Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Merry Christmas!
Dear Friends & Family,
I mailed & emailed cards to everyone I had addresses for but also wanted to post a brief holiday greeting here...
2009 was the year of yacht racing. Last season I saw some terrific potential in Jeroboam and spent the winter preparing to raise the stakes by outfitting the boat with lots of new gear. I entered seven races in 2009, five of which were new to Jeroboam, and saw class, division and/or fleet wins in all seven; way beyond any expectations of mine. The highlight was the first race of the season, Bermuda 1-2, my longest and most challenging. For those of you interested in this sort of thing, I posted detailed accounts of each to the left under 2009. I think I'll always look back at this racing season as one of my proudest achievements.
There were some other firsts this year including skiing the alps with my buddy Jorg. Megève and Chamonix were spectacular in both the ski and après-ski categories; entirely different experiences than skiing North America. We also managed to take a swing through Burgundy, my first tour of French wine country. Even in the off season, I found it quite beautiful.
In March, my family took a trip to Bonaire which included some fabulous diving, as usual. It was my third visit to the island and I still characterize it as the best scuba spot in the Caribbean.
This winter I'm hoping to ward off the boredom with some winter hiking. My Uncle Dave starting taking me up to the White Mountains when I was a kid and we're getting serious about making it a year round sport. Mountains that seem moderately difficult in the summer turn into extreme hiking experiences in the winter, offering terrific challenges. I also signed on for some more punishment with Russ Hancock & Co in the Boston Harbor J-24 frostbiting series so that should keep me busy. And Keane finally acquired a dry suit so we'll be lobster hunting all winter in Rockport and Gloucester.
I added lots of photos from this year's fun activities to the site so check them out. And let me know if you're in Boston anytime soon.
Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukah! Happy New Year! Etc!
Best,
Jonathan

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Season to Remember

The win at the Maine Rocks Race sealed up a perfect season for Jeroboam with first-in-class and/or division finishes for all seven races I entered. You can imagine how ecstatic I am about the results. I'll post some analysis on the Maine Rocks Race in a couple weeks as well as some thoughts about the season as a whole. To all that aided, mentored and cheered, thank you very much. I wouldn't have had this success without you.

In the meantime, Zoe and I are helping a new boat owner move his catamaran from Trinidad to Lauderdale, likely departing Monday, October 5th weather permitting. I'll probably post some occasional coordinates and/or delivery comments here, particularly if there are delays.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!

So it's true, my mom is the only one who reads this? I've received about 50 text messages on my sat phone in the last 24 hours, all signed "Mom" though I doubt she alone was this industrious. My Uncle Dave was the only one out of the loop on that practical joke, signing his own name. To the rest of you clowns, thanks, your messages were hilarious. One of my favorite (that's suitable for publishing): "Celebrate the end of the season sensibly Jon and make sure you brush you teeth tonight. Love, Mommy" It was either a well coordinated effort by many or the raving outlet to one person's intense boredom.

The race went well, although I think it was my worst start ever. My autopilot decided to go into standby mode on the line and I back winded my jib, turning the boat into another's way. The collision was clearly my fault and while the damage didn't look bad, it was very embarrassing nonetheless and required a 360 to exonerate myself from the foul. I was rather out of sorts once I crossed the starting line but managed to shake it off and battle back from last place. I think the awards ceremony is around 6 or 7 so we'll see how I did then. Fingers crossed.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I can't believe this is the last race of the season

It seams like just yesterday I was gearing up for Bermuda 1-2, the first one of the season. Prep is going well for Maine Rocks. I've laid in a good supply of baked goods, scrubbed the bottom (thanks Zoe's housemate), and secured storage for some of my cruising gear (thanks Doug). Skippers meeting is tomorrow evening and all systems are go. Should be a quick race with the forecast as it stands but of course that could change at any moment. I'm going into this last race with 160 prepaid minutes on my sat phone so I ask that everyone call or send a text message sometime between 10am Sat and 6pm Sun to help me use them up. This is a blatant test to see who is reading this stupid blog besides my Mom.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Victory!

