Sunday, September 28, 2014

Approaching the End of the Season

We took a weekend off last weekend and just decided to be lazy, which energized us for this weekend (the last weekend in September).  The past few weeks have been spent worrying some issues around winter storage (we decided on Pederson's here in Keyport) and how we want to cover it (we ordered a reusable canvas winter cover rather than use up all that plastic each year), and with most of those details taken care of, we have a few weekends left to enjoy Seas The Day.

This weekend was very pleasant weather, but light wind.  So we just had two day sails... very relaxing... just Vicky and me and not really caring where we went.  It was a grand time.

We set the sails and slowly made our way out to Old Orchard Shoal, then turned around and literally sailed into the sunset, catching the KYC launch just as the sun was setting behind the trees.

We then headed up to the KYC deck and had dinner (Sushi) on the deck as the twilight faded.

Today, we did a similar activity... first we docked the boat at the KYC dock and filled up on water, then we sailed across the bay (almost to Mt. Loretto Chapel) and back.  We're realizing more and more that a main weakness for both of us is our understanding of sail trim, so we practiced optimizing this during today's journey.

Again it was a nice relaxing day.  We crossed paths with the Miller family (see previous posts) on both ends of the journey on the KYC launches, then headed home to a roast pork (crock-pots are great!) dinner with John.

(Relaxing waiting for the launch after everything is buttoned up for the week.)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

(Video) Inserting or cleaning the Speed Sensor

Here's a short video on the process for inserting the speed sensor...

For a long time, I was scared to do this and we just left the speed sensor in place.  But things like to grow on it and that reduces its ability to spin (and thereby measure speed through the water).  So we finally swallowed hard one day and pulled it, cleaned it off, and got it working.  Now we store it "pulled out" so that each time we have to put it in before using the boat.

Of course, the little copepods and other critters love to hang out in the hole where the sensor lives.  So the first thing that happens when pulling the plug is that you get showered with creepy crawlies.  Unfortunately for them, they don't live well outside of salt water.  ;)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Our Spinnaker! (& The Star Spangled Banner)

Before we start a post on our spinnaker, first we have a little historical note.  Today (Sept 14th, 2014) is the 200th anniversary of our national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner.  Jonathan, a long-time member of KYC had ordered an oversize replica flag (15 stars & 15 stripes) for the event.

Unfortunately, Jonathan suddenly died last week.  So today's tribute was both for our national anthem as well as for the Jonathan himself.  It flew from his mother's boat, which was right off the dock...  I asked our launch operators to give us a quick circle so I could get some nice photos.

Today after boarding Seas The Day, the wind died steadily to around 5 knots.  We tried to sail with little success, and after a bit of fussing, I gave Vicky the helm and was determined to get our spinnaker out.

We ordered the spinnaker (a special sail that helps in light winds) with Seas The Day, but the captain who gave our original briefing wasn't certain about how to use it, and we never had both the knowledge of what to do with it, and a light air day (we wanted wind consistently below 10 knots) in which to try it.  Over the past few months, we slowly learned what to do with it... from Catalina sales photos... from friends in KYC and from folks from G. Winters Sailing Center, but all of it came in bits and pieces that we had to put together.

So the first order of business was to retrieve the bowsprit from the aft cabin and mount that.  Then Vicky helped me hoist the spinnaker which was wrapped around the furler and finally I set out to the foredeck to try and sort out what went where.  You might remember that I'm not a fan of the foredeck while we're underway.  But since we were making only 2 knots, it wasn't bad, and soon I had it set up... I think.

Vicky then went up front and unfurled the sail while I tried to trim it back at the winches in the cockpit.  Somehow we got it up!  (It's the orange and white sail on the left below.)

Once we got it out, we were able to get our speed up to 3.5 knots (out of 7 knots of wind... much higher than the 2 out of 7 we were doing earlier).  So we had a pleasant afternoon sailing from just off Mt. Loretto chapel over to the Ideal Beach area of Middletown.  Vicky used the time to grab a nap, while I grabbed a bunch of photos.

One thing we noticed is that our spinnaker is the wrong one.  We ordered one with orange all around and white in the center... the one we got white on top with an orange bottom.  Hopefully Catalina will get us the correct one.

Finally, as we approached the Navy pier, we decided to turn around and sail (well, motor) off into the sunset, where I grabbed some more photos, before we headed into Keyport Harbor.)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

No Sailing Today

It's weird how things work out sometimes.

I wanted to go sailing today.  I knew there were scattered thunderstorms predicted for late, but since we wanted to go to the KYC Family Picnic at 5:00, I figured we would be safe.  A quick mid-day cruise would be the perfect warm up to the party afterwards.

But... we slept in, had a leisurely breakfast (steel cut oatmeal & banana), and late morning, Vicky wanted to go bike shopping.  That took much longer than expected and mid afternoon we got back... too late to sail, but I thought I could quickly go out and take care of some maintenance items. However, slothfulness ruled and I ended up watching 2 hours of History Channel.


Sitting on our sofa, looking out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the sky getting darker.  This was earlier than I was expecting.  I then watched over a span of maybe 20 to 30 minutes as the wind picked up, the bay became covered with whitecaps, and this line of invisibility steadily made its way across the bay in our direction.  I ran upstairs to grab the camera and get this photo right as the line hit Seas The Day out on our mooring and just before the rain hit and we had the WORST downpour I've seen since moving here.

(Seas The Day is the boat on the upper left.)

Within a few seconds of taking this photo, it was hard to see the deck railing... deck chairs were being flipped over by the sudden wind gusts and all hell was breaking loose on our skylights.

We waited for the rain to abate, then went to the KYC picnic... very glad we didn't get out... tomorrow is another day.