Thursday, May 24, 2007

Caltopia 2007...

The registration site for Caltopia 2007 - the S.F. Bay Area's second annual celebration
of Cal Boats - is now on line

Caltopia 2007 will be held at the Encinal Yacht Club in Alameda, California, September 7-9. The event features a regatta, concours d’elegance, barbecue, jazz party, a Cal arts festival, and participation in the EYC Fall Flea Market.

Ralphie's midnight finish at the 2006 Transpac (painting by Gary Militmore)

(used with permission)

Caltopia 2007 is sponsored by The Encinal Yacht Club, Svendsen's Boat Works, Tartan C&C Yachts of San Francisco, Bastress Custom Boats, and Any Neuvecelle-Buckles Varnishing & Woodworking.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

At last, a cruise-out on Spindrift

The Cal 39-2 has been out of commission for six months, and we finally got her back on May 11th. Deb flew off to visit family for a week, and I spent the time cleaning her as well as finishing up my varnish and clean and wax jobs on Dog Days. Deb got back just in time to pack up again and head to the boat for our first cruise-out with fellow sailors from the Encinal Yacht Club cruising group since the Commodore's Cruise last October.

Saturday morning we readied ourselves to depart, got fuel at the Jack London fuel docks (15 gallons), and then hooked up with Jay and Gail Bryan on their Beneteau 47. At the end of the estuary we raised the main - our first use of the electric halyard winch - and then rolled out the jib for a nice reach in light winds past Treasure Island, the Slot, and Angel Island to the entrance to Richmond harbor. Going down the Richmond Reach we got a nice breeze, and as we pulled in the jib a few turns hit 7.5 knots. It was a great sail up and it gave us a chance to get basic familiarity with our new chartplotter, the reefing system, and so forth. It's like an entirely new boat!

Our destination was the Pt. San Pablo Yacht Club, where the cruise leaders planned a "Cruise of the Decades - 1950s, 1960s, 1970s," a nostalgic trip back into Rock and Roll and historic (sometimes hysterical) outfits that members decided to wear for the occasion.

We arrived at about 15:00, and marvelled at the brisk wind off our beam as we rafted up along George and Kim Bean's Catalina 34 Freya. It seemed windier at Pt. San Pablo than on the bay, yet the sun was warm and we quickly settled into swapping stories with everyone who had arrived before us (which was most of the fleet) and even taking some compliments on Spindrift. Truth is, the Encinal Cruising Fleet is one in which virtually every boat is kept in Bristol condition.

Our cruises have a certain predictability to them - arrive, visit on each other's boats, have a cocktail and hors d'oeuvres party on the docks or the deck of our host club, adjourn to our host club for more cocktails, have dinner, and then party to the late hours. But our leaders had planned to spice this up with a contest or two. First, during our cocktail hour, we all brought along photos of ourselves in the 1950s, 60s, or 70s, which were numbered and mounted on a board so we could guess who was whom. I'm not sure who won this contest (I think it was Gilly), but we had great fun trying to guess.

After dinner, we had a "Name-that-Tune" (plus recording artist and decade it was a hit) contest, which I think Shaun Hagerman won. The contest ended with a rousing version of "Gonna get Married," played for John Foy & Gilly Loza, who naturally are gonna get married in a month and then set off on a life of cruising the seven seas.

We danced until the late hours, Rod Kidd acting as our D.J., "spinning tunes" for Sirius Satellite Radio and finally from his own CD collection. It's a sight indeed to watch us "old folks" rocking and rolling, doing the twist, and line dancing to Achy, Breaky Heart (I think we did that three times, at least), but just remember, if you're a youngster, you'll be there sooner than you think.

Sunday we arose to the obligatory Fizz Party & breakfast on the docks. I don't know why it is, but nobody seemed to be able to read the fizz recipe, so I was drafted to make fizzes. Isn't it nice to have a talent for something when your retired!

We departed about noon, and practiced putting in and taking reefs in the main. Going out the Richmond Reach we thought we'd have some wind, but it soon fell off and was light and fluky as we headed toward Angel Island. The idea of going out to the Golden Gate and back along the city front was scotched without wind, so we headed in the general direction of Alcatraz. On the radio, John and Gilly reported 20 knots wind between Alcatraz and the Bay Bridge, so we put a reef in the main (for the second time) and four-five turns in the jib. We never got over 18 knots apparent wind, maybe 15 knots true, but we hit 9.9 knots across the Slot between Alcatraz and the Bay Bridge.

It's thrilling that Spindrift is so stable after the refit. The rig is tuned much better than it was before, and the lines are really easy to work. To say the least, this shake-down cruise to Pt. San Pablo and back resulted in our being very satisfied with the results of our refit.

Cruise photo album

Friday, May 18, 2007

Spindrift returns...

Last Friday (May 11th) Deborah and I finally got our Cal 39-2 back from refitting work at Svendsen's Boat Works. Deb drove her back from the yard with rigger Chris Tibbe and his partner Noah.

It took more than six months from start to finish on the project, which is too long by almost any standard. My saving grace was that I have Dog Days to sail and mess about on as well. The whole sordid story of the refit is posted on Spindrift's maintenance log.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Corinthian Cruise...

Deb and I led our yacht club's Corinthian cruise this year, and by all accounts it was a great success. She join me to sail over on Friday on Dog Days (Spindrift is still in the yard, but that's another story), settled in on the guest dock, and then went up to the Corinthian clubhouse for a drink.

Friday nights they have a club race, as do so many other yacht clubs on the bay, so things were hopping. We met a fun couple -Val and Greg - at the bar, visited their boat down on the docks, brought them over to Dog Days, and then later bumped into them at Servino's Italian restaurant in Tiburon and ended up having dinner and dancing and listening to a great blues band.

Saturday morning we arose with phone calls from a couple of our cruisers, and I got up to prepare to help dock all the cruisers arriving that day. Katherine Hagerman came by the boat and we joined her for breakfast on the deck at Sam's Anchor Cafe - a beautiful morning and the crowds were not yet there. Just as I finished some great Huevos Rancheros, Penny McClaugh on Out 'n About called on the radio and reported her eminent arrival, so I rushed down to the guest dock to help her in.

Hans, the Corinthian dock master, was an incredible help all day long. He appeared from out of nowhere it seemed whenever a boat came in (actually, he was monitoring our cruisers' calls to me on the radio), and he got in our fourteen boats without a problem. We even had space left over.
It couldn't have been a more gorgeous day on the bay Saturday. Not much wind, which was a frustration to the sailors among us, but the air was crystal clear and the view from the Corinthian decks across the bay to San Francisco was spectacular. By 16:00 all the boats were in and we began cocktails and hors d'oeuvres on the guest dock.

By 18:00 we were adjourning to the Corinthian bar in preparation for dinner, which was stunning. Following dinner, Tony Oliver (guitar) joined me in the bar where we played some music, joined in by Penny's friend Steve. We kept the place open until midnight, although some of our cruisers wandered off to shut down Sam's.

Sunday's fizz party was a success, as always, and gradually cruisers began to shove off for the sail home to Alameda.

Deb and I joined Tony & Mary to wander about Tiburon and down to the San Francisco Yacht Club where some of our cruisers were having lunch. Ultimately, we were the last to leave at about 14:00, and although our sail home was not as brisk as the one over on Friday - the doldrums of Saturday were just lifting - it was a fun trip and a really fun weekend.

More photos