Laura has reminded me about three times that I *need* to write about the regatta in more detail
now that we are a little less sleep deprived and the muscles are starting to
move back into their normal places. I had a great time, and it sure looked like
everybody else did too. I would love to send on some pictures, but I hardly
took any because my hands were full. I'm counting on Laura and Tom and Sue and
Norma to share theirs with me.
So, where did we go and what did we do? (I haven't seen the final results in
detail, but you probably can at the GBSA web site.)
Sunday: Collingwood to Christian Island.
We immediately got the flavour of the fleet. Our
division was definitely not about cruising. The wind was southerly and it was a
reaching start. I was kind of expecting a kind of relaxed trip across the line
and it was shaping up that way until just before the start when luffing rights were used quite agressively.
The result was two boats OCS with the I rule in place
(round the ends) one near collision with the committee boat and us bailing out
with a tack and a gybe to clear the line intact and
with not too bad a start. After that it took me a few minutes to convince
myself that everything was in hand, the crew was on top of things, and yes we
should pop out the chute. That's what cost us second place. We beat the Abbott
33 Natural High, and we were 24 seconds ahead of Aqualibrium
(C&C 34?) across the line, but they corrected out just ahead because of the
dinghy rule -- you get an 8% bonus on your PHRF if you tow a dinghy, but I'm
getting ahead of myself. We reached across pretty close to the wind with the
speed rising -- 15 gusting to 20 true according to the instruments. Tom did a
great job keeping the chute under control and dumping big when necessary to
keep us from broaching. Laura did likewise with the main and Norma ground hard
to get that chute back in once we were on track. It was a good race with a good
crew and my shoulders were sore by the end of it. Steering this boat requires a
fair bit of exercise.
The dinghy rule is interesting. When I read it, I looked back at the wake our
dinghy was making and said there's no way that can be advantageous, especially
in the anticipated light winds. Tom was absolutely keen that he could pump it
up whenever we needed it, and so we rolled ours up and lashed it across the
cabin top. Aqualibrium (AKA Aqua Velva, AKA Aqualicious, AKA Aquaholic, etc.
because the crew had a really hard time remembering the name.) Had a different
take on what th word towing
meant. They had lashed their dinghy's bow to the pushpit
and added a topping lift with a bridle on the transom just to keep it under
control. While we were passing them Tom took some pictures, as we admiring
their technique. Surfing the waves their entire dinghy was at least a foot out
of the water. I wasn't entirely sure what to do. After the race I mentioned it
to Jim, the skipper, who talked about difficulty with controlling the dinghy to
keep it out from under the transom in big weather. Later on I had a quiet word
with Monty the Race Chair and suggested an ammendment.
There was already a rule about no more than 5 feet of tow line while starting
or doing close manoeuvers. The next morning there was
an instruction broadcast to the effect that dinghys
shall be towed 5 feet off the transom at all times, no more, no less. I think
everybody found that a fair solution and we played neck and neck with Aqualibrium all week, and partied together in the evenings.
The finish of the race involved cracking further and further off and going
faster rather more comfortably. The mark boat had some sort of problem
(engine?) and wound up dropping anchor in an unexpected location. Eventually,
the committee boat came roaring past us on full plane and kept honking down the
line to eventually drop the finish line in front of Sandpiper (very hot C&C
35 that cleaned up) where we finshed several miles
beyond the advertized end of the race course, then
motored back to the anchorage. That taught me I should do my chart prep for
places I didn't expect to be racing...
So we anchored out our first night in the lee of Christian
Island. The weather was damp, with
rain on and off, so we didn't have the full fleet in from their anchors, but we
still had a good crowd. Tom inflated the dinghy and I ferried us in, then went
back out for the Crew Sgian Dubh
(I have no idea what it means, but it seems to be pronounced Scan Do), a
Niagara 26 with a total weight fetish that did them very well in the overall
results. I BBQ'd lamb chops for the crew and we ate
them on picnic tables under a tarp. The food for the rest of the week is kind
of a blur, but it involved a bunch of steak and shrimp and monster pork chops
and smoked salmon, so use you imagination.
The next day was Monday, Christian Island
to 12 Mile Bay. It was honking in NW 15 to 20 and the first mark was supposed
to be a tetra just inside SE Rock. That made it a close fetch with plenty of
pounding that we did under 135 and reefed main. We made notes on the way that
next time we would do that with the #3. Unfortunately, their
were some other difficulties with the mark boat (somebody ill?) so they
couldn't get out there to set the tetra, so the course was altered to around SE
Rock. So I headed down below to fire up the plotter and get a better idea what
we were sailing into. The damn GPS took the longest time getting a fix. I think
it may have been the pounding and antenna being quite close to the waterline
heeled over on the low side on port tack. Anyhow, just NE of SE Rock is Black
Rock. There's navigable water between them, but I didn't want to do it in that
weather without way better than eyeball positioning. We wound up having to
throw in a quick tack to clear Black Rock, and that's where Aqualicious
passed us. The water shallowed from 100+ to 15 feet
very quickly. The we cracked off about 90 degrees for a nice fast spinnaker
reach and rolled Aqua Velva up again, crossing the line about 35 seconds ahead,
but not quite far enough to beat them.
Then we headed up the small boat channel through twisty turny
passages all different into 12 mile bay. We were following other boats and they
just seemed to turn right and dissappear into the
shoreline. We wound up in this beautiful little anchorage with an entry about
35 feet wide and a rock in the middle of the pool with an Inukshuk
on it. Great party, great swimming, and the guys from Brine Hog (X119, hot
sails, really friendly crew, PHRF 57, lots of yellow flags) lent us some very
stiff batten material to replace the two we lost that day. We had the whole Aquaholic crew on board and were feeding them rum while I
sewed batten pockets and cut new material, and incidentally punched the shank
of the needle about a half inch into my thumb when my grip on the pliers
slipped. In the midst of all this Tom noticed the anchor was dragging, so we
hijacked our guests to the other end of the anchorage where we put out both
anchors in shallower water and got a good set that kept us happily in place all
Tuesday was 12 Mile Bay to Midland.
More big wind. We started with the new number three
and went pretty fast off the start line. Later on it started to lighten up a
little and we spent about half an hour parked in our own little private hole
while the fleet steered carefully around us. We changed sails, but that didn't
help either. It was bizarre because boats not far away obviously had 6 to 10
knots of wind, but we were stuck for a long time. Even DFL we flew the spin
down from Giant's tomb past Beausoleil Island
in wind that was freshening considerably. As we approached the turning mark we
were debating whether or not we could carry it as we turned up towards Midland,
so we were ready when we saw Agent 99 (an X99 with hot inventory) do a nasty
spinout not far above us. We had the chute almost all the way down before that
gust got to us and had an otherwise uneventful race. Laura was driving and
doing a great job. I was hauling in the chute, which is not something I have
done much of at all in the last couple of years.
That night we had pizza in a hanger at Doral Marine and Sue arrived to switch
off with Tom. It was Sue's birthday and she came prepared with a huge bottle of
Champagne and a delicious
strawberry mousse cake. It was a good party, but that should hardly be
surprising with a good crew.
That's about all the writing I'm up for now, so I will put together another instalment later.
I hope you're all having fun, because we sure are!
Rick / Dad
PS I have combined these trip reports into a web version,
for those who are really keen to read the installments again, or for
those I forgot to add to the list until more recently. The
It may not be completely up to date.