Friday, November 23, 2007

Blog neglect & the 2007 LOCCR & NA

Six owners + three 235's= good time!
I am guilty of blog neglect! I have a insane work schedule which kept me from sailing as much as I would have liked.
We had a great LOCCR & North American Championship for the First235 this summer. It was held at Crescent Yacht Club July 21 & 22 2007.
It was most likely the largest gathering of 235 owners ever!
I will try to get all the pics up from the event over the next few days.

Here is a race by race review of what we saw on the RC boats last weekend.
Day 1
Race 1:
Practice hits the line perfectly with one minute until the start and proceeds up the course. After recall and restart, Scott covers all lost ground by making the most of the shifty conditions. Practice tacked just inside of 4-play at the top mark, but 4-play is moving faster and rolls Practice back as they round the mark. On the downwind leg, Pandora passes both, and is leading at the bottom mark. On the next windward leg, Practice heads to the left, for more pressure and the lead, 4-play narrowly crosses Pandora on port tack to regain a position, with Pandora in third. Practice stretches out to win by 2:15, Pandora passes 4 play just at the finish to take second by 2 feet.

Race 2:
All start close, but Practice is leading toward the top mark. Pandora on the right, benefits from a right shift and is lifted to the mark ahead of Practice, with 4-play in third. No passing on the first downwind leg, with Pandora still in the lead, but Practice right on her transom with 4-play in third. On the third leg, the breeze builds and Pandora builds her lead. 4-play's amazingly blown out main is actually an advantage, as it depowers and lets the boat climb as the other two slip sideways in the stiffer breeze. Pandora remains in first, 4-play passes for second and Practice is in third. The last leg saw some excitement as Practice began to roll 4-play and 4-play takes her to (the moon, the prom, the mall, you know, way up) 4-play is successful in defending as Practice eventually jibes away. Pandora wins by 32 seconds, 4-play second by 31 and then practice.
Between Races 2 and 3, it is still early in the day, with good wind, but the courses have been short because of the wind direction and the geography of the bay. RC decides to add one more sausage to the last race of the day.
Race 3:
All start equally late (heh) with 4-play at the committee boat end, Pandora near the pin, and Practice lee-bows Pandora just inside the pin, comes up beneath and forces Pandora away. Practice and 4-play continue out to the left while Pandora heads out to the right. They cross tacks and Practice and 4-play stay in phase while Pandora does the opposite (rebel). At the first mark it is Practice followed by 4-play and Pandora. No change at the second, third or fourth marks. Pandora passes 4-play during the last upwind leg, as the wind is dropping. Practice wins by 1:07, Pandora next with 4-play third.

Day 2 the distance race.
The forecast is NE winds under 10kts, shifting to West under 10 for the east end of the lake. The course was set for about 16 miles of fun. The wind was shifty and dying out of the NE which looked to be good news (it wasn't) Normally, it will come in out of the new direction and build to the high end of the forecast in our bay, with the assistance of the funnel effect in the bay and the thermal induction. The AP went up at 10 am, but at 1030, the breeze began to build from the west, and the start was at 1040. 4-play went for the local knowledge, bang the Point Salubrious shoreline, Practice headed for what looked like more wind to the right, and Pandora was stalled at the line. A little while after the start, 4-play was looking good on the left, Practice had found a hole to the right, and Pandora had found another hole to the right. The wind was getting spotty, but still passable, as the RC rolled out the headsail and chased the competitors around. Then the wind really went soft. After some drifting, the RC notified the competitors that a mark would be dropped somewhere near the rhumb line of the original course. Unfortunately for Pandora, the Rhumb line was about a mile away and on the other side of the island. 4-play's furtive plea to have the race end at that mark was ignored (nice try though, but it was just past 1200) They would continue back to the CYC dock to finish. At the mark, 4-play first, Practice a couple minutes back in second, Pandora third. I'm not sure how Practice passed 4-play, but by the time Pandora had rounded, and the mark was retrieved, she had. The wind tried to come back from the NE, and at times was successful, but just as often just died again.

