Well, it’s been so long since I last posted here but I want to get back into blogging about sailing again. I have been trying to catch up on some of the emails and comments I have gotten from a lot of you so please bear with me while I get back into the program.
August 19, 2009
June 17, 2008
Last Saturday before father’s day, I sailed Freedom Too, the club’s Catalina 27, across the channel to Santa Cruz island for the day. We got a fairly early start at 7:00AM just so we would have enough time to hang out on the island, I completely forgot to bring my digital camera. I will insert some reference photos from another day for the sake of this post. Just bear with me here…
At the docks in Channel Islands Harbor.
Freedom Too, a slightly aged but nicely rigged Catalina 27
It was overcast and gloomy pretty much the whole morning there but we had about a 5-mile visibility so we felt pretty save crossing the channel. We only saw one tanker in the southbound lane on the way there and it was really booking along…
My first mate was my friend Bill who lives just a couple of houses down from me. We had been talking about getting out to the islands to do some surfing for awhile. Although we considered taking our boards, as Bill had not been there to the islands and it was kind of a last minute call, we left the surfboards in the car. The other option for a day sail was to Malibu but we decided that it was kind of silly to take the slow train to a busy surf spot. Bill had sailed with me a month or so ago on a day sail to Ventura harbor so he had some experience on the same boat. Since the autopilot mount was broken on the boat, we had to hand steer the entire way across the channel.
Broken autopilot mount… Bummer.
The crossing was pretty good with one starboard tack the entire way there. As we were motor sailing across, we consistently hit 7 knots on a beam/close reach. There must have been some dolphin party going on in Santa Barbara because we probably saw over 500 of them swimming north up the channel. They just kept coming and some hung around with us and played in our wake for a little while.
When we starting to get the islands in view, we changed out heading a little to go towards Smuggler’s Cove at Santa Cruz island. For some reason, the marine layer opened up right at the cove and it was sunny as warm as can be when we pulled up to anchor. There were about a dozen other boats there and we tucked in in between a couple of sailboats and tossed in the danforth and set anchor about 150-200 yards from shore. We did not have a shore boat/dinghy so now we had a dilemma. We wanted to get on land to do a little hiking but that means we would have to get to shore with shoes. As we didn’t have wet suits either we decided to just jump in with out shorts and shoes as gloves and swim to shore. The sun definitely helped us to warm up and the water was not terribly cold. as least once we were numb from the temperature we were able to bear it without feeling hypothermic.
It felt longer than it probably actually was for us to get to shore but when we did, we were glad to have been there. We started out on the Scorpion bay trail and about a mile in, we cut across down to the creek that eventually lead us to the Yellow banks trail with the historic ranch.
The olive trees and trail heads next to the historic ranch at Smuggler’s Cove.
We got back to the beach after about an hour of hiking the island and now was time for us to summon up some more courage to get back in that water so we can swim back to the boat. We probably had a little bit of current helping us on the way in so it means that we will be swimming against it on the way out. It was certainly a workout but it felt good once we got back to the boat and was able to just hang out a bit to warm up and dry up before pulling anchor to head back across the channel.
The wind in the afternoon had picked up to about 12-14 knots and we were sailing and surfing downwind the entire way there. For awhile we were sailing on the broad reach to get across the shipping channel faster and the GPS was actually registering over 8 knots of speed as we surfed down the face of waves. I couldn’t believe it and it is theoretically impossible for a displacement hull like ours to achieve that speed but it is apparently all fair game with you’ve got the swell behind you. Once we got across the shipping lanes I steered to a downwind course again and held a wing-on-wing course for a good half hour with the swell and wind behind us.
The skies never cleared up away from Smuggler’s Cove and it was great to be out there enjoying the only sun that was probably around for 50 miles. We made it back to the slip around 6:00PM and cleaned up and headed back home. The sun and the long day had wiped me out and hitting the sack that night was a delight. It was a great day of sailing even though we did not get a chance to check out the surf while we were there. Maybe in August or September I might plan an overnight trip and we will try to hit either Marmetta or Chinese Harbor for a little
So what are you still doing on the computer?!?! Get out on a boat and do some sailing!
June 3, 2008
I’ve written a few posts regarding my new sailing endeavor with a local Sailing Club. I have been fairly involved with its day to day operations as the club’s Webmaster. One of the things I have noticed with this club that although it is not-for-profit, member owned and operated, it is not by any means immune to politicizing and bureaucracy.
