23 June 2010

Weta Winged

A shot for Doc just before launching at Benicia this evening. Those "wings" sure provide a lot of places to sit for a 14 foot boat. Tonight I practiced my tacks and gybes. It's not hard to get the boat through the wind, and gybes aren't scary like they often were in the Megabyte. Still, with those floats out there I have to wonder if I just have a false sense of security. I'm not sure yet how far I can bury one before I should be worried. A couple of big puffs had the leeward ama underwater a couple of times, but no loss of control. It just popped right back up. Top speed 11 knots so far. Fun. One more chance to practice on Friday before the big race.
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22 June 2010

Weta Wetted

Flip the tiller around the mainsheet, then tack and tend to the jib sheets. No, just put the helm down, literally, go tend to the jib, and then pick the tiller up on the other tack. Flip the jib sheet forward before you furl the kite to keep it from fouling. Don't even try furling with a load on the kite. Steer up if the big puff comes from forward of abeam. Steer down if abaft. Don't oversheet the jib. Sheet just an inch to get top telltale streaming. Yikes, there is a lot to remember in this three hulled, three sailed gizmo boat, but with all the tips flying from Bob and Dave last Saturday, I was soon feeling comfortable. Well almost comfortable. It's going to take some time to reach basic competency with the Weta. I'll squeeze two more practice days in this week and then it's trial by fire at the Weta West Coast Championship on Saturday and Sunday at the San Francisco NOOD.

Wish me luck.

12 June 2010

Weta Waiting

Picked her up yesterday. Felt weird--never owned a brand new boat before.
Rigged her up today. Felt good--can't wait to get it wet.
Covered her up for the week. Felt sad--too busy to sail.

Launch day Friday.

05 June 2010

Newbie Night

"OK, now everybody stand up and move over one seat." Strange Fleet 76 night--not a single regular driver at the helm of any of the four boats. Gus drove Jamie's boat, Rich his own boat (but he's new to that), Mark (?) Josh's boat, and I helmed Dean's. Heck, Dean wasn't even there, man. How nice of him to let me take MOE out for him. I picked up newbie crew, Jon, to tend the front half of the boat. He did amazingly well for somebody who's only been in a sailboat a handful of times. I think his surfer skills paid off as he had remarkably good balance in the boat. Most newbies are very tentative and can't get their weight in sync with what's going on--everything is a surprise to them. Jon settled into the rhythm right away and after he figured out that the jib sheet handling technique I had given him was all backwards, he found a way to get the jib across cleanly on each tack. I hope he joins us more often. It was fun sailing with him, and he could get good at this sport fast.

Thanks again for the loaner, Dean.

01 June 2010

Half Cruise

If you don't actually go anywhere is it still cruising? We went sailing. We slept on the boat. Just not in that order. I had no idea Richmond had so much freight train traffic in the middle of the night--at least the kids slept through it. Daybreak arrived as a beautiful clear morning on the marina. Now, one thing about being on a small boat is that there's really nothing to do but go sailing; so, after some coffee and a quick breakfast, we headed out the channel. First sailboat out accompanied by the last fishing boats. We didn't sail far, what with the light wind and flood, or for long--maybe an hour or so before we turned. By this time the rest of the sailors were starting out for what would become arguably the most beautiful sailing day on the Bay this year. As it was still early, they must have thought we were returning from a long overnight passage. Nope, just wrapping up a half cruise, the first overnight adventure for the family. Good practice for future more ambitious trips.