Saturday, July 18, 2015

View from an El Toro

It has been a looong time since I've gotten to post about a sailing event on our blog. Summers in the PNW have a way of becoming very busy when the weather gets nice. Time to do house projects, BBQs, family get-togethers, etc. So it was nice to finally carve out a little time for some sailing with the club. I'm sure they missed me ;)

We had a great showing of about seven people. We initially floated the idea to have lunch in Illahee (a public dock just south of us), but quickly realized the light wind would never get us there an back. We splashed 3 C-Larks and I took the El Toro. I was anxious to see how it did in the open water.

With the super light wind it took us nearly an hour just to get outside of the Marina. Some took to paddling, but I skulled myself out in search of wind.

The light wind is always a great opportunity for me to snap a few extra pics and try out my artistic side of photography.

Troy was kind enough to pack an entire cooler full of beverages for his loyal club sailors, but the duty of bartender was given to Richard. One of the reasons our club exists is to further the skills of our sailors, and I gotta say that being a floating bartender is quite a unique skill. In light wind it is fairly easy, but passing a beverage in 8-10mph wind definitely takes some skill.

The wind eventually came and we beat up wind towards Bainbridge Island's Battle Point for a bit. I swapped boats with Richard and played bartender for a bit while he played in the El Toro. He seemed to enjoy it mostly, but since he's been redoing some flooring in his house, the kneeling part seemed to take its toll on his knees. I personally found that standing in the El Toro was the best way to sail it. It feels a bit like surfing and riding a horse at the same time.

 A few of us decided to head back towards the marina while the getting was good. I think I got a little too much sun today... but that's a good thing.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Class time!

Troy has been sharpening our group by teaching us special topics during our monthly meetings.
Last month he showed us how to inspect and replace the impeller on our small outboard that we use for the safety boat.

It actually turned out to be a lot more complex than I thought it would be, but you really can't beat these visual aides when you are standing there seeing it done firsthand.

This month he taught us about Laser rudder, tiller, and tiller extensions. It was interesting to find out some of the rules guiding rudder/tiller design for racing and how people have modified them to gain a tactical edge.

It was neat to see several different styles of tiller extensions. I personally like the carbon fiber tiller, I think every boat needs more carbon fiber and titianium ;)

Thanks Troy! You are a great teacher, commodore, and friend to us all.

Kitsap Peninsula Water Trails Festival

The Port of Brownsville broke some BAD news to us earlier this year and said there would be no Brownsville Appreciation Days (BAD) which has been a tradition for many years. It was a time when the Port gave something back to the community and our club supported the port by giving free sailboat rides to anyone willing to trust us.
Without BAD happening there was obviously a void to be filled and Kitsap Peninsula Water Trails Festival is a great start. You can learn more about Water Trails and how the Port of Brownsville is taking part by following the link.
Washington Water Trails Association (Brownsville)
Again our club supported the Port by offering free sailboat rides and it was a fun time. The timing of this festival is a nice way to kick off our boating season early on and remind people about our awesome affordable little club.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

First Social Sail of 2015

April 19th was our first official Social Sail event of 2015! It was a glorious day.

We had a good turnout – Sandy, Chris, Jack, Troy, and the two of us newbies.

Don and Jessica
Don and I joined the club at the beginning of the year but it’s been about six years since we’ve been on a sailboat and we’ve never been on a C-Lark before. Lucky for me, Don has loads of general boating experience and he understands the fundamentals of sailing quite well so we had a successful first day. The wind did pick up at one point and Don lost the tiller while wrangling with the mainsail. We spun in a circle and I squealed with anxiety but he quickly recovered and all was well. 

Chris and Jack
We also didn’t have our jib rigged properly at first so the other boats were skipping past us on the water. Don kept grumbling about how much faster they were. Chris and Jack passed us closely and Jack pointed out our mistake with the jib. Once corrected, we picked up speed - to Don’s delight. :)

Lots of boats on the water that day.
Our three boats caught the attention of another boater who came to ask about membership after the group called it quits for the day. We hope to welcome him and his wife as new members soon.

Anyone interested in sailing is encouraged to stop by and talk to us any time. You do not have to be experienced to join. We do not have formal lessons currently but we do have very experienced members who can teach you one-on-one and with whom you can sail until you are comfortable and competent to sail independently. For more membership information, visit our website

Our next Social Sail is coming up this Saturday, May 2nd. Hopefully the weather will be warm and bright again. :)

~ Jessica, PSC Treasurer

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Work Party!

