Gryphonsolo2 – Round the world solo speed record attempt going on now

If you like to follow sailors from the comfort of your armchair check out

http://www.gryphonsolo2.com/

Joe Harris is attempting to break the solo speed record for going around the world by sailboat.  He’s been at it 3 days so far.

I found out about it in CrusingWorld Magazine which I very much enjoy reading cover to cover.  Mostly I ogle the Caribbean catamaran charter pictures.

You can read about the boat refit in preparation for the attempt here.

http://www.gryphonsolo2.com/uploaded_files/crw1215_hos2_class40_VNn5Ne.pdf

Enjoy!

 

 

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Trans Atlantic Race 2015 – going on now

A bunch of big boats are racing across the Atlantic from Newport, Rhode Island to the southern tip of Wales.

Here is a link to a cool website that tracks the boats in the race.

http://yb.tl/transatlantic2015#

TransAtlanticRace2015

TransAtlanticRace2015

It’s kind of fun to play with the sliders for playback and playback speed.

Look for the lead boat in the race (The white one).  There’s a reason it’s in the lead.  It’s a Herreshoff design that is  125 feet long.  When I checked earlier today it was doing 14.2 knots.    The boat’s name is Mariette of 1915.    The next boat in size seems to be around 53 feet.

I’ve put a link to the boat’s website under the name, but there are a lot of great images of it if you just enter the name in Google and select the “Images” option.

She sails like a bird – Tall Ship Hermione

“She sails like a bird”-quote by Lafayette during the first voyage of Hermione 1780. Go to this link to learn more about the ship.

A few weeks ago we visited the tall ship Hermione. We had planned to sail out and escort her into Annapolis, but it turned out she came in before we could get there. So instead we planned to go up to Annapolis and tour the ship and then head out for day of sailing. The morning started out with almost no wind so we fired up the trustee little 4 hp outboard and headed up to Annapolis.

The trip was pretty uneventful but as we pulled into the harbor we could see Hermione, so we grabbed a mooring ball, called the water taxi and headed over.

Hermione

There was quite a line, but we had a great time while waiting with a couple of guys from Michigan who had driven there the day before specifically to see the Hermione and then go to a few museums. Chatting and joking with them made the wait very fun. The great thing about waiting in the long line there on the Annapolis Harbor dock under the hot sun was that there are plenty of pubs nearby so we took turns and headed over for a little bit of adult refreshment.

The tour only allows visitors to go on the upper deck, so we didn’t get to go down into the gun deck or crew quarters or anything like that, but it’s still quite interesting. Here is the view looking up the mast:

Main mast

Mast view

we took a few pictures posing with ship components, probably not all that interesting.

CapnRehab driving a stationary ship

CapnRehab driving a stationary ship

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Capn “B” driving a capstan

One thing that was very interesting is the size of some of the equipment on this ship. Here is a small cleat

20150616_124505

“Small cleat”

notice that it’s the size of about half a person.

And, since I’m on a boat it’s time for selfie. I tried to get red boat in the background, but I don’t think I did so too well since it’s not in the picture.

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The wind did a great job of picking up. We were able to sail off the mooring ball and cruise out into the Chesapeake. Once we got out there the wind was honking pretty good and we got quite a heel on the boat. Five hours of fun.  It was a really great sail!

Sailing!

We played “Dodge the tankers” and then saw something pretty interesting. This very large boat was zooming pretty fast up the side of the bay opposite where we were. We sailed over in that direction trying to cut it off to get a look at it, and then it turned 180° and went speeding off in the other direction. At this point we thought we had lost it so I snapped this picture as it was heading away. Right after that it did another 180° turn and headed back up the bay.

A long look through the binoculars revealed that it was the “Reliance“. Capn “B” hailed them on the VHF radio and asked them what they were doing. A very friendly captain responded and told us they were doing engine checks, and that the last turn was then heading back to Baltimore. We had a few more questions and found out that they were a cable laying ship which I thought was pretty interesting.

Reliant

Reliant

I’ve experimented with smaller pictures in this post.  Let me know if the quality is too bad or if it’s okay to continue like this. Also let me know if you know of an easy way to make picture sizes smaller. I’m using paint, but it’s a couple of steps.

Resolute – Annapolis & Whitehall Bay

In keeping with the theme of sailing on other people’s functioning boats, I had the fortune to spend last weekend on “Resolute”.

