Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Both boats in the yard at once...

I never thought I'd see the day when both of my boats were in the yard at the same time. Dog Days got a bottom job last week - she was long overdue - and Spindrift was at the yard dock to troubleshoot her newly installed but inoperable tri-color and anchor lights.

Deborah pointed out that I really need another boat for just such occasions. Alas, I suppose my rowing tender, Pup, doesn't actually count as another boat.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Caltopia 2007...

This past weekend, more than 25 vintage Cal boats assembled at our Encinal Yacht Club to celebrate the second annual Caltopia - a celebration of the boats built by one of the West Coast's great boat building collaborations: Jack Jensen and Bill Lapworth. Even Lat 38 picked up on the story.

Most boats arrived on Friday, and were treated to an evening of blues and folk music provided by Cal 39 owners Mike Serpan and Craig Tyler and friend Ted Tinson.

Saturday started with the EYC Fall Flea Market and Cal boaters were active buyers and sellers. A day of seminars - Kame Richards on sail trim, Mike Serpan on cruising the Cal 39, and Steve Seals on building boats at Jensen Marine in Costa Mesa - judging for the Concours d'Elegance and a fun all-Cal Regatta followed. The most fun, of course, was checking out other people's boats and getting to know each other.

The evening brought a barbecue by the EYC pool, followed by presentation of awards and an evening of jazz provided by my own group, Article 19. The Cal 39 Grimsby (one of only six Corinthian models built) won "Best of Show" in the Concours d'Elegance, and the Cal 40 Azure took first overall in the Regatta.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

To Half Moon Bay...

I returned from Copenhagen and Rome and four days later joined Deborah to take our Cal 39 Spindrift to Half Moon Bay. Yep, it was another club cruise-out. Actually, Deb wasn't going to go at all and I was going to crew with our friend Steve Katzaroff, but he pulled his back and had to cancel, Deb decided she wanted to go, and so on Friday morning we embarked.

It was a motor all the way down, and we got to test out our radar system in the fog outside the Golden Gate, but it wasn't a bad trip at all. And we had a great weekend anchored with 80-90 other cruisers from almost a dozen yacht clubs in Pillar Point Harbor.

Saturday night was our club's dinner at Mezza Luna, an Italian restaurant that everyone likes from previous visits. Turns out I'd met a friend of the owner in Rome, and it was a fun treat to pass on hello from Eugenio to Roberto.

Sunday evening was the big party at the Half Moon Bay Yacht Club. Deb was coming down with a cold, so she didn't have as great a time as we might have. But it was fun, nevertheless.

Monday morning we prepared to leave, and after we'd pulled the dinghy up on the foredeck and started tying it down, lo and behold, I tweaked my lower back. Deb stepped right in and did what had to be done, but we motored the way back rather than raising our sails because we both thought we'd have trouble getting them down with my back out. Well, we missed only about two hours of wind, which wasn't bad, and the trip was uneventful.

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Up to the Delta...

In early August the Encinal cruising group went to the Sacramento-San Joaquin rivers delta for their annual "Delta Daze." It's a very long day (or two day trip if you're sane) up to Three River Reach, about ten miles out of Stockton, on the inland sea of California. Some say there are almost a 1,000 miles of navigable waterways in the delta region, and I'm not one to argue.

This was my first trip and I invited along Paul Poirier, one of our long-time club members to join me on Dog Days. He was thrilled to come, and we agreed to make it two days up, two days there, and two days back. (We could have stayed longer, but I was leaving for a trip to Europe and wanted a couple of extra days to get ready for that.)

We had a nice sail up to the Vallejo Yacht Club (about half way), where we met with my old friend Bruce Sinclair for drinks at the club and dinner at a great Mexican place to which Bruce drove us.

The next morning we shoved off early for Three River Reach, caught a nice wind, got through the Benecia gap in slack water, and then variously sailed and motor-sailed all the way up. The route is not particularly inspiring in terms of view. We passed the railroad and highway bridges above Benecia just as some trains were lumbering over - a nice sight - and then past Humphreys restaurant, named for the wandering whale of several years ago who made a big sensation by swimming deep into the delta.

We were passed by some larger (and faster) boats in our fleet as we neared our destination, but we still arrived by 16:00 hours and dropped anchor among the dozen or so other Encinal boats. The next two days were filled with napping, partying, napping, drinking, eating, some swimming, and general visiting of other boats. It was a really relaxing, fun time, and we were both sorry that we had to cut our little trip short (everyone else stayed for three or four more days).

But, all good things must end, so on the 5th day of our journey, we weighed anchor and motored (getting perhaps an hour of sailing in) down to the Benecia Yacht Club, where we spent the night. Next day we left early to catch the tide and had a great motor-sail and sail back to Alameda. A fun trip!

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