Sunday, August 29, 2010

Late August Morning Sail

Great day for a sail yesterday, steady wind in the dinghy range and the sun shining. We got out about 10:30a, so no wakeboats to deal with. Sailed up and down, nieces and middle daughter onboard, with my brother-in-law helping out with the jib and centerboard.

We've decided to sell the dinghy and make the move to a keelboat. I'm gonna miss my little Love and Coconuts. :(

Cheeseburgers and scooby snacks for all at the Fulton Pub afterward.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Who Wants Crew March 26 on the Bay?

C'mon, you Bay Area blowhards! Let's go sailing. We'll be coming home to the City by the Bay the weekend of March 26-27.

We get into town Friday night and Kris goes to work on Sunday. I, however, will be a kept man, ready to sail at a moment's notice, Saturday through Monday. Then, back to Portland on Tuesday morning.

And for you Rob Me Please fans, my house will not be empty. There is a dog, two cats, and a virtual herd of attack-trained pygmy goats!

Plus, my daughter is staying there.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Squirrely Ride

I managed to launch the dinghy and get in an hour+ of sailing on Sunday, part of it with my friend Alton.

Not sure when, who, or if anyone would show to sail, I launched and sailed myself downriver, downwind. I made a turn and began tacking back into the West and Southwest winds, to the clubhouse. Yeah, winds. It was squirrely and shifty out there.

I had to throw in a couple of extra tacks to set myself up in a spot that would allow the Portland Spirit to pass through the channel without my needing to head that way. The Spirit is a 150' yacht that cruises up and down the river with pleasure seekers, or something. Needless to say, in our small river with a restricted channel, they get right-of-way.

When I got back to the dock, Alton was around. I let him know the conditions were weird and he was still game, so away we went.

We tacked upriver, crossing from side to side and even doing some depth checks with my centerboard on the rocks just upriver from the Willamette Park boat launch. The rocks are still there and they still make the centerboard jump when you sail over them.

At some point close to the Sellwood bridge the spring chinook fleet got too immense and densely packed to attempt tacking amongst, so we tacked to port and fell off for a downwind run with only two accidental gybes.

Being spring, the conditions were variable, winds gusting to 15 kts at times and dying off to a very light 2-4 at other times. We had a couple of thrilling short runs, both of us up on the rail, working hard to flatten the sails out. Of course, moments later we would be back down in the cockpit, letting out more sheet to try and find the right sail shape for the lighter stuff.

After putting the boat away, we made a quick run to Zupans, loaded up on lagers, a couple of sandwiches, some chips, and took seats up on the cliff, where we watched the Laser fleet play tag around the marks in their Sunday afternoon Winter Racing Series. Lots of banging at the turns!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Time to Sail!

L & C needs a little TLC. The sun is threatening to shine this weekend. Maybe Sunday for some sailing?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I ran this one through Typealyzer and here's the result:

ESFP - The Performers

The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of exhausting themselves.

The enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.

Funnily enough, I also ran Log of the S/V Clarity through and got a different result:

ISFP - The Artists

The gentle and compassionate type. They are especially attuned their inner values and what other people need. They are not friends of many words and tend to take the worries of the world on their shoulders. They tend to follow the path of least resistance and have to look out not to be taken advantage of.

They often prefer working quietly, behind the scene as a part of a team. They tend to value their friends and family above what they do for a living.

Back in Black

The mysterious orbs are back, but they're black. And they aren't really that mysterious anymore. Apparently, the cleaning service comes around seven in the morning and rolls the tables out on the dock.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Just checking ...

Sometimes my dinghy goes without me. Not today ... so far.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Pitchers, Disks, Spiders, and Leather

Some pictures for you. The giant spider disappeared not long after this picture was taken. The group of trees it is standing on (on it's head), are on Ross Island. I suspect she will reemerge in the summer and make another appearance.

My wife has been recruited by the sailing club to help fight her off; mostly because my wife has a power-washer. Make no mistake, my friends, it IS her power-washer. She loves the power tools.


This next picture was one I grabbed off the club camera early one morning and was never able to figure out was going on with those big disks. Anybody want to speculate about Roswell, I wasn't feeling very creative that day, so never did anything with this one.

And then there is this little vixen. Kris bought the same jacket and occasionally wears it the same way, but only at home. I put this picture in here so you wouldn't be pissed at me for wasting your time with this post.

What's Missing from this Picture?

Me and my dinghy, dangit!

Why is there nobody out there? It's blowing 12 kts and the sun is shining. Work is for suckers! Somebody get out there. Do I have to take charge again?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Siren Call of Spring!

Oh, it is hella blowing out there today. And the sun is shining! It's a beautiful springy day in mid February. We are heading for 60 F and there's a strong, consistent NE wind blowing, which means straight up the river.

Check these beauties out:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Work is for Suckers

I'm gonna get fired, if I keep this up. My wife tells me so.

