Thursday, May 29, 2014

Part of a Trend?

When we choose "Seas The Day" as our boat's name, we sort of came up with it organically... working towards it from "carpe diem" (from the movie "Dead Poets Society).

There was already a Carpe Diem at Keyport, and so we worked our way through Seize The Day, and then added the nautical pun.  We felt it fit what we were going after, and I verified that (so far) it wasn't duplicated at Keyport.  A quick web search turned up only one photo of another boat with that name, and the BoatUS site didn't show it among the popular names. 

That was back in March.  Yesterday we received the June/July issue of BoatUS magazine and found that "Seas The Day" is the tenth most popular boat name so far this year!

I've never been on the front edge of a trend before....

Monday, May 26, 2014

Maiden Voyage

Well, the delivery and orientation day was nice, but today, May 26th (Memorial Day) was our maiden voyage... our first time out where Vicky and I were the most experienced sailors on the yacht.

Talk about scary... I took one day to skim the 20 to 30 owners manuals.  Yes, Catalina pulled most of the key knowledge together in one "Catalina 315 Owner's Manual", but that was still a thick binder of various procedures, plumbing diagrams, line drawings, spare parts lists, etc.

We wanted to go sailing... that meant a nice day with wind, and today provided it.

We also needed some extra crew.  So since we took Vicky's godparents to Brooklyn to see their former neighbors yesterday, we found out that Vicky's childhood friend, Maggie (who went sailing with us last year), was free and we shanghaied her.

  • From a web dictionary... "Shanghai, verb, historical, to force someone to join a ship lacking a full crew by drugging them or using other underhanded means."

For us "underhanded means" meant flattery, guilt, and family pressure...

So our crew consisted of Vicky's godparents and Maggie.  We had invited a certain birthday boy to have the honor as well, but after watching "The Perfect Storm", he declined.

Maggie was a great sport about it all, and added her enthusiasm to our voyage.  Again we went out from Dredge Harbor into the Delaware, but this time headed north.  Initially the wind cooperated beautifully... about 10 to 12 knots taking us on a broad reach up the river.  As we got up as far as Beverly on the NJ side, the wind picked up to about 20 knots (maybe more) and things got crazy quickly.

There are a lot more lines on Seas The Day than on Yacht(ette)... and we were having a little trouble figuring out exactly what to do.  We had our first accidental jibe (that got your attention on a boat this size), and when I found myself with a need to turn in one direction to dump some wind only to realize that was putting us very close to some shallows... well things got a little exciting.  At that point, we decided it was time to pull in the sails and motor back down the river.  That gave us a chance to give Maggie the wheel and also to get some photos.

That of course, brought us back to the dock... which meant having to get the "@#$%& boat into the *#%$@ dock" for the first time - all with 20 kt gusts of wind pushing us into the boat next door.  Fortunately, Capt. Gary's training paid off and although I had to gun the engine more than we did during orientation day, I was able to make it somewhat in on the sort of first try.

Here, I have to give a shout out to the nice people keeping their boats at G. Winter's Sailing Center. They were extremely nice and helpful even if we were the afternoon's entertainment.

After having some hoagies and tidying up a bit, I took photos of all the lines in the cockpit so we could study them some more at home.

First, the port side...

Then starboard side...

You can see the rats nest of various things these control.  We "technically" covered all these lines in ASA 103, but that was back in August, and Yacht(ette) only had 2 jibsheets, a mainsheet and a halyard, so it was much simpler to sail.

So with that, we closed up the boat for the week and stopped for a few final photos and then took Maggie back to Brooklyn.  The day ended with Vicky and I having a nice discussion about everything that happened, reviewing all the line photos above and getting us ready for next weekend.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Delivery and Orientation Day!!!

After months of waiting, it is finally ours!

We pulled up to the fuel dock at G. Winter's Sailing Center in Riverside, NJ (I realized we forgot to name our dealer earlier)... and there it was with a big red bow on it!  Fruit was set out on the cockpit table and champagne and gifts on the table down below.  We had some requisite photo ops... Vicky and I came prepared for a "three hour tour" (along with her godparents).

