Monday, April 27, 2009

Poulsbo Invitational WSSA#4

Saturday was the 4th race of the West Sound Sailing Association(WSSA) series. This race, sponsored by Poulsbo Yacht Club, started near Battle Point off Brownsville and since we had south winds, went south to a mark at University Point, north around navigation mark R6 northeast of Pt Bolin and then to the finish in Liberty Bay at the Poulsbo Yacht Club.

The turnout was low with only nine boats in the three classes. There was only three boats in the Division 1 class that we race in. The winds were light at about 5 knots from the south and expected to shift to the north when the convergence zone moved through.

We had a great start and on the beat to University Point, we gained on Dulcinea(J105) and lead by about three minutes at the first rounding. On the run, the winds got lighter after we rounded Battle Pt and about have way from Battle Pt to Pt Bolin, it got very light and boats from behind caught up. Egress (Hotfoot 27) who started 5 minutes behind us in Division 2 caught up even with us as did Dulcinea.

Great White, Egress and Dulcinea stayed overlapped the rest away to the the turning mark with Egress rounding just ahead of us and Dulcinea rounding just behind. From R6, Egress and us tacked toward the right shore, crossing the reef. At one point we only had 2.6 feet below the keel. Dulcinea tacked into the middle of Agate Pass but lost ground to us even though the sailed in the favorable flood current. We rounded close to Pt Bolin and about half way to Keyport were able to set the spinaker again on the reach. We followed Egress through the pass into Liberty Bay and eventually finished a few seconds behind them. Dulcinea finished about a minute behind us correcting on us for first in class. Kaze(US33) finished close enough behind us to correct on us as well. We probably got 2nd in class and 4th or 5th overall.

Steve T and his crew on Egress sailed a great race and probably finished first overall.

It was a good day and we were back to brownsville by 1500. The winds did change to te north after we finished and the weather was sunny for most of the time, but did clould up and tried to rain a little later in the day.

Results(when they are posted) can be seen on:

Next saturday I am on my way to Port Townsend on Sloop Tavern Yacht Club's Race to the Straits. This is a two day race from Shilshole to Pt Townsend and return on Sunday. This race is for both singlehanders(one person) and doublehanders(two people) only. I always look forward to this race each year and have only missed it one time since it's start in 2002. I had shoulder surgery in 2007 and was still recuperating.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

House and Motorcycle Deals

This week has been turning out to be busy.

Yesterday I bought my house, again. Well, not really bought it, but I did complete a refinance on the loan. I could not pass up the decrease in interest rates. It was one year ago that I had last refinanced and the rate I got was 1% lower. The clock now resets and I am back to a 30year(or less) payoff schedule. Since I have only lived here for 2-1/2 years, the time does not really make a big differance. Pretty amazing, it only took three weeks from the day I applied to the signing. The payments are now lower than what it would cost me to rent a nice apartment. And I still have my "homeport" to come home to.

I like living here. The neighborhood is quiet and I have my privacy here with trees around my property. And yet, I get plenty of sun through the day.

Then today I sold the Honda motorcycle. I put it on Craigslist last week. This was my first experiance with Craigslist and I was suprised at the interest that was shown. Many people answered and the third person to look at it bought it. He was extremely happy. I was a little sad to see it go and whenever I sell something I worry that it will work out for the buyer and not cause them trouble. I owned that motorcycle for 27 years this month. Almost every mile I put on it. On the plus side, I started building back up my savings account with the proceeds from the sale and now I have more room in the garage.

I rode the Honda up the driveway to load on a trailer and after only two weeks of riding the Buell, I was amazed at how small and differant the Honda felt. So, I rode the Buell to the bank and was happy at how comfortable it feels already.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Food Shot of the.......Year?

A friend of mine that blogs has his Food Shots of the Week where he posts his weekend creations. He mentioned that I needed more Food Shots. I did one last year and this will probably be the only one I will do this year. So, Dave C., this one is for you!
This is fried rice made from brown basmati rice, eggs, stir fry veggies and diced chicken. I picked up this recipe while I was working in Guam a few years ago. The restaurant next to our hotel was named Shirleys. She had several restaurants around the island. Unusual dishes were offered for breakfast and I found that fried rice really stuck with me through the day when I was working on the ship. Fried rice at Shirleys could contain shrimp, chicken or SPAM. Yes Spam! And not just any SPAM, but Hot and Spicy SPAM!

SPAM was a treat in the Pacific Islands after it was introduced during World War II. It lasted well without refrigeration. Shirley mixed Tabasco sauce with SPAM and used it in her restaurant for rice and other dishes. The Hormel company heard about this and actually packaged Hot and Spicy Spam, mainly for sale in Guam and other islands. They also test marketed it in some southern states. I think it is available in the Comissary at Bangor for those that can buy there. I have some stockpiled and occaisanally I make the rice with it. You do need to like hot food to enjoy it! The recipe for the rice was on the can.

