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?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Sunfish Convention

Me, and 30 or so of my closest friends
Sorry for the late post, but Skipper and I (and a rare treat, Mrs Skipper and the 2 mates) just got back from the Sunfish Regional Championships at the Wequaquet Yacht Club in Hyannis this weekend. It was awesome! I've never seen so many Sunfish in one place in my life. There were 31 of us. All the All-Stars and their skippers were there. There was one brand new 60th Anniversary Sunfish there and there were a couple of Sunfish that were nearing their own 60th birthdays. The club loves Sunfish, heck they even have a special bar just for us!

Sunfish Only!

We didn't do too badly, but we had one race where everything that could have gone wrong went wrong.  First we bollixed up the start and made our way to last place before the first tack. Then Skipper fouled a guy and had to do a penalty turn, then my outhaul line broke. We managed to hobble through the last three legs with my sail looking like an old wrinkled bed sheet, and fended off a couple of boats who tried to take advantage of us.

All in all, we didn't do too badly.  They All-Stars beat us, like they always do, but we held our own against the mortal boats. Skipper and I are both sore after two days of hard racing, but it was well worth it.  Thanks Wequaquet Yacht Club for an awesome time.

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Friend is Hurt

One of the boats at Summer Camp got badly hurt the other day, and it doesn't look good for him. Somebody dropped him onto the storage rack and his bottom got cracked really badly.  Nobody's fessed up to it and he's not talking, but he's in a really bad way. They dragged him away from the waterfront and put him up in the back where nobody can sail him.  I've heard rumors that there are scavengers that come and strip parts off of hurt boats.  I hope they don't get him. And I certainly hope that he doesn't end up like this:

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Electricity and Sailboat Racing Don't Mix

Us Sunfish, All wet and getting wetter

Skipper and I were both looking forward to our time racing together.  The weather was hot, and we both wanted to get on the water. Anyway, he showed up early today, we got all set up and went out to the race course.  The wind was really weird today, one minute blowing hard in gusts then completely drying up the next.  Skipper almost fell into the water more than once. We got a great start, then halfway up the leg, all of a sudden the Committee Boat comes up to us full bore.  She looked panicked, and her skipper was yelling.  Then we saw it. A huge thunderstorm was bearing down on us, flashing and booming, and blocking all the sunlight.

I took us in as fast as I could. Near the club, the wind died, and Skipper had to paddle us in.  We got in and Skipper was just about to put my blankets on when it started to rain. Hard. Now that we're both wet, the heat wave broke, and we got cold. Lightning was hitting all around us. It figures that the only thunderstorm of the day had to hit while Skipper and I were racing, and clear up right at the end of our racing time.  Dang!

Even though today was a disappointment, Skipper had a surprise for me.  We're doing a road trip! Next weekend, he's signed us up for a huge Sunfish regatta. He says all my friends from frostbite camp are going to be there. Two full days of racing at someplace called "Cape Cod". I can't wait.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

An Oldie but a Goodie

The Old Girl and her Skipper. 
Since we started racing on Saturdays, Sunfish have been coming out of the woodwork to race.  It's awesome. We had 6 boats partying yesterday.  Yesterday an old girl showed up and went on the water for the first time in 20 years! Her skipper had just finished patching her up and sanding her hull. You should have seen how excited she was.  Her skipper had a hard time holding her back.  Sure, she's got the old style rudder, her sails are beat up and she had the creaks and groans that any old boat has, but she was raring to go.  She beat me and Skipper a couple of times and even won a race!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Second Class Citizen

No Fish Today?!

I noticed that Skipper wasn't at summer camp at his usual time this week.  Then I noticed that all of the other Sunfish skippers were late too.  We all started getting nervous.  What happened to our skippers?  Did they all suddenly comedown with mass amnesia?  Was there a terrible car accident that they all got into?  Was there a plague?

Then we saw that all of the Laser skippers were there.  Now Lasers are smug boats, being an Olympic class and all, and they told us that they didn't notice anything unusual, because after all, for years they've been the only boats racing on Saturdays, and this was just a return to normal for them.

We all spent a fretful night.  Then I saw Skipper on Sunday.  He said that there was a Laser Team Regatta, and there was no Sunfish racing.  Then he said he'd see me next week and then took the Harlot out racing instead of me (She finished last again Ha Ha!).

Monday, June 24, 2013

Does this Leak Make me Look Fat?

I might be a looker, but leaks are deceiving!

I'm Sunfish 3929, and I'm a leaker.

No not the kind the NSA doesn't like, the kind that Sunfish skippers don't like. Worse yet, I'm  Binge Leaker.  Sometimes I let in a lot of water during races. It's not all the time, and I don't know how I end up this way sometimes, but I do.  One race I'm going along just fine, dry as a bone, and the next I'm wallowing up to my chines in "moveable ballast".

I hate being a leaker, but I can't help it. At first it cools off my hull, but after I get a few gallons in me it makes me really slow, and tippy. I do really bad roll tacks and downwind death rolls.  Then I start to feel like a old workboat. I can't move and Skipper doesn't like it when I'm that way. Sometimes when I get back to shore, Skipper has to open my drain plug and tip me over so I can be sick. Sometimes he even has to pump out my hull between races. Then I have to bake in the sun for a couple of days to dry out.

