R.I.P. Dinghy

27 09 2010 Posted by Daniel

This past weekend a friend of mine and I performed funeral services for my dinghy “Mini Me”, a 13-year old West Marine PVC inflatable who, truth be told, probably “died” about a year ago, really. We’d kept her on life support for as long as we could but at some point even that didn’t cut it any longer and she passed away peacefully in her slip. The burial was held by the Old Green Dumpster, and her remains are now committed to the earth, probably for the next 20,000,000 years or however long it takes PVC impregnated fabric to actually degrade (apparently there is a difference between the kind of degrading that causes her to be absolutely useless as a watercraft and the kind of degrading that allows the earth to finally reclaim the component materials).

I don’t think I personally ever even got much use out of her beyond a good workout trying to coax her out of becoming an impromptu sea anchor in the middle of the ICW with oncoming barge traffic, the first time her tube deflated spontaneously. In fact, I can personally say I’ve never even sat in her. So I suppose I can’t say its a terrible loss to see her given a standing and proper rest. But now I have to go buy another dinghy for my yacht. I’ll take a proper non-inflatable, this time, thanks.

Anyway, R.I.P. “Mini Me”, alas we hardly knew ye.


15 09 2010 Posted by Daniel

A friend gave me this photo he shot of me flying the spinnaker for the Express 37 “Millennium Express” on the final downwind of a local race. It was too good not to share. BEWARE: when you click it, the resulting image is HUGE. :)

Me flying the spinnaker of the 37 foot race boat Millenium Express

Photo courtesy Gary Trinklein

A fine weekend

07 09 2010 Posted by Daniel

This labor day weekend was amazing. I started on Saturday with a morning spent with a sailing mentor, working on docking maneuvers, tight space turns, and general low speed boat handling. We then spent the remainder of the morning out in the bay, heaving to and practicing other suitable bigger-boat tactics.

After a brief and well-earned break for lunch, I then headed over to another dock where I joined the crew of a Cal 40 for a local “rum race”. We did quite well, especially considering the general party atmosphere aboard and the significant number of first-time sailors we had with us (I remembered my first time on a race boat and had to grin and help them understand what was going on all around them).

Sunday was spent relaxing and I crashed HARD from all the stress of the past few weeks with work and whatnot.

Monday was a very special day, and in honor of the three day weekend, I let Aletheia out of the slip and into the lovely rain-washed waters of the bay, along with some good friends. We had a great day in variable 10-20 kt winds, mostly on a broad reach. With a 110 jib, main, and mizzen flying happily we hit some good speed and generally had a lovely time partying and enjoying the cool breeze from off the recent storm clouds. We made it back to the dock without mishap and I applied some of my recently learned docking technique to get her back in stern first without too much trouble at all, despite the decent crosswind.

So, overall a very very successful Labor Day weekend and I think Aletheia is much happier with me given all of her recent attention. She sailed like the dream I know her to be and really didn’t give me any trouble even with a few odds and ends needing to be fixed up on her rigging.

That’s all for now, more later. If any of you have some great weekend stories, I’d love to hear about them!