Saturday, February 28, 2009
I got the a primer coat on the walls and moved on to the atrium where I had the shelves ready to go. I had used the "liquid sandpaper" to prepare the oil painted wood for a new coat. I rolled on the paint and then used a paintbrush to tip the finish. Don't ever buy a cheap roller... they leave fuzz in the paint. But, it's only closet shelves so I didn't do anything about it. I'll never see them again anyway.
Next came the baseboards in the closet... also oil paint. This was the most tedious part of the whole project... keeping the baseboard and wall paint separate. I got one color and the oil on one side of the shelves before I was done for the day. I am using the same color as we have on the walls downstairs...wheat sheaf. It's actually not so far off of the nicotine color that was there, but it looks so much better already.
I finished up just in time to get ready to go to dinner with the BYC group. There was a cruise to the Crab N in Aransas Pass planned but we had not expected to bring Elan due over due to the ongoing varnish project. We joined the others driving over. We had never been there before and thought that the weather would keep the bunch at home, not so! There were probably over 40 people from our club there. There was only one couple that came in their boat. The winds were howling and it would not have been a great sail over. It was absolutely great food and we will go back again.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
It's Never Too Late for a Mid Life Crisis!
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Mardi Gras BYC Style
Bruce's hear sank as we walked towards the dock. I had extracted a promise from him to keep the hat on "no matter what". There were no others wearing anything remotely... shall we say "appropriately celebratory". Oh well... I had my promise! Things eased up for Bruce once we got inside the clubhouse however, there were decorations everywhere as well as people in hats (even goofier (cooler) than his). Beads were handed around and after declining the 4th offer as they would clash with my boa... I finally accepted my share.
We had a great cajun dinner hosted by the "good" Captain Ron and his family. He evidently has some cajun blood coursing through his veins that was put to good use in the provision of dinner. Even the grandbabies got in on it. Free labor... what can you do?
After dinner, everyone mixed and mingled to the music. I got to hear Carrie's story about their new boat. It's in Guatamala awaiting the Spring when they can go and bring it back here. Bruce and I are jealous!
Wine was plentiful. We have had to make a pact that we drink one water between every alcoholic beverage. I just limited my intake to avoid the Sunday morning headache. (I didn't say hangover) We left relatively early for the crowd, before 10pm, but this is late for Bruce and I. We'll have to work up to the late crew. Ya gotta have goals!
UK Halsey Racing Rules Seminar
We met in the upstairs dining room of the CCYC and spent the next two hours enthralled. The presentor was Butch Ulmer, from UK Halsey sails. Here is the link to their website. http://www.ukhalsey.com/ They have created an online tutorial with clips of boats in different scenarios with Q&A to teach the proper sailing rules. It was very easy for a beginner like myself to understand but as the day wore on, I became more and more sure that I would never be the one calling the shots in any race.
After the session, there was time for chit-chat.
Bruce met up with one of the MORF board members to turn in some homework that he had been working on for the club.
It was all good. Jacquie asked me if I had "got all of that". I confessed that a lot of it was making sense to me until they started saying things like "if in this situation these rules apply but in this other situation, all those rules go away and this one applies". Yes, it was written by a man. But, I think in our situation... non "one-design" racing... common sense will get us through most of the time.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
One Man's Movement is Another Man's Drift...
There was a beautiful view of our beloved city as I glanced behind to see the spinaker fleet start. Jacquie has been putting in the hours on the boat and has learned very quickly where everything is and how it all works. She is almost a one-woman-show! This is lending well to my goal to become the crew photographer with a minor in ballast! Bruce, Steve and Jacquie did most (all) of the crew work tonight while I was moved from one position to another in order to maintain optimal balance in the light air. Light air racing is an art and requires different stratagies from our normal heavier air racing.
