Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Out With The Old.

In the past pictures used to be taken with cameras that used a plasticoid type film. The film was exposed in the camera and then taken to a facility and the film processed into a picture. Strange! It is a lot easier with digital photography.

I had a box full of old 35MM cameras, lenses and accessories that I had not used since I converted over to digital photography. So, I put up an add on Craigslist and was suprised to have a lot of interest in buying this old equipment. Several lenses and a few accesories were sold today to a photography student. Cool, money in my pocket! And less clutter in the house! What does not get sold will probably be donated.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Poulsbo Invitational-WSSA #4 or How Ugly Can a Boat Be Raced?

Saturday was the fourth race of the seven race West Sound Sailing Association (WSSA) series. This race is sponsored by Poulsbo Yacht Club. It is a bit strange in that "A" course starts at Battle Pt, has a short beat to University Point, a long run to the #6 dolphin in Agate Pass, a shorter beat around Point Bolin and then a long reach and run into Liberty Bay to the finish at Poulsbo Yacht Club. The total distance for the "A" course is 9.6 NM, but with all the reaching and running, it should be perfect for the smaller higher rated boats.

The forecast was for SW winds of 15-25 knots with higher gusts. We were not disappointed. Before the start we saw 18-20 knots pretty consistently. We put up the main and were flying around the starting area. So now comes the ugly part. We started raising the #3 and a gust blew it over the side into the water. The extra load on the sail pulled the luff out of the prefeeder and then broke the feeder off the bottom of the foil. We recovered the sail, but with the feeder broke off the foil, we could not hoist a jib. I thought that we could at least start and if we then quit we would have a better placing then if we did not start at all.

So, we got a great start and for a few minutes we were in the lead. A J35 does sail to weather well with main only, so we continued. For some reason, Tantrum II (Shock 35) also sailed with a main only. Halfway up the beat, Tantalus (Express 37) finally passed us and near the first mark at University Point, the wind let up some and Tantrum put up a jib and passed us. Carpe Diem(Carter 33T) who started in the second class five minute behind us, also passed us just before we rounded the mark.

After rounding the mark, we raised the #3 free flying on a spinnaker halyard. Although the combination looked ugly, it was effective and we hits speeds up to 9.6 knots on the run. The wind was a solid 25knots most of the run. We had to take the #3 down before we rounded the leeward mark and then beat around Point Bolin. We gained some on Tantrum by staying close to shore. When we started the reach into Liberty Bay, the wind came far enough aft that we were able to set the #3 again. The wind was a bit shifty getting into Liberty Bay and we closed with Tantrum some more, but could not close enough to catch them. We were fourth in our class out of five boats(hey, we beat one!) and I am sure that several class 2 boats corrected on us. We needed a throwout anyway!

So, as ugly of a race as this was for us, it was still fun and I don't think any of us on the boat felt like giving up. The only thing that we should have done in our crippled condition would have been to put a spinnaker up on the final run. We probably could have caught Tantrum and maybe Tantalus too. But the winds were strong and the sun was out all day. It was a great day to be on the water.

Thanks to the crew of Jim, Walter and Megan for all the help and not giving up.

So on Sunday afternoon, I set out to repair the foil. I first cut three inches from the bottom to get rid of the damaged portion. I then reshaped the bottom to fit the feeder and reinstalled it. When I replaced the foil a few months ago, I made it slightly longer than the old foil. Now the new foil is the same length as the old foil was. Still useable.

This is the course for the race. We started into a SW wind and sailed course "A".
The broken bottom of the foil.

The feeder and parts of the foil that was ripped off the foil.

The broken parts of the foil cut off of the foil.

Really ugly! The #3 free flying and Great White still hauling the mail at over nine knots. Now why doesn't someone release the check stay? The main looks ugly!
This is a rare, historic photo. Taken by Steve N on Tantrum II, it is one of the few times that Great White has been seen at this angle by the crew of Tantrum(and hopefully the last time).

Friday, April 16, 2010

Spring Skiing at Hurricane Ridge

So is it still winter or is it spring. By the calender it is spring. When you see how much snow is left in the mountains you are sure that it is still winter. But with the sun shining and the temperature warm you know it is spring. Such is the dilemma of skiing in April.