Practice finished at 15:06:03
4-play 15:31:41

Pandora 15:43:56

Practice 1 3 1 1 =6
Pandora 2 1 2 3 =8
4-play 3 2 3 2 =10

Thanks to the race committee: Jack (Dad), Peter on the markboat, and Amy on was her suggestion to follow the fleet to make sure the wind held. Thanks to Keith, Al, Lawrence, Scott, and Jon (and Fro) for making their respective trips. I hope CYC can host you again, soon. And congratulations to Scott on a well sailed regatta.


Monday, October 16, 2006

Impressions of LOCCR 2006
Sunday 6th August
Overnight flight Perth to Auckland (7.5 hours)
Managed a couple of hours sleep?

Monday 7th

Took bus trip from airport to Auckland city but did bot leave bus because it was heavy rain and I did not want to spend the
remainder of the trip trying to dry out (9 hours).

Overnight flight Auckland to LAX (13 hours)
Managed another couple of hours sleep
LAX (11 hours)
A friend who I had met in Perth last year took me around LA.
Visited the Le Brea tar pits museum and took a strole down the beach front.

Had "real southern fried chicken with collard greens" for dinner - well I might as well start acting "local".
LAX to Pittsburg (4.5 hours)
just dozed during flight.
Tuesday 8th
Pittsburg to Watertown (1.5 hours)
After just 2.5 hours in Pittsburg we were off in a small 10 seater turboprop - noisy. Too cloudy to see much except a quick view of LO near Watertown. Surprise, surprise, what I did see looked just the image from Google-Earth.
Frodo picked me up at the airport and drove us back to his mother's house, which is located just up from the Crescent Yacht Club.

The Sellers house from the water:

View from Balcony:

In the afternoon we picked up supplies from Watertown and had a look at 4 Play. The fuel tank appeared to be 3/4 full and Frodo thought that would be enough to get me to Pultneyville. Not sure if nav lights were working, although Jon and Frodo had checked all in-mast wiring and found it to be OK. I bought some battery emergency nav lights just in case. Rigged rope from cockpit sides for self steering.

4 Play's resident boat cat, bad kitty:

Tuesday evening, Crescent Yacht Club Family Night.
Pleasant evening having dinner and chatting with CYC members and families who made me very welcome.

Crescent Yacht Club:

These pictures show the waters near CYC where LOCCR 2007 will be sailed:
Cherry Island and waters north of Pillar Point:

Stoney Point and entrance to Chaumont Bay:

The Chaumont area is lovely and quiet so don't expect a rage party every night at LOCCR 2007, unless organised amongst the F235 crews. But there are shops within walking distance so supplies will be obtainable and the CYC members were very helpful and hospitable.
The map below shows the routes that I took from Chaumont to Pultneyville (lower route) and back (upper route).

