Hurricane Sandy is over for the Capn – Almost

Here in Upper Marlboro, MD, hurricane Sandy was pretty much a non-event.  Since the eye went ashore north of us in New Jersey we wound up on the easier side of it.  The wind was up and was pretty constant, and there were some times when it roared up in gusts, but there was nothing that was particularly video worthy.  It never even rained all that hard and we never lost power.  So we just watched Netflix till early in the morning and then went to bed.

There are some power outages around the area, but I don’t think it’s near as bad an impact as they had in a storm last month.

Now the Capn is waiting for the airport to open so he can head back to Florida.

Check out this cool NASA video of Sandy from Space.

NASA Movie of hurricane Sandy from Space



CapnRehab caught by hurricane Sandy!

It seems a little strange that the Capn left Florida for a short weekend trip to Maryland, and got caught by hurricane Sandy.  Look how Florida is completely clear of bad weather!

Hurricane Sandy Satellite Picture

Hurricane Sandy Satellite Picture

As I’m sure you’ve all heard, it’s a pretty big storm.  I’ve been checking for projected windspeed, and here is their prediction for our highest speeds.  Me and Mrs. CapnRehab are approximately in the blue circle, near Upper Marlboro, MD.

Hurricane Sandy Peak Forecast For Upper Marlboro MD

Hurricane Sandy Peak Forecast For Upper Marlboro MD

The wind will be picking up speed from now (2pm) till then, then should start dropping off after 9 or 10pm.  20 knots is 23 mph, but that is steady. I’m not sure what the gusts will be.  I’m hoping to get some interesting video from the back porch here.  I’ll post it if we don’t lose power.  (but losing it is pretty much expected).

We’ve got extra water, food, and batteries – and our cell phones are fully charged so I think we’re all set.

I hope everyone else caught by this storm is prepared and comes through well.

Pretty Ketch

In re-reading my last post about the Buzzilla Multihull Rendezvous, I realized I never said I had fun.  I was so focused on getting the blog out and details correct and didn’t really go into how I felt.

I loved it.  I like racing, and I like the go-fast multihulls.  I was a bit envious of the other boats that would start with us and leave us behind.    But it was fantastic being out on the water two full days, and I got to sail with two really great guys that I like spending time with.  On thing I’ve noticed about boat people is that most of them are really really nice people.

I was a bit overwhelmed at first.  Not really sure where I should fit in, and still hurting from the wakeboard fiasco.  I could barely sqeeze my hands around a rope!  Pulling with any strength was out.  The second day my arms were better and I think I did a pretty good job getting the spinnaker up and down.

After the races were over and we were heading back, we came across this Ketch.  (Ketch means the mizzen mast [the one in the back] is positioned in front of the stern post [where the rudder is])  (Rudder is the thing in the back that hangs down into the water and helps steer the boat)

Sorry it’s so tiny.  It seemed bigger in real life.   My phone doesn’t have an optical zoom, and I STILL don’t have a waterproof camera!




I sailed in the Buzzelli Multihull Rendevous

This weekend I drove to Sarasota, FL and participated in the  Buzzelli Multihull Rendevous at   Sarasota Sailing Squadron.  Sarasota has a very nice good-sized bay just south of Tampa Bay.

There were several brands of trimarans.  In our group of racers were Stiletto’s, Farrier’s (aka Corsairs) and some other smaller catamarans.  Each brand raced against others of the same brand, although there were different sized boats with a handicap to  even out the differences.  The stillettos went first, then five minutes later us Farrier designed boats went, then 5 minutes later the smaller cats went.

We sailed 3 races each day, and each race took about an hour and a half.  Most of the other boats were lots faster than ours, but we consistently beat 3 or 4 boats every race.

I sailed on the “Lively” again, a Corsair F27 Trimaran (the “F” stands for “designed by Ian Farrier”).  Here is a picture of it on the trailer.

Corsair F-27 on Trailer

Our Corsair F-27 on Trailer

 That’s the owner/skipper standing on the back, and Mike R. standing at the front.

Here we are headed out for Sunday’s races

Headed out Sunday to race in the 2012 Buzzelli Rendevous

Headed out Sunday to race in the 2012 Buzzelli Rendevous

Here is a picture I took while we were headed to the racecourse.  The wind had really picked up and our starboard (right) pontoon was completely out of the water.

Flying before the race

Flying before the race

I learned a lot this weekend about how to user Spinnaker Sails.   It is that big balloon looking sail you see in the front of boats.   The sail in the picture below is our Spinnaker, and all those sails way off in the distance are Stiletto’s from the first wave, and the faster Farrier designs from our wave.  Yes, we are WAY behind.