Resolute

Resolute

She’s a 35′ Ericson sailboat.  At 7′ longer than my Catalina 22, she is very roomy indeed.  Capn “B” invited me to come sailing, so I did!

I can barely stand to be on a boat with a camera in my hand and not take a selfie, so here it is.

Me on Resolute

Me on Resolute

As you can tell, not much wind when we started out.  We sailed out from Galesville and up around Thomas Point lighthouse.  Since it was a Saturday near Annapolis, there were races waiting to start all over the place, and it was quite busy.   Eventually the wind died completely, and despite my protests, Capn “B” started the engine and we motored in to a mooring in Annapolis harbor.  It was just as well, a lot of the races were cancelled too.

Day 1

Day 1

This was a first for me.  First time to be on a boat on a mooring, and first time to sleep on a sailboat.  (Cruise ships don’t count in this “first” category).  We rowed the dingy into the “dingy dock” and walked around town a bit.  Got some cigars and ice cream and then headed back.

What a surprise to hear someone call me while I was rowing back!   Not something you expect in a busy town like Annapolis.  “J” from the “Old Shoes” crew was visiting with friends and a family and saw me from the wharf and hailed.  I rowed over and we said hello.  It was great to see him again.  That of course triggered the story of the time he lasso’d the piling on “Old Shoes”.  But that’s another story.

Here is the view of the city dock from our mooring.  It’s a great area to visit and they’ve done a great job making it pedestrian friendly.  There are tour boats going out every hour or so, and a rowdy pirate ship full of kids steams by pretty regularly.  Yes, all the kids are practicing “args” at the top of their lungs.  It’s much easier to tolerate with a beer in your hand.  We took the water taxi to the other side of the harbor and I had steamed shrimp, crackers and two Fat Tire Beers.  Yum!

Annapolis City Dock

Annapolis City Dock

We had another crew member on board who was assigned Chef’s duties for the morning.  So instead of just a bagel and coffee, we started the day with this.  Thanks “S”!

Breakfast

Breakfast

It’s not surprising I ended the weekend about 4 lbs heavier than when I started.  “S” is an interesting character and it was fun getting to know him.  I was sad to see him get picked up by his wife in Annapolis.  (And not just because that meant I was now designated cook)

After a trip to the fuel dock to empty out the head and take on fuel, we were off to Whitehall Bay.  The wind wasn’t much better Sunday but it held enough for us to sail up to the Chesapeake Bay bridge.

Nearing the bridge

Nearing the bridge

Then the wind died completely, leaving us bouncing around  near the channel right in front of the main span.  I had to let Capn “B” fire up the engine to get us out of there, but then once we got away from the bridge it picked up again and we went back to sailing.  We headed towards Whitehall Bay, but then heard the Coast Guard cutter Eagle on the radio saying they were on their way to Annapolis.  We turned back out into the bay to see if we could see them, but a later radio message from them gave their location as way down the bay so we turned back and went in.  This entrance was VERY tricky, narrow and shallow.  Capn “B”s pucker factor was pretty high going through the entrance.

We tried the left fork of the river first, where the engine gave a warning signal and Capn “B” shut it off just as I dropped the anchor.  We waited there about an hour while the engine cooled and he trouble shot what was wrong.  He was very concerned about the engine and was not interested in beer, so that hour out of respect and not wanting to interrupt him I didn’t have one either.  Fortunately, that was soon resolved and we got to go around to the right fork and anchor and have a beer… or two.

Day 2

Day 2

Here is a picture of some crab boats based there.  They probably go out for oysters too.

crab boats

crab boats

Here we are peacefully at anchor.  Resolute is almost dead center in the picture.

Anchor - night 2

Anchor – night 2

Capn “B” rowed us over to Cantler’s restaurant.    He had a soft shell crab sandwhich, and I had a grilled rockfish sandwich along with fries.  And a beer.  Yum!  He made me row back on a full stomach.  argh!

Back to the boat for a peaceful night sleep, where we woke up to this view.  Very peaceful morning. It looks like scum on the water, but it’s actually pollen.  Spring has definitely sprung here.

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The next morning we picked up “M” (also an “Old Shoes” alumni) and head out into the bay for the sail back to Galesville.  The wind was ripping pretty good at around 15 knots.  We hit 7 knots boat speed a few times too.  Very much fun.

Sailing fun!

Sailing fun!

