27 August 2008

Creature blog

Giant moths and more bunnies. Remind me. What was this blog about again? Dean's been beggin' for a picture of my new hiking bench. So, here it is. It's an exact replica of the side deck on the Megabyte. Yeah, I thought is was pretty geeky to go to the trouble to make it that way, but I've discovered it offers a significant added benefit. Not only do I get the exercise, I'm also finding my body mechanics are improving. With my fingers behind my knees I can feel the right way to spread the droop hiking load across multiple muscle groups and contact points so that my knees don't ache. Cool! OK, so as you can see in the photo, I do my off-water sailing workouts in the backyard with the bunnies. Is that weird?

And what's a Feraligatr anyway?

25 August 2008

Carnage = Fun?

Small boats go bang. Big boats go bang, crunch. Good thing we were in small boats. Fun racers stay clear. Racer racers push the limits. Good thing we had . . . both?

Just another Friday night with Vanguard 15 Fleet 76, well except for the little incident in race 5. It all started when a racer racer pushed it close enough to not leave room for error. Seems his tiller extension decided to lodge itself in his PFD as he tacked at the starting line causing the boat to pirouette and collide broadside at near full speed into the poor sap just to weather on the line. Not a happy time, but thankfully no broken boats or injured sailors. Well, maybe some injured pride for the poor guys in the next boat in line who threw in a last ditch gybe to avoid the carnage and flipped their boat when the boom hit the water! As for my vantage point, I had the pleasure of crewing for Jamie (learned some new tricks!) who had made such a great start that we were well clear of the melee. We did pull up to check on the survivors before continuing on :-)

All-in-all, made for some good discussion over parking lot beers.

Return of Mothra!

I did a bad thing and forgot to take the family sailing for eleven months in a row. What was I thinking? Hard for me to believe, but S/V Mothra hadn't been wet since last September's knockdown episode with my sister. That also happened to be just before I brought the Megabyte home and began focusing so much of my limited sailing energy on learning to sail and race that thing. Well, enough was enough--time to get the whole family out for a nice Summer sail. I took the day off work on Thursday, pulled old Mothra out of the side yard, and hauled her 'cross the bridge to Benicia. Beautiful day: 80 something, 8 to 12, favorable current.

The picture here gives me tingly flashbacks to a time when I was the boy standing at the helm. I particularly remember the family cruise down the coast of Mexico in 1976. I was considered too young to stand a proper watch during our non-stop passage from Newport to Cabo; so, I was called upon to take over at meal time. Like my son now, I was also too short to see over the cabin top when seated. I would stand with the tiller between my legs, scanning the empty horizon, and coaxing the boat down the face of each successive wave some 300 miles offshore. It was just me riding 32 feet of mahogany with nothing but water in sight. My moment was only disturbed by the family returning on deck from their meal.

It's not right to deny my kids the joy of sailing. So, it'll be a little less Megabyte, a little more Mothra . . .

17 August 2008

Driver's Ed

Forgot to compliment Dean last time we were out for Fleet 76 Friday Night racing. His driving is getting really good. Four races, four great starts. On the line at speed making us the first boat up the beat. Even better than the starts were the mark roundings gaining at least two boatlengths over whichever boat was chasing us at each weather mark. Seems he's picked up some of Marcel's tricks--gets the boat pointing downhill in a hurry. Fun. Just wish I were available to crew at Tomales Bay in October. It would be good to see if/how we've improved relative to the Treasure Island boats.