21 August 2010

Mini Mini Tri

What's smaller than a small trimaran? A model of a Weta designed to run down a 4 inch rain gutter, that's what. Iain has had quite the Cub Scout sailing career winning the design contest in his first two years before moving his sights to the racing classes. Last year his rule-beater 'superskiff' won the monohull division, and this year he stabbed the pointy end right into the hotly contested multihull fleet.

Having recently converted to trimarans in the real world of sailing, it was natural for him to give that form a try down the trench. So, we build a mini Weta--a reasonable facsimile of our own Surfing Pikachu--and, sure enough it dominated the catamarans with bursts of speed not seen before in the Raingutter Regatta. Congratulations, Iain!

20 August 2010

Natural Born Trimaraners

Dad, "So, how'd you like the new boat?"
Son, "That was awesome."
Dad, "Would you like to go out again?"
Daughter, "3000 times!"

Yes I've dreamt of, but never expected, that kind of response. Taking the kids sailing has been like taking them to BevMo--sure, they get a little something out of it (like a fancy root beer), but we're only going because Dad wants to. So, how come the enthusiasm all of a sudden? Well, the Weta is like this: a bunch of comfy places to sit or even lie down, no tipping over, water rushing by within a kid's arm reach, and fast. Bottom line is a very high fun factor without feeling scared.

We have a winner.

12 August 2010


Last Friday was only the fourth time this season I've made it out with Feet 76. The keel boat has only left the slip 6 times this year. The new Weta has been sitting dry in the boat yard for seven weeks after getting wet five times in her first week. Dinghy Delta Ditch was yesterday, and I didn't show up. The dory skiff? Forget about it. Despite all the sailing I do do, the thought of not sailing, the challenge of scheduling more sailing, induces a strange anxiety. Is it wrong to have a perfectly good boat sit unused? At least the boat yard at the side of my house doesn't yet look like one of those hoarder lots seen every so many miles along the rural interstates. OK, maybe it does a little. And financially, of course, none of this sailing stuff makes sense. It never has. Overall costs are relatively low--Lapras' slip being the bulk of it. Still, somehow the thought of "I have boats (and friends with boats); therefore, I must sail them." leads to tense shoulders, a little twing down the the spine, and the desire to go lie down for a bit. Screw that. Let's go sailing!

I promised to take my neighbor sailing on The Bay. I want to go cruising again. I'd like to try an overnight trip on the Weta. Racing singlehanded on Lapras to Vallejo would be cool. There are at least three more regattas this year with chance for a good Weta fleet. The 76ers are out every Friday night. And and and . . . Relax! This has got to be, already, one of the best sailing years of my life.

Big boats--little boats. Cruising--racing. Singlehanded--with friends. At home--on the road. Salt water--fresh water. Big wind--no wind. It's all been good. It always feels good, feels right, to be on the water . . . in a boat. So why the anxiety?

Maybe everything else in life is too frantic, too hectic, too fast paced. We frantically try to escape, to fill our "free" time, every last minute of it, with something not so hectic. OK, sailboat racing can be very hectic, but that's a good very hectic. I'm reminded of three long, heavy air days on the City Front for the Vanguard 15 Nationals. Afterwards, it occured to me that the period on the water was the longest continuous block of time I'd experienced in quite some time without a thought of work or other stressful things. How to keep the boat shiny side down, moving fast, and getting by competitors was all I "worried" about. So, I guess I need to just do more of that but without worring about doing more of that. A steady pace of sailing goodness.

06 August 2010

Man Cruise II

Well, unfortunately Jorge couldn't make it this year, but Mitch and Dean were back to join me for the second, now annual, Man Cruise. (In case you Googled your way here looking for something else . . . this is about sailing.) With Lapras now stationed on The Bay we had many more options for our destination. We chose a 2-day full bay tour with a stopover in Ballena Isle on Alameda. Nice place. Walking distance to fun stuff to look at, and a decent restaurant with a view of Lapras snug in her guest slip. Not much more to say here. I'll let the video tell the story:

Check out the long version of the video.