November 2007 Archives

A visit to me mum

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After the CYC Awards brunch, I hopped in the car and drove down to the Cape to visit me mum. My sister-in-law, Kathy, was also going to the Cape, so it would be a nice visit all around.



I brought my sextant along, to play with down at Bank Street Beach.

On the way to Bank Street, we took a detour by Wychmere Harbor. I was surprised to see so many sailboats in the harbor. For one, it was November and boats are pretty much in their winter beds. Another, we are under the impression that a deep draft boat cannot make it into Wychmere. Just to prove that there are large sailboats in this harbor I took some pics. Hey, Norm, what do you think about going into Wychmere next summer?

Wychmere Harbor just before sunsetLook at all the sailboats in this harbor. I think Averisera would be able to get in.

After our brief stop, we drove over to Bank Street Beach. Kathy and Mama took a walk along the water's edge, while I futzed with the sextant. After fooling around for a while, I started to get the hang of it. I realized that I needed to follow the directions to adjust it first. But it was fun just to see how it worked and align the images. I read that it takes about 1000 shoots before you really start to feel competent. So I'll adjust it first and then make time this winter to practice.

When we were planning our offshore jaunt last year, the trip from Boston to the Caribbean on Easy Go, we bought this sextant, a Davis Mark 25. The idea was, since we were to be at sea for 2 weeks, there would be plenty of opportunities for taking sights and comparing the calculations to the GPS. Unfortunately, the weather and my injury dampened our enthusiasm for celestial navigation, and the sextant didn't come out of the box until almost exactly a year later.

Here's a picture of the sextant.

It is the top of the line, plastic sextant. Better quality sextants are made of metal, preferably aluminum or brass. But for learning, this sextant should be more than adequate, and it is also a good backup system for offshore passagemaking. I just have to learn how to use it, and care for it.

After about an hour, watching the sun set and the stars come out, we abandoned Bank Street for the warmth of a nice fire, a hearty meal, and good conversation. The next day, I drove back to Boston, to attend Symphony practice, which is held on Monday nights, without regard for the holiday.
November 11th, CYC held their awards brunch at the Living Room, in the North End. A cold day, but warm and friendly inside. About 50 folk showed up to enjoy the camaraderie, the stories, the awards and the food. Norm had already left for the Caribbean, but I was there with some of my crew: Wil, John, and Gladie. It was nice to see the skippers and crew of the other Wednesday night fleet, since we don't socialize during the summer, we just race. Averisera was awarded a beautiful etched glass ice "bucket". Not really a bucket, more like a very large shot glass. Averisera came in first in the Spring series, first in the Fall series, and third overall. The trophy looks very nice on the mantelpiece.

Another season begins

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Well, Averisera is put to bed. And now Norm is leaving for the Caribbean. Today we went down to the boat, to see how she fared after extra-tropical storm Noel swept past the New England Coast Saturday.

Seems like the wind was minimal at Admiral's Hill, a live-aboard reporting max winds of 25 knots there. We had been to Newport, RI, for a Short-Handed Sailing Association meeting, and saw much stronger winds than that.

It was pretty dramatic actually. We drove down for a 2pm meeting start, and glanced over at the Sakonnet River as we crossed the bridge. The sea state was turbulent, big whitecaps and spray. We estimated 40 knots or so. We arrived at Newport Yacht Club, and made our way into the facility from the parking lot. The wind swept me off my feet a couple of times; Norm offered me his hand to keep me earth-bound.

As we worked our way through the agenda, the members noticed a floating dock making its way through the mooring field. One red power boat dragging its mooring made steady progress through 2 of the window panes, before it hooked up on another mooring. The wind and rain lashed the windows with spray, and we felt pretty cozy inside with a fire in the fireplace.

So, tomorrow is the big day. Norm flies out of Logan in the early am, to start his winter job in Tortola. We had a surprise party for him on Friday night. The preparations were completely ridiculous, since Norm would never go for a party, with him as the guest of honor. So numerous folk pitched in to bring food and beverages, so I could try to keep it a secret. It worked! Thanks Tom, for being the decoy!

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

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