Thursday, October 11, 2007

Weekend sailing...

Took Dog Days out on the bay Saturday with the intention of watching the Blue Angels fly for fleet week. Halfway out the estuary I noticed the stuffing box was overheating badly, so I shut down the engine and put up the mainsail. I turned back down the estuary with the intention of going to my slip, but then I saw my friend John Tuma sailing the twenty-two-foot yawl that he built over the past few months. If he was sailing, why wasn't I? I hoisted the jib and sailed on out the estuary.

I caught John at the end of the estuary and took a few photos of him. He was having a great time and sure looked good out there. His yawl did very well for itself.

After passing John, I tacked up toward the north bay still intending to catch the Blue Angels, but as I neared the bay bridge I could see the wind was really picking up to the north and the water was really choppy because of the hundreds of boats on the bay doing just what I intended. I decided that without the engine to rely on and with full sails up, I'd be better off bagging it and enjoying a nice sail back to port. It was a good choice.

And, the next day I got to go out on Anneke and Dave's big gorgeous power boat Freedom and see the Angels fly. Moreover, I was able to bring along Sarah and Andy, for whom seeing the Angels on the water was a first.

More photos

Thursday, October 04, 2007

All Islander boat rendezvous...

A couple of weekends ago, the Islander 36 Association (a bay area based group) sponsored an all-Islander boat rendezvous at the Encinal and Oakland yacht clubs. Twenty-six boats showed up, and the people who drove to the event represented sixteen more boats. A good turn-out by any standards.

I just got Dog Days out of Svendsen's Boat Works on the Friday afternoon that kicked off the rendezvous, so she arrived with boat yard dirt on her but with a very spiffy new bottom job. If there had been a concours d'elegance, I think she would have done very well in it. Unlike Cal boat owners, who seem to focus on bringing their boats toward bristol condition, Islander owners seem to be more into the people and not so concerned that their boats are show pieces. Both groups love their boats equally, but it's interesting to sense the differences.

There was a "fun" regatta - all sailors like to race - but sadly there was no wind. Encinal's commodore, who ran the regatta, tried to call it off, but the Islander skippers would have nothing of it and insisted on racing anyway. It turned out to be a motor-sailing race, and I wish I'd taken Dog Days out, because with a new bottom job, she might have taken fleet honors just because she had no friction to hold her back.

My friend Zen came by - he has an Islander 29 and keeps a great blog (Zensekai) - and we had a good time at the cocktail hour and dinner on Saturday night. A fun time.