And don't tell me that I need some sauce to put on this rice dish. I like it naked, the rice that is, without anything on it! And it really hits the spot after a long day of activity like riding the bicycle.

Sunny Monday, Monday

For several days the weather in the NW has been spectacular. Today was the best, sunny and warm all day.

After an early rise, breakfast, some handicapper work, a half hour doing strength training in the "torture room", I was out of the house on a bicycle to the boat.

Bob H. and Kelly D. (two boater friends at the marina) hoisted me up the mast of the boat to recover the spreader tips with new boots. Also swung aft and installed a roller on the backstay to help the leach of the mainsail to swing across. It was calm, and the view was spectacular.

After I was done with the boat, I got back on the bicycle and rode through Poulsbo Junction to Big Valley, to Highway 3 and then back on Clear Creek road, through Scandia and home through Illahee. The total distance was 41.41 miles. I did this same ride a couple of days ago. I need to ride longer distances more. I feel so much better afterward and it helps keep my weight down.

This is Lofall at Hood Canal. This is where the ferry crossed Hood Canal before the floating bridge was built and during the repair period after it sunk. On May 1st, the bridge is going to be closed for six weeks while the east half (the portion that did not sink)is replaced. A foot ferry will run from here to South Point during the closure. I would like to ride the bicycle to Port Townsend. I can either wait until the bridge reopens or see if I can take the bike on the foot ferry. PT is only a 115 mile round trip. I used to do that often in the past. Not a bad ride for a "portly" person.
Oh, I was refered to as "portly" a few days ago. I think it was intended as an insult and I really did not think it fit me, afterall, I still wear size 36 pants and ussually size large shirts. So I looked up the definition:

Main Entry: port·ly
Function: adjective
Inflected Form(s):
port·li·er; port·li·est
Etymology: 3port
Date:15th century
1 : dignified, stately
2 : heavy or rotund of body : stout

Hey, I can accept "dignified" or "stately". Not so sure about "heavy or rotund".

Monday, April 13, 2009

Rich Passage Ramble WSSA#3-Part 2

Here is the track from Saturdays race.

Rich Passage Ramble-WSSA #3

Saturday was race #3 of the West Sound Sailing Association (WSSA) series. This race was the Rich Passage Ramble. This race starts at the Port Orchard Marina, goes through Rich Passage, counter clockwise around Blake Island, back through Rich Passage(leaving buoy R4 to port) to the finish at the Port Orchard Marina Breakwater. Distance: 20nm.

The early forecast for the day was rain with SE winds 10-15knots changing to clearing with winds 10-15knots sw. A front was suppose to be moving in overnight. On the motor to Port Orchard, I was seeing wind gusts to 21knots and rain squalls rolling through. It was a much better day in the PNW to be out sailing then sitting idle trying to varnish!

For this race on "Great White" all the crew except Jim and I were too busy doing something else or in Canada racing in the Southern Straits race. They all missed a good one!

Even though we were doublehanded, we started the race downwind with spinaker. We got a good start and had a good run to Rich Pass, sometimes hitting speeds close to 9knots. All the boats stayed close together until the entrance to the pass where the wind dropped and transitioned forward. The ebb current was a factor. Those that stayed to the right side of the pass had less wind and current. We stayed to the left of center and had a greater boost from the current and slightly more consistant winds. As we approached Pt Glover for the right hand turn in Rich Pass, "Reign Maker" (C&C XL37/40)was the only boat ahead of us. The wind was still gusting from 10-16knots, so we kept the heavy #1 up. "Reign Maker" was flying a #3 and could not point well. They were to weather of us, but kept slipping down toward us. A few words later and they tacked away. That was the last we saw of them.

The start!
Running toward Rich Pass. Left to right:
"Tantalus"(Express 37), "Tantrum 2"
(Schock35) and "Great White".
The Division 1 fleet bunched together approaching Rich Pass. Left to right: "Tantrum 2",
"Great White", "Schock Therapy"(Schock 35), "Dulcinea"(J105), "Tantalus", "Reign Maker" and "Sweet Spot"(J35).

The wind lifted an unusual amout toward the SW and we had a great course out of Rich Pass to a point about a 1/4 mile to the north of the west end of Blake Island where we had our first tack. We then short tacked the south shore of the island for current relief. We led around the island and set the spinaker for the run down the east side of the island followed by the reach toward buoy "R4".

