Sunday, January 23, 2005

General log, 2004

August-December – Work done on boat (see Maintenance Log) coupled with raining weather in December kept Spindrift in port for this entire period. Looking forward to some nice sailing in 2005!

July 17-18 – EYC cruise out to Marin Yacht Club on San Rafael Creek. Great sail across with one reef in the main and four turns in the jib. Had a fun weekend. Marin is a small, well-to-do yacht club. It’s a nice place to relax, and as always our cruising group seems to party a lot. Sailing back on Sunday, we agreed to go again with one reef and four turns in the jib. Deb took the wheel across the slot, and though we got banged over a bit and probably should have had another reef in the mainsail, she had a lot of fun at the wheel and felt really good about it in the end.

July 3 – On the start of the holiday weekend we sailed with Sarah Cowan and her friend Craig. With a reef in the main, we sailed close-haul to beam down along the San Francisco side of the bay to Hunters Point. We aimed to sail to Coyote Point and turn around, but doldrums embraced us due west of Candlestick Park. We drifted with absolutely no wind for an hour plus, and enjoyed a lovely lunch of fresh farmer’s market peas and strawberries plus goat cheese and crackers. Just about the time it got so hot in the cockpit that we all went below to cool down, the afternoon breeze found its way to us around 14:30. We decided to take the beam reach back to the estuary, and as we did the wind built steadily, reaching 22 knots true wind. A bit overpowered, but as we approached the estuary it slacked considerably. We shook out the reef as we went down the estuary, tacked back to avoid a freighter in the turning basin, briefly considered rafting up at our Encinal Yacht Club for the weekend party, and then returned to our slip. Sarah and Craig had a great time – he is a gem.

June 27 – Sailed across the Slot to Sausalito and back to the city front. Started with the jib rolled in about four turns and one reef in the main. Deb wanted the second reef in the main, so we put it in using the Cunningham (the lead on it needs to be shortened just a tad). She sailed well under 20-22 knots, but tended to knock over a bit in the gusts; just off Sausalito, we added four more turns to the jib, and she sailed beautifully back across the Slot to San Francisco. Had some choppy water, but not the rollers that one experiences on the backside of the Slot between Angel Island and Treasure Island. As we passed under the Bay Bridge into the south bay, I rolled out the jib and shook out the reefs in the main.

Deb and I both kid that Spindrift is a southern California girl. We had 15-17 knots in the south bay, but no choppiness at all and she seemed to be at home. Whenever she finds conditions like those along the southern coast, she sails flawlessly, but she’s fought getting adjusted to San Francisco Bay conditions since the day we brought her up from Monterey. Reminds us of Farley Mowat’s The Boat that Wouldn’t Float.

June 19-20 – EYC cruise out to Pt. San Pablo Yacht Club on the far end of the Richmond inner harbor. Motor sailed up with the jib with other EYC boats in sight. Rafted up with Deb at the helm; she did a lovely job bringing us in for our first raft up. A fun night with everyone! Jim played piano for a little while after dinner, and dancing to good cd music followed until at least midnight. Next morning we had a potluck breakfast and went over to the KKMI boatyard and saw Mari-Cha and a 112’ Swan. On leaving we put a single reef in the main when we raised it in the channel, then sailed the north bay up near Red Rock until about 13:00. We finally went through the backside of the Slot at about 14:00, and we paused to roll in the jib about four or five turns. Three to four foot rollers about one-second apart hit us abeam in winds up to 20 knots. It really knocked us over, and even putting the main out substantially didn’t help. We should have put in a second reef, but we toughed it across. Behind Treasure Island the rollers disappeared and she did well in the winds of about 18-20 knots.

June 13 – Took out Batu Berkok and Mariska and Batu’s mother and father (Sunna and Janber). Sailed with one reef in the main, and while she didn’t perform as well in light wind, from 12 knots up she performed beautifully. Sailed across the center of the bay to the west side of Angel Island and down Raccoon Strait, where we doused the sails and found a slip on the backside of the docks at Angel Island (depth was 8.5-9.5). Picnicked on shore, and then sailed east and south across the backside of the slot and Treasure Island to the mouth of the estuary, where we shook out the reef and had a nice wing-and-wing ride down the estuary. Couldn’t have been a nicer day!