As the race wore on, we made it out to the windward mark, #3 and rounded in good position. The fleet was all over the place. Several spinaker boats had rounded and popped their chutes. It was dark by this time but I got lucky and was able to get one acceptable shot to show you here. We began the race towards the finish with steadily decreasing winds. Before the end, we had barely enough wind to move. We could see even the spinaker boats off in the dark barely able to make their boats go even with their bigger sails... how could we expect to ever make it in. We laughed as we barely moved along ... Steve had to go below and I was left with the helm. I had my doubts but with these "winds" how could I mess it up. I was nervous at first but then it got fun! Maybe I could be a "tiller girl" yet!
We tried everything to get some foward motion. We flopped the sail from one side to another. I held the main out to the port side as the jib hung lifeless! "WE'RE MOVING" I cried!! "WE'RE DRIFTING" Steve countered!!! We eventually made it in through the gap and headed up towards the finish line. Milky Way started their engine just at the gap. We couldn't figure out why... they had made it all the way there, why throw in the towel just when it got better? Oh well, we finished and we're happy. Motto of the race... "One Man's Moving is Another Man's Drift"
Sunday, February 15, 2009
I apologize for the bumpy video as I walk.
We had some engine trouble at the end of the race on Saturday, but Bruce put off worrying about it until today. After breakfast with the BYC group at their favorite down town Mexican Food place, he stood on his head in the engine compartment diagnosing the problem.
I was called upon with my smaller fingers to help in the cramped space.
Bruce and I talked (argued) it out and finally agreed after replacing the ($65 a pop impeller to be on the safe side) that the engine seemed to be sucking air in through the cap on the canister which holds the crud basket for the raw water intake system. The engine sucks in water from the outside through a hole and strains it through a basket so that no seaweed and such can get into the engine. This strainer has an access cap so that it can be checked and emptied. The lid has a gasket which was not (it seemed) sealing properly.
So, I found a piece of neoprene coozie thingy and cut out a crude gasket. Thanks West Marine for giving us this sacrificial freebie. We put it on and started up the engine... it worked!!!
You can just see it sticking out from under the cap, but you get the idea...
And then it quit working. But we now knew what the problem was. All we needed was some cork gasket material to make a real gasket. Luckily we had the van, thanks to Steve. We went to town for a sheet of cork and rubber gasket material and then to the house so that I could make the gaskets. I cut out 3 so that we would have spares.
We went back to the boat and installed one, and it worked! Off we went. It was 3pm and we had to make our way upwind back to Port A... not a minute to spare. We had a really beautiful sail making our way to marker 43. At that point we again started the engine. Our gasket wasn't working!!! Oh NO!! so back up with the sails that we had begun dropping... and Bruce went below to install a second gasket on top of the one. This worked and so we doused the sails and motored our way slowly up the channel with the wind on our nose. Luckily the tide was slack to slightly favorable. It was a long slow slog as I was charged with listening to and watching for the water spurting from the outlet behind the boat to make sure our gasket continued to work. It did... and I gradually relaxed enough to enjoy the night transit. We really love the chart plotter as it makes night sailing (or motoring) really not a problem. We had no channel traffic until right near the ferry crossing when we had 2 other (bigger) boats pass us. We were well over to the green side and they caused no stress.
We parked Elan in her slip right at 9pm. A long day. We quickly put everything away, gathered our stuff and headed home. We would pick up the van at the CC Marina on Monday morning.
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Valentine's Day 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Friday the 13th!
I had a great day at work on this Friday the 13th. I was in high spirits when I left there to rush home, throw some food into the ice chest, clothes into a duffel bag and then off to Port A and Elan.
Bruce and I were out of the slip by 5 pm headed up the channel for Corpus Christi. We listened to my new fuze and thrilled to the dozens of dolphins that kept up with us most of the way to the bay.
It was an absolutely perfect evening and a fabulous sail. Not so bad for a Friday the 13th. We had fair winds that took us towards our waiting slip at between 6 and 8 kts. We surfed the waves like a racer! It was a perfect way to let go of the work week and gear up for a fun filled Valentines Day weekend race.