I chose to go skiing today partly because the weather was suppose to be good, but partly I waited untill the end of the week because we went through a spell of heavy snow and the avalance danger was high. In the last week, a hiker got caught in a avalance in the Cascades near Snouqalmie Pass.

There was still lots of snow at Hurricane Ridge although the roads were clear. When I started down the trail, the snow was a bit icy under the trees. I skied to the end of the unplowed road and started towards Hurricane Hill which is three miles from the visitors center.. When I started the steeper climb above the end of the unplowed road, it soon became apparent that with all the fresh snow, the climbing was difficult and there were a number of large cornices just off the route. So, I retreated the two miles back to the visitors center. I still had a great time. The weather was sunny and the temp got up to 50 degrees. I still had a good workout and covered lots of elevation changes. One of my east coast friends probably would think I should have used a snowmobile!

I drove into Port Angeles and spotted the "Lady Washington" and "Hawaiian Chieftan" tied to the public docks. The "Lady Washington is a replica of a early trading ship that visited the NW in the early 1800's. I stopped to take a few pictures before driving home.

Quoth the raven. Nevermore.

Hurricane Hill

I had skied most of the way across the top of this ridge before turning back. Notice the size of the cornices. I skied above them.

Me with the Bailey Range beyond.

Not too many cars in the parking lot.

"Hawaiian Chieftan" (foreground) and "Lady Washington"(beyond) moored at Port Angeles.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Rich Passage Ramble-WSSA No. 3- 4-03-2010

Today was Rich Passage Ramble race. This race starts at Port Orchard, out Rich Passage, leaving Blake Island to port, Bainbridge Reef buoy R4 to port and return to the finish at Port Orchard. Total distance for the race is 20 NM. This is the third race of the West Sound Sailing Association(WSSA) series. After a week of strange weather culminating in gale force winds on Friday, the forecast for today was a bit unsettled.

The winds at the start were SW at 15-20 knots. I elected to start with the No. 3 jib. I got a good start at the pin end. Dulcinea(J105) and Tantrum II(Shock 35) started to weather. Dulcinea set a spinnaker and was gone, Tantrum took a while to catch me. Reign Maker(C&C37XL) did not get a good start, but caught me after a couple of miles. As we entered the pass, Tantalus(Express37) passed me. The trick here is to get good current rivers without falling into the back eddies. Also the wind tends to get light here. Tantrum and Reign Maker went too far left to the edge of the favorable current and slowed down. I passed them. Tantalus stopped in front of me, so I headed up and got by them without getting too close to Pt Glover. I also gained some on Dulcinea.

The rest of the beat out of Rich Passage was pretty straight forward. As I approached Blake Island, I stayed close to the south shore and got current relief from the current that flows down the Blake Island shore. I rounded the east end of Blake Island and jibed straight toward the NE corner of Blake Island and then toward buoy R4. Dulcinea and Reign Maker went at least a mile east of Blake Island and gave up lots of distance. Also they ended up on a much tighter reach to R4.

At R4, I headed toward the south shore of Rich Passage for current relief. The winds got light and Tantalus, Tantrum and Reign Maker stayed out in the middle fighting the still ebbing current and passed me. I stuck to my plan and stayed close to Pt Glover in a nice back eddy. I passed Tantalus. I headed out into the current and had enough wind to get to the Bainbridge Island shore of Rich Passage. I short tacked the beach and first passed Reign Maker and then Tantrum.

Once out of the pass, I headed to the East Bremerton shore and short tacked the beach. By now, the wind was back up to 15-18knots. I was concerned that the much larger Reign Maker (40 ft long) would catch me, but I continued to gain on them. I owed them a minute for the course. I got a good current boost from the current coming out of Port Washington Narrows.

I finished second(Dulcinea was way ahead) and it looks like I corrected on all the boats behind me for second in Class 1 and second overall.

Results when they are posted can be found here:

It was a great day for a race, good winds and only a little rain.

Total distance covered today: 42.4 NM

Oh, and now as Paul Harvey used to say on his radio show, here is the "Rest of the Story". If you noticed that I only wrote in the first person of "I", it is because I sailed this race singlehanded, alone. That is why I also did not fly a spinnaker and was passed by several boats in the early part of the race. Some of my crew had other obligations and some just did not respond to my invitation. So, rather than set at home, I went RACING and also did well.

My course for the day.