inside the lock. The walls were nearly 20 feet high.
Janel paddled right up to the second broken lock and let the water cascade onto her bow.
The entrance to one of the four or five industrial tunnels we explored on the Shelton side.
Inside the tunnel. It was creepy, with assorted cobwebs and shit hanging from the ceiling. We used our paddles to clear the way.
Derek floats in another room below the old factory.
Some areas were spacious and had plenty of room; others were so low you had to duck, and you couldn't paddle because it was so narrow.
Back into the light! Did I mention I get claustrophobic?
And right back into another tunnel! Because apparently I'm a masochist.
There was some kind of rotted metal hanging from the ceiling on the left, which was a bit worrying. You probably can guess that it's not entirely safe to be poking around in some of these places.
Ahhh! Back outside on the open river, where a person can relax.
Oh shit! Another tunnel! This one was some kind of river tunnel, obviously built more recently than those stone-arch tunnels. This one went about five hundred feet and included a bend to the left before coming out...
...here, which appears to be some kind of old canal or something. There was a second tunnel beyond it. Which Derek and I obviously had to explore.
The second tunnel had some kind of spillway we needed to port over, but about ten feet in, the water was deep enough to paddle.
Deeper in that tunnel it reverted to an old stone tunnel. There was some kind of water spilling out ahead.
Which is where we turned around, because we didn't want to have to bail our kayaks out.
Finally, back onto the river and into the light...for good, this time!
Me, just chillin' on the river. No need to rush now. Just a nice relaxing trip down to Milford.
As the tide was going out Janel and Derek took a ride down a sluceway from a pond that emptied into the river.