Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Upcoming Regatta

Well I have a race (regatta) to crew in this weekend. Its the Lukemia cup and Ill be aboard a Pearson Ensign in the one-design group. Im really looking foward to this as I had a blast last time. The only crappy part is the winds and forecast looking like only 5-10 for the weekend. It will be long and hot, thats for sure.

So this past weekend I finally decided to make a small trip on my boat and overnight somewhere. I waited as late as I could before heading out to Redfish Island as the heat was horrendous! Around 5:30pm Saturday, I pushed off and headed out. My motor is running a little hot due to a semi clogged intake tube so I run it as little as possible and with the winds straight out of the south that day, a sail through the lake and out the main channel was entirely possible. I set the sails and had her hauling next to a large tri-maran that takes charter guests out all the time. I was passing them under sail while they were motoring through the lake and had several guests aboard snapping photos of me until I did a 360 to allow the big boat more room in front of me to maneuver in the channel.

As soon as I broke free of the boardwalk, I went flying close hauled to the wind towards the island. I worked on balancing the sails like I have been learning and setting my tiller tamer which is a very simple autopilot. Its a line that is clamped down on the tiller and with everything in perfect trim the boat will semi steer itself and boy did it ever this day! I sailed a good 45 minutes before I ever had to touch the tiller, walking around the boat, going below for some snacks and drinks, you name it. I passed the big tri again out on the water and I sheeted in to give them a show and really get her heeling. I passed them at 30 degrees over to port and just flying and I was able to point her very high. I made it all the way into the island without tacking one time, which is usually next to impossible on a SE wind but I was able to scoot in ever so cleverly that day. I decided with all my single handed sail handling I would try to set the anchor under sail with no help from the engine. This would proove to be more challenging that I imagined.

I came into the anchorage and found a nice spot I like and quickly hove to. I tied the tiller off and ran to the bow to drop the anchor and realized I was still moving at a solid knot or so. I started to panic about running over my anchor with the keel so I ran back trying to come about through the wind and tack off to drag my anchor a little until it set. I could not get her to tack, she only wanted to gybe. I couldnt for the life of me get the tiller "unstuck" and I was drifting rapidly towards a motor boat and I started getting very nervous. I decided to abandon my goal and drop the engine, which I messsed that up too, basically rendering me under sail until I had a minute to fix the engine. Anyways, long story short, I tacked and missed the boats and the rocks and finally got the anchor set with the help of the motor. I had a wonderful night at anchor and slept great in the wind rushing through my foward hatch and into the v-berth.

That next morning I was preparing everything to go and setting up the big 150 genoa my friend let me borrow in anticipation for sunday's light winds. I started to bring down my LED latern Id hauled to the top of the mast with my main halyard (I dont have a working masthead light for anchoring) and then I realized my next mistake. I should have tied another line because the lantern was so small and light that it did not weigh enough to come down on its own. Shit. Now what? I got the boat hook out. Not long enough. Wait..... what if I climb the mast with the boat hook, I wont have to go the top! So I hung the hook on the spreaders and shimmied up the mast. Standing lightly as possible on the spreader brackets, a full 14-16ft above the deck of my boat, I hooked the lantern with the boat hook and got it down and got my ass off that mast as fast as possible.

I had a pretty uneventful sail home. I drifted for a while with no wind and sail another 1 -3 hours only making a 1 - 1.5kts or so. The sun was tearing me up as I have no bimini for shade. Finally around 1 - 2pm the winds started kicking and I was running the boat pretty well balanced and wing and winged it with no pole and was making around 4-5kts. I raced a boat around the lake a little and finally decided I'd had enough for the weekend and I was getting burned pretty bad.

Well... that was my weekend. Sorry there is no better ending lol, but its time for me to leave the office and get my ass home.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Im still alive

dont worrrrrry peeps. Ive just been a little busy. Boat coming along great and even better news, Im about 4 months from being totally 100% debt free! Yeaaaayuh!