May 30-31 – Sunday took Diana Drews and Frieda White for a beautiful sail in moderate wind straight out the Golden Gate about a half-mile past Pt. Bonita Lighthouse. Returned via Sausalito and Raccoon Strait, where winds were light and shared a bottle of French Champagne, then across the slot to the lee side of Treasure Island under full sail, touching 9.7 knots more than once in 19-22 knot winds.

Monday, Memorial Day, we took Bob & Laura Miller and Sandi Williams for a sail to Red Rock, just below San Pablo Bay. The predicted very hot day turned into an overcast and occasionally chilly day. On our return we put a reef in the main to cross the slot. Half way across, under 22 knot winds and choppy water conditions, we put a four-turn reef in the jib. Then the reefing cringle popped off the reefing hook. Deb turned downwind, and I went forward to reattach the cringle. To do this, I had to loosen the reef line a bit, which was a mistake. It put too much pressure on the reef ties, and the aft sail reef eye ripped out under the pressure of the tie just as I was starting to pull down the reef line again – five more seconds and I would have had it. Alas, the mistake was from the start – we should have hove to, which would have taken all the pressure off the main. (See maintenance log entry for June 1.)

May 21-23 – Cruise-out weekend with the Encinal Yacht Club. Sailed to Sausalito, where Deb got us a slip (D-509) through Elsa at the Sausalito Yacht Harbor. Windy sail over on Friday, but we managed our way into the slip without damage. Spent the evening at the Sausalito Yacht Club, where we watched EYC members Mark and Karen Brunelle moor. After dinner there, we caught up with them and there friends Rich and Deb at the Cat and Fiddle.

Spent Saturday shopping – what a place to spend money! Started the day with breakfast at the Lighthouse Café (our favorite). Then visited at least half the shops in town, buying sufficient clothes and jewelry to boost the economy for at least a week. Ended back at the boat at about 1600 hours, exhausted. At 1730 we joined the EYC cruise-out group at the SYC for hors-d’oeuvres and dinner. Jim played piano a bit at the group’s request, and then we joined Lance Bateman and Sue Rau on their zodiac to go out to where Dave Sherrill’s Beneteau was moored and watch the KFOG KaBoom fireworks display. Even at five miles distance, they were spectacular. Finally made it back to the boat about 2300. The winds never died down, reaching twenty knots even in our marina slip. Had to pull down the burgees to quiet the racket they made in the rigging.

Sunday we finally got underway at 1100, motored past the SYC and Horizon Restaurant (where some EYC folks saw us and waved at us), and then sailed out the gate. The winds were ideal, from 8-15 knots. On our sail back we passed Dave Sherrill and his friend Susan on their Beneteau, and, as we went down the estuary under our main only, Lance and Sue passed in their powerboat Excalibur. They took photos, which we look forward to seeing, as they’re the first with our new UK sails (well, with our main, anyway). Headed in to pump out the head, but there was a line at the station; Deb did a marvelous stationary 360, and we put off pumping the head for another day. Gave Spindrift a good cleaning and ended the day with a Sirloin Steak Salad at the EYC.

Apr 25 – Opening Day on the Bay! Took out Beverly Bryant and Rob Bastress, both very experienced sailors. Out the gate where we saw porpoises and glimpsed a humpback whale calf along the shore between Pt. Bonita Lighthouse and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Apr 16 – Test sail with UK sail maker Sylvain Barrielle. Got a good sense for tuning our new sails.

