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!

 

 

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.

Friday Laser Races 2015 – #1

I went out with the club laser fleet yesterday and had a great time. I was around boats, so of course I did manage to take a selfie.

laser racing

laser racing

I joined the WRSC club’s shared boat program so I could sail Laser’s without having to buy my own.  This is a pretty good deal for me, since I’m putting my effort and $$ into the Catalina 22 repairs.

It was quite an adventure.  I was a bit nervous, since it was something new.  I only did one race last season and there were only 2 other boats, so that wasn’t much of a race.  This time there were 7!  Out of 5 races, I came in last every time.  HOWEVER, there may have been an extenuating circumstance.

A couple of things went wrong.  I felt like I was sailing really slow. on race 3, I found a plug floating in the cockpit.  This made me think that maybe this boat had a plug that needed to be put in. While on the downwind leg I pointed the boat at the race marker and hung over the back end of the boat looking for a hole.  I found it (under water) and screwed in the plug.  By then the boat already had a lot of water in it.  I think it made it a bit tipsy, because I capsized (twice)and even broke the tiller extension. Once I got back to shore I took out the plug to drain and dropped it in the murky water. Lost instantly.  I certainly didn’t feel very coordinated.   I came into shore way behind everyone else and barely had time for a fish burger and a brew in my CapnRehab Mug before heading home.  It sure took a lot out of me.  I barely made it home to shower and fall into bed exhausted.

Here I was having a bit of fun with an app on my phone called “paper artist”.

Sailing "Resolute"

Sailing “Resolute”

Overnight races – Annapolis to Solomons, Annapolis to St. Mary’s College

I’ve now done 2 overnight races on Old Shoes.  The first  was the Annapolis to Solomons race.

We boarded the boat at the dock in the Rhode river.  Then had a 2 or 3 hour motor up to Annapolis.  Thomas Point lighthouse is on the way.  Look out smooth that water is.  Not really what you want for a sailboat race.

Thomas Point Lighthouse

Thomas Point Lighthouse

 

Then we stopped at an Annapolis dock for a planned halyard fix(halyard is the rope that takes the sail up to the top of the mast).  While doing that a small drone flew over with what looked like a GoPro on it.  If you find a video on YouTube of the start of race let me know.   After that it was mill around the starting line waiting for our start.

Waiting for the race to start.

Waiting for the race to start.

The race started just outside Annapolis in the evening with light winds.  The sun was going down and after crossing the starting line we first needed to sail west out of the Severn river and into the Chesapeake.  There was a beautiful sunset behind us as we left.

Leaving Annapolis

Leaving Annapolis

Once we turned south, the sunset lingered for what seemed like hours, although this picture is only 20 minutes later than the other one. Kind of odd, since the sun seems higher – but timestamps don’t lie.  I guess that’s just a reflection and the sun has already set?

Lingering sunset

Lingering sunset

In the Chesapeake, there are always large obstacles like this to steer around.  These block the wind pretty good.  (That’s bad – stay away)

Wind dead zones

Wind dead zones

The wind stiffened a bit and we sailed under a steady breeze and full moon all the way to Solomons.  It was very nice.  Sorry, didn’t get any good pictures in the dark.  Once the sun came up however, there was not enough breeze to ruffle your hair.  Here is where we left the Chesapeake and turned up into the Patuxent River.

Mouth of the Patuxent River

Mouth of the Patuxent River

Shane got to drive.

Shane driving

Shane driving

Rehab Jr. got to drive.

Rehab Jr. driving

Rehab Jr. driving

Do you see a picture of CapnRehab driving?  Nope.  But there is nothing quite like a cold beer in the morning after an all night sail!

We limped across the finish line with a bunch of other boats.  It was a fun time.

In between the weekend races we did a regular Wednesday race where I took this of an Osprey near the starting line.

