Sunday, June 25, 2006

Commodore's Cup non-race

Wet and calm. Like, REAL wet and DEAD calm.

J.R. helms us while it rains. Intermittent light to moderate rain was falling, and the cloud deck was hovering around 50 feet for most of the afternoon.

Joyce again was trying to prevent a gybe, but this time around the non-wind was coupled with torrential rain.

The skipper always has to get his mug on camera.

Joyce helms us into the harbor in a drenching downpour.

The picture I didn't take was the one of our GPS showing 5.4 knots under sail in the pouring rain about 15 minutes after the Race Committee decided to call the race. I can't really blame them, because they waited a full two hours before calling it, and there was no gaurantee that when the wind came up it would stay up.

But just for fun we ran from the #4 Nun to the Welches Point Nun and back twice under sail, with up to 11 knots of apparent wind showing on the wind meter. It was pretty slow going directly downwind, though.

Kevin and Jaser did a good job as RC, and the Commodore's Kegger was a rainy day party that was great fun, except for my wet socks.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Thursday 6/22

Light wind, which was kinda bad, and then no wind.

Which sucked.

J.R. and Erich watch the air doing nothing exciting.

Adam makes sure the wind doesn't sneak up on us. Not that it had any intention of doing so.

Joyce holds the boom in case we accidently gybe, but since wind is needed for that, there's really no reason to worry.

Listless boats in the prestart.

An Etschells ghosts by while the sun is setting.

Anyway, we finished ourselves at the line after one round, since the RC was at the Charles Island bell, so we took our airhorn and gave it a blast. It was slow going for quite a while.

Only two boats finished after the RC (Larry Welch and John Crissy) shortened the course, and we weren't among them.

As we motored in, I noticed it was nearly sunset. Every day exactly at sunset, the Milford Yacht Club lowers the flag and fires its cannon. It's shockingly loud if you're in the channel when it happens. Joyce usually jumps out of her skin, too, so after I noticed what time it was, I thottled back and whispered to the guys to watch Joyce when the gun pops. I couldn't remember if sunset was 8:23 or 8:26, but we saw the guy getting the cannon ready, so we waited.

Sadly, the guy walked away, and there was no way I'd be able to stall for three minutes without tipping Joyce off, so once we rounded the yacht club, I throttled back up. Three minutes later the gun sounded, but it was far enough away that Joyce didn't get startled. She turned around and mentioned how sometimes it scares the crap out of her, and then she asked, "Why are you guys smiling?"

We started laughing and told her about our evil plan. She shook her head and mumbled something that I can't repeat on a family-oriented blog.

Good fun!

Monday, June 19, 2006

1st Port Jeff weekend of the year!

We finally had some decent weather and nothing else going on, so we sailed over to Port Jefferson for the weekend. First time this year!

Saturday the weather was mixed, with some afternoon showers giving way to hazy sun towards sunset. Here's Joyce enjoying a book and a beverage in the cool of the early evening.

Sunday was hot and amazingly sunny. The first real summer-like day of the year. We hung around until about 2:30, then began a lazy sail home, with a trailing breeze and just the genoa up. The autohelm did all the work, allowing us to relax.

Here's me in my dollar-store mirrored shades. You can see my arm holding the camera reflected in the lenses for this self-portrait.

Woman at the Helm Race I RESULTS:

Joyce place 3rd out of the six boats racing. The corrected standings are:
1 Bruja
2 Schock Therapy
3 Full Tilt
4 Defiant
5 Paikea
6 Enigma

Good job Joyce and crew for keeping us competitive!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Time to Rock The Boat!

Sorry to go off-topic today. This is a short personal message. Please read it and let me know what you think. The post below has the race photos from last night, but give this a read first. Thanks!

I don't know how you feel about this situation, but I think there is a growing problem in our country. George Bush's presidency is becoming more and more unilateral in it's actions, either ignoring or bypassing the checks and balances of the Constitution. The Republican majority dominated House and Senate, along with an increasingly conservative Supreme Court, make it easy for the Bush/Cheney administration to do anything they want.

What is even worse is that so-called moderate Democrats are siding with Bush on many important decisions, like the war in Iraq and appointing right-wing Supreme Court justices. Joseph Lieberman is one of these enablers.

For many years, Joe Lieberman was a true Democrat, who believed in the principles of our government and the sanctity of the U.S. Constitution. But something happened to the man over the last three terms, and he's become an active participant in the erosion of our rights and the good standing of our government. His endless support of Bush's war is just plain wrong, and 2,500 brave American military personnel have paid the ultimate price for what is increasingly becoming an unwinnable and immoral war.

I don't want this country to go from one extreme to the other, not by any means. I'd like to see our nation make reasonable decisions regarding our security and our economy. But it's important to realize that by supporting Bush and his deliberate misuse of the public trust, Joe Lieberman is complicit.

There is an alternative. His name is Ned Lamont.

Ned Lamont has watched the decay of our great nation's standing because of Bush/Cheney, and he decided that it was time to do something about it. Lamont has selflessly volunteered to challenge Joe Lieberman, and help get the nation back on a middle course. On August 8th, Connecticut registered Democrats will go to the polls and choose our next Senate candidate. And whoever wins, he will easily defeat the Republican challenger in November.

But Ned Lamont can't do this alone; he needs our help. Here's what you can do:

* Be sure you are a registered Democrat, and vote on August 8th.
* Please donate by clicking the sailboat graphic to the right of the page.
* Go to for more information.
* Volunteer at the website to help the campaign.
* Feel free to contact me to discuss the issues.
* Visit my political blog "Connecticut Bob" to see the latest news.

We can win this. We can turn our nation around and begin to fulfill the intentions of our founding fathers. We can ALL make America something to be proud of once again.

WAH Race I

Last night Joyce expertly helmed Full Tilt during the first of three "Woman at the Helm" races. Conditions ranged from 5-18 knots, but with the wind out of the north it kept the chop down. We started the race with our #2 genny, but switched to the big #1 on the first downwind leg. (Click on any photo to enlarge)

Joyce right after the start. We had a decent start and performed good during the first leg, although the diminishing breeze slowed us down towards the mark.

The tactician poses for a self-portrait during the race.

Joyce steers the boat somewhere on the course, I dunno where.

"Schock Therapy" going wing-on-wing downwind on the 2nd leg.

Post-race, we enjoyed a refreshing beverage. Or in this crew's case, 18 refreshing beverages. Chad, Erich, J.R. and Sarah (her first race!) looking relaxed after the race.

Even though we saw a spectacular sunset, the crew mutinied and demanded to be taken ashore when it was found out that we'd run out of beer.

There were maybe 6 boats in the race, and I don't think we placed very highly. When the results come in I'll post them here, but overall it was a fun race. Joyce did great, and the RC of Larry Welch and Dennis Dawid did an excellent job.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Thursday 6/01

Adam, Erich, J.R. and me were the crew for Thursday's race. There were only about 10 boats racing, possibly because of the thunderboomers rolling through that night.

We raced in diminishing winds, and as the skies got dark in the west, we ghosted between the bell and Welch's point. Rounding the mark and heading toward the finish of a shortened race at the channel marker, the wind picked up and lightning was sparking closer and closer, and we finished that leg quickly.

As we crossed the line we immediately dropped the sails and motored into the harbor. Moments after we tied up, the sky opened up and the rain came pouring down.

It was kind of exciting out there!