Boat Journal

Chronicling a love affair with sailing

Month: June 2009

Catching Up

So much to write about! I thought of separating this in to different posts (to look like I’d written this over time). But that would be silly.


Taking the Boat Down for Cock Island

I decided to take the boat over in two hops this time, rather than on long one. It was a mixed blessing doing so. The first day, we left about 3 in the afternoon, expecting to make the halfway point (Salt Ponds), within 5 hours. The weather prediction was for gale force winds, and, of course, I was nervous. But Steve had driven about an hour down to take the boat with me. And, not doing it in that time meant a long day on Friday. Steve checked the York River from Yorktown and called it good, so we set out.

Mistake of course. At least 3 hours while we were out there, there were heavy winds and 4-5′ waves. I wasn’t too nervous. I’d taken the time to roll in the jib and reef the main, so I was feeling in control. Bad part was the last hour and a half, when we had driving rain, lightening, and thunder.

stormy weather

Steve N., who was meeting us at Salt Ponds, to take us home for the evening, found a local, thank goodness! who could give us directions on how to get into the marina. Since it was now dark and visibility was poor, we appreciated his advice!

Friday was a dream. Not alot of wind and sailing, but very relaxing. Steve, his sister, Bethany, and her boyfriend, Larry, helped me get the boat the rest of the way into Portsmouth, where we docked right next to Steve R’s Excelsior.

Being next to the main party boat at Cock Island is a mixed blessing. Being next to the main party boat at Cock Island and having your moms come in to watch you race, well, it keeps you sober a bit longer. 😀

Cock Island Race

We ran a beautiful race! We started on time (hooray)! The winds were perfect. We flew the whole time. Mind you, we didn’t come in last, so we did okay. But the sailing was perfect, no matter what the outcome!

Going Home

Alex called the dockmaster at the private marina where he lives and was able to find us a slip for the week. So, going home we were able to break it up into two slices again. The first slice was the Saturday following Cock Island and the second that Sunday.

Jodi, her daugher, Shannon, Paul and Grant helped me take the boat from Portsmouth to Salt Ponds. Erik and I took it the rest of the way to Wormley Creek. Saturday was very relaxing. Wind kept shifting, so sailing was a challenge, but it was a good day on the water. Sunday was another wavy and windy day. Unfortunately, we were fighting the waves most of the time, so using the engine to make progress was the better bet.

All in all, though, it was a marvelous week.

Music in the Air!

The speakers are installed and life is wonderful! Sound is great! The only thing left to do is get the wires out of the way.

Paul ran the wire aft in the engine compartment, I assume, to avoid the heat of the engine.

Jodi came by with me and tied up the wires. She then saw that the wires on the other side, from the gauges, were just inside the engine compartment, so she put the speaker wires there as well. She then noticed that the other wires were running in a groove just inside the molding, so she removed the molding and did the same with the speaker wires

Now the wirs are out of the way and the sound is great!


Wednesday Night Races

Cock Island is coming up soon, and I want to be ready for it. I’d rather not be as nervous about getting the boat hurt as I was last year. So I’ve signed up for the Wednesday night races on the York River.

I don’t know how common those are elsewhere. But this area has at least 2 series of this type: one on the York River, and one near the mouth of the bay. They’re fairly short courses, and held each Wednesday night.

We started on the last race of the Spring series. My crew were Dew-Man, Betty, Paul and Grant. We left the dock about 5:30, in what looked like possible storms. We headed towards R-24, the starting point of the race. As we did, there was chatter on the radio, discussions about whether the race should be cancelled. It was decided ‘no’. But the start time was adjusted, and we missed when it was going to be. We were near the start line (which changed once because the wind had shifted), but got off about 3 minutes late, I’m guessing.

Smoothly on our way, but not knowing what the course would be, we followed the other boats. Not hard, since the group that started after us mostly passed us like we were standing still. 😉

We made our first tack. So far so good. Second tack, and the boat spun around. Not sure what I did. Oversteered? Well, took it all the way around and continued on our way, a bit more behind the pack than before. Next tack went smoothly. The one after that, a full 360 degrees. See a pattern here? Yeah, tacks to starboard were not going well. :'(

Made it around the mark after the rest of the fleet, and ran into the dead wind that everyone else had. The storm was looming at that point, so Dew put on his foul weather gear. I turned the helm over to him, donned my own, then started passing out jackets. Rather than heading towards our mark, Dew headed the boat towards the opposite shore, picking up a nice wind. When we tacked after that, we were flying! 7, 8 mph and the boat at bout 30 degrees tilt.

We crossed the finish line in just under 2 hours. Everyone else was gone, so no one got our time, and we were marked as ‘Did Not Finsh’. Too bad I didn’t record our finish time – could have mailed it in. But ah well! It was just a practice anyway!