Mar 27-28 - Motored to South Beach Harbor to join the Encinal Yacht Club cruising group for Saturday night at Teatro ZinZanni in San Francisco. Would have sailed, except Deborah stepped wrong in the boat on Friday, March 21, and sprained and slightly tore two ligaments and a tendon in her right foot. With her foot in a soft cast, we decided, for safety sake, not to sail. Had a wonderful time at the dinner theater, with club members. Motored back to EYC at about noon on Sunday.

Mar 14 – Nice sail out the gate with Pauley and M.D. Getting the new sails trimmed a bit better. Bringing down the new main, compared to the old, is a real joy; easy to flake, not too heavy to handle.

Mar 13 – A day sail to further evaluate new sails. Sylvain at UK Sails added a snap shackle to raise the jib luff; still seems too long. Had some trouble setting the main nicely; eased tension on halyard, which made a difference, but it appears the topmost batten is a touch too long. Need to have corrected, and we have a date to go out with our sail maker on Friday March 19.

Mar 7 – Sail with Beverley Bryant across the slot and back. Winds up to 20 knots. New sails performed beautifully. Looks like we need to raise the main more fully. Had some problems with the jib leech slapping – corrected with tensioning line on port tack, but it continued on a starboard tack. Also, concern about jib, that the luff track is cut a bit long, and perhaps the sail is cut a bit long. Will contact UK folks and work out both these issues.

Mar 6 – First sail with new UK Silver Tape Sails. Very nice. Sails easy to handle. Brought the mainsail down without incident; much easier to handle than the old main.

Jan 31 – We sailed across the bay to Sausalito and through Raccoon Straits with Sarah Cowan, daughter of our friends Neil and Ruth who live on Long Island.

Jan 25 – A lovely sail in the south bay and across the slot to Angel Island. Genoa out all the way in 6-12 knots of wind, and we made 7 knots across the slot. At day’s end, Deb brought her in the slip perfectly.

Jan 17 – Sailed out the gate, on a beam reach to the gate and broad reach out with 10-15 knots from the East. Nice close haul in, but lots of tacking outside the gate to get in. Once in, a straight port close haul to the Bay Bridge, where the wind died and we motored the rest of the way. The new guide on the roller furling line nicely guided the line into the drum (see maintenance log entry on rigging for 1/10-11/04).

Jan 10 – Spent weekend doing maintenance, but motored in estuary for a half hour. Deb worked on stopping, turning, backing, and such, and then she brought Spindrift into our slip for the first time. Did a lovely job!

Saturday, January 22, 2005

General log, 2003

Dec 31-Jan 4 – Spent the New Year aboard. On the 31st, Marty & Carol Garnett, Diana & Philip Drew, Ruth & Neil Cowan, Ben & Julie Kline came aboard for hors d’ouevres and champagne before New Year’s Eve dancing and dining on the U.S.S. Hornet. On the 1st, Neil & Ruth joined us for brunch; we cooked aboard that evening; Neil & Ruth joined us again for breakfast on the 2nd. Hilary K. & Lane joined us on the 3rd for dinner at EYC. The whole weekend was great fun, but very rainy and cold, which really taxed our little West Marine electric heater. Clearly a diesel heater is the thing if we’re going to do any cool weather cruising.

In the process, as we learn to handle this 39 foot, 17,000 lb boat (compared to my 7,000 lb 28' Islander), Jim crashed her once (no big damage, just egos and paint scratches on the port stern side).

Dec 26 – Afternoon sail to center of the north bay in cold air and light and variable winds. Overlapped starboard jib sheet on Anderson winch, which we managed to free; otherwise an uneventful, pleasant sail.

Dec 16 – Took a day sail with Doug, who lives aboard Angel I, a Catalina 27 berthed next to our Islander Bahama 28, Dog Days. Motored to north of the Bay Bridge, and then motor sailed to the Golden Gate. There the winds picked up and we sailed out to Point Bonita Lighthouse – a lovely sail with a twelve-knot breeze and very slight sea swell and porpoises swimming alongside as we tacked across from Point Bonita toward the Cliff House. Winds were from the east, which is the opposite of the normal bay area breeze; instead of running back, we were on a close haul all the way to the mouth of the Oakland Estuary.

