Sunday, June 30, 2013

Heat Wave

Well, my body is still recovering from the shock of floating around in 90 degree weather for over three hours. Today, the weather fooled us. It lured us in with it's soaring temps and cloudless sky, just to watch us drift in just the slightest of winds. At time we considered it sailing, but mostly we were drifting... Some faster than others.

We haven't seen Chris a whole lot on the water this year, but he made it out today and laid down two solid first place finishes before the wind totally gave up. Victor pulled off two second place finishes, which is pretty great considering he was in 4th on the second race after rounding the second mark. He passed me up when my boat decided to drift backwards (obviously through no fault of my own) and also managed to stay in enough wind to pass up Troy. Speaking of the second race, I'm not sure how I managed to catch up to Troy, who was a mere feet from crossing when the wind died, but for me it was the most subduedly exciting, slowest pass for a third place finish I've ever had.

After the torture of that race, we waited for a bit more wind that never came around. We decided to pack it in and try to get re-hydrated.

 We were lucky to have Caleb as our makeshift tugboat. He actually saved us a lot of time in the light wind, helping us group up so we could swap boats.

 Victor is chllaxin', waiting for the wind.

 Troy and Victor are probably exchanging notes on where think the next breeze is gonna come from.

 Nap Time?

 Evidence of the lack of wind.

Getting towed back to the marina.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Laser Race

Our first race of 2013 finally went down after many failed attempts. Most of the other races ended up turning into social sails, which are fun also, but I really enjoy the technical challenges of racing. So, only three of us showed up on the dock on Saturday, which gave me the idea that it might finally be a good day to do some Laser racing. Only having two Laser sailboats, we had enough for a race committee and two racers. The wind was light, but that often just adds to the challenge of reading the wind.

I quickly made my way out of the marina with all the race markers in the RC boat. Once I got outside of the breakwater I could feel quite a bit more wind and there were even some swells that were causing my little boat to slam. I eased off the throttle a bit and started getting a bit nervous about actually getting on the Laser. They are definitely an unstable feeling boat, fun, but unstable. While I was distracted with the thoughts of sailing I accidentally set up the triangle backwards. Instead of fixing it, I decided just to make a few rule changes (round the marks on the starboard instead of port) and get back to the marina to see if the boats were ready.

Troy and Victor had just locked up the boat house and were on their way. We slowly made our way out to the start line, where I gave Victor the crash course on racing rules that I forgot to go over on the dock. We used a quicker three minute countdown to start and they were off. We raced a triangle/finish to keep the races short and fun. Trading off with RC every race so each of us got 4 races in.

While RCing for the second time, I learned the value of bringing our air horn with us. A sailboat under full sail heading my direction failed to see me in our little motor boat, and the entire race course behind me. I thought maybe they were just trying to make me nervous (which was working) but I eventually gave them a Toot Toot. I saw a head pop up quickly and they turned, narrowly missing hitting me. I then warned them about the rest of the race course that was dead ahead. They smiled, nodded, then proceeded to  run right over our start flag.

Oh and check out the cool rainbow halo around the sun that day. What does it mean?

Sunday, June 2, 2013

All four boats on the water

It was a great feeling to get back out on the water today. I haven't been in one of our dinghy's since the 'incident' and I needed something to get my confidence back. Today's light wind and great crowd was just the ticket. We had eight people show up in Brownsville to sail, and had even more meeting us in Illahee upon our arrival.

Weather looking good upon arrival

Some dark clouds chasing us

We departed the Brownsville marina around 12:15 and were quickly met with some extreme light wind. Some had their doubts about how the rest of the days wind would play out, but I was committed to sailing, even it took all day. I knew that some wind would fill in in the afternoon, but wasn't sure if it would be quite enough. We eventually arrived at the Illahee dock around 3pm. That was definitely the longest trip I've taken to get to Illahee.

4 C-Larks in a row. Safety boat on right.

A late lunch for us
 After filling our bellies and sharing our harrowing tales of sunburn and light winded boredom we were ready to take advantage of some wind that had settled in. No sooner had we all set sail, the wind began to get spotty again. There was some towing and taxiing to get everyone where they needed to be in time to get home, but overall a great success.

All the ladies homeward bound

Commodore Troy making good time down wind.

Don't rock the boat boys!

A few of our newer sailors are on the verge of becoming full blown members. I can't wait to get them out there in our race series so they can really hone their skills. Great job everyone, I'm looking forward to doing it again.