Jeroboam survived a very light air race, managing to win the single-handed division and place fourth among the fleet of 43 boats, including those fully crewed. Thankfully the race committee decided to shorten the course but stopped short of renaming this running of the race "Almost Around Isleboro." Unfortunately I somehow picked up a head cold so that gives me a week to recuperate before the Maine Rocks Race on the 19th. There's a bunch of accomplished sailors entered so it's shaping up to be quite a season finale!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Race morning

I attended the pre-race function last evening at Northport Yacht Club and enjoyed seeing old friends and meeting others. It was obvious from many of the conversations that two factors will play significantly into the race: light air work and local knowledge, two areas of weakness on Jeroboam.

I didn't meet anyone else for whom this was their first Around Isleboro outing so I may be the only boat in the fleet who hasn't sailed through Bracketts Channel, a very narrow, very scary looking section of the race course on the south side of Isleboro.

But that's not the local knowledge of which I speak. Playing the light fluky winds deep in Penobscot Bay that will be very mysterious for an outsider like me apparently have a rhyme and/or reason to the sailors of Northport and Belfast. I shall make notes of hailing ports and value those directional hints over boats from other places.

I also have a lot of extra weight on board right now, perhaps as much as 600 pounds more weight than I had for my last race. I don't have my car up here which normally serves as my storage shed for cruising gear during a race so there's a lot of excess junk I have to lug around; particularly detrimental given the light wind forecast.

Someone said there may be 40 boats entered but perhaps as few as 4 racing single handed. Skippers meeting in one hour.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Maine Rocks Delay

The race committee decided to delay the Maine Rocks Race until September 19-20 because of Danny. I was able to confirm that the Around Isleboro Race has a single handed division so I'll enter that the weekend prior. It's not very long, so it's probably just a day race, but I'm hoping a bunch of the Maine Rocks entrants will participate as there's some very accomplished sailors in the bunch. For the time being, I'm holed up in Somes Harbor on MDI waiting out the storm which was downgraded and shouldn't deliver much more than 40 knot gusts. I'll spend the next two weeks hiking/biking/sailing around MDI and visiting with friends and family in the area.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Another Win for Jeroboam!

Zoe and I managed to take the double handed division of the Ida Lewis Distance Race this weekend and place third among the PHRF boats. The race committee ended up shortening the course so that all the boats could get in before hurricane Bill approached so it only ended up being a 104 nm course. Jeroboam performed very well. I depart for Maine tomorrow in preparation for the Maine Rocks Race on Saturday.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Bring It.

Fantastic news: the Ida Lewis Distance Race organizers have granted Jeroboam an exemption to the PHRF rating cap for their race starting Friday, August 21st. High profile races occasionally restrict entry by rating, vessel length or other metrics to avoid having to shepherd amateurs and slow boats around a course that might otherwise be too challenging. Thankfully, the race committee decided to allow Jeroboam's entry after reviewing my petition, researching Jeroboam's positive stability data and assessing her reputation among the single and short handed racing community. The other good news is that Zoe agreed to race with me in the double handed division so it's all systems go! There's a bunch of hot boats signed up for this one but it remains to be seen which will race double handed. Any way you slice it, this will be a tough race with some fantastic competition. Charge!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Victory!

Jeroboam managed to win class 5, the single handed class, in the New England Solo Twin this past weekend as well as post a corrected time that beat out all the double handed boats that sailed the same course (classes 1, 2 and 6). I'll post some detailed race analysis shortly.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Race Prep & site photos

Got a bunch of weight off the boat today in advance of Friday's New England Solo/Twin. There aren't nearly as many boats entered in the solo race as the double handed twin division but that's ok. There's still some good competition in there. Tomorrow I gear up with the air tank and scrub the bottom then attend the skippers meeting at Newport Yacht Club. I added some photos to the gallery under Bermuda 1-2 including some starting line shots (both legs) and some photos from the awards ceremonies. There's also a nice goofy photo of Keane posted under the Beringer link and a couple starting line photos from the Marblehead-Halifax race posted under that link.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Newport, Part II