Dec 15 – A short sail during which we got the roller furling line badly overlapped in the drum when trying to shorten the jib. Had to drop the jib and then slowly untangle the line. Decided the angle of the furling line into the drum was not quite right, so lowered the block guiding the line into the drum. Seems to work better. The new lines we installed are lovely, though the jib lines at 7/16” will take a little getting used to.

Nov 14-Nov 16 – After five months in the boatyard (see maintenance log), we picked up Spindrift on a drizzly, sometimes raining Friday afternoon. Lovely to have her back, though we still have a lot of rigging work to do on her to put her into the sort of sailing condition we want. Puttered and cleaned on Saturday, and generally got used to having a larger boat again. Sunday we went for a sail on the bay. The motor purrs, but we’re concerned about the cutless bearing, which we’ve arranged to look at in a week. The tachometer still bounces and freezes up; the alternator, which is fairly old, causes the bouncing. We’ll replace it soon. The instrument control panel shorted out during the day and then came back again. Probably corrosion, so a good cleaning will have to be done. The sail across the slot and back was lovely – her sails are surely for light winds – and we decided to get new sheets right away. The ones on her are probably 9/16” – old and unmanageable.

Jul 16-Aug 8 – While Spindrift is in Mariner Boat Yard getting new main winches and other work done, Deb and I have been sailing my Islander Bahama 28 (1981) Dog Days, which is berthed just four slips away from Spindrift. Having gotten used to sailing Spindrift, sailing a twenty-eight seems a lot easier. As a result, we finally decided to teach ourselves to use the symmetrical spinnaker. After a lot of reading and preparing a step-by-step guide for raising, jibing, and lowering the spinnaker, we went tackled it on August 2. Before we left the slip, we laid everything out on the deck and raised her part way. Once we were satisfied that we each knew what the other person was going to do, we went into the estuary, sailed up to Jack London Square, and then turned downwind back down the estuary and put it up. Lots of tension and stress, but we got the spinnaker up with only one glitch (the bag lid twisted around sail just at the sheet clew). In ten minutes we neared the end of our run in the estuary, and managed to reverse the process and lower it without incident. Needless to say, we were both very proud of ourselves and excited at the prospect of finally being able use the spinnaker. The next day we raised it again, this time as we sailed downwind from Treasure Island to the Alameda Estuary and with our friend Gaeir Dietrich aboard. Alas, I had twisted the sail when stuffing it back in the bag the day before, and we had to struggle with getting the twists out before we could fly it. But we managed and had a lovely forty-minute ride down to the marina.

Jul 12 – Sailed with Gaeir Dietrich up toward Red Rock. Had to recalibrate the KVH Quadro instrument system, and spent over an hour drifting without winds east of Raccoon Strait while Gaeir and Deb figured out how to reset the instruments. Motored into Raccoon Strait, and found wind which took us through the strait and into the slot toward San Francisco. Estimate winds at 25 to 30 knots, perhaps gusts at 35 knots. Couldn’t get true wind readings on instruments. Deb put the port deck in the water on a starboard tack across the Slot, both terrorizing and exhilarating herself – one reef in main and a slight reef in the Genoa. A beam, then broad reach smoothed things out from about Alcatraz on past the City front. Lost wind again at the Bay Bridge, motored to the estuary, and then went down the estuary on a broad reach to run with just the main. An all round great day!

Jul 4 – Arrived at boat midday. While raising signal flags by means of one of two spinnaker topping lifts, flag lines broke, leaving a halyard up the mast. I foolishly failed to have a lifeline on the end of the halyard! Michael Araneda agreed to come over from his Island Packet and help me climb the mast. We agreed that his 150 lbs was better up the mast than my 185 lbs, so we hoisted him aloft. Luckily another sailor stopped to give Deb and I a hand raising Michael – the halyard we were raising him on got jammed 2/3’s of the way up and we had to lower him to the shrouds so he could switch the safety halyard with the lift halyard and continue the journey to the top. At the top he found the signal flags had jammed the halyard block, which is why it had jammed taking him aloft, and he was able to clear it and come back down with the lost halyard. At Deb’s insistence, the flags were strung around the lifelines. I may get a chance to fly them aloft next year.

