Sunday, May 31, 2009

Port Jeff weekend

A salmon-colored horizon from our mooring in Port Jefferson harbor highlights a spectacular sunset. From our first trip of the season; an overnighter to PJ after a great sail over on Saturday, and a downwind coast home on Sunday. Perfect way to start the cruising season!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Thursday 5/28

Wet, drizzly weather along with light winds made tonight's race a little challenging, but it was still fun.

We had Janel as crew tonight, and with the light 3-10 kt. winds most of the race, it was good to sail a little light. Only about 8 or so boats showed up in the dismal weather, but with the wind out of the ENE, the waves were a lot less lumpy than last week.

Good start, decent mark roundings, and excellent crew work made the race fun and surprisingly enjoyable; especially as the drizzle stopped and the boat began to dry out during the race. We finished fourth (I think), in diminishing winds. Fun night.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Pierce Invitational Race 5/23

The First Place crew: Joyce, me, Janel (not pictured: Derek)

It was a wicked ride out there yesterday, with a 14-21 knot breeze out of the east all day. We had four boats in the non-spin class, Defiant (NY 40), Impulse (Frers 33), and Paikea (C&C 99), so we were the slowest boat. Janel and nephew Derek were crew, so we were a little short-handed for the conditions.

But we figured we'd go for broke and used the #1 genny for the entire race. We were definitely overpowered, but we also drove like maniacs in that breeze. The course was the long beat to New Haven NH Red/White channel marker, a run back to the Charles island bell, a short beat back to Pond Pt., then back to the finish just outside of the Gulf.

Defiant dropped out early with some steering problems, and they later ended up on the mud just outside the breakwater near the yacht club, where they stayed until the tide came back in and they towed them home. We rounded NH right behind Impulse and just in front of Paikea, so we knew we were in the lead (Impulse gave us 29 sec. and Paikea 32 sec.) During the long run back to Charles Is. Paikea nudged ahead of us, and rounded with Impulse about 3 minutes ahead.

Another beat to Pond Pt. where we didn't lose any time, and then a quick run to the finish. The results were us first, Impulse 2nd, and Paikea 3rd, and we ended up about four minutes ahead on corrected time. The race was about 3-1/2 hours, which was a LONG time to spend getting bashed about on the boat! Poor Derek nearly froze to death, being the front man on the rail, but such is the cost of winning.

For some reason, this year's J/30 rating for my boat increased three, from 135 to 136 spin, and 155 to 158 non-spin. I don't know why, but I'll look into it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thursday 5/21

Our first Thursday race of the season. Wet & wild!

We were a little shorthanded for our first time raising the sails this season, and with a 10-15 kt breeze, gusting to the upper teens, we had a bit of a muck-up tonight.

Janel, Derek, and Joyce were crew, and we decided on the #2 genny to start with. After we correctly threaded it onto the forestay, we decided to change to the #1 about 1/3 of the way up the first leg. The wind was still from the SW, but it had settled down to around 12 kts. The water was a bit choppy.

So we did the change and Joyce drove while I hoisted the #1 up in front of the 2, then I crawled behind the sail along the leeward linelines to pull the 2 into the cabin. Of course, just then the wind piped up and the boat healed over enough so that my entire backside got dunked, leaving me a bit damp for the rest of the evening.

Gybing around the windward mark and setting the sails for wing-on-wing was an exercise in futility. The capper was when Janel, trying to set up the whisker pole, ripped the two pieces apart like a samurai unsheathing his sword from its scabbard.

(I'm surprised this didn't happen to us!)

We eventually got our act together, but by that time we had pretty much lost the entire fleet. We sailed the rest of the long course (DPNDS) then dropped the sails as soon as we finished and motored in to a goodly race postmortem session with beer. The race was way too strenuous for me to take pictures, so this week you'll just have to deal with my "word picture".

Saturday we have the Pierce Invitational race!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

We're in!

The boat was launched yesterday, and our first race is tomorrow! Woo-hooooo!!!

(...and I got my camera back, obviously!)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

What I'm doing right now

...and tomorrow, too. Sanding the hull to get it into racing shape. Three days until launch, then I retire the Tyvec suit and the dust mask (not shown) for the season.

(disclaimer: that's a photo from May camera is being shipped back after warranty repair, so I won't have any new photos until sometime next week)

Monday, May 04, 2009

Windjammers Spring Social

The Windjammer's Sailing Club held it's annual Spring Social at the Milford Yacht Club last Friday. It rained on and off all night, but nobody cared because we were inside.

We had a decent turnout, and there were some new(ish) faces, including our newest Windjammer, Janel, who joined this club this year!

Joining us at our table were (L to R) Mike Kivell, Lee & Maura, Janel, Joyce (of course), and Brita (who normally doesn't look like she's trashed out of her mind; it was just a poorly timed blink!)

We had hoped to have the boat in by the first Thursday race, but it's looking like it'll possibly be a few days after. We'll see how it goes getting the boat ready!