Ok, Jeroboam is back in Newport and gearing up for the New England Solos on Friday. If I can just get over this cough before then, I'll be in really good shape. As it turns out, Keane and I won our class in the Beringer Bowl on both elapsed and corrected time and placed tenth in the fleet on corrected time out of 37 boats. This was a solid showing but frankly, I'm glad it's behind me as you'll see if you read the Beringer Bowl entry to the left - yet another horrible BYC event.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Back in Marblehead and Ready to Race

Just rolled into town after an uneventful Gulf of Maine crossing to find that Keane has ageed to race double handed with me for Beringer. This is going to be great. Race start is Friday at 7 pm and so far it looks like it'll be a light air race so I wouldn't expect we'll be across the finish line before dawn.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Jeroboam on the move

Departed Halifax yesterday morning bound for Marblehead. I decided to enter the Beringer Bowl before heading for Newport. It's a fun overnight destination race from Marblehead to Provincetown via a buoy outside Boston Harbor. Race start is Friday evening so it will be a little tight but I should have a solid 24 hours between my arrival and the start. This is symbolically an important race for me. Two years ago, I entered Jeroboam and raced double handed with Shawna but we did it without a spinnaker and came in last place in the fleet. It's payback time!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The unposted entry: Wake up call

Apparently this entry never reached my blog. I attempted to post it on Tuesday, July 7th: A boat in our class named Narada just hove into sight; a boat we owe time to. That doesn't bode well. We also downloaded the fleet position data but it appears that most of the boats aren't even listed on the report, in fact half the boats in our class are not listed, including us, so I wonder if the tracking site is even working. We finally got that Southeast breeze we were hoping for which is lifting us toward Brazil Rock. Timing is everything here as the currents run rather swift past the Southwest tip of Nova Scotia and can either help you nicely or hurt you dramatically. If we can't make it in there by the time the current is favorable around 3 AM, we'll probably tack away to where there's less of an effect, though adding miles to our route.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Hooray! We finished!

I can't tell you how happy I am to be in Halifax. The race was so difficult on a very different level from the return leg of Bermuda 1-2. The light and variable winds were painful and frustrating but somehow we kept going and managed to finish this morning. Jeroboam is docked in downtown Halifax which will be very convenient for provisioning, laundry, entertainment and all those little errands that need to be run prior to departure for Newport, probably on Sunday.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sorry for the radio silence

Frankly, I've not had anything good to say about this race. The fickle winds and endless doldrums have plagued our progress. Everytime we try something strategically interesting, the breeze fails us and the plan falls apart. What's nornally a 3 day downwind fun race has been a real test of patience.

Monday, July 6, 2009

I knew this was going to be a light air race but...

wow, is this light. We tried to work every puff to out advantage today but with little to show by way of progress to the finish. We're quite a bit South of the rhumb line with the hope that the forecasted S/SE breeze will lift us back toward Brazil Rock before the NE breeze fills in but it's so light out here that it might turn into a struggle. Those boats North of the rhumb line may fair slightly better. The race docs indicate that Noon on Thursday is the deadline to finish the race, although they may extend it if most of us are still out here.

We were hanging out in the cockpit this afternoon when I happened to glance over the stern and see a large whale 10 or 15 feet behind us just slowly following us! Those guys can really sneak up on you. Later we saw a full sized right whale at the surface and got a good look at him through the binoculars.

There's always one day of doldrums on the Halifax race

And I think we're just beginning it. Light and variable winds plague out progress but the good news is that there are many other boats in our vicinity with the same challenge. We have a spot of current helping us along and just enough breeze to keep the spinnaker filled most of the time. We'll probably spend the day pulling our hair out trying to keep the boat moving.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Race Tracker - Direct Link

Ok, Jeroboam is ready to go. I'm going to do some weather analysis tonight and tomorrow and hang out with some friends for the fireworks then it's off to the races! The direct link for the race tracking is http://trackinfo.fistracking.com/Marbleh2009/.