Wednesday 9th
Sailing from Chaumont to Pultneyville
10.15 hoisted sails and departed Chaumont. Winds light but dead ahead from SW, swell 1'. Motoring at 5.5knots.
10.45 heading 230deg past Cherry Island, winds SW and swell increasing.
11.20 heading 230deg past Pillar Point, winds SW increasing to 10-15knots, swell increasing with frequent white caps and occasional larger swell.
12.00 heading 230deg towards Stoney Point. Looked at petrol tank which now showed 1/4 full. Turned motor off and spent an hour beating between coast and island. Swell and winds still increasing. Not making much headway as I could not flatten main and Jib enough, both were old sails and not much in the way of shape remained in them. I did not think that I had enough fuel to even get me out of Chaumont Bay so I turned around and headed back to Chaumont.
15.00 arrived back at Chaumont.
Worked with Frodo to rig up some tightening system for the outhaul and reefing lines, but we could not do much for the furling jib. Filled petrol tank and added spare jerry can to cockpit.
18.00. Went out to dinner with Frodo and family that evening. Retired to bed on 4 play around 20.00
23.00. I had only been dozing and I decided to get up and make the most of the lighter winds and lower swell to make a start. The night sky was clear with an almost full moon so it looked like a good night for a sail and I would have no problem seeing the coast and islands.
Decided to hoist main with single reef as it looked like the reefed sail would be flatter and more controllable than the full main if the winds got up. I did not want to be playing around with reefing lines while single handing at night, especially after the fun and games earlier that morning. I did try to tension the outhaul and reefing line as much as possible and tie them off at the gooseneck jam cleats before leaving Chaumont. 4 Play had a roller furler so I was able to bring the headsail in when required. This was the first time that I had sailed a boat with a roller furler and it certainly made life easier with the changing winds on the long trip over.
Thursday 10th
00.00 - 04.00 Variable light to moderate SW winds with swell 1'-2' when light but 2'-3' when winds increased. Alternately motored and sailed to Stoney Point (entrance to main Lake Ontario). Winds were right on the nose so I motor-sailed when the winds were light and turned motor off when I could make good headway tacking between the coast and islands. Nearly full moon and interesting high cloud formations - great sailing conditions. Shame I've lost the pictures.
04.00 Passed Stoney Point. Winds SW and fairly strong with frequent white caps. Swell >2'-3' with occasional larger swells.
Moon set and only lights visible were bright white flashing lights with several red lights, all to port. I could not judge distance to the lights and I did not want to get anywhere close to whatever the lights were marking so I headed west straight out into the lake. Once the moon set it was Very dark and I had difficulties maintaining consistent direction and was swung around on several occasions, finding myself heading north instead of west.
06.00 Dawn brought clear skies and good visibility. Winds still SW and 10-15 knots, so I headed south parallel to coast towards the lights which I could now see was a cooling tower with steam column rising from it. Heading south also allowed the outboard to be deeper in the water, 4 Play having had the 9.8 hp, 20" outboard mounted on a transom bracket on the port side instead of the normal starboard mount and tends to come out the water when there is any swell.
Winds moderate SW but fading to light by mid-morning.
11.00 Motor-sailed to keep speed between 4.5 and 5 knots which I calculated would bring me to Pultneyville by late afternoon. I did not want to arrive there after sundown as I was apprehensive about the difficult entry. I phoned Jon who warned me that there was rain forcast and asked me to call him when I got to Sodus.
I was heading south initially but was able to vere westwards as the winds slowly changed direction. By noon the winds had dropped to almost nothing so I shook out the reef and increased the motor speed to maintain 4.5 knots.
13.00 winds increased so that I could maintain my target speed without the motor. Spent a pleasurable afternoon sailing along the coast with the occasional beat out to sea to get around the frequent headlands. Main impression of the coast was the inumerable bays and headlands. Lots of heavy clouds behind me and it looked like I had beaten the rain.
15.00 arrived at Sodus and phoned Jon who said that he would sail out to meet me and thought that it would take an hour to an hour and a half to get to Pultneyville. I did not want to run the motor as I wanted to save the fuel for the run into the harbour. Shaking the tank appeared to show that there were a few pints left.
16.00 Met Jon with his kids Owen and Sara on Pandora, waved a few times and continued on towards Pultneyville.
16.30 Still beating towards Pultneyvill but winds and swell increasing and rain started. I considered putting the reef back in but decided to push ahead with full main even though I was pointing lower as the winds increased. Reduced roller furler to half size.
Pultneyville entrance from offshore:

17.10 Arrived at Pultneyville. The wind was strong but slightly offshore so I rolled up the jib and dropped the main, but When I tried to start the motor I found that the healing meant that no fuel could get to the outboard. I was being pushed along and slightly away from the coast so I was not in danger of grounding. I pulled out the fuel tank and poured in a gallon or so from the jerry can. It was not much fun doing that whilst bouncing around on the swell. Jon had to go in as his son had been having problems with the swell and threw up all over his cushions. Luckily there was another member hanging around the entrance to the channel, so I gratefully followed him in and eventually docked at Pultneyville around 17.30 after a transit of just over 18.5 hours.
19.00 Went out to dinner with Jon, Carolyn, Owen and Sara. Had great problems staying awake over dinner. Apparently I was rolling my eyeballs and nodding off whilst the waitress was asking me about Oz.
20.00 Back to 4 Play for some sleep, although I think that unconscious is probably a better description. Slept until noon Friday.
Friday, 11th
Jon came down to take off the roller furler and install the forestay. I did get some interesting shots of Jon up the gin pole, again unfortunately now lost.
Put on Jon's old main which was much better shape than 4 Play's original main. When we put Frodo's new headsail we found that it was about 5' or 6' short. Tried rigging tether at base to raise it but it still did not look too promising. The winds for the weekend races were predicted to be light so Jon offered to lend me his fruit-stripe madness genoa. At least it brightened up the pics for the regatta and was not too large for the winds that we sailed in over the weekend.
4 Play only has 2 cabin top clutches, so we left those on the main and jib halyards and tied off the outhaul using the gooseneck jam cleats, but it did mean that we were unable to easily adjust the main if the winds changed.At least I was there and participating so I had achieved my major aim, anything else would just be icing on the cake.
Pultneyville Yacht Club:

View looking south from beach:


PYC from entrance:

Saturday 12th LOCCR
The day started off with the PYC members getting the pig into the oven ready for the evening's festivities. I wondered how many members PYC had as there certainly seemed to be enough food for several hundred.
Jon had arranged for a friend of Carolyn's to come and crew for me. Dave had raced lightning dingys for several years but had not sailed for about 15 years. I was just glad to have a crew. Jon and Scott had their usual crews (1 each).
All 3 races were run over the same triangle course as the winds stayed consistent direction for the morning, but varied from moderate to start with but getting lighter and patchy later. The course was: Start followed by port rounding at windward mark, 2 reaches downwind to finish (all port roundings).
1st Race
Good start for all of us and tight crossing right up to the windward mark. I think that I may have been able to take the windward mark first but the traveller slipped just as we were approaching and Dave had wrapped the winch the wrong way (again), we had to bear away to avoid the mark and the other boats. Ended up following Practice and Pandora around the mark and around the rest of the course.
At that stage I still felt that perhaps I might be able to give these guys a run for their money.
2nd Race
Pretty much a similar story, with 4 Play being fairly close on the windward leg but loosing out on the downwind legs.
3rd Race
Winds dropping so I had planned on keeping close to Practice as Scott seemed to be the best at picking the wind shifts. However, I thought that I saw better wind off to port so did not follow Practice when he tacked. I ended up in a big hole and had to watch Practice and Pandora sail away and round windward mark about 10 minutes ahead. So much for sticking to a plan.
Practice and Pandora were close together for most of the races, but Scott on Practice was consistently getting to the windward mark first and then maintaining the lead.
Morning races ended with:
Practice 1st, 1st, 1st
Pandora 2nd, 2nd, 2nd
4 Play 3rd, 3rd, 3rd
That meant that Scott would win the LOCCR whatever happened for the remainder of the series, so we congratulated him, got on with the refreshments and discussed what we would do for the afternoon race.
Looking back at coast from sailing area:

4th Race
PYC had their Saturday afternoon fun race starting at 3pm so we decided to sail with that fleet for the afternoon rather than setting up a separate race.
Jon had a "crew malfunction" and had to single hand. My crew Dave had another function to attend that evening and since we were not sure what time we would finish and judging by the morning results that would be at least half an hour after everyone else, so he decided to drop out. Scott generously offered to lend me his crew member, Barry, and he would also race single handed.
Only 4 boats started the fun race. Pandora and 4 Play getting good starts and Scott watching the fun from behind. I think that he must have wanted to get some good photos from behind as he had been in front all morning. 4 Play managed to get to keep ahead of the PYC usual lead boat Soukora (a 30'Pearson), but since I did not know where the mark was, we just headed off and ended up overstepping the mark by a considerable amount. We only noticed that something was afoot when everyone else except Sokoura and ourselves had tacked but not tacked back. Soukora must have realised that I had sold them a dummy and turned off towards the mark.
We then followed but managed to keep a good cover on them. Pandora overtook us at the next mark as he had gone straight for it by GPS rather than the circuitous route that we had taken. Practice was comming up from behind but had probably left it too late at the start.
On the final turn Pandora rounded ahead of the F235 fleet. I was still concentrating on covering the lead yacht Soukora but Jon was successfully pushing me up so I shouted over that I was not trying to cover him, just the leader, so he let me through to play with Soukora. 4 Play ended up almost catching them and was beaten by just 12 seconds at the line, closely followed by Pandora. I was very happy about the chase and must thank Barry for competant crewing that allowed us to get so close. The traveller was still giving huge problems slipping and then jamming when we tried to pull it up, but at least Barry loaded the winches the right way (unlike my morning crew) and did an excellent job trimming the genoa. I think that all the F235's were close enough to Soukora to have beaten him on PHRF corrected time.
Results for 4th race
4 Play 1st, Pandora 2nd and Practice 3rd.
Saturday evening
Joviality and some Serious Pig Eating at the club. The Pultneyville members and their families provided great hospitality as well as copious amounts of excellent roast pig. Apparently Jon made some comments about me to the gathering before the pigging out started but I was still sorting out 4 Play in preparation for the Sunday race so I missed out on the speech. I don't know what was said, and probably don't want to know, but they did award me with a club bag, tee shirt and pin so I suppose that I became an honorary PYC member for the week which I was really chuffed about.
Chatting with the PYC members provided an added bonus of having an experienced 36'cat sailor, Erik, offering to crew for me for the Sunday long distance race. Needless to say, I jumped at the offer whilst Scott and Jon tried to get other PYC members to crew for them. One of the motor yacht owners could not manage the time to race but did offer to run the start sequence and then follow for a short while taking pictures. They did agree to my having a crew whilst they went single handed which was very generous of them but in keeping with the LOCCR theme of having fun !!
4 Play and PYC clubhouse area from Pandora:

Club house lawn:

Sunday 13th
Long Distance Race (5th Race)
We had planned on having the long distance race down to Sodus and back but since westerly winds were forcast we changed the course to a GPS mark offshore from Ginna following a course used by PYC a few weeks before, approximately 5.5nm each way. Eric brought along the barber haul from his cat and we rigged that as an adjuster on the outhaul. He also rerigged the traveller with a thicker continuous line in the hope that it would stop slipping. I tied the rail from the galley shelf to the ape hanger as a tiller extension, not the best solution, but at least I could now sit half up on the rail and far enough to be able to see the genoa tell tales for the first time.
4 Play had an excellent start but I'm still wondering if we jumped the gun as it was the best lead that we managed at the start for any of the races. The first part of the race had Pandora and 4 play swapping the lead on sequential tacks.
I did not know the local winds and I had been burnt badly during the 3 Saturday morning races by not spotting the shifts, so I went for what I hoped would be more consistent winds offshore whilst Pandora and Practice went for rock hopping, playing the lifts off the coast. Jon had told me about one of the club boats hitting a submerged rock close to the coast and I was always conscious that I was in a borrowed boat and did not want to take any chances. They certainly managed much higher pointing when close in, going almost parallel to the coast for long stretches but since 4 play consistently built up a good lead I think that we must have maintained better boat speed. The fruit-stripe madness genoa was probably exactly the right size for the light winds that morning, compared to Pandora and Practice's rolling furlers with smaller foresails - although that had not appeared to help us on Saturday.
Eric played with my GPS during the trip out and worked out how to display VMG and how to find the mark location. I had only ever used my GPS for speed before and I had assumed that I would be following everyone else so did not really need to know where the mark was accurately. The original race was going to be to the Sodus Bay Breakwater and back so we would not have needed the GPS for that.
4 Play turned at the windward point about 5 minutes ahead of Pandora and Practice.
The downwind leg was a straight forward run for the line, although I kept to windward in case anyone tried to cover me. Jon went for flying his symetrical spinaker but since he was single handed he could not run the pole and was only just able to hold it, the wind comming from just a touch too far behind. If he had been able to fly the pole I think that he would have taken the race. 4 play just managed to hold Practice off by a few seconds at the line, but Scott was overtaking rapidly and another few hundred yards would have seen him pass us.
Results of the 5th Race:
4 Play 1st, Practice 2nd, Pandora 3rd.
LOCCR Final results
After the race we adjourned to the bar (a trestle in the BBQ area outside the club house) and cracked a few tinnies whilst Scott and several other members dug out the rule book and calculators and got heavy!! I could not work out what on earth was happening as I thought that the results of LOCCR were pretty clear and not worth arguing about: As far as I'm concerned the results were (and still should be) Practice - Pandora - 4 Play.
After some annimated discussions, the results were announced with Practice getting 1st Place and getting the huge glass trophy complete with F235 line drawing engraving - well deserved too in my humble opinion.
Then the surprise of the night, 4 Play was awarded 2nd on count back from Pandora. At that stage I had not realised that we had included the Saturday afternoon race because as far as I was concerned the Saturday morning results had said it all and all things considered was a fair representation of the LOCCR results. Besides which, Jon had let me past to have a crack at the lead yacht and after all it was a "fun race". In addition, I had a crack borrowed crew for the Sunday race whilst Jon and Scott were single handing. Anyway, my protests were dismissed and 4 Play was awarded the 2nd place glass bowl/vase complete with Beneteau seahorse engraving, with Pandora picking up the 3rd place glass bowl/vase.
After that we got on with more serious pig eating and beer swilling and everything was most enjoyable.
To cap off the night, my crew for the day, Erik, invited us out on his 36' cat. Jon drove for the outward trip during which we were consistently hooning along at over 10 knots in light winds. Unfortunately I turned to look around whilst sitting on the side and my camera dropped out of my pocket and bounced into about 120' of water. I think that I had some good shots of the trip over and the LOCCR races but they were now well and truely stuffed.
Returned to PYC for more beer drinking and bonding. Frodo dropped in on the way back from his trip down south and chatted about the results and inquired hesitantly whether he still had a boat in one piece or not?
Monday 14th
Quiet day at club. Jon and family came down around lunch time and we just chatted and passed the time for the rest of the day. Jon offered for me to move into Pandora because it would be more comfortable than 4 Play, besides which Pandora had a great sound system fitted complete with sub-woofer etc. How could I refuse.

PYC club house porch:

Tuesday 15th
I had planned on sailing down to Sodus Bay for the day but there was plenty of wind and the swell was a bit high so I just cleaned up 4 Play. Jon took me down to Rochester to buy a replacement camera and a few other items that I needed.
Wednesday 16th
We had a very nice lunch at a restaurant opposite the Wilson Yacht Club and then Jon took me over into Canada to see Niagra Falls.
The Falls themselves are interesting but spoilt by the heavy tourism there. Jon's recommendation would be to stay at Niagra on the Lake which apparently is much quieter. I had been playing with Jon's kids bouncing them up and down on my legs whilst muttering things like "bomty-bom", Jon seemed to have trouble getting that out of his head and spend most of the day going around Niagra singing "bomty-bom", at least when he was not being distracted.
Jon's favourite view of Niagra:

Logs tells another joke:

In the evening we dashed back to the Rochester Yacht Club where Jon crews on a Beneteau 40.7. At least we would have dashed back but Jon's car blew the exhaust whilst overtaking some slowpoke. Stopped for a short time while Jon tied up the tailpipe and then we hooned off again. At the Rochester YC Jon introduced me to the crew as a hot Aussie tactician who had once beaten the Americas Cup skipper Dennis Connor. They invited me to act as tactician, but I suggested that they might not appreciate it if I told them where to go, so I ended up as rail meat for the night, which was just fine by me, as I've never seen so many ropes on a yacht. The owner, Franz, was an interesting and friendly person but seemed to think that every Australian sailor had sailed the Sydney to Hobart Race. We ended up 6th out of 7 for the night but made up for that with an excellent buffet afterwards where Jon introduced me to Mount Gay rum, several times I think but I lost count for some obscure reason?
Beneteau 40.7 racing fleet:

Thursday 17th
Another quiet day during which time I tried to sort out 4 Play's nav lights. I found a few problems but could not get them to work properly.
Thursday evening PYC runs its main race series. Jon invited me to crew for him on Pandora and suggested that I steer whilst he played with the sails. We had 12 yachts racing with winds 10-12 knot NE and 2' swell. Pandora had a good start, crossing the line second and at the favoured end. Headed up to the first mark which was the same mark that we had used for the Saturday morning LOCCR races. I kept high on the mark which was just as well because as we made the final approach Jon noticed that I was going for a port rounding. He grabbed the tiller and we just made it around the mark for the correct starboard rounding. In my defence I would like to point out that in Perth we always go around the fixed marks in the same direction even if the courses are changed. I have never raced using temporary marks which can be rounded on the side determined by the course for that race. So I still had it in mind that we had to do a port rounding. Just shows that you need to find out the local rules first. Anyway we managed to get around the mark, clearing it by a few inches and headed off to the downwind mark and the remainder of the race. We were fortunate to have the marks pin pointed out to us by a J24 running a spinaker which took off and remainded well in front. In the end we finished up 2nd to Soukora over the line.
When the results were announced later that evening, Pandora got a bullet, a gold flag and lots of good natured shouts of "ringer".
At least I had helped Jon to one gold flag before I left.
Logs and Jon get the gold flag:

Gold flag on Pandora:

Friday 18th
Our original plans were for Jon and I to race on Saturday afternoon and then he would accompany me back to Chaumont Bay, with Frodo driving him home Sunday evening. However the weather forcast was gradually changing and by Friday lunchtime it looked like there was going to be some serious rain on Saturday evening and Sunday. So we made the decision that I would leave as soon as possible and head out so that I would arrive at the entrance to Chaumont Bay around dawn on Saturday. We nipped out to do some final shopping including filling the petrol tank and jerry can and then we prepared 4 Play ready for leaving Pultneyville for Chaumont Bay around 4pm. The winds were light and the seas flat so we put up the fruit-stripe Genoa and full main but Jon rigged up a downhaul for the genoa in case I needed to drop it if the winds increased. Jon also rigged a longer tiller extension from poly pipe which worked pretty well on the return journey.
Ape Hanger and Jon's tiller extension:

Return trip Pultneyville to Chaumont Bay
04.00 Left PYC. Jon accompanied me out and we waved goodbye from around the centre of the PYC fixed buoys.

Seas fairly flat with Northerly winds 10-12knots. Started off beating on 070 deg straight towards the Chaumont Bay entrance. I averaged around 5 knots for the first hour.

05.00 winds increasing so maintaining 5.5 knots but still beating into the wind.
06.00 Winds dropping and speed averaging 5 knots at 070 deg.
07.30 winds dropped to almost nothing and seas nearly flat. Only doing around 1.5 knots at 080 - 090 deg, so I started the motor and brought speed back to around 3.5 knots running approx 3 - 4nm off coast, coast lights just visible through haze. Took opportunity to tighten outhaul which had come loose, dropping the boom down by about 6".

