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!


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