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. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

So Cool

Had a couple sails on the "new" boat.  Everything is working fine and am so happy to be back on the water.  Can't wait to get out again later this week.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Flying with Foils

Pics of the Weekend

Back in the Saddle (The Addiction Is In!!)

Back on June 13th, we lost our furler to a failed casting at the top of the mast.   The boat had hit something submerged in the water and the impact took down our 10 year old furling unit.  We put a claim into our insurance company and they paid for our misfortune.  We received our repaired boat on Friday.  Seven long summer weeks later.  We also replaced the standing and running rigging as well as the goose neck.  Not to mention fixing the hull and getting some fresh paint on the bottom.  After a repower to electric last year, the boat is in her best shape of her life (she is 34 years young).  In the last 3 years, we have invested $25k into her upkeep, repairs and maintenance.

I headed up to the boat on Friday to look her over.  The rigger (Scott Easom) did a wonderful job and I am one happy sailor.  I hope to take her out on Monday and hit the amazing SF breeze that will most likely be the typical 20-25 knots.

Here is the forecast:



I can't wait to go sailing again!

One thing I have noticed about our winds this summer.  We normally have northwest winds all summer long.  Not this summer.  Notice in the forecast that the prediction is for South West winds each day.  The bay water temp is 10 degrees warmer at 73 last week.  For some reason, (maybe the warm water mass off the coast) the low has shifted and are winds have changed. 

I am not sure if this relates to the above topic, I read somewhere that our fog levels have decreased by 20%-30% over the last 20 years.  Anywho, our beloved boat is ready and waiting for her next adventure!!

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Hot Tub Ownership on the Cheap

Have you ever thought about owning your own hot tub?  Spending $5k for the tub and another $3k getting the power and set up just right.  It never seemed worth it.  Plus the power bill would be taking a hit.  Then one day you find a better solution.  For me, I was at a street fair and a vendor had a hot tub in his booth.  I asked him about it and he said it was a Soft Tub.  The biggest feature was that it uses a regular household plug.  That's interesting.  Anything else?  Well how do you get a hot tub in your back yard?  In my case, we would need a crane to pick it up over the house and drop it down into the back yard.  No, not the Soft Tube.  The Soft Tub is round and designed to roll thru the front door and out the back door.  Brilliant!  How much is your display model?  $5K!?!  Oh my.  Back to my/your original dilemma.  So of course my next step was to look on Craigslist.  I quickly found a Soft Tub for sale and went over to take a look.  Everything looked good and I paid the $1000.  I had my van, so I rolled the tub to the van and by myself, picked up the tub and placed it on top of the van, by myself.  Yes, by myself.  I tied her down the best I could and took off down the freeway and over the bridge.  Now this is not just any bridge.  This bridge goes over the south bay with winds to 25 and 30 knots each afternoon.  I have a great rack on top of the van and I trust it completely.  The tie down, not so much.  We hit the bridge with this huge tub on the roof and it it blowing 24 on the bay.  I pray that the tub makes it across the bay and not in the bay.  We make it and I pull the tub off the roof.  I roll it up thru the front door and proudly call out, " Honey, I'm home!".  I roll past the family room and out to the back patio.  I pull out the hose and fill her up.  Then the heating unit is connected and we are ready to party.  I have now owned the tub for 2 years and I love it.  I was able to position the tub next to the window.  With the TV on and the speakers turned towards me, I can watch the game or just relax with the music.  It's a dream come true for me and if I can do it for $1k, you most likely can do it for less.

But that's not all. We recently converted to solar thru Solar City and are saving a bundle on powering the tub and our household needs.  If you have any thoughts of considering solar, now is the time.  For us, there was no charge for the panels and we are saving $100 per month on power.  Check it out.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Top 20 Sail Blogs

If you are a sailor who enjoys reading about other folks sailing, here is a list of the top 20 sailing blogs.  Several of these I have been following for years.  I hope you find what you are looking for

Almost There

We are getting close to having our boat back in the slip.  Back in the beginning of June, the fitting at the top of the mast failed and our furler came down.  We had some work done on the hull and a bunch done on the mast.  Speaking to the rigger yesterday, he is confident she will be back in the slip by the weekend.  Good news.  Last summer, the boat was out due to replacing the power plant and going electric.  Can't wait to get back on the water!!  I may have time on Monday.

Here are some pics you may enjoy.

Have a great week!