At 19:30, we motored out into the bay, east of Pier 39, to watch San Francisco’s fireworks display. Spent three hours on the water, joined by Phil and Diana Drew, Bob and Laura Miller, and Sandi Williams. Had a great time, but I thought the exhaust fumes were a bit too noticeable when I went below a couple of times (see maintenance log for July).

Jun 27-28 – Sailed to Sausalito on Friday the 27th, where we had arranged for a berth at Sausalito Yacht Harbor (C 131). Made the trip in four hours from berth to berth. Had a late lunch at the Cat and Fiddle and later went to the Sausalito Yacht Club for drinks – the best view on the bay! Window shopped and returned later that evening to the Cat and Fiddle for dinner.

Saturday morning Susie Hass joined us for breakfast at the Lighthouse Café and then a sail. As we headed toward the Golden Gate, only to find it fully fogged in, photographer Dennis Anderson sped up to us in his Zodiac and we agreed to have him take a roll of film ($100 for the negatives and regular prints, if we liked them). He had a ball taking shots of us as we tacked back and forth three or four times. (Several of the photos turned out to be very nice, so we paid the bill.) We then sailed through Raccoon Straits and up to Red Rock, thence south toward Alameda. Winds were eight to fifteen knots and sailing really nice. Entering the slot, however, winds picked up to twenty-five knots, and in trying to shorten the Genoa (roller furling is a new thing to us), we back winded the sail three or four times and in the intensity the sacrificial sail cloth on the Genoa tore about halfway up the leach (see maintenance log entry for 7/5-7/6). We turned northwest to Raccoon Straits, and headed into Sausalito, where we repaired to the Sausalito Yacht Club for libations and then had dinner at Angelino’s.

Sunday we had a leisurely morning and after breakfast at the Lighthouse Café and then sailed back to Alameda, where we messed about on the boat for the rest of the day and spent Sunday night at the marina.

Jun 14 – Cooked dinner aboard, entertaining friends Phil and Diana Drews.

Jun 8 – Day sail with Klaus Dehn and his San Francisco friend Anna Quillen. Klaus originally told us about Spindrift, when I told him we were considering purchasing a Catalina 36 MkII. After we bought her, Klaus took us out on his Cal 39 II (1979), which berthed next to the Golden Gate and St. Francis yacht clubs. He lives in North Carolina, but flies out monthly to run the flea market at De Anza College in Cupertino, where he headed the food services department for twenty some years. So, when he’s out, we have a chance to sail. He loved the boat, and we had a beautiful sail from Alameda, across the south bay almost to Pac Bell Park, then north through the slot almost to Sausalito, east through Raccoon Straits, down the back side of Angel Island, across the slot to the back side of Treasure Island, and back into the Oakland Estuary and to port. Left the slip at 11:30 and returned at 16:00. Averaged about seven knots, and topped 10 knots in the slot. Winds reached 19 knots.

Jun 1 – Took friends Marty and Carol Garnett out. After a brief light wind sail in the south bay, the winds died and we drifted for an hour and had lunch. Caught light winds north to the Bay Bridge, well distancing an Islander 36 on the same reach. North of the bridge the winds reached twenty-two knots or more, and Jim put the rails in the water once or twice. Would have had to shorten the main to continue, and we decided to turn back instead. Out for almost six hours when we reached port. Jim brought her in beautifully, using a spring line mid-ship to stern on dock end cleat to hold her once in the slip. Marty reached for the railing on the dock steps as he stepped off the port side, the steps pulled toward him, and he went straight down between the dock and the boat. Two bystanders quickly came to his rescue, and got him on the dock, while Carol almost went in herself trying to come to Marty’s aid. Quite a sideshow! Clearly the dock steps need to be weighted or the railing removed so another such incident doesn’t occur.

