Wednesday - July 15 - More Schooners than You Can Shake a Stick At (13 NM)

Today was a bit unusual. We had a guest aboard. Other than my friend Craig, this was our first. So we headed out to the boat a bit early so I could finish up installing our new gps and prep Bolero and Laura could row back and pick up Fred.

I had created and varnished a mounting pad for the old school West Marine swing arm bracket that I scored on ebay and Tuesday I epoxied it to the inside of port side bulkhead. So today I only needed to attach the arm and gps.

A simple job that even I was able to perform successfully without any additional trips to shore.

I am really happy with the way this little project turned out. It does compromise the interior sitting space a bit. But we won't be below that often. And in a pinch I can just remove and store the the swing arm and gps.

Underway, the improvement over our old handheld was overwhelming. Our current (know old gps) was a Garmin 76s black and white handheld. Typically it sat on the leeward bench and got move from tack to tack. That is unless I forgot and it went crashing to the floor.

For daysailing I mostly just use speed and track data and the detailed coastal charts. The speed I use to help as I tweak the sails and rigging. In addition, I never seem to tire of seeing some "new" highest speed. Today we often saw 7 kts which is always exciting. I find the track course very helpful in combination with our compass course to see the effects of the currents.

The visibility in our fixed, center mounted, installation was excellent. It is also very easy to reach from the tiller and quite protected in its home under the companionway hatch. I mounted it on the port side since the direction of the locking nut threads tighten as the arm is pulled aft. So it is very easy to push the swing arm forward, the locking knob loosens, if we need to get below in a hurry.

Just about the time I finished prepping the boat and admiring my handywork, Fred rowed up with Laura. Since we all set we quickly cast off the mooring and headed out.

I have to admit that I was a little disappointed with the weather forecast since we had a guest. The forecast was for 10 kts from the SW and at noon not much of that had shown up. I was worried that we would bore Fred with a lackluster sail, although we have never had one.

We sailed very, very slowly out of the bay in light wind and almost no current at all.

Two things quickly put to rest my fears of boring Fred. First the wind outside the bay had come up to promised forecast.

And second, today was apparently the start of the International Schooner Race starting out of Deer Harbor.

And all this time I have been whining and complaining about the lack of gorgeous old boats on the West Coast. Shame on me. We hurried to get in amongst the fleet to sail along side these beautiful and majestic boats. It was a true love fest with everyone taking photos of everyone else's boat.

Our mooring neighbor in the Alberg 35, Ashanti, came out as well and looked grand in the building breeze.

All in all just a spectacular day on the water. And Fred really enjoyed himself. Quite a contrast to his 40 plus foot Cheoy Lee that he sailed to Mexico and winters on. By the end of the day he was talking about buying a small keel boat that he could sail in and out of the bay, which was something that he had never attempted before.

Fred had dinner and Laura had her bridge game so headed back. We reefed prior to sailing in, to tame the experience, and nailed the mooring pickup under sail. Always nice when you have an audience.

As we were putting the boat to bed, at around 4 pm, Eric, in our old Bluenose Sloop, set out to catch the last of this great day. He underestimate the wind in the bay just a bit and we saw him changing jibs and reefing almost immediately after casting off the mooring. Quite a feat while under sail in the anchorage.

The wind was lighter outside the bay and dropping as the afternoon waned. He was nicely captured by one of our web cams on his return. Apparently he reversed his sail changes once outside the bay.

A fitting end to an extraordinary afternoon of sailing.

July 13 Tides - Friday Harbor

July 13 GPS Track

2009 Sailing Summary
Sailing Days-20 / 71 (28%)
Blissful Hours of Hand Steering - 3:25 hours today & 65:22 hours for the season
Total Miles Under Sailed this Season - 244 NM