Sunday, November 3, 2013

Skipper is a Chicken

Where's the Blue and Yellow Sail? 
All my winter friends and some of my summer friends got to play today. Sunfish 1 showed up from Summer Camp and I wanted to race with her. Instead I got to watch. Skipper explained to me that he volunteered to help out on the committee boat because they were shorthanded.  I find it odd that the race committee needed "help" on a cloudy 40 degree day with 20 mph winds.  Here I am, looking forward to racing with my friends, and he wimps out.  The other Sunfish have all been giving me grief ever since about being a fair weather boat. I try to tell them that I just have a wimpy skipper, but the just laugh at me.

I've been with Skipper about as long Mrs Skipper has, and both of us know him better than he knows himself.  He's going soft. He goes around telling everyone that he's got to get a dry suit, but he's too cheap to buy one, so he wimps out on the cold days.  I don't know what he's got to complain about, because I'm the one that's wet and freezing my rudder off in the water!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Don't Ever do that to me Again!

I think Skipper got his daggerboard from here

Skipper decided to do something nice for me, but like a typical man, he fouled up on the execution.  He is getting my daggerboard patched up, and he was supposed to bring his spare to use for racing today. He couldn't find it, so he had to borrow one.  Not a good move.  He managed to get one that was home made, maybe even for another class boat, and was way too fat to fit in my daggerboard trunk. Only about two feet of it was actually in the water, and it stuck up so far in the air that he had trouble tacking.

We did really well downwind, but every upwind leg was an exercise in frustration. We would point about 5 degrees better than the other boats, but we would slide so far sideways that they would open up huge leads on us. By the last race we figured out that heeling way over to windward would let my chine help out the daggerboard a bit, but it was too little too late.

I wish that I could say that we didn't make any mistakes.  Well I didn't anyway.  Skipper made two huge mistakes on port/starboard crossings, one that cost us second and pushed us into last because two boats passed us while we were doing turns. Another time we were first at the mark, but we had to duck a starboard boat, and ended up being the last around the mark, because we kept sliding sideways into it.

Since Skipper made a couple of bonehead tactical mistakes, and we lost every race on the upwind legs, I know what USA 17 feels like racing in the America's Cup. Can I change my tactician?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Finishing First in the Middle of the Fleet

By Skipper's logic, we're winning this race

I'm worried that Skipper is losing it.

We've been on a roll for the past two weeks.  Two weeks ago, we had a really good week at the races. This weekend we raced with 23 other Sunfish, which was awesome. The wind was perfect, and we didn't make any really bad sailing mistakes.  We finished first in all of our races. We haven't finished any lower than 2nd in three weeks.

Skipper has been treating me really nicely. He has been really gentle with his tacks and gybes, and we're actually starting to roll tack. Most important, he has stopped yelling at me. He yells at the wind now, which worries me. All weekend he was obsessed with keeping up with a skipper named Dave. And when we talk about where we finished in races, he babbled incoherently about "alternate scoring" and "parallel universes".

According to Skipper, both of these statements are true:
  • We won 8 out of 9 races races this weekend and came in first for the regatta
  • We finished in the middle of the fleet for the regatta
Unless we sailed the course so that the same number of boats were always to the right and left of us, for the life of me I can't see how we finished in the middle of the fleet. We brought home a trophy that says "First Place", but skipper says we finished behind this elusive "Dave". Actually, there were two skippers named Dave, and Skipper says he finished behind both of them. How can you finish behind someone when you finish first?

I think Skipper is sailing with his rudder up

Saturday, August 24, 2013

No Chain

Erik Schmerik.  I've got Skipper!

I guess it pays to be a flirt!  Skipper got me a new gooseneck quick release this week, and adjusted my rigging so my sail shape is easier to control. He didn't yell at me at all or plop down hard on my deck. He told me that he would rather sail me than a Laser anyday.  We worked a bunch of beautiful races this week.  We tried new ways of starting, and port tacked the fleet three times on starts! We caught other boats downwind, and pointed so much better upwind that other skippers were talking about us. We were over early on one race and still managed a second! Racing today was awesome!

Skipper's bike came with him to summer camp today and said that we had a "no chain" day.  The bike calls days like we had today "no chain" days, because everything's going so smoothly that it's like there's no chain on his gears.  Even though it doesn't really work with a boat, it sounds better than "sailing like I had no sail", I'll stick with "no chain".

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sweet Revenge!