Is that such a bad thing? I know there's the whole 'money' thing, because we have to 'eat' and 'live' somewhere, but, hey, Larry Craig lost his 'job' and he hasn't killed himself. That guy doesn't even know how to get out of a closet.

I can find something that feeds my habit, right?

I was in the office at 6 and the glare on my monitor screen by 8 was making it very clear what kinda day it was gonna be out there.

I did some quick math in my head and realized I could stretch lunch to two hours and get in the work hours I needed with plenty of time to pick up the kids by five.

So, a quick lunch in the cubicle petting zoo, and I was off.

I launched and ran upriver/downwind to Staff Jennings Boat Center and asked about registration. Apparently, I am required to show some sort of ownership other than the fact that I showed up with the boat.

Their dock was a bit tricky with a swirling river current coming in and winds circling above. I eventually made it away from the dock and tacked back downriver to the club in six legs. The first couple were outstanding, with stiff 10+ kt gusters heeling the boat over and carrying me across the river as quick as I could handle it. Maybe a bit quicker as I was having to jump around to set myself up and make my turns.

I txted Jared and he made it down to the docks at noon. I slipped into the lee of the clubhouse and Jared came aboard for some more downriver tacking. We were able to cover the largest portion of the sailing ground in both directions and finish up at the club in about forty-five minutes. Wind was outstanding!

Kris is ready to move up to a keel boat, but I'm having so much fun, I can't imagine giving up the dinghy before the season is over.

I guess if I had an unexpected unemployment stretch, I'd be stuck dinghy-sailing for the summer .... Maybe it's time to take a stance. Not necessarily a 'wide' one (not that there's anything wrong with that), but a stance, nonetheless.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Let the Season Begin

Lucky with some dry, warmish Winter-afternoon weather (can I get a shout out for my friend, El Nino? Yeahhh!), I was off work a bit early and launched the dinghy for two hours+ of sailing today, despite my worry over how hard my fellow Portlanders were struggling under the jackboot of The Man.

I posted this first shot to let my brothers and sisters know that the revolution is being broadcast.

Then I took off upriver, downwind, and stretched my wings out to fly a little.

A couple of tacks back downriver and I glided into the clubhouse dock. I checked to find a VM letting me know the kids had a ride from school, freeing me up for another lap.

The wind was decent, so I went across the river a few times and tacked downriver toward Portland.

I fell off and the wind did, too, for the most part. I was able to make slow progress upriver, enjoying the partial sun and the quiet on the river. I situated my lifejacket to create the proper padding for my posterior and lay my head on the rail, the lightest ripple of wake behind me, as I contemplated shifting cloud shapes framing the lovely blue patches above.

I really love this sport more than just about anything I've done at this point in my life. I had fun at other things, but the ways that time passes when you're drifting, making reasonable way, or ripping in a good wind, are all so different and enjoyable.

I played with different sail shapes and angles, shifted centerboard height, and made way back to the clubhouse docks. As I was making my slow approach, I looked back downriver, and saw a line of ripples moving toward me. I came about and began reaching toward the East bank. As the wind filled in I brought her nose really close and tightened up the jib and main, slipped my body weight up on the rail, and really began to fly. I had to ease off the main once, to keep her from going to far over and I had as much of my body out over the water as I could possibly manage, as I made great speed.

A quick tack on the opposite side of the river and more of the same heading just down river from the clubhouse.

I fell off a bit as I neared the docks, furled my jib, raised the centerboard, and slid into the lee of the club, a very happy boy.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ghost Hand

A little break in our wintery weather yesterday inspired me to launch the dinghy. Just about the time I would have liked to sail, however, a couple of 25+ knot gusts held me back. As my time window closed (I was due to pick up the girls from school), I decided to put the boat away and was thankful for the chance to go through the process of launching after 3 1/2 months of winter non-sailing. I don't think the flies and spiders that took up residency in my sail were happy about my choice, though.

I ran up the ramp to get the pickup and trailer ready. As I was heading back down the ramp I could see my mast over the clubhouse and it was moving slowly down the dock. There were a couple of college sailors hanging out on the dock, just near the boat, so I assumed they were moving it down for some reason.

There was also an instructor standing steps away from my boat and I could see him. Since he wasn't reacting, I assumed all was well.

As the boat moved, it was picking up speed.

I decided to step up my pace, too.

L & C is designed to handle four adults comfortably and sails great with a crew of three, two on the jibsheets and centerboard, while someone handles the mainsheet and tiller. I've sailed it a few times with just two and she does great. I've also sailed her many times singlehanded and found her pretty easy to handle alone.

Today I took it to a new level.

Fortunately, the instructor was able to run in and radio the club whaler that was out setting course marks. They towed my wayward dinghy back to the dock and I put her away.

First sail of the new year ... sorta.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Potential Opening Day

Looking for a weather window this weekend to get the dinghy out and make a couple of jibes on the river.

Fingers crossed!

Here's a goat movie to keep you entertained.