Thursday, August 14, 2008

Woman at the Helm Race III 8/14

Lots of no wind for the first half-hour hold on the race, and then we got a nice southerly between 5-10 kts, so we started a bit late but got the race in.

Derek on the dock before the race. The weather was threatening, and while we heard thunder and saw lightning during the race, we were spared any storms.

A WWII vintage PT-boat cruised the harbor, as part of the Oyster Festival. Sadly, we'll miss the whole thing because of vacation.

Spirit drift by Tuggly, the committee boat, before the start.

More Tuggly action. It's a really cool looking boat.

I knew this boat looked familiar! It's the very same "Mary E" that we saw just over a month ago on our previous vacation in Northport. They were restoring it at the time; it's great to see the ol' gal looking so lovely. Here's the blog entry with the picture from July 4th week.

The race finally started, and with us short-handed (only Janel and Derek helping us) we had our hands full and I couldn't take many pictures.

I did manage to snap one last sunset photo. Who doesn't love a good sunset photo?

Great time tonight. Good job by the RC in setting up a workable course under variable conditions. Well done!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Was it or wasn't it a twister? 8/07

UPDATE: John & Celeste sent me this link to WFSB.Com that has better footage of the funnel, which was indeed a tornado (waterspout). You have to watch a brief ad before the video starts, so be a bit patient. It's worth it.

Here's some cell phone video someone shot from Walnut Beach, about 1-1/2 miles southwest of where we were during the storm.

Whatever it was, it snapped a huge branch off my neighbor's tree and crushed two cars in his driveway, along with damaging my fence.

I guess I'll be replacing that fence now! Time to call the insurance company.

(See the preceding article for my video of the storm)

Friday, August 08, 2008

Wicked weather redux 8/07

We watched the storm approaching from the NW, but it seemed to want to stay north, so we were getting ready to leave the dock. At almost the same time, everyone's cell phones started ringing with the news of a tornado alert for Milford. Not five minutes later huge thunderbolts started crashing down in the Gulf. So we decided to stay in the harbor and watch the storm from the boat.

Here's about 45 seconds of crappy video that shows the intensity of the storm.

Wild Eyes video 8/06

About two minutes of shaky digital camera video. But it still looks like fun!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Crewing for Wild Eyes 8/06

Today I crewed on Wild Eyes, the Quest 33 owned by Pete & Teri Binkley. After a quick cloudburst, we sailed out and were treated to a nice 15 knot breeze.

Teri & Pete share the helm and tactical duties.

The chute makes for a quick downwind leg.

Trimming the chute. We started strong and soon left the entire fleet in our wake.

Another great sunset on the water as we head to the finish line.

Teri made me take this picture of the fleet. I told her we were so far ahead you wouldn't hardly see them. She didn't care. I kind of know how she felt.

Fun race tonight!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Day After - 8/03

What a difference a day makes! The low that brought all that rain yesterday eventually drifted north and east, and the back end of the weather system brought a stiff NW breeze and a sky full of puffy clouds.

These are some of the clouds that graced the sky today.

Joyce relaxes as we make six knots with the #2 jib only.

John and Celeste on Witchraft sail by on our way to Stratford Point.

We then headed towards the New Haven West Breakwater, and rounded it before heading home.

Witchcraft with Morningside in the background.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Wicked weather 8/02

We thought about maybe taking the boat out for a sail today, but the forecast said probable thunderstorms, so we didn't. Good thing.

Around noonish we drove down to Ft. Trumbull beach to watch for the approaching storms. The Star boats were out, along with the Milford Yacht Club Invitational race. All told, there were about 30 boats visible offshore.

The weather moved in with lightening and high winds. Here's a couple photos (click on them to show full-sized):

Awesome the way it shoots out of the bottom of the low cloud.

Another powerful bolt strikes somewhere over towards Bayview.

This is a possible small waterspout that formed over the Gulf. We saw a rapid rotation of wind sucking up water from the surface. You can vaguely see the splashing water just in front of the island, and the column going up towards the left. The twister was small, almost the size of a dust devil, but it was definitely stirring up the water.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Thursday 7/31

Last day of July. All told, we've been on the boat 13 days this month. Not bad at all.

Another light wind Thursday, at least for the first two legs.

Derek enjoys the wind when it finally comes up. We ghosted at 3 knots most of the race with SW breeze, and then when the wind shifted out of the NW and quickly built, we finished doing much faster.

A storm cloud builds over eastern CT and later developed into a thunderhead.

Derek and Joyce are joined by first-time crew Elisabeth.

Sunset after the race as we headed back to the harbor.