Sunday, August 25, 2013

Race day #9

Arriving at the Marina today we would have never guessed what we would be in for. The weather looked as average and unremarkable as I've seen. Pretty quiet in the marina, but what appeared to be a nice, full and consistent northerly on the outside. Those characteristics changed as the hours ticked bye. We eventually picked a medium to small sized triangle course based off the Battle Point day marker and one of  the boats moored to the south of it.
Well I had waited the requisite five minutes and the weather had changed, at least for me. I couldn't find a good clean breeze for nothing. I believe it was at the start of the first race that the warranty on Chris's mainsheet block and cleat had expired. Chris showed no signs of personal defeat however as we re-started the race which I believe he subsequently won with Sandy right on his heels. Myself, I had a bad tactical move early in the race and I just couldn't find the favorable conditions I needed to recover, so I cannot be positive who really got the win on that race, only that I was a distant third.
For the second race Chris and Sandy swapped boats to see if one hull was favored. It wasn't long before all the boats decided their place on the course and there was quite a bit of seperation. After rounding the first mark we found that any perceived lead was an illusion as all the boats were stacked up together. It was after rounding the last mark, on the way to the finish that everybody got a taste of the crappy wind that I found myself attracted to earlier. We called the race after 3:30 with no breeze in sight and a long paddle in our expectations.
The wind did get us home though, for the most part. A little after five and mostly on schedule we made our way off the dock.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

There is nothing in Manzanita Bay for us :(

This last Sunday was one of our monthly social sails. In recent history, we normally group up and sail down to Illahee State Park to have a nice picnic lunch. To my knowledge it is the nearest public dock to the Port of Brownsville, and we can often get there in a little over an hour.
However, we had exactly enough people to fill all four C-Larks and the wind felt a bit light. We were trying to avoid bringing the safety boat (12' aluminum boat w/ small outboard), which is often just used as a small tow boat to get us home when the wind runs out. So, we thought we would try to get into Manzanita Bay, Bainbridge Island and see if we could find a dock around there.

Troy took this opportunity to rig up our spinnaker boat for some downwind fun. I convinced my wife and two kids to come along with me, and we even took out two guests on this fine summer day. Once we all got in the water, the wind took its sweet time to fill in. Most of us paddled out of the Marina just to get a jump on the voyage. Luckily we didn't have to wait too long before some wind from NE developed.

We made our way up around battle point, then followed the shoreline up around the northern point. Troy and Victor were the first ones into the bay and had the privilege of trying to find a public dock in a new area. Unfortunately, we found that everything in that bay was private, so we were unable to land anywhere to have a picnic lunch break. I think we need to make some friends on Bainbridge Island before our next social outing.

So, once we realized that we would have to make the trip back before emptying any bladder, we all made an about face to head back to Brownsville. Luckily it was a nice lazy downwind ride back. Troy flew the spinnaker for most of the ride back. My apologies for the blurry shots, but flying one of these in a tiny boat is no joke.

Sandy took this opportunity to kick her feet up. Apparently her guest, Kevin, is an experienced sailor and he looked right at home at the tiller. I kept up with them for a bit, making my best effort to add a bit of "social" to our social sail.

I took the opportunity to stretch my legs a bit on our way back. That's my kids stuffing their faces. Our little boats are fun to sail, but they don't make a great picnic table.

Our adventure ended with about as light of wind as when we started. We spotted this guy soaking up some rays once we were back in the marina.