I can sail with someone else too, Skipper!
I've discovered something. Skipper is a serial philanderer. He sailed five times in the past week, and only sailed with me twice.

Yesterday was the worst. Or so I thought.  Skipper dragged me 40 miles to a charity regatta, then proceeded to rig up a Laser that was hanging around the boathouse. He brought me all the way down here just to humiliate me? Worse yet, for the first time in 30 years, he was going to let someone else sail me! I was horrified. How could Skipper do this to me? What would this other skipper do?  Does he know what Sunfish like? Does he know that it hurts to scrape my daggerboard on the bottom? Does he know how to sail at all?

So Skipper introduces me to this new skipper, then goes off with this drinking buddy of a Laser that is his newest best friend.  ErikSkipper says that he's never sailed a Sunfish before.  Now I'm really scared. We launch.  The wind is light and there are only a few waves.  ErikSkipper takes me through a couple of tacks and a couple of gybes. So far so good.  He's gentle on the tiller and the mainsheet. I decide not to try to throw him off.

 ErikSkipper is really nice to me. He doesn't yell at me like Skipper does when I make a mistake. He doesn't contantly adjust my sails. He's really easy on the tiller and when we tack he doesn't drop hard onto my deck like Skipper does. He's easy with my daggerboard. Sailing with ErikSkipper was awesome!

Then the races start. Skipper and his drinking buddy nail the start and shoot out into the lead. Another Laser is right behind him. ErikSkipper misses the start by a couple of boatlengths, but he's so nice to me that I don't mind. I gave my best on the run to catch up, but those Laser boys are just too fast. Then the Race Committe tell us that they used handicaps to even things out between the Laser boys and us Sunfish.  ErikSkipper and I got two firsts! We beat Skipper and his drinking buddy.

Skipper might have the Harlot, and might go sailing with his new drinking buddy Laser, but he's got to be careful. I've got ErikSkipper to sail with now.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Tilt-A-Whirl Racing

Are Sunfish Supposed to go underwater?

I'm glad I'm not sailing today.  I'm still hurting from yesterday.  I raced at summer camp on Saturday, then Skipper took me to another camp. This one was on the ocean.  There were a bunch of Sunfish there too, just like the convention a couple of weeks ago. I didn't get to do too much talking to them though, because we went out on the water right away.  We left the launch area, and as we sailed past the dock, it looked like it was going to be a good day.  There was a lot of wind and a lot of boats.

Then we cleared the dock.  All of a sudden, we got hit by wave after wave. Skipper said that he was a lake sailor and had no idea how to go fast with waves like these.  I did belly flop after belly flop. Skipper leaned into the waves, then he leaned out of the waves, then he sailed me flat, then he sailed me heeled. No help. We couldn't pinch like we normally do, and we had to foot to make any progress. A lot.

Then we turned downwind. We surfed off a wave. That was awesome.  Then the next wave came. My bow went about a foot under water and my rudder came out of the water. I was under water up to my coaming. Skipper just kept saying this strange word that he says when we're in trouble.

We finally got things straightened out, and skipper found out that he had to sit near my tiller and hike backwards to keep my bow out of the water. Once we figured that out we were ok, except when Skipper wasn't paying attention.

It was rough out there. One poor Sunfish got a broken mast, and a couple of others had lines let go, including me.  Skipper managed to fix it so we could keep going.  We didn't do great, but this camp had a lot of prizes to give out and Skipper did well enough to win a hat.

Skipper and I are both sore this morning from the pounding.

Do they make ibuprofin for boats?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Does This Leak Make Me Look Fat? - Part II

My leak is right at the rub rail about 3 inches back from my bow

After the Sunfish Convention, skipper didn't bring me back to summer camp. He brought me home so that he could hunt down my leak.  He was doing a bubble test (Did you know that bubble tests tickle?) and turned me over to do the second half of the test, and my bow came off the dolly and Skipper lowered my bow onto the grass.  Water ran out of my hull from the leak and Skipper saw it and marked it. Then he checked the area using a bubble test. Nothing. Skipper thinks it's because the leak is behind the rub rail.

It's on the right side of my bow, along the seam where my deck meets my hull.  it also fits my symptoms, where I leak only in heavy weather when I heel a lot.  Skipper says that he dreads the fix because he has to drill out the rub rail rivets and remove a section without bending it. Skipper has a carpenter cousin who tells him that he has 10 thumbs on 2 left hands (Skipper is right handed).

Do they make Novocaine for boats?