Thursday, September 28, 2006

Oh, great! Now we have to worry about tornadoes!

Tornado (waterspout) over Long Island Sound video viewable here. This waterspout was spotted from Brewster Lane, near Spy Coast Farm, on Strong's Neck. If "Full Tilt" was at our Port Jeff mooring, it would just be located off the right side of the frame. Joyce recognized the harbor from the picture (smart gal, she is!)

Gee, I wonder what this would do if it hit a giant LPG gas platform?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Crewing for "Wild Eyes"

Today was the Windjammers edition of The Last Chance Regatta.

I crewed for Pete and Teri on their Quest 33 "Wild Eyes".

This is a file image of Paul trimming the spinnaker from last year on Wild Eyes. The weather today wasn't nearly as nice; we all wore our foulies and inflatable life vests. Crew today consisted of Lisa, Paul, Lee, J.R. (from "Full Tilt") and myself.

UPDATE: Here's a photo of Wild Eyes taken by Greg Geiger; see link below for more photos and ordering information.

Wind was out of the west at about 15-25. The course started in the Gulf, then out around Middle Ground, then to Pond Point, then to the Charles Island green can for the finish. The wind was honking most of the day, and the skies were threatening rain even though it only spritzed on us a bit.

We rounded Middle Ground and started hauling ass downwind with a good-sized #2 spinner. On four foot rollers we surfed the 8 miles to Pond Point in about 40 minutes, hitting sustained speeds of 13-14 knots and topping 15 on a few occasions. Damn, was THAT exciting!

We even rounded up a bit when our bow caught up with a five-foot wave, slamming us to a near-stop, pouring hundreds of gallons of green water down the windward deck and through the cockpit (handy that we had an open transomed boat), which caused the end of the boom to splash into the water, and J.R. sitting next to me to slide across the cockpit to leeward under the helm! Yowsah!

We finished the race in brisk conditions right behind "Dr. Evil" (who beat us scratch), and later on we found that it's likely we got a 2nd place finish, ahead of "Secret" and "XSNRG" on corrected time. Great race Teri and Pete!

Oh, and my absolute favorite line of the day: after tying up at the MYC and peeling ourselves out of our foulies, I commented on the several horizontal bruises on the front of Teri's thighs:

"You look like you got caught shoplifting in Thailand."

Photos of the race are available for download and purchase from GREGEIGER CO. UTD. INC.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Thursday 9/21

After we got rained out last week (actually, I just didn't want to race in the crappy weather; I don't know if the race was rained out), we got out again. Light winds, and only Joyce, J.R. and me were crew. It was enough, considering the conditions.

The fleet approaches the windwark mark, such as it is. We only had about 5 knots of breeze at most, and 0 knots at the least.

After hitting the bell buoy two weeks ago, my crew's confidence in me was shaken. So it was unaminously voted (Joyce said so) that J.R. would helm the boat tonight. I didn't take the demotion too hard; my sobbing wasn't even audible more than a half-mile away.

The sunset reflected in the skipper's former skipper's sunglasses.

Ghosting toward the finish, Joyce needed a beer to balance out the boom. Or something like that.

Did I ever mention how much I love sunsets? And boats? Together?

Friday, September 22, 2006

Port Jeff weekend

During what was the last weekend of summer, Joyce & I took advantage of the perfect weather and sailed over to PJ on Saturday for an overnight stay.

A light breeze out of the southeast made for an easy, one-tack crossing.

As was tragically demonstrated this week, Long Island Sound is a very busy thoroughfare. Here a barge is towed uncomfortably close to us.

A 92-foot sailboat and a 600-foot coal carrier collided just before dawn in clear weather. Both vessels possessed radar, and conditions were perfect for avoiding such an accident. Yet the sailboat was sunk, with one life lost.

The accident occurred in the same area where they're considering placing the giant moored LPG platform; a storage depot with enough gas to vaporize a 5-square mile area. Why should anyone worry when boats collide and sink in perfect weather?

The channel marker at Port Jeff shows just how easy it is for well-lit buoys to get hit. Still think the LPG platform is a sound idea?

Safely at our mooring, Joyce holds the sail firmly on the deck in the 2 knot breeze. For hours.

Grilling up my famous garlic & herb chicken. Food tastes SO much better when grilled on a boat!

Capt. Bob enjoys his customary cigar. Topless.

Joyce enjoys a book while relaxing. She does that a lot. Relaxing.

These are the moments that we live for.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

OK, I thought no wind was bad...

...but hitting a bell bouy is significantly worse!

No pictures tonight, because I forgot my camera.

Which is a good thing. Imagine me looking really pissed off at myself, then multiply that by 50, and you'll get an idea how mad I am at myself tonight.

Almost no wind. We crept towards the bell bouy. A lunar tide was flooding, but stupidly I discounted that minor fact.

Fast forward to two minutes later...some gelcoat torn from my topsides and a good schmear of red paint (from the bouy) along the deck/topsides edge. Shit!

At least nobody got killed.

And I really hate it when that's the BEST thing I can say after a race.