Sunday, October 21, 2012

When it rains it pours.. .

With sailing season pretty much relegated to memories I have more time for my other hobby, photography.  Deborah had Furlough Friday so I took the day off too.  Even though the weather was gloomy and wet, we drove east to check out a couple of waterfalls Heidi had told us about. 

First stop was Clear Lake.  It was raining but the wet just brings out the fall colors better.


Next stop was Sahalie Falls a few miles down Hwy 126.  It was raining pretty good there.  I took both K20D's, the tripod and the DA* 300/4 (which never left its bag). 

Things started off well; the clouds brought the light down enough that I didn't need a neutral density filter but could still shoot 1/2 second to smooth the cascading water.

Sahalie Falls



The trail is pretty nice, with steps in the steeper locations.



Little Salahie Falls(?)


Along about here my original K20D (I have 2) stopped working. I swapped out batteries and nothing. About 5-10 minutes later I noticed the back of the camera was getting hot even though it was turned off. Not good. I pulled the batteries.

On down the hill to Koosah Falls.




Deborah went on ahead while I was taking these photos. I continued on down the path and thought I'd joined the same one she was on. Not! Turned out I was on a path to the campground and reservoir. Luckily I headed uphill when given the choice and eventually found her at the Koosah Falls trail head where we'd planned to meet.

We decided not to take the trail back and walked up the highway instead. We were both pretty much soaked through so we called it a day and headed back home.


When I got home I checked over the camera. Everything looked normal except for a sheen of moisture in the battery compartment. Not good. I dried it and the camera turned on, for about 1 second. Into a bag of rice overnight. That helped but the image stabilization is not working right.

Back into the bag of rice . . .

Sunday, September 30, 2012

It was nice while it lasted . . .

We had a great summer but the sailing season is over.  Zach and I pulled Verboten yesterday after a nice final sail.

The algae in the lake was really horrible (hence the blue-green algae alert a week or so ago) and the bottom of the boat was really disgusting.  The worst I've ever seen it.  The VC-17m didn't even seem to slow it down.  Yech!

Overall it's been a great season.  Deborah came along for a bunch of the beer can races and that was nice.  It's a little different than with Zach along, but it's still fun.  By the end of the season she was actually comfortable in some pretty strong wind when I had too much sail up.  I still haven't been able to break out the gennaker with her though.

Got the boat cleaned up today.  Rolled up the sails, got the food & most of the fabric items off, and Power washed the whole thing, scrubbed some of the tougher algae, and gave the deck its first good cleaning since spring.  Put together the tarp frame and Deborah helpded me get it on the boat.  Probably the last year for this tarp.  Can't complain as we've gotten 5 years out of it.

I really needed to wash the decks down a while back but the water was so full of algae/crud that I didn't think it would help. Next year maybe I'll take down some water mid-season to wash it down. 

The to do list for next year isn't horribly long but some of it is expensive. 

New main halyard  = $1 boat buck
Winch service kits (2), rebed & re-seat winches - $2 boat bux
New halyard clutches (2) - $4 boat bux

Also need to figure out what's going on with the wiring for the chart plotter.  It shows fluctuating voltage and low voltage at times even though the other two meters look fine.  Very strange.  Need to check the solar panel/controller voltages too.  Thinking I may rewire the entire power side of the electrical anyway.  There's really no good reason to run the wire from the v-berth to the old battery box in the stern and then back to the panel.  I think a separate run from the charger to the battery and a shorter run from the battery to the panel will be better.  Just need to figure out what gauge wire to run and how much it's going to cost.

Long weekend and I'm beat.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Been neglecting the blog!

Wow, I can't believe I haven't posted since July 7th!

So, let's see . . .

Deborah went out on a couple of beer cans with me.  She's getting the hang of it. 

James and I went out on July 24th.  Since he had to go to work at 9:15 PM we skipped the beer can.  Actually we nearly skipped sailing.  It was blowing like crazy and gusty as hell.  Even with the blade and reefed main we were overpowered.  First, and only, time I've ever been concerned that we might get knocked down!  We actually went blasting down toward the folks doing the beer can at one point and I wasn't sure we weren't going to broadside someone.  We got back but not without a lot of flogging.  James thought it was fun; I thought it was too much work. 