I drove to the work party with a little wooden boat in the back of my van that most would consider seaworthy enough. It had a small leak in the hull and the sail comes out of the boom, but so what! I could still sail it! Now, after starting the repairs, I have a boat that is most assuredly not seaworthy any longer. In fact the more we sat there and looked at it, poked it, the more things we found to fix. as is usually the case with any seagoing vessel.

We had a great turnout with at least five of us working on something at any given time. Because our self appointed social committee of one (Andrzej) was in attendance our work was readily interspersed with the fine art of drinking spirits. I think we were able to get at least one more boat ready to go into service, which is great because that's one less leaky boat on the dock to worry about. I'm sure Troy will be happy to get a little extra driveway space as well.

Andrzej and Jessica sanding a rudder. We discovered that this one was made of foam and had a great foil shape to it. It is our new 'racing' rudder.

Chris is sifting through our various boxes of assorted hardware looking for just the right piece to finish his project. (Sorry Chris, I didn't see what you were working on. Tell me in the comments!)

Andrzej likes to get dirty.

Sandy is putting the finishing touches on one of our trailers.

That's me trying to get some old screws out of the hull.

Sandy really get's excited at our work parties and it shows!

Andrzej takes a brief break to hydrate himself with some unlabeled booze.

After hours of digging in boxes, I think Chris finally found the hardware he needed.

Nikki and I spent most of our time on the porch with the El Toro drilling out screws that had broken their heads off.

This is the 'brain trust' figuring out how to fix a wooden boom that has a crack in it.

If you hold the boom like Don here, your opinion on how to fix it carry more weight for sure!

Sandy and Chris make a great team!

This is the extra parking spot that will be opening up soon.

Here's that new racing rudder I was talking about.

Jessica sanded the crap out of this rudder and it has a new layer of epoxy coating.

Troy is super stoked that we got some stuff done today!

I'm glad Troy seems to enjoy having us all crash his place and use his tools. These kinds of repairs would not be possible without his garage and the cumulative knowledge from the club. I can't wait for the next one!

Friday, March 13, 2015

El Toro Paddle Boat

I was able to get the El Toro that was donated to us last year in the water today. With the help of my kids, we floated it and rigged it, unfortunately we had some forces of nature working against us.

The fist thing we noticed was a small seeping leak near the centerboard. It had already been repaired previously, but probably just needs to be cleaned an resealed. The second problem was the wind, there was none. The kids were now bored and ready to go home, but I had an idea.

Once I determined the leak was slow, we headed to the boathouse to drop off the sail and mast, then pickup a paddle. Once I put those two in the boat they were content to just paddle around the bay.

Eventually I hopped in, too. Later, Troy got off work and joined us for a bit. It felt great just to be on the water, and now I know what my project will be at next weekend's work party.

Paddling an El Toro is tough work.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Original Burgee

Being a part of this club has given me interesting and various opportunities that involve the sailing community in ways I never would have imagined. For instance, this last weekend a contingent of our club made our way over to a quiet Des Moines nursing home to meet Doris Linkletter. The woman is 100 yeas old and 55 years ago designed and sewed together our club's first burgee. We mustered up as much ceremony as our club has seen in a long time to accept the Burgee that Doris and her family have now donated to the club.

In exchange we wanted to give Doris something for her donation and to appreciate her work all those years ago.

We also took this opportunity to talk with Doris, Jean, Terry, and Bill about the early club. It was interesting to hear about what boats they used to sail, where their club was based out of, and the overall flavor of what sailing used to be like for them. Troy brought our historical scrap book to instigate story time with Doris.

I also brought my laptop and sat it down on her lap so she could scroll through pictures of the current club. She really seemed to enjoy scrolling through them, at time she was scrolling faster than my internet connection could keep up! It was hilarious to see her face when she got to the picture of my leg tattoo while I rolled up my pantleg to show her it was me in that picture. She just stared at me with an amused smile and a nod that one might give to a crazy person to make them go away.

Once the clock struck noon, it was lunch time and Jean had made reservations at Tuscany just down the street. We packed up our stuff and made our way to the cars.

I learned when you're 100 years old, you don't go anywhere fast. Its funny how when you are forced to slow down a bit, you start noticing things you wouldn't otherwise see... like these amazing shrubs!

We made our way to the restaurant and had a nice big table in the back. Our conversations continued while Doris, hard of hearing, took a nice noontime nap.

Overall, this was a really neat experience for me. Learning about the early club gives me the perspective of having roots now. Knowing that they used to teach anyone who wanted to learn to sail, and realizing that is still an underlying tenet that we still live by. Hearing stories about all the kids they used to teach gives me inspiration for teaching my own kids. My favorite story was that Bill met Jean (Doris's daughter) when she took him out to learn to sail, and now they are married! It really is an interesting community to belong to.

Thank you!