Saturday, September 24, 2005

Thursday 9/22

So far, there's no definite word on where or when the '05 NA's will be. They might throw together something down at Cedar Point, but I'm hoping they don't, because I'd prefer to see them there next year when we'll have the time to get a committed team together.

Tonight the wind was HONKIN'! Before the race, Jim from "Spirit" stopped by the boat while I was putting the #1 genny on the deck. The wind seemed to be moderating from earlier in the day, and was averaging around 8-10 knots in the harbor. I thought, "Hey, it'll probably die towards sunset, so we'll be in good shape."

(Photo shamelessly stolen from

Jim looked at the sail, and asks, "Is that your number one? Have you SEEN the Gulf tonight?" I muttered a non-reply, not really worried. He kind of laughed and told me he'd see me out on the water.

Later, when we exited the harbor and our wind gauge topped 23 knots, we decided to go with a full mainsail and the number 3 jib. I haven't even SEEN the #3 in about three years, but I figured that it still worked. So we jumped the main and jib, and got ready to start.

Of course, Jim and "Spirit" comes sailing by, and he yells, "Where's your number one?" I smiled and said, "Maybe tomorrow." I would have thought of something funnier, but the boat was in danger of broaching and I was a bit distracted.

Our crew was Tim, Mike Kivell, Matt (Rob's friend from "Bayou Blue") and Joyce. We managed to start the race slightly late due to a problem with the main sheet, which caught on a winch when we tacked from one reach to another. We ended up in irons (momentarily, since the wind was still fresh as hell), and tacked back onto the original course, then (finally) tacked back to where we wanted to go originally. That put us about a minute late for the start; still, we were moving pretty good and the crew was having fun.

That is, they were, until we caught a wicked roller halfway to the first windward mark; the bow crashed through the wave and tossed up about 40 gallons of water. Which cascaded down the windward rail of the boat; the screams of the crew should have tipped me off to stand up before getting soaked. But my pinpoint laser-like focus on making the boat perform resulted in me getting a wet ass along with the rest of the crew. Or possibly it was my lack of a quick reaction. Either way, my butt got least the water was warm.

We sailed to maybe 60% of our capabilities tonight. There was just too much of a breeze to want to knock ourselves out; in fact, we hit 30 knots of apparent wind several times. While we were dropping the sails after the race, we were motoring broadside to the waves. Mike was driving, Joyce was working with the traveler, and I was leeward, crouched on the deck holding the mainsail down, when I felt the boat drop into valley and Matt exclaimed "Jesus Christ!". I held on, expecting to get launched over the side. We heeled way over to starboard, and righted again.

Judging from what I heard, I was expecting worse. But then again, I wasn't looking at it as it rolled in. Tim and Matt were commenting on what a big wave it was. A scary wave isn't as exciting if you don't see it.

Anyway, we had fun tonight. Next week is the last Thursday race, the Harvest Moon Race & Raftup. The raftup is a party where we all raft up to each other and drink heavily while sharing food. Should be good, especially if we have the same weather that we had tonight!

But I'll settle for 8-12 kts...yeah, that would be just fine with me.


Post a Comment

<< Home