Wednesday, August 26, 2015

How to determine if you are on a collision course

When I first started sailing the bay, I was very panicked that I was going to hit every boat in my vicinity.  Then a friend told me about the Nichol's Effect.  This is a law that has saved me many times.  Let's say you are sailing on a port tack and donnot have the right of way over a boat heading across your bow 100 yards away.  Do you need to tack to avoid him?  Not if you use this handy technique.  If there is land behind the boat, use that as your gauge.  Look at the boat and the land behind it.  If the land is moving, you are not on a collision course.  Good news!  Now if the land is moving from bow to stern, the boat will pass in front of you.  Stern to bow and it goes behind you.  If there is no movement of the land as the boat moves, be prepared to take evasive action.  If you are on the ocean with no land in sight, use a stanchion or some other part of your boat, to determine his course (a bearing compass works well too).  When I sail the bay, I assume no one knows the rules of the road (which everyone should know) and I always give everyone else the right of way in questionable situations.  Get out on the water and try out this law and amaze your friends with your sailing acumen.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

How Not to Gybe a Kite

Gybing the kite has got to be the most difficult maneuver in sail handling.  On the bay, I try my best to avoid it.  I set myself up for the run home and make sure I can make the channel without the gybe.

Make sure you watch the vid to the end.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Weekend Pics

Fantastic Sail Out the Gate

We headed out shortly after 11 for the best sail of the year!  Arnie, Mike, Ron, Sean, Steve and Stacey were aboard for the day sail.  We hit the last channel marker and there was no wind.  We motored for a mile or so and there is a wind line ahead.  The sails are raised and off we go in about 10 knots of wind.  It quickly builds and we reduce sail by furling the jib a bit.  That's better.  We have two options:  Sail to Angel Island for some picnicing or sail hard and head out the Gate towards the ocean.  We opt for the later and begin our journey towards destiny.  The wind continues to build as we head west.  We reef the jib once more and sail comfortably.  We hit the Gate and spirits are high.  Arnie tells us of his recent sail trip from Hawaii to SF.  Their boat hit something in the middle of the night and they had to abandon ship.  A nearby freighter picked them up and took them to Panama.  We tack a few more times and realize it's getting late.  We turn to head home and raise the spinnaker for a glorious run for the barn.  7.5 knots to 8.5 knots is the norm.  With new bottom paint, the Addiction is flying.  After sailing hard for 4 hours to get out, we make it home in a bit over an hour.  The spinnaker comes down as we near the channel and I am one grateful sailor.  Our boat has brought so much fun and happiness into our lives.  I could not be more thankful for such a splendid day on the water.  My crew mates share my feelings.  This is one sail that will be embedded into our memory banks for many years to come.

Twenty Eight Feet: life on a little wooden boat from kevinAfraser on Vimeo.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Point Panic

Hope you'all have a great weekend.  I am taking out a slew of folks for a day sail today.  If the winds are from the right direction, it's a good day to head out the Gate.  We shall see.  On another note.  The Baja Haha is coming up in 8 weeks.  This is the 150 boat rally from San Diego to Cabo.  750 miles down the Baja coast.  This will be my 5th trip down the coast on other peoples boats.  The crew party is coming up and good chance to meet potential skippers looking for crew.  I will keep you posted.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Pics of the Week

Had a couple nice night sails over the weekend.  Wind was in the teens and we were cooking across the bay.