I don't know what to do. I've had negative bubble test after negative bubble test. I can hold water in my cockpit and in my mast tube for days. Then once in a while, Boom!  water sloshing through my hull like it was the ocean. I think I may need to see a specialist.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Skipper + Me Forever!

Me and Skipper - as it should be (Photo by Bob Gaffney)

Skipper really does love me! I thought all the abuse making me freeze my rudder off sailing over the winter was just skipper being sadistic, but it was really tough love to make us a better team!

He brought me to summer camp this week, and when we pulled in SHE was there. That Green Harlot, sitting in a dry sailing spot.  Skipper rushed me past her, brought me straight to the beach, and parked me on my dolly right at the shore line.  It was late, and he said that he'd be back to take me sailing in a couple of days.

Then a couple of days later, skipper showed up early, and took extra time making sure that everything was just right.  No rushed setup, no forgetting to put my windex on. The beach was full of Sunfish going out for a regatta. Skipper and I entered in the B fleet with 6 other boats. Here's where the winter torture paid off.  We could point better and sail faster.  We started better (mostly). We got into some awesome tacking duels. We each made a few mistakes, I got my mainsheet tangled around my tiller and we capsized.  Skipper hit the turning mark in one race, but at the end of the day, we came in first in the B fleet!

We had an awesome day on the water while that Green Harlot sat alone, in the woods, covered with pine needles.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Psst..I Think the Affair is Over

Getting ready for my facial

Last night Skipper wheeled me over to the area where he always takes me to work on me. I saw varnish, resin and fiberglass in the shed too.  I woke up this morning and looked out to the driveway.  Empty!  That Green Harlot is nowhere to be found!

I'm pretty sure that Skipper broke up with that verdant homewrecker.  He's starting to pay attention to me again! I'm glad he saw through that no amount of new paint can hide the fact that she's an old barge.  It's about time too.  it's only two weeks before I go off to our summer home, and I want to look my best for the fleet.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

I Knew Something was up

The last thing Skipper saw before he got very wet
Skipper is having an affair on me!

First, he brings me down to the frostbite series, races once, then abandons me for six weeks before he shows up for the last race.  I was so mad that I dumped him into the water.  I thought that since he doesn't have a drysuit, he'd be so cold and wet that he'd go back in and take me home.  Not my hardheaded skipper.  He sat out the rest of that one race, then went right back at it. 

Then he packs me up on the trailer and takes me home.  He didn't even bother to put the blankets back on me or put my inspection port covers back in.  He's either mad at me for dumping him or something is up.  He usually doesn't ignore me like this. Now birds have pooped on me and rain got into my hull.  He says he "forgot", but now I know better.

He came home very late the other night.  He had something big hitched to the back of the van, but from the back yard I couldn't see it to well. Then came the morning and I saw this:

The Other Woman
A rival! Now I know why he's ignoring me! That green harlot in the driveway has stolen him from me. He said that he was going to spend some quality time in May with me, patching me up and fixing my leak. But Noooo, he was fawning over her all day yesterday, power washing her and checking out her sails, while I sat alone and dirty in the back yard.

I just hope that she can't write.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Hundred Feet of Snow

All that stands between me and sailing! (that's me under the blue blanket).

I'm Trapped!

Skipper promised to take me out sailing today.  He was supposed to bring me out of the back yard, up the hill and into the driveway.  I't's about a 100 foot trip.  Then work got busy for him and he had to work three nights in a row and couldn't bring me up.  Then it started snowing.  The weathermen said that it wasn't going to snow too much, so Skipper said he'd pull me up on Saturday after the storm.

Well the weather people were wrong!  We got dumped on.  Skipper says the official measurement was 22.6 inches!  Now I'm looking at 100 feet of two-foot deep snow and a downed tree blocking the way.

This is spring?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Left Behind!

Why am I NOT in this picture?

Why isn't there a blue and yellow striped sail in this picture? There should be!  Instead, Skipper went out on the Committee Boat and left me home.  Didn't he even read my last post?  I'm bored!  I want to be on the water! But did he even think to take me?  NOOO, he took his camera instead!

Oh wait. Maybe he's mad at me for trying to dump him in the drink on that cold last day of fall racing.  Oh God I hope not!  Please don't tell anyone, especially Skipper, that I was mad. If he finds out he'll never take me racing! Tell him I'm sorry and I want to go out on the water and I promise that I won't dump him overboard!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

I'm So Bored!

Here I am, stashed away in the back yard. My inspection ports are open and the wind blows right through me.  I'm freezing!  Once in a while, the cats bring me tidbits of gossip about Skipper.  Other than that nobody talks to me and I'm lonely.

I know that Skipper is in the house, looking at a big picture frame hanging on the wall.  The cats tell me that the frame shows a lot of pictures of things called "Football" and "Hockey".  I hope those are things that you can't do in the summer, because I'm bored to tears sitting back here, and I can't wait for sailing season to start!