May 31 – Second attempt at maiden shakedown on SF Bay was a great success. We took her out easily, raised the sails at the mouth of the estuary, and once on a starboard tack she quickly reached seven and a half knots in a light wind of about ten to twelve knots. Sailed the south bay and then up through the Bay Bridge between the City and Yerba Buena Island. With the winds picking up to fifteen to twenty knots, we turned south and had a lovely broad reach down the estuary.

May 17 – Maiden shakedown sail on SF Bay with sailing buddy, Batu Berkok. We left our slip at Marina Village Yacht Harbor flawlessly at about 11:30 hours, and headed out estuary. Ten minutes out, not quite to Jack London Square, the engine died. Fuel??? Tried starter. Didn’t turn over. Checked electrical panel, smelled what seemed like electrical smoldering, and opened lazarette – no smoke. With little wind, we drifted until the incoming tide started carrying us back along the estuary, and rather than trying to sail back into the slip, we erred on the side of caution and called Vessel Assist. Anchored safely on the estuary across from Marina Village Yacht Harbor with both bow and stern Danforth anchors (a useful but unexpected experience) and awaited a tow to our slip. Returned to slip at approximately 14:00 hours. Oy vey! (See maintenance log entries for 5/28-29.)

Mar 1 – After a night aboard with friends Linda Tromblay and Michael Araneda, we left Santa Cruz at 06:15 for an anticipated fourteen-hour trip to Alameda. Motored through the morning and afternoon at an average speed of 5.6 knots against four to seven foot swells and moderate ten to fifteen knot winds. Mal de mar hit Michael pretty badly, and Linda had a migraine and was a bit queasy. Jim took sturgeron and developed pretty good sea legs, Deb took nothing and only got a tiny bit queasy. No one stayed below for long, though. Saw a gray whale surface thirty meters off port beam while west of Año Nuevo.

At approximately 15:15 the motor died from apparent fuel problems. We quickly hoisted sails, but since we couldn’t hold the boat into the wind, getting up the main was a struggle. We found wind from the northwest, and called Vessel Assist to arrange for a tow into port. We tacked west until we could bear on the Golden Gate channel markers, and then tacked northeast and eventually east to the Golden Gate Bridge – average speed about 6.0 knots against a two knot current. We lost little to no time.

Vessel Assist met us before we reached the channel markers, followed for a time, and then arranged to meet us at the bridge where the wind typically dies following sunset. At the Golden Gate Bridge, Vessel Assist took us in tow, and brought us across the bay to Alameda, bringing us to our slip at Marina Village Yacht Harbor at 20:30. Total time for the trip from Santa Cruz to Alameda – fourteen hours – was just about what we had expected without losing the engine. And, if we had not lost the engine, we probably would have never raised canvas and experienced such a nice sail. (See maintenance log entries from 3/8-5/2.)

During the trip we discovered that the Raritan PH-II head leaked at the bottom of the bowl (see maintenance log entry for 3/22).

Feb 23 – We motor her to Santa Cruz (no wind to speak of). Cruised nicely at seven knots, engine at 190 F. In Santa Cruz, Deb got her chance to crash the boat (again just ego damage and some more paint chipped on the bow). Also, after a harried experience learning to control her, Jim managed to back her into her slip after several tries.

Feb 22 – Started to bring boat from Monterey to Santa Cruz with daughter Lisa and her boyfriend Matt, but discovered she had little forward power. Returned to harbor and had Monterey Bay Boat Works haul her. Turns out the Martec feathering propeller was put on incorrectly after being removed to clean it and to replace the strut. It seems to have been reinstalled backwards, as forward and reverse were reversed after it was fixed. A second short trial in the harbor revealed that the propeller was not pitched properly, so it was hauled a second time and the problem was finally corrected.

Feb 17 – Launched boat at Monterey Bay Boat Works after being hauled for fifty-five days following initial purchase survey.