I think I'm going to get a second reef point put in the main this winter.  In post-sail discussion on the Capri 22 forum someone pointed out that a reefed tall rig has the same sail area as a non-reefed standard rig.  A second set of reef points should let me go out in 20+ knots without worrying about getting knocked over or losing the rig.

The end of July/first of August was spent aboard the Star Princess, sailing from Seattle to Alaska.  What an incredible trip!  I took nearly 5,000 pictures over the 7 days. 



After we got back I had a trip to Florida to help with my 96 year old grandfather, who'd fractured a vertebra and can no longer live alone.  Most of my time was spent with lawyers and banks, and at the hospital and nursing home.  He seems settled in now, so that's good.  I'm still trying to figure out his finances though.

Finally got back on the boat on August 18th.  What a great day! Light wind when we got there, then barely a whisper mid-afternoon, and then about 5:30 or so, blammo. The wind came up (16 mph) and we had about an hour and a half of glorious sailing high wind sailing. We snuck into the harbor to put in a reef, then on the last run we called my buddy Lou, had him jump aboard as we made a low speed pass at the dock, then flew down the lake and back. Boy did I need that and it was definitely worth the sunburn and tired muscles. :D

Tuesday the 21st Deborah and I did the beer can.  Great start (#2 at the start) and we sailed well until the turn.  We just can't seem to make up much ground on the return trip.  I suppose that I should be happy if we get back before the boats that were in front of us at the start . . .

Sunday (26th) we took Deborah's friend Laura and her kids (3 & 4) out.  The weather was nice with a decent, if somewhat shifty, breeze to start.  I swear we got caught in something like a dust devil over by the little cove.  The wind shifted at least 180 degrees!  Weird.  After some nice sailing we anchored in the lee of Gibson Island so they could swim.  Practically as soon as we did the wind shifted to the west and came up with a vengeance.  White caps even.  Made swimming tricky but they seemed to have fun.  When they were done we left the jib bungied on deck and sailed back under main only.  Over 5 knots and not overpowered like we'd have been with the jib.  Crazy.

Tonight (28th) James and I went down to the lake.  It was pretty windy to start, enough so we were a bit overpowered, but I let the main twist off and we hit 6.8 knots once.  Wow!   As usual, the wind dropped as the sun got lower, so by the time we headed in it was getting pretty light.  If we'd done the beer can it would have been another drifter from Leakin' Lena. 

Labor Day weekend coming up; hoping we can spend at least one night on the boat. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

4th of July fun

The 4th started early with a "Circumfern" on Tuesday evening; that's a full moon, group sail, around the lake (Fern Ridge Reservoir).

We had a close start at 7:30 PM

Man and beast participated

Some college sailors came along. They went to Nationals this year, in the FJ.

Leakin' Lena, the floating potty, was the first mark.

We even had a laser along, until the sun went down.

Things tightened up again on the downwind run

Falcor is always fast

Close sailing at the East Dash

Stairway isn't usually at the front, but she looks good!

The sail continued on after dark; the moon rise was spectacular which was nice, because the wind died once it came up!

Wednesday we went for a nice sail, returned to the dock for a while to relax, then anchored out to wait for the fireworks. Eugene Yacht Club puts on a great show every year.

While anchored I pulled out the cameras again . . .

This nice little Hartley always catches my eye.

There are a bunch of C22's on the lake.

There were more of these than normal . . .

Don't see many Marshall Cats on this coast

This is an interesting little boat. He's definitely rigged for offshore sailing in cold climates.

To paraphrase Indiana Jones - Wakes! . . . I hate wakes . . .

Wild Hare has an interesting window in the jib

The Rangers remind me of a wooden shoe. They seem to sail pretty well though.

Not sure what this is but it's kind of cute, and for sale.

The sun eventually went down . . .

And after a bit the fireworks started!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

First Beer Can & CircumFern Night Sail

Beer Can Tuesday!

On Tuesday Deborah joined me for our first Beer Can Race of the year, and her first Beer Can ever.  We both survived so I guess it wasn't too bad! 

We were the 3rd boat to make the start, behind an S20 (Spy?) and Tim's Catalina 25.  We passed Tim and were the first boat to the buoy (not sure where the S20 went though.)  We were 3rd or 4th back (depending on whether the S20 was actually participating.)  I maybe should have headed up a bit on the downwind run from the Leakin' Lena buoy so we didn't get covered by the other boats.  After the race, as we were headed to the car, we got a "you were fast" from Ron @ The Sailing Center.  Cool!