We pulled off a good jibe, but had a little trouble taking the spinaker down. Still in the lead, we sailed past "R4" and reentered Rich Pass against the still ebbing current. We close reached to the south shore to avoid the current and stayed close to the shore around Pt Glover. We initially gained on those boats in the middle of the pass, but at Pt Glover the fleet compressed some. From Pt Glover, we crossed the main stream of the pass and short tacked the Bainbridge Island shore.

After clearing the pass, we short tacked the Manette shore and tucked in toward the Bremerton Marina for a boost from the still ebbing Pt Washington Narrows. From there it was a fairly normal beat to the finish.

We finished first, but "Dulcinea"(J105) finished around five minutes behind us to capture first in class(we owed them 6 mins, 40 seconds). The class 2 boats made out well with "Falcon"(Cal 9.2) correcting 1st overall, "Emerald Lady" (Catalina 27) getting second overall and "Egress"(Hotfoot 27) correcting out to 3rd overall. We corrected out to 5th overall.

The wind blew the whole day from 10knots to gusts to 20. With just two of us on the boat, we were light and could not hold the boat down as well as we could have with more people onboard. The selection of the heavy#1, for us, was the right sail choice. We were fast in the lulls and by depowering in the gusts could keep the boat moving. Those with #3's did not seem as fast.

Thanks to Bryan M's daughters for the photos.
More pics on: Rich Passage Ramble
And results on: when posted.
Log for the day: 42.2nm

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

New Motorcycle

Today, I bought the Buell Ulysses XB12X motorcycle. I had been thinking about this for a long time and it was on my list as one of my retirement presents. Well, now I have it. I think yesterdays ride on the old Honda pushed me over the edge. Anyone want to buy a old Honda CB450T? High miles, but looks good and runs OK.

This motorcycle is a lot differant than any other motorcycle that I have ever owned or ridden. It will probably take some getting used to. Especially not to speed. It has plenty of power and it is really easy to accelarate past the posted speed limit.

Dan C's daughter took my money and processed all the paperwork. But of course Randy C found out about it on before I even got home! Hopefully I won't have to go get my old job back to pay for it. Although I know my coworkers want me to come back to work! NOT!

I will probably go for a ride tonight(Duh!) before the rains come.

Also, since Buell is owned by Harley Davidson(and the Buell owners group has dibanded), I now have a free first year membership in HOG(Harley Owners Group)! Wahoo!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Quick Ride to Port Townsend

This morning, the house appraiser arrived at 0930 to appraise the house for a refinance I am going through. As soon as he left, I was on the motorcycle to Port Townsend. It was another fantastic clear day.

As soon as I was across the Hood Canal floating bridge, I turned right and went through Port Ludlow and on towards Hadlock. I like that route with views of Admiralty Inlet and the Cascades beyond. Near Hadlock, I turned right and went onto Marrowstone Island and rode to Fort Flagler State park.

Mount Baker from Fort Flagler State Park

I then retraced my route to Hadlock and continued into Port Townsend. I walked the streets for a while, went to the book store again, out on Union Wharf and was tempted by the smells coming out of the Waterfront Pizza. Got back on the bike and went to Point Hudson Marina to see who was there. I will be there in early May on the boat. Headed home and took a back road from Port Ludlow on Teal Lake RD. It was warm (mid 60's) and clear all day. Logged about 115 miles. That is the farthest I have ridden a motorcycle in a lot of years.

One mystery I have is: I can ride a bicycle all day without getting a sore behind and yet a few hours on the motorcycle becomes uncomfortable. I am still considering a new motorcycle. The one I have has been dependable, but it's age and lack of available parts concerns me. I have more destinations to ride to.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Olympic Discovery Trail

Today was an absolutly beautiful day in the NW! So I decided today would be a great day to ride the bicycle on the Olympic Discovery Trail. This trail system currently is paved from Blynn(SE of Sequim) to Port Angeles. The plan for the future is to extend it both east and west so that it runs 150 miles from Port Townsend to Forks. There is a few miles in Port Townsend already. I started from Carrie Blake Park on the east side of Sequim and rode to the tip of Ediz Hook. Well, to the gate of Coast Guard station. The Strait of Juan de Fuca was flat calm and it was so clear enough to make out the shorlines and snow covered hills in British Columbia.

This trail system is pretty much all paved, although kind of rough. The last four miles from Deer Creek to Downtown PA was about half paved, the other half gravel. I selected the ex-commuter bike to ride, it has slightly fatter tires than the road bikes. Also more rolling resistance! The trail is "multiple use", so there were lots of walkers, walkers with strollers, walkers walking dogs, bicycles, bicycles pulling trailers and walking dogs at the same time, and horses. That is why I am not a big fan of bicycle trails.

