June 2007 Archives

The boat is clean, the gear is in good order, and the weather looks promising. Time to go sailing?

Last minute "things" are putting our personal gear aboard and doing a little food shopping. Elizabeth hopes to have a small repair made to the new 3/4 oz kite and the old sail cover. Norm polished the smooth gelcoat on deck today and wiped down the interior of various lockers with white vinegar.

Two pictures:
1. AVERISERA in her berth.
2. A few weeks ago, I got into Gloucester on a foggy morning while doing a training program on INVICTUS, the C&C 40 operated by Boston Sailing Center. The image shows the famous old and crumbling Gloucester Sea jacket Paint Manufactory building on Rocky Neck

No fog or rain advertised for this weekend. But, this is New England and we'll be ready.

July Cruise

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Preparing for a cruise, June 30 through July 8. The BIG question? Which way to sail.... North to Maine or South to Nantucket Sound. Only the breeze knows.

LL Bean in Freeport is offering up a week of deepwater cruising, concerts (shopping) and fireworks (more shopping).

Nantucket Sound is offering an off-wind sail down and an offwind sail back, no shopping, and shallow water cruising.

We are not overplanning the food or route. Step One is to get aboard and sail up to Sandy Bay YC for a cocktail party. Step Two is to leave SBYC on Sunday and pick a direction as we depart the harbor.

Racing 6/13

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Well, last night was a disappointment. I don't know where the Boston Inner Harbor light air summer racing conditons are, but we certainly haven't had any summer weather here yet. We had temps in the low 60s, steady 20+kts of wind with gusts as high as 30. Whitecaps on the 1ft chop in the harbor. Big scary-looking black clouds overhead. Small craft warnings on the VHF/WX. The boat was heeling with the puffs in the slip, and the rig was whistling and moaning.

Wil, Stacy and I rigged the boat. No spinnaker sheets, talked about putting a reef or two in the main when we raise it. We put on our heavyweight foul weather gear, started the engine and set out for the BSC to pick up Tara and Vasily. This would be the first week to race without Norm. I was a little nervous, watching the wind gauge, which read 20, 21, 22, 19.... Big gusts heeled the boat, even though we had no sails up. We got to the BSC mooring field and saw the Bavaria making repeated attempts to pull into the dock there. Most of the solings were in the mooring field. There weren't many boats out in the harbor, as a matter of fact. We saw Tara on the float next to Katrina, Vasily's boat. Where was Vasily? I asked Wil to hang some fenders on the starboard stanchions. The wind was from the East and was blowing us right into the docking area. And look, how nice, a lobster buoy floating right in between Katrina and the abandoned pilings to the south. That made it more interesting! We made one pass, and Tara waved us around. Vasily wasn't ready yet. We circled through the mooring field, noting that some of the moorings seemed to be dragging a little. Made another approach. Still no Vasily, and the wind was really making it hard to control the boat. Another circle, another wave to keep going, Vasily was changing, give him a few more minutes. I was by now getting very rattled. We got Tara on the cellphone to find out what was happening. I really needed some guidance to get in without damaging Averisera or Katrina. Stacy and Tara talked while I negotiated yet another circle. We saw Tupelo Honey steam in, and pick up some crew at the other end of the riverboat.

As we came in to make the 4th pass, I had decided that this wasn't fun anymore, and I called off the race. That was hard to do. I disappointed myself and the crew. Sometimes I just don't know where my courage goes. I let myself get paralyzed. I'm not sure if I just don't have enough experience to draw on, or if I don't have the skills yet. I kept thinking, we got the boat into a slip in crazier winds and seas than this, in Point Judith. Why can't I figure out how to do this safely? Why am I so freaked? Who's to say, I don't know. Maybe we just take her out in every bit of nasty weather and do drills. I guess we'll see.

We told Tara to meet us at Constitution Marina, and I'd take the crew out for dinner. Vasily stayed on Katrina with Nelly, who is sick with the flu this week. Wil, Stacy and I brought the boat back to the slip. And it was not easy to get her back in. The wind was still easterly, pushing us broadside as we moved north toward the slip. I got the angle, bow being blown left, stern sliding a little. We approached the opening, and I coasted toward it. Bang, a huge gust heeled us over just as we were touching the finger float. The bow blew over to our neighbor, and touched the rail, Wil fending off with his feet. The beam got pinned onto the corner of the finger float, Stacy had jumped off and was holding on for dear life, trying to move the boat around and into the slip. I put her in forward, and had to really rev the engine to get us moving and off the dock. With Wil pushing off the other boat, we were able to get her going forward and tie her up. Phew!

Tara met us at the parking lot, and we drove over to Tavern on the Water. The race had started so we got a table where we could watch. I had mixed feelings, wishing we were out on the course, but also relieved that the boat was safe and we were safe. Better luck next week I guess.
Last night's race was pretty amazing. I had come from a funeral on the Cape, so missed the start time. Luckily, there was an LNG tanker coming out around 7, so the CYC split the race into 2 races, one before and one after the tanker. I missed the first race, Norm did it with John, Wil, and Grant, an instructor at BSC. Four is too few crew though. Anway, the wind had come up, a cold front I think, and it was in the 20s, gusting over 25.

I got to South Station on the bus from Hyannis, and walked along the waterfront watching the race as I went to Lewis Wharf. I watched the rest of it from Vasily and Nelly's boat, Katrina, which is docked at BSC. Vasily has a nasty flu, so didn't want to infect everyone, thus he refrained from joining the crew. I could see that they needed more people, 4 wasn't enough to keep the boat flat. After the first race, they came into the mooring field at BSC, and Bernard took Nelly and me on the tender over to Averisera. So now we had 6 crew. We waited for the course to clear of the tanker, then sailed out to check out the starting line. We got a good start, away from the crowd on the RC boat side. Pretty much everyone started with a starboard tack. Shout, a Farr 40, tacked again, now on port, and tried to maneuver through the crowd. They misjudged, turning to avoid Crosswinds, a C&C36, and Shout's stern crossed right in front of Crosswinds, which slammed into their stern pulpit and crushed it. Whoa. A Shout crewmember went overboard, the bow of Shout plunged down, I thought she was going to sink. But she didn't. They got the guy back on board, and retired from the race. Crosswinds didn't seem to be damaged and continued.

On the downwind leg, many of the bigger boats, Crosswinds among them, had their spinnakers up. We didn't since Averisera can't exceed her hull speed, and we were doing that with just the jib. The gusts were very strong, and several boats had trouble with broaching and rounding up with the big sails up. Crosswinds prepared to gybe, they were directly behind us, and bam, a puff filled the spinnaker and down came their mast!!! Good grief. We saw the spinnaker and then the main sail drop into the water, and the boat just stopped. Nobody was hurt, thank goodness. We continued, rounded the bottom mark, and turned back up the course on the upwind leg. Now there was a police boat and another boat helping the dismasted vessel. Meanwhile, a traffic helicopter decided to get in close and personal. Here we are sailing in challenging wind conditions, racing in a narrow harbor, and what does the helicopter do? Drop down for some good shots. Good grief. Like we didn't have enough crazy wind! I started yelling and shaking my fists at them. I think they got the idea that they were endangering the rest of the fleet and they took off. I wonder if we were on the 11pm news? I still don't have TV, so no idea.

Anyway, that's the story and I'm sticking to it.

We are going to have start bringing the camera. There's way too much excitement.

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This page is an archive of entries from June 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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