09.00 Passing lights of Oswego. Dropped Genoa.
10.00 humidity increasing, seas flat, almost no wind, motoring at 3.5 knots
Visibility poor due to heavy cloud, no moon and high humidity.
11.00 very light wind come up from South, hoisted Genoa. Speed up to 4.1 knots on broad reach. This was first part of either transit to and from Pultneyville which was not beating into wind.
Steering for first half of the night was using the lights from the cooling tower off to the SE with the rope on tiller for self steering.
Saturday 19th
12.00 until 12.30 dropped off to sleep and woke up after half an hour still on course.
12.30 Wind from S. maintaining 3.7 knots.
01.40 wind from South. Speed up to 4.1 knots, occasionally up to 5.5 knots.
02.30 I am concerned that I am approaching the coast too quickly. I am not sure about accuracy of my GPS position so I would prefer to stay offshore by around 4 - 5 nm until dawn. I changed course to run due N along coast at around 4.5 knots. Occasional large swells and gusty winds. Some slight brightening of sky in direction of cooling tower but that is only direction guide visible.
04.00 Some gusts have changed wind direction and I am also having problems maintaining an accurate course N. I have to go forward to unwrap the genoa from the forestay. I have been wearing a lifejacket for the entire trip but I also rig a lifeline for the forestay work. It is not funny trying to unwrap a genoa in strong wind and swell just holding a torch for light. When the genoa is unwrapped, I dropped it to the deck and tied it down.
From 04.00 until 06.00 I just cruised along coast northwards at less than 2 knots as I did not want to go any further north than the entrance to Chaumont Bay, but I also do not want to apprach the coast any closer. Direction by shining torch at compass, no other lights or direction guides visible.
06.00 Dawn finds me around 4nm off Chaumont Bay entrance (Stoney Point). Poor visibility, almost no wind and very humid. Strong swell from south which causes some problems as I turn eastwards to enter the bay. I motored past Stoney Point at 06.30

Stoney Point:

07.00 Winds increase from South and so I hoisted sails and entered Chaumont Bay at 5.5knots in 2'-3' swell.
07.45 Passed Pillar Point sailing at 4 knots.
08.00 winds and swell increased and rain starts. I take down main and genoa in broad seaway east of Pillar point as I want plenty of sea room and don't want to drift down onto a lee shore. Really glad of the downhaul that Jon rigged as wet genoa does not want to drop of its own accord.
Motor to Chaumont Yacht Club, arriving in heavy rain at 11am after a 19 hour transit.

Monday 21st
Visited Clayton Antique boat museum.
Interesting museum with lots of displays of old canoes, dingys and power boats, with a few yachts.

Frodo's family outside Clayton museum houseboat:

In the evening the Sellers introduced me to "smores", melted marshmellows with chocolate in crackers. I introduced them to panicking about fires near schrubs and causing bushfires:

Wednesday 23rd to 25th
Long trip back to Australia.
storm clouds on way into LAX:

On the way back I stopped in at the New Zealand National Nautical Museum in Auckland, which was very interesting, well laid out and worth a visit if ever you are in Auckland. The customs and emigration people in NZ let you out of the airport even if you are just in transit.
NZ1, the biggest yacht to compete in the America's cup

Logs, Windjana wk #264
South of Perth Yacht Club, Western Australia

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Columbus Day Sail

Great day of sailing! perfect conditions.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Articulating bow sprits

It almost seems like information on articulating bow sprits is top secret information. I have been looking for information on them for over one year. I was fortunate to get some shots in a email From Clay "Team Acadia 575" I have sent out a few more emails & hope to get some more ideas.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Tunes on da boat

Kick ass sound with dual power, runs on 12volts DC & 120volts AC. I have this system in the boat now. I mounted the sub behind the forward bulkhead. I plug in my Sirius satalite radio & our portable DVD & MP3 player's. Works great sounds great! Check out Cambridge Sound

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Pics from the LOCCR 2006 @ PYC Part III

More great shots!

Pics from the LOCCR 2006 @ PYC Part II

some more great shots!