I started at about 0950 and returned to the truck at 1415. Not too bad of time. I was pretty tired, I have not been putting on the miles that I should. Many of my friends have ridden this trail and I really need to talk to them about it. They always led me to believe that it was flat since most of it is old railroad right of way. The truth is that there were many hills. Most were short steep hills into and out of gullies where there was probably high bridges that are no longer there. There was one long climb from the shoreline to Deer Park. I don't mind hills, but I find it interesting that friends take their little kids on this. This trail may work for me in the future when I take a bicycle tour in that direction again. Last time I toured the Penisula, the only part that existed was the railroad bridge over the Dungeness River and about two mile beyond. The rest of the way was done on the roads.

Tomorrow is suppose to be another wonderful day. I have the appraiser coming by at 0930. After he done doing his thing, I may take off on the motorcycle and ride, maybe to Port Townsend. Suppose to start raining again on Wednesday.

The view of Port Angeles and the Olympic Mountains behind from the end of Ediz Hook.

For a few miles close to Port Angeles, the trail runs right along the water.

The trail goes on the old railroad bridge over the Dungeness River.

The map of the trail from Sequim heading west. The green/yellow track is the Olympic Discovery Trail that I rode.

The map of the trail from Port Angeles and east.

Trip Odometer: 51.49 miles (this time they are Statute miles, not Nautical miles)
Side note: As I was riding out of the Carrie Blake Park, I saw a bunch of guys standing around a pond in the park. They were racing RC Sailboats. I did not recognize the class(they had "omegas" on the sails, but did not resemble minature Solings), but when I first arrived there were six boats racing and a few minutes later, another half dozen or so showed up. The ones that were racing were really getting into it. Seems like it could be a lot of fun, and a lot cheaper than racing a J35!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Singlehanded Race-Port Orchard

I was underway at 0720 from Brownsville to motor to Port Orchard. Foggy and cold(36 degrees) when I left Brownsville. This only lasted for a few miles.

The winds were light today, but once the fog burned off, the sun came out and it actually was warm. I wore a tee shirt without a jacket most of the day.
There were only five boats racing today. The rules were: only one person on board, no spinnakers, no autopilots. I had a great start and opened up a good lead. The race commitee had set a multiple lap course of about 9 miles, but had to shorten the race at the leeward mark on the first lap after only 4 miles. Even then, I finished only 2 minutes before the 3 hour time limit expired. I led all the way to the finish, but unfortunatly the wind filled in from behind and "Carpe Diem" closed up enough to correct on me and was first. I was second.

Got a little cold on the motor home, but was still nice sitting out in the sun.

Log: 22 miles

Friday, April 3, 2009

Archie Binns-Northwest Author

Here is my latest reading project. As some of you know, I was searching for books lately. After scouring book stores, Ebay, Amazon and Powells, I eneded up with a good selection of books by a northwest author named Archie Binns (1899-1971). He was born in Port Ludlow. Sailed the waters of Puget Sound, went to sea, served on a lightship and graduated from Stanford. His books are stories of the northwest in both fiction and non-fiction. His books tell stories of the sea, wagon trains, Columbia River, logging and the mountains. I previously read two of his books and thought I would like to read more.

When I attended CK Junior High in the mid 60's, I read "The Enchanted Islands" and "Lightship". The school library had them on the shelves.

Of the two, "The Enchanted Islands" has had an impact on me to this day.

I was in 8th grade and was becoming interested in sailing. This book told a story of six teenagers from two families on a voyage around the San Juan Islands in a thirty two foot ketch. Even though the plot is a bit corny, the description of the islands, harbors and passages were very accurate. When the author "invented" a couple of islands, he let the reader know that he did that. While reading the book the first time, I would pull out my father's charts to see where these places were. Reading that book probably was the one event that sparked my interest in cruising in the San Juan Islands and sailing to distant places. I started planning my own voyages to the San Juan Islands.

I made my first trip to the San Juans in the summer of 1975 in a 22ft boat that I had just purchased. I crossed the Strait of Juan de Fuca both ways in the fog, visited Friday Harbor, Stuart Island, Sucia Islands, Roche Harbor and Jones Island. It was a great voyage. The boat was small, but seemed like luxury to me after all the small boats I had owned. For navigation, I only had a compass, a pitot tube type knotmeter that was held in the water over the side and a lead line to measure the depth. Pretty simple compared to all the conveniances we have now! It did have bunks, a stove and an ice box. The headroom was only 4 ft, but who cared, I was living my dream!

Even though "The Enchanted Islands" is considered a juvenile book, I reread it last week, but now, I can visually the descriptions of the places in the San Juans that the characters in the book visit and sail around. And his descriptions still seem accurate.