Saturday, May 31, 2008

Thursday this week was a no race day. Just as well, there was no wind. So I left work early and went to the boat, anyway. I have been wanting to clean up the port lazerette. I pulled everything out of it. I rediscovered some water guns, Four 5 inch bumpers, a fish net, an anchor float, a 250' anchor rode, 30' chain, davis anchor, a 5 gallon bucket and a dead battery. I left the lines in that are hanging on hooks with a bungy retainer. This is nice. It would be better if the hooks and bungy were on the lid to the lazerette. That way the lines would be up and out of the way when the lid was opened. But it was this way when I bought the boat. After I retire and don't have anything better to do, I might move the thing to the lid.

The dead house battery has been giving me problems all season. It would get to voltage, but after even the slightest load, it would drop to 9.5 volts. I did find a loose connection on it earlier in the season, so I tightened it and gave the battery another chance. That did not work. It is a 24 month battery and it is 25 months since I bought it. Time to buy another battery. I like to have two batteries aboard. Just in case one goes dead, like this one did. The starting battery is a 60 month, it has another two years. I guess I will get another 60-month for the house, now. This will at least stagger them for replacements.

Racing next week.


Saturday, May 24, 2008

I just rediscovered this blog I set up last year, or was it the year before.

I have a San Juan 28, Hull Number 11. It is 30 year old this year. So she is half my age. I enjoy sailing and I enjoy sailing her. She seems to find the wind on the Columbia suites her just fine. We have ghosted past many other boats when they were "sailing".

I crew on a Hunter 30 on Thursday night races on the Columbia river, between the I-5 and I-205 bridges near Portland, OR. The racing is fun and low key, but it is fun to win, too. The race last week was something to chat about. Let me say that we did not have the best of starts. We would have been last over the start line, except another boat had kindly crossed it early and had to return to it to start over. At least we weren't last, now. We struggled and sailed and caught up and passed to of the smaller boats on the first three legs. The fourth leg was downwind and upstream. The wind was dying off to about 3 to 4 knots. Just enough for us to make way over the bottom upstream. We set our whisker pole and hoped for the best. It came. We were inching our way up the middle of the river. The middle of the river had the greatest current, but at least it had enough wind to over come the current. We noticed the fleet had taken to the Oregon side of the river to take advantage of the slacker current by the shore, but what they had not figured upon was the slacker wind by the shore. The boats were bunching up near the third mark. In fact, there were a few coming back to us. They were facing upstream, but slowly sailing backward downstream. That was very nice of them. From our vantage point in the rear we were able to observe their plight and remain upwind and to the center of the river. Our boat kept closing on the fleet. We managed to pass a 33 foot Hunter. Once clear we laid a course directly for the mark, but to the middle of the river from the now stationary fleet. We got the inside position on the mark as about 8 boats tried to round it at the same time. We inched by the mark, dropped our whisker pole while turning down stream. We hardened our sails and made a bee line to the finish. By the time I stowed the pole and cleared lines we were 100 yards in front of the next boat. We may have started at the back of the pack, but now we came in first in our class. High fives were pressed all around. Big smiles and great shaking of heads were to be observed.

At least this race gave us something to brag about. Isn't that what's racing is all about?

Ken of Aventura,
Portland, OR