The Channel Islands Chapter of the club has only been in existence for the last 5 years and only recently was there a real push for growth. I am personally interested in growing the membership of local sailors as well as add more boats to the fleet so I expressed interested in helping out however I can. My willingness to contribute was acknowledged by some of the officers of the club and they decided to make me the Chair of a new committee in choosing our next medium-size sailboat for the club in Channel Islands Harbor.
My job was to start keeping an eye on the market to see what is available and to put some thoughts into what we might purchase as the newest edition. Seemed reasonable to me and I was happy to oblige. As expected in any democracy, there was some push back. Apparently some people thought that it was premature to form such a committee as the boat purchase was still many months away. I was figuratively floored when I heard that someone recommended the forming of a committee to choose a boat selection committee.
You heard right. A committee to choose a committee. But wait a minute, who will be in the committee choosing committee? I suggest that what we really need is a committee choosing committee committee. I think.
May 4, 2008
Turning Point is one of Fairwind Yacht Club’s boats in the small boat fleet. It is a Catalina 22 with a fixed fin keel. A few friends and I took it out a couple weeks ago and shot some video as we rounded an oil platform just a few miles out of Channel Islands Harbor. The wind picked up early and we were glad to have made it back early before it really started blowing. LAND HO!!!
April 17, 2008
Last weekend I brought my Walker Bay Dinghy down to the city of San Pedro for the weekend. I had only sailed out of Long Beach in the past and wanted to check out the other end of the Port of LA. The launch ramp area was rather small for a town that makes most of its living through the port and it showed. The ramp was crowded basically all weekend long.
The sailing was great and the jetties of the Port of LA stretchs for miles which makes the water nice and calm as in a lake but the winds are relatively consistent.
The little area where I spent some of Saturday and Sunday of last week.
I had a twinkling of an idea that I was going to try to make it to the Queen Mary but later I found out that it would be way to out of reach. It would probably take a good 10 hours to get there in my little 10 ft dinghy.
Walker Bay 10 RID with sail kit unmounted
Looking toward the ramp on the way back
Good to know the life guard is near.
Sailing down wind in the sea of glass.
When I got back to the ramp, I saw the most bizarre thing ever. These 2 guys were trying to load a Coronado 25 with a fin keel up to a flat bed trailer with old tires strapped to it. I realized their attempt was futile and just assumed that they would give up sooner or later. However, when I got my boat out and was ready to drive way, I heard the most awful grinding noise coming up the ramp. Looking over I saw that same Coronado 25 being dragged on the asphalt up the ramp behind a Ford Explorer towing a flat bed trailer.
I was utterly shocked to see what had just happened. To make it even more ridiculously amusing, one of the man who had earlier been cursing up a storm about why his winch couldn’t haul a 5000 lbs boat up a ramp gets out of the car and managed to produce a chain saw. He pull started the saw and proceeded to try to cut the keel off of the boat!!!!!
I knew something was going really wrong and at that same moment, the yellow life guard truck pulled up next to him and ordered him to stop what he was doing.
Notice the chain saw on the ground.
Once the Port of LA Police arrived on the scene, he somehow convinced them that he had a plan to get this boat off of the pavement and on to that trailer as he restarted the chain saw again and began hacking away at the boat.
I might not be as bright as him but I just couldn’t see how he was going to do what he needed to do with the equipment he had. Two guys, a car, a trailer and a chain saw. I hung around for a minute watching him hack away at a perfectly good boat with the Port of LA officers and just decided that I couldn’t stand to watch it anymore.
I went back the next day and to my surprise there most of the boat was gone. I wouldn’t be surprised if the police just sited the owner of the boat and brought in some heavy equipment to get the job done and will be billing them later.
Sometimes I wonder why sailing ever even appeals to me. You wouldn’t understand it either if you saw what I saw. Those guys and I actually have it in common…..
*** UPDATE 6/4/2008 ***
My friend Josh from Carrboro Yacht Club posted this story on the O’Day Owners Forum and I have been getting little traffic spike from it. For those of you who want to see more photos of the incident at the launch ramp, here are a few more I snapped with my camera phone…
Here is an action shot of the guy half way through his keel job