I was given the honor of being the first to board, with Vicky getting the first chance at the helm.

Brian Winter was our sales person...

So after enjoying a bit of fruit and some drinks, we set off, motoring out the private channel to the Delaware River where we headed south towards Philly.  

The wind was low - maybe one knot or so - and we just barely kept up with the 1.5 knot current heading north.  But we got to learn how the sails are set up and what the various lines are for... so much more complicated than Yacht(ette).

Capt. Gary was our instructor.  He will also be our Delivery Captain/instructor on our cruise around NJ in a month or so.

We finally got a little ahead of the current (which we were tracking relative to a nearby red buoy).

Then we saw some rain clouds approaching and since time and tide was limited, I was given the helm and we started motoring back.

This was the point where I realized I was paying too much attention to Capt. Gary working on the electronic systems and not enough attention to how far we were drifting over towards the riverbank.

As the rain approached, it got a bit cooler.  The Catalina 315 has these nice pushpit seats, but I never realized how far you're sitting out over the water until I saw this photo...

Once back in Dredge Harbor, we practiced some maneuvers and learned how to reverse the boat, and finally set up our slip.

Then we went below and he explained all the systems on the boat.  I left the camera away so I could pay attention, but we opened literally every compartment and he explained what we needed to do.  We then spent some time tidying it up, and filled a tote bag with owners manuals we have to digest.

Monday, May 19, 2014


Cue the Carly Simon "Anticipation" soundtrack...

While we now own a yacht, it is currently undergoing "commissioning" which as I understand it is having the yard carry out all the assembly, checkout, etc. that's needed to get the boat from "factory shipping" mode into "sail away" mode.  I'm told it takes about a month (or maybe it was the yard has a month of other boats on the line ahead of us - most likely a combination of both).  So we passed the time taking care of some details on our end.

Last year, I was the only one who took the NJ "Safe Boating" course.  This is a day-long "throw everything about boating safety at you" type of course... clearly geared for us to cram it in during the 8 hours we had, so we wouldn't forget anything for the test at the end.  Surprisingly, this is also the ONLY LEGAL REQUIREMENT to operate a recreational boat (not taking paying customers) of significant size (I think from 12' up to 60+'... quite scary when you think about it).

It is boring as all hell, but John and Vicky had to do it... I came along for moral support (and to take some photos).

Beyond that, we are shopping for boat supplies... here I am trying on foul weather gear at West Marine, which unfortunately wasn't stylish enough for one of us.  One of us felt that if it's truly foul weather, you would have trouble seeing the boat, let alone the threads of the person steering, but another one of us is now looking at all the sailing catalogs to find  the foul weather gear that presents us in the best shape.  As you can tell from my photo below, the gear has to work much harder to shape me up than it does for the other one of us...

So after waiting patiently, this weekend we were taking Vicky's godparents to DC and driving within 5 or 10 miles of the boatyard.  We decided to stop by and see the progress.  There's no photos from Saturday's trip south... we noticed that they had painted the bottom, but a huge water puddle from the extreme rain the night before surrounded the boat and we opted to avoid walking through the mud.

On Monday for the trip north, we stopped by the boatyard as sunset approached and found the mast all laid out ready to be raised later this week.

Since I knew I would probably never see the top of the mast again (if one of us is going up the mast, I'm guessing Vicky will be in the bosun's chair and I'll be hoisting), I grabbed the camera and took some detail shots.  Sorry to bore any actual readers out there, but the next few photos are for us (scroll down for a nice sunset finish).

Vicky found a spot where they missed the bottom paint and I was requested to let the yard know about this issue.  I expect they had plans to take care of it once they hoist it up to move it, but I will do my duty.

This is towards the base of the mast... we have a lot to learn... many more lines than the Yacht(ette)!

I wanted to photograph the propeller to see which kind it is... it looks like a RH prop.  I'll need to verify that with someone more knowledgeable.

Finally we spent the last few minutes looking around the ship and watching the sun set.  If the schedule holds, we should get it sometime next weekend!