Spinnakers in the distance

Spinnakers in the distance

Here is a picture of a boat with the Spinnaker up.

Boat with Spinnaker up

Boat with Spinnaker up

One of the things I had trouble with was knowing what rope on the boat did what.  You would think color coding would help, but it didn’t.  There are more lines than colors, so the same color rope often did several different functions.  Notice that the little digital display in the picture shows 12.5.  That’s 12 1/2 knots of speed.  That is 14.3 miles an hour.  A few minutes before we had hit over 16 knots.  That is 20 miles an hour.  We were really moving.

Line confusion on deck

Line confusion on deck

Yes, there is danger in this sport.  We did see one catamaran that capsized.  No one was hurt and the boat was not damaged.  And yes, I wore my life jacket all day.

There is also danger when you get back to land.  Here is what happens when you drop a mast on your toe.  No, that’s not mine.  My toes are much nicer looking.  The skipper did it.

What dropping a mast can do to your toe

What dropping a mast can do to your toe

“Trying” to wakeboard

As part of my efforts to learn how to kiteboard, I’ve been working on wakeboarding.  I’ve gone twice to a cable park and done OK.  I tried it Friday behind a boat.  We went to lake Seminole right in St. Petersburg.  No I didn’t see any alligators.

I didn’t understand how to start, and wound up pulling my forearm muscles and not getting up on the water at all.   They’ve been sore all weekend.   My friend Tim did though.  He did great, even jumped back and forth across the boat’s wake.

Tim Wakeboarding

Tim Wakeboarding

I got a living social deal that got us out there for half price.    It was great.  Allan Clark from Allan’s Aquatic Adventures took us out.  I recommend his services highly.  He’s taking us out again, and I swear I’ll figure it out next time.

Tuesday night light wind racing – single handing

This weekend I THOUGHT I was scheduled to teach at BCYC sailing school Saturday and Sunday morning, but it wasn’t so.  A schedule Snafu let me without a teaching gig, but I did wind up jumping in another open spot and teaching a couple of guys for about 3 hours Sunday afternoon.  The wind had come up to almost 10 mph.  We practiced heaving to, man overboard pickup, and docking.  All of which pretty much require you to bring you boat to a stop.  In higher winds it’s a bit difficult, but they did OK.  I got a compliment.  Not to brag on myself or anything, but one did say out of the three instructors he had, he thought I was the best.  (OK, I am bragging on myself a little bit – I admit it)

Then Monday (yesterday) on Boca Ciega Bay the wind was blowing great, but I was kind of beat, and passed a chance to sail.  That is so unlike me.  It would have been fun though.

Tonight was Tuesday night racing.  It was scheduled to be our last night of the season and the wind decided not to show up!  It was VERY light, but I told them I was going anyway and in the end everybody agreed to go.  So that put the total number of racers at 9.  Our club boats (The Catalina Capri 16.5) at BCYC are configured so they need a captain and a jib tender.   That meant one boat would have to take 3 people.  I suspected it would be possible to sail by myself, and decided to take the opportunity to try it.  Turns out it was a little difficult, but I managed.

Race results out of 5 boats:   First, First, Third, First, Fifth.

On the two races I didn’t get first, I had such a terrible start I was last over the starting line.   I think winning was a combination of 3 things.

1) It was light winds, and where the other boats had a crew weight of about 300 lbs, I was sitting light at 170.  (OK, 174 – but I’m working on it)

2) I’ve learned a lot about sail trim from all the racing I’ve been doing.  Especially the Thursday night races at Davis Island Yacht Club where I watch and listen to very experienced sailors tweak the sails to get maximum output.

3) Mark R. was in a boat, but wasn’t driving the first two races.  He almost always wins. (But I handed it to him in race four!)

Lessons Learned:

1) If you think you want to do something, but are a little hesitant (or afraid), find a way to reduce the riskiness of it if you can.  By singlehandling the boat in very light wind, there wasn’t much chance to capsize or something else terrible.  With the other boats around I was confident that if I somehow did get into trouble that I would have plenty of help.  This gave me the confidence to go and do it.  Now I’m sure I could do it in higher winds.  I think this could apply in many types of situations, not just sailing.

2) I watched the wind puffs on the water.  If I could I sailed to where it looked like wind was blowing .vs. where the water looked flat.  I saw other boats ignore this, and was able to gain distance on them.

3) The starting line is crucial.  I think I gave up a position I didn’t need to on both the third and fifth races, and it cost me dearly.  Last over the starting line usually means last over the finish line.  I need to understand starting tactics a lot better.

P.S.  We decided to squeeze out one more Tuesday night racing next week.  I hope the weather and tide is good!