Day three was a Monday, and boy what a difference a day makes.  There were very few boats in our way.  However, there was this big one.  We headed straight for it, and since it had been over 48 hours since my last one, I took another selfie.

Me and Eagle

Me and Eagle

Yup, the Eagle had come up the bay in the night and anchored right out in the bay.  We went right across the bow and around the other side.  It was so great to see it.

Coast Guard Cutter Eagle

Coast Guard Cutter Eagle

Then I steered us home.  Across the bay, back and forth a few times (once to avoid a barge) then right into the West River.

Day 3

Day 3

It took us about 4 or 5 hours, I’m not exactly sure.   I need to start noticing things like this.  It was a blast!   Here is how I spent  most of it.

Putting the Capn in Capn Rehab

Putting the Capn in Capn Rehab

Capn “B” took us in and skillfully docked us with a 17 knot wind blowing us across the boat slip.  A smooth end to a great weekend!  Thanks Capn “B”!

Luchador

Red Boat

Red Boat

Weekend before last I had my first sail of the year.  I was invited by “B” to go out on red boat (aka Luchador).  I met him last year on “Old Shoes” and really enjoy his company.

As most of you know, I like Florida so much, mostly because I hate being cold.  But I have a new perspective on that.  He informed me that there is no such thing as cold weather – just cold clothes.

We put this to the test and went out in “brisk weather.

At the helm, not shivering too bad.

At the helm, not shivering too bad.

Turns out, he was right. I had put on only thermal long john top and bottom, windbreaker pants with insulation, a t-shirt, a sweatshirt, ski gloves, ski hat and my REI rainjacket. I was definitely shivering. Once I put on another pair of sweatpants I warmed right up to only feeling cold. I think some kind of warm/waterproof footwear would be appropriate here too.  (Before next winter gets here I definitely need to get some warm clothes!)

It’s always fun to see catamarans on the water, and we got a special treat to go right by the start of a race.

Catamaran race

Catamaran race

The moral of this story is “it’s good to have warm clothes and friend with working boats”.

Fun evening at the races on “Old Shoes”

Thankfully, it was another windy evening in the West River here in Galesville, MD.  The wind was out of the south-south east so we had a down wind start  [bottom of the map].  It was a bit breezy, so no spinnaker, then we had the smooth line out to the red circle (see map) where we put up the spinnaker and I trimmed it (eased it out and pulled it taut to optimally keep it filled with wind).  Wow, it did get a bit interesting since we had a following sea rocking us side-to-side and played “dodge the boat” as we met the front runners coming out of the river as a pack.  There was even more excitement as we got to the turnaround at the top of the map when the spinnaker needed to come down and the jib back up.  The sail sheets got tangled around the spinnaker pole when we had to jib before the sail switch.  As a crew member put it “I’ve never been so filled with adrenaline at 5 miles an hour!”.

The race course

The race course

Then we headed back south, doing a bunch of tacks till we crossed the start/finish line.  On the way back it was calm enough to take a few pics.

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The skipper and crew

The skipper and crew

And the scenery is so beautiful out there.

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West River Sailing at sunset

West River Sailing at sunset

Rehab junior was there, I think he may be catching the sailing bug.

ReHab Jr pretending he is a whisker pole

ReHab Jr pretending he is a whisker pole

And what is a blog post without a selfie? (Although, since I didn’t take it I guess it’s not really a selfie?)

Sort of selfie

Sort of selfie

Have fun and happy sailing.

P.S.  The garage projects are coming along nicely so I should be starting the sunfish repairs soon.  I’m thinking of converting the trailer to haul two sunfishes and buying a second one.  Stay tuned.

Racing with no wind

This Wednesday’s race on “Old Shoes” started off with a bit of wind, but eventually fizzled out to nothing.  It’s amazing how different it can be from one week to the next.

2014-06-18 Racing with No Wind

2014-06-18 Racing with No Wind

At least we made it out to the turn around mark, but there was no way we were going to make it across the finish line under sail.  So yet again, another night where we had to fire up the engine.  Still, I was on a sailboat with friendly people and a beer (or two) in my hand.  As they say, a bad day on a sailboat beats a good day at work.

Since the wind wasn’t trying to knock me off the boat like last week, I did get to take a selfie.

Selfie

Selfie

or two

Selfie #2

Selfie #2

It was a beautiful sunset.

Sunset

Sunset

 

And best of all, Rehab Jr. came along.  He liked it – says he’ll be back.

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