Osprey

Osprey

The other race I did was the Governor’s Cup Annapolis to St. Mary’s College.  It started with the same sail up to Annapolis.  I won’t bore you with another picture of St. Thomas lighthouse.  One pin of the starting line was the “Pride of Baltimore”.  With the light wind and strong current, some skippers misjudged their course and we saw at least two of them drift into the bowsprit.  Wow, that has to make you feel pretty bad.  I wouldn’t want to have done it.  Sorry for the bad picture quality.  Can’t really see the screen to know what the phone is going to produce in the sunlight.

Pride of Baltmore

Pride of Baltimore

No shortages of sunset pictures with all night races that start in the evening.  Look at this pretty new sail!

Yet another sunset

Yet another sunset

This is pretty, but seems to indicate there is moisture in the air.  Could be trouble ahead.

Moisture in the air.

Moisture in the air.

Moisture indeed!  The forecast was for moderate to light winds (5 – 8 mph) all night.  There is an old adage that goes “Sail the weather, not the forecast”.  Once the sun went down, the wind picked up, (up to 18 mph or so) the rain came down, and we bashed through the waves all night.  I was running the mainsail.

There was a lot of excitement (not all good).  At one point the boat dropped into a wave trough suddenly and I came up in the air off the seat a couple of feet – just like on a roller coaster!  The new halyard that was put up at the last race snapped WHILE we were smashing along, dropping the jib sail and leaving us two short halyards.  It’s an interesting thing to watch as someone goes on deck to change sails while it’s heaving up and down.  I’m glad we had an experienced crewman along to take care of it (Thanks B.!).  I learned that I have a LOT to learn.  The rest is an interesting story to be shared over a couple of beers out of earshot of Mrs. CapnRehab!

We also go to watch the skipper give his lunch to Neptune.   I’ve seen a few people lose the contents of their stomach due to seasickness, but that was the most interesting sounding one!  Shane was a bit green around the gills already, and I was sure it would make him toss his salad, but he held on grimly.  I’m happy to report I never had an issue.

No pretty morning pictures.  We were rained on all night, it was incredibly cold for August 1, and by the time we dropped anchor everybody had been shivering for hours.  This race was my most exciting time ever on the water.

Sad to say, the skipper has decided not to race with crew anymore.  His reasons are sound, but it’s disappointing.  I’m very appreciative of the chances I got to sail on “Old Shoes”, and will miss her and most of all her crew.  I’ve joined the laser program at the boat club, but have yet to take part in a Friday race.  Summer is running out, but I don’t think I’ll make the next two either.   Let’s hope I’ll have some One Design racing to report soon.  Till next time, be safe out there and have fun sailing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

2014-06-25 19.08.04

The skipper and crew

The skipper and crew

And the scenery is so beautiful out there.

2014-06-25 19.08.18

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.

2014-06-18 19.26.03

 

I joined West River Sail Club (WRSC)

I joined the West River Sail Club in Galesville, MD.  They We are active sailors with lots of different fleets.  The catamarans sail on Tuesdays, and Lasers sail on Fridays.  My current plan is to:

1) on Tuesday – tag along and beg rides as crew on catamarans
2) on Wednesday – sail the 30′ pearson
3) On Fridays – get checked out on the club lasers and then start racing with them.

Three days a week MAY be enough sailing, so just in case I’ll throw in a few weekend regattas and races.  Should be a fun summer.

This weekend was the Galesville Heritage race.  I went as crew in one of the club’s Albacore sailboats.  I have to say I enjoyed that I was sailing, but the Albacore is definitely NOT one of my favorite boats.  Anyhow, there were 3 Albacores sailing in our group.  My skipper was good, but the boat was outclassed by the other two privately owned boats.  We came in last of the three, and since our group started last, our boat was last over the finish line – FOR THE WHOLE REGATTA!.  So we won the prize for that.  It’s on the right in the picture below.  Funny, Natty Bo keeps coming up around sailing for me.

My skipper gave me an old WRSC hat that she won but doesn’t wear, so I can show my WRSC pride when I’m out and about. It’s for first place in a race, so I feel a bit like an impostor when I wear it.  Oh well.  It’s on the left below.

Prizes

Prizes