Training up the new racing crew

Day #2

I'm running late and I've got just enough fuel in the truck to maybe make it to the marina. So I can't really push it on the freeway and I don't have time to stop to look for more. The truck runs on diesel and sometimes its not trivial to locate that stuff. I end up getting to the marina about 15 minutes late. I'd planned on getting there early, being captain and all. Well, the crew would probably have the boat ready to go by the time I arrived. At least that was the thought. Sitting at the gate was, Karl with the spinnaker. "Karl, where is everyone?"

"Donno', I've not seen anyone. You're the first to arrive."

Karl and myself got the boat prepped and rigged. At the point we were discussing just going out for a sail since the rest of the crew were obviously not going to show up, Karl heard Andy yellin' at us from shore. Well, better late than never. Andy was all stressed 'cause he was late and was hoping we wouldn't leave without him. "Sorry Andy, no one is waiting up but me n' Karl." He'd brought his wife n' kiddies. We took his family on board for a tour.

To kill some more time we decided to take a small motor about to give Andy's kiddies a little boat ride. Boat fired up, just about ready to pull out and who should show up but Brenda. Once again, better late than never. We did the kiddy boat ride, about 5 to 10 minute motor, came back to the dock, dropped off the wife n' kiddies and then we were off!

There was actually some wind. Seeing this was Brenda's first time as crew and I think, second time ever sailing. I decided to short tack up the Estuary to give here some grinding experience.

Tac tac tac tac tac tac tac tac tac and we wore out Brenda. Well, Andy was working up a sweat as well. Actually, seeing that this was her first time ever and that she was able to rally herself and keep going for the rest of the day, I think she's gonna' do fine.

As we went out towards Yerba Buena Island to do some chute practice, we found much more wind than we expected. Typically there's little or no wind during the winter months on the SF Bay. Today there was 18kn - 20kn on the southwest side of Yerba Buena Island. A light day for summer but more that we were ready for.

Here we're pulling off the 150% to switch down to the 95%. Karl is heading forward to pull down the sail, Andy is at the clew to make sure it doesn't go overboard. I think Brenda is getting ready to run out the halyard? Donno' I just drive, they deal with all the changes. Karl ended up taking a wave working the bow during all of the excitement. No foulies, whoops!

A little further south and behind the lee of Yerba Buena Island we were able to do the chute practice. With the abbreviated crew we didn't try jybes, just sets and douses.

On the second set I grabbed the sheet in the wrong place and there was suddenly a problem. I'm yelling incomprehensible things at Andy trying to get him to grab the sheet in the correct position. Its like trying to point out what thread in a massive spider's web one should grab at the top of your lungs.. Andy was going "uhhh..." and I, not paying attention to my driving, let the nose of the boat point up too high..

Fwoomp!! The chute filled before it was up under control. We instantly overpowered and rounded up. All I remember, as the machine tipped over on its side, was kneeling in the cockpit kicking out the main sheet. Then looking up seeing a snapshot of Brenda with this wide eyed "Is this normal?" kinda' look.

Main sheet blown off, chute sheet blown off, we got things back under control and the boat back under the mast. Karl finished wenching up the chute, I finally grabbed the sheet in the correct place and voom we're off. I'd call it a mini round up.

Cockpit crew. Second chute run heading south-ish post round up. That's the Bay Bridge in the back ground behind us.

I got hungry and the crew all needed to head home so back we go. We let Brenda drive for a while on the way home.

Here's the rest of the crew at about the same time. When we turned into the Estuary we set the chute again and ran all the way back to the marina practicing trimming the chute.

On the way down the Estuary we were overtaken by the Farr 44 Confetti. Not only overtaking by them, they sailed right past us! And then laughed at us!!

Oh, my poor sailing ego..

All in all it was a great time. We still need to get this boat handling stuff down better. Typically the chute is supposed to set at about the time you round the weather mark. Not a mile downwind of the silly thing!

Andrew where were you? We nearly starved to death without our "race snacks".

-jim lee


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