The TYC calendar showed last night as the first of two Circumferns in June.  A Circumfern is basically a moonlight sail around the lake on, or near, the full moon.  Last year the wind petered out on us.  This year we had plenty of wind but it was chilly and mostly cloudy until we were almost done.   

Things didn't start out well; we were a bit later leaving home than I'd planned, and when we got to Junction City the center of town was closed for a Cruise In.  Detour . . .

So we got to the lake quite a bit later than the 7:00 I'd planned.  We quickly got things ready, Emily and Kate into their life jackets and motored out.   Dean and Tim had already headed out for the west dash by the time we had the sails up and started south.  The girls went up on the bow which gave us a bit more speed (hmmmm).  We passed Stairway, going the opposite direction, just past the little island at the mouth of the west finger, then Tim about halfway to the mark.  The rest of the evening was spent trying to reel Tim in.  Didn't have much luck but we did gain a bit and we finally found the East Dash buoy.   The girls went below when they got cold. 

The wind held up fairly decent until we started to get close to the dam.  When we made the turn at Leakin' Lena there was just enough to do about 1.5 knots and it kept dropping.  We lowered the sails and motored in the last 1/2 mile or so. We left the parking lot at 11:00 PM on the dot. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Another great sail!

We went back down to the lake this afternoon.  This time I thought we'd have an easy, relaxing sail so I rigged the blade and shook out the reef in the main.  Ha!  When we got down to the south end of the lake the wind picked up dramatically! 

Lots of twist in the puffs tonight.  Just before a puff would hit, going north, it would twist off into a header, then as it hit I'd have to quickly turn up.  Pretty sure it was just the opposite going south.

Did a close pass astern of Dean on Stairway.  Thought we were going to be clear ahead when we hit a lull that made us lose speed and turn toward him.  Since he was on Starboard I dropped down and slid behind him close enough to wave as we went by.

Not sure whether I like the blade/main or 135/reefed main combination better.  I lean toward the latter but we did hit 6.86 knots tonight according to the plotter.  I think it lies.

Maximum speed: 7.9 mph (6.86 knots)
Average speed: 6.1 mph

Second time I planned to fly the kite (on a string, not the gennaker) but there was more wind than I cared to try with. Maybe next time . . .

Saturday, May 26, 2012

What a terrific sail!

Today's forecast called for fairly light winds, building to maybe 8 or 9 mph by 6 PM. Since it was going to be so light I rigged the 135 instead of the blade. Turned out to be ok for our little harbor but once we'd been on the lake a while things started to get interesting. Both of us were on the rail, the boat was heeling hard, and we were running around 6 knots, traveler dumped about as far as it would go. As the wind built we beat our way into the harbor, where there was a bit of lee from the wind, and reefed the main. Then back out into the fray, which included whitecaps! And still Deborah didn't freak out!

Only downside was her hitting her butt hard on the curve where the deck rolls down into the seat. I think the boat came up as she sat during a windy tack and she was NOT happy. I thought she'd sat on the traveler cleat but that wasn't it. Just a really hard smack on the tip of her spine.

Stats from the airport a couple miles away showed a max of 14 mph, Eugene Yacht Club showed average of 9.2 with gusts to 17 but it was somewhat protected. Given the state of the water I'm guessing they were both a bit light. At various times we sustained 6.2 to 6.5 knots with brief jumps up to 6.6 and 6.7. Mostly me on the rail working the tiller, sheet and traveler, her on the seat (after we reefed) working the cross sheeted jib. The 135 & reefed main worked way better than I expected. What a blast!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Marina is Open!

Yesterday was the grand re-opening of the new and improved Richardson Park Marina.  $1M bond measure, to be retired out of the slip fees, paid for beautiful new docks.  They're galvanized steel with Trex boards and they look terrific.  No splinters and they're also much more stable than the old ones.
The county even asked me to take the pictures and document the event!

We made a point of getting to the lake early so we could sneak over from Orchard Point and get a spot on the transient dock.  No problem, we were the first ones there!

Dean's Stairway was looking good.

There were speeches and a ribbon cutting ceremony

Then Dean docked Stairway as the inaugural boat.

Next they fired off the cannon to announce that the marina was open!

We had a little boat parade

Then we docked the boats!

And then there was picnic served from a garbage truck!

The new slips are great!