Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thursday 6/26

The party at Milford Boat Works was postponed earlier today based on a grim weather report. It turned out that we had a window of decent weather, except for the extremely light winds that caused the regular night's race to get called early.

Slack winds slows down the fleet.

Not much wind out here tonight. Fortunately the beer was nice and cold.

Yup, not much of a breeze when the water looks that flat.

The crew ghosts the boat back toward home. Joyce piloted Full Tilt out of the slip and back in again. She's getting good at it!

Milford Boat Works party rescheduled for July 10th, which we'll be able to attend since we'll be back from vacation by then.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Race video (with fireworks!)

UPDATE: Results are in!

Full Tilt got a first place, based apparently on the 2nd race being used as the tie-breaker! Full results are posted on the Windjammers Sailing Club website (3 pages .pdf file).

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Commodore's Cup race

Saturday was sunny and warm, but there wasn't much breeze. The wind was basically out of the south, and Kevin Tisdale set up a shortish course with a downwind start to Welch's Point and back, twice for spinnaker class and once for cruising.

As it was, the wind was very light, so the run to W took forever. The way back was a bit easier but still annoyingly light. I think we got a 3rd place out of 4 boats in the non-spin class for the first race.

The second race was even lighter, with 2-3 kts. apparent wind down to W. We struggled with our class for a while, then gybed away to port. The other boats in our class got tied up with a boat from the spin class, and they all slowed down. We reached the mark a good minute before them and rounded into a light breeze.

On the final 1/4 mile, our mainsheet traveler got stuck, and with a couple more tacks needed to get to the finish line, we slowed down a bit. But we hung on to finish within a minute of the two faster boats and I think we got a first place on corrected time.

We didn't hear results yet because immediately after the race we headed to Branford, to raft up to Teri and Pete Binkley's "Wild Eyes" at the mooring stakes to watch the annual fireworks display. I think our final placement depends on what the tie-breaker formula is, but at the very least we'll end up with a 3rd place.

Me before the race. Check out my "Commodore's Cup" hat!

A few boats during the pre-start.

Our crew proudly showing the team colors!

They were setting and dousing their spinnaker for practice before the start of the race.

After the race the wind came up to about 10 kts. from the south, so we had a nice single-tack reach to Branford, with the autohelm taking care of the steering.

Race and fireworks video will be available at some point, if I can get the time to edit it before I leave for a week's vacation next week.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thursday 6/19

Tonight we had very little breeze, and wound up doing the DWS course, with the RC finishing us before the final DS leg.

Before the pre-start the boats wander around, hoping we get more wind.

Stacked up at the start. Being under these boats kinda killed us. We trailed them most of the rest of the night.

A few boats put up their spinnakers for practice.

This is awkward. All these boats had rounded the windward mark that we were heading to, and came right back at us. We had to dodge 'em.

Everyone is shy except Janel. Can ya tell?

Post race, Lee takes the helm. We came in just after sunset.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Woman at the Helm Race I

Joyce helmed the boat tonight and I was the often-second guessed tactician/winch grinder.

Gael Wind during the pre-start.

Kari getting ready for the start.

Paikea maneuvers for a spot before the race.

Defiant poses for a photo during a downwind leg.

Acara finishes at Larry Welch's Race Committee boat.

Our crew after the finish. Derek, Janel, Bruce and his son Alex, and Joyce at the helm. Fun race tonight! Results soon.

Sunset over the harbor. Another great day for sailing!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Port Jeff weekend

Yesterday we took Full Tilt over to PJ for our first weekend getaway of the season. Temps topped 90 degrees for the first time this year, so the breeze on the water really felt good.

Joyce reads her book on the cabin top while the autohelm steers the boat. I'm fiddling with my camera (obviously).

Early Sunday, day breaks around 4:45AM. I woke up to get a drink of water and saw the amazing colors in the sky, so I grabbed the camera and fired off a quick shot, then went back to sleep until after 8AM.

Heading out of the channel we had to deal with the usual congestion. Here, a 32-foot sailboat is dwarfed by a barge coming in. Port Jeff is a busy harbor.

Joyce steers us out towards the Sound. A constant 10-15 kt breeze out of the SW made it an easy trip most of the way home. Our palm tree works as a wind vane.

The skipper working on his tan, in his goofy hat.

As we approached Connecticut, clouds began building in the west. Knowing that this kind of heat and humidity often spawns thunderstorms, we began to prepare.

About 2 miles south of Charles I., with thunder rumbling in the distance, we dropped the sail, got our foulies and life vests on, and battened down the boat. Just as we finished, it started raining. The wind picked up to the mid-20's, and as we entered the Gulf, the rain began pouring down and the wind gusted up.

We began circling, as it was too dangerous to enter the harbor. The rain stung our faces as the winds topped 45 kts., but I wasn't keeping a close eye on it at the time so it may have gusted higher. I only wish I had a waterproof housing for my camera, because the sea looks awesome when it gets whipped up like that. But I was just happy it was manageable and the rain wasn't freezing cold.

The squall passed, and we motored up the harbor in between storms. We unloaded the boat and got home before a second, but smaller squall began. Fun time!

Thursday 6/05

Moderate to light to zero breeze tonight. We got jammed up at the line and ended up at the back of the pack, but we managed to pass a few boats during the race.

L' Arche d Noe and Caliente during the prestart.

Defiant makes way towards the first mark.

Sentinal crosses our stern

L'Arche similarly crosses our stern as Joyce practices for next week's Woman at the Helm Race. Starboard tack rules!

Rhode Trip ghosted toward the finish as the wind died completely. Both our boats did the last 1/4 mile at .1 kts. It was maddening!