Start Time

Just got out of the skippers meeting which I wish I could say was time well spent. PHRF Class 6 starts at 1:20 PM EDT tomorrow and looks like we'll have a nice breeze for the first 24 hours but after that we'll just be bobbing around out there, working hard for each mile. The really really good news is that it's not expected to pour rain the whole time. There might even be some sunshine.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Marblehead-Halifax Race Tracking

The race begins Sunday, July 5 in the early afternoon and will probably take 3-4 days to get up there depending on the wind. Zoe and I are racing in the double handed division in PHRF Class 6. The direct link for the race tracking website is not yet available but you can find it on race day by going to http://www.fistracking.com/index_tracking.html and clicking on the Marblehead-Halifax link or by visiting http://www.marbleheadtohalifax.com/Race/RaceTracker.htm and following the link that will be posted there. I’ll also post in-race updates here.

Monday, June 29, 2009

There's no place like Halifax. There's no place like Halifax. There's no place like Halifax.

If only Auntie Em could see us now. I added a Bermuda 1-2 section to the site with some race analysis, photos and video. Halifax prep continues at a brisk pace but I keep adding stuff to my list and with time so short, something's going to give. Here's my punch list:
- Replace main outhaul
- Replace bow roller plate
- Fix winch assembly issue
- Up the mast, inspect rig, standing rigging, radar dome, reflector, mast head, etc.
- Tune rig
- New turnbuckle pins
- Chafe protection on shrouds
- Refer clasp
- Fix aft cabin leak
- Plug mast base leak
- New jib sheet
- Reinforce port laz shelf
- Clean & dry out boat
- Get more spyder line
- Repair weather cloth
- Need more 5200 fast cure
- Recalibrate speedo
- Clean/inspect bilge
- Engine check out
- Return traveler car
- Scrub bottom
- Secure nav station trianchor plate
- Fix VHF DSC
- Inspect all autopilot wiring
- Anchor locker shelf protection
- Get more tape
- Fix leaking portlights
- Fix deck nav lights

To make things more interesting, Hawthorne Cove tossed me off their dinghy dock even though I only use it about a week between June and September and Marblehead told me to find my own pre-race mooring. It's easy to feel like the underdog when everyone's against you.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wow. We did really well.

We're very happy to have finished a grueling race and even happier at the results. Looks like we have the win in Class 4 all buttoned up on elapsed and corrected time which means the accomplishment of an amazing goal for me. With the win on each leg, Jeroboam earned the combined win as well for Class 4. Who ever thought this little Beneteau would be such a performer? Certainly not I, in fact when I bought it, I recall saying it would always be just a cruising boat and that I'd never race it. Jeroboam proved me wrong once again. A big thank you to Zoe for putting in a huge effort on what was a physically intense race. And thank you to everyone for posting/emailing/texting cheers, encouragement and praise. It was great to be able to share it with everyone. I'll post more on the race on it's own page on the website with a recap of some of the race's finer points and some pictures. The Marblehead-Halifax race starts July 5th and will also include a transponder website and my blog posts so please follow along if the novelty hasn't worn off yet.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The burden of the beat

We're getting a little crushed out here with 30+ knot winds and heavy seas but the good news is that we've been gradually getting a lift all day and are almost fetching our mark, the finish line outside Newport Harbor. We're so wet that we decided our first meal in Newport will be taken at a restaurant that doesn't serve water. If all goes well, we hope to be tied up at Newport Yacht Club before dark tomorrow.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Tally Ho, To Newport!

I think we're finally free of the gulf stream and heading toward Newport. The wind has shifted to our advantage and if it holds, we hope to finish sometime Wednesday. The crew is a bit tired. This leg has been much more physically challenging than the first but the sandwich and grapefruit inventory appear to be adequate so onward we slog.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Rough and tumble

We worked hard for the mileage since my last post, lots of squalls, reefing, soakings from above and sea water over the rail, but at last we've arrived at the beginnings of the gulf stream. There's a pretty hefty current pushing us East as we plow our way across but so far the wind is favorable so no complaints here. The other side may hold a frustrating beat into Newport but we'll see. The sea state is quite confused, with no real wave pattern to discern, just mountains of water over the sides of which little Jeroboam hurls itself.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

When cruising boats race

All those cruisers out there know what it's like to fly an asymmetrical from their bow anchor roller, and we all wonder just how long that thing is going to handle the load it was meant to handle, but only in the other direction. We found out yesterday. The whole front portion sheared away in a jagged aluminum wreck but thankfully it didn't leave behind a gapping hole in the bow, nor are we planning to anchor anytime soon so all's well for now.

We had a great run for about 12 hours at 8+ knots, some of Jeroboam's finest work. The wind nosed around on us a bit this afternoon so we're beating now at a slightly slower pace but hope to return to a fine reach and more close-to-hull-speed action as the wind backs. The big question mark is the low pressure system that's going to be just South of New England soon. I think most of the fleet might be shying away to the west but that's where the first of the wind on the nose will be so I'm tempted to head right for it, catching some of the more favorable wind angles, albeit lighter air. We still have some time to think about it so no decisions have been made yet.

All in all, a grand start to the race. In plenty of breeze, which we've had, Jeroboam typically does well relative to her competition so I'm hoping we're at least even with them at this point. Charge!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Race Delayed 24 Hours

The aforementioned low predicted for New England is the cause of some concern among racers and race committee alike, apparently because there is one forecaster, Dane Clark, who is predicting 50 knots of breeze. I've not seen his forecast but two others I reviewed this morning don't predict anything over 30. Oh well. Better safe than sorry. Stay tuned for a race start tomorrow, Friday June 18. Class 4 starts at 1240 ADT (1140 EDT).

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Leg 2 Start Tomorrow, 12:40 ADT

Finally, the return race is upon us – our class starts at 1240 Atlantic Daylight Time tomorrow so that’s 11:40 AM Eastern. It seems like ages since we arrived in St. George. We just have a couple things to deal with tomorrow morning but we’re basically ready to go. We have a solid return strategy based on this evening’s weather reports for at least the first three days but there’s a low predicted for New England later in the race that’s a bit of a wild card. We’ll gather some weather data in route and make some adjustments along the way. Looks like a lot of spinnaker work on this run which is good for us as we hope to move close to our hull speed for the first 48 hours. Above is a shot of Jeroboam’s crew after a long, final day of prep work.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Race Prep Progress

Great progress made on Jeroboam since finishing leg 1: -reinforce the gooseneck -replenish water/fuel -repair small leak at mast base -replace spin sheet snapshackle -reduce chafe between jib furl base and forestay entry point into anchor locker -acquire more ripstop tape -replace clips on salon lee cloth -rewire compass light -replace turning block sheave -engine check, replace belt -autopilot off course alarm issue dealt with -repair main furl line feed plate -acquire blue tape -try out new traveler (fail) -lube & grease winches -go up the mast, check all standing rigging -check tape on lifelines & standing rigging -buy a new toothbrush

Tuesday we'll see if Doyle made any progress on the spinnaker repair and do some laundry/food prep and Wednesday I'll scrub the bottom and put some ideas together for a return strategy. It's all coming together!

Friday, June 12, 2009

And the first leg winner is...

While not official, I can comfortably say that not only did I place first in my class, but on corrected time, I beat the entire fleet. This is a huge accomplishment for me. Many thanks to everyone for cheering me on, lending advice, working on the boat, etc. There is, however, no rest for the weary as leg two is still before us and there is much to do prior to the start. Each evening brings unrestrained revelry among the race participants while your dutiful correspondent toils away on Jeroboam from dawn to midnight. The fat lady has far from sung.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Finish

For those of you following the race on iboattrack.com, you might have guessed that I finished yesterday afternoon just before 4. I'm very pleased with the result, although what exactly that is I don't know yet. Official finish times for some key boats have yet to come in so the final standings have not yet been released, and may not until tomorrow. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. The boat faired very well. I have a managable list of repairs/upgrades I need to get done prior to the start of the return race on Thursday of next week in addition to the usual pre-race work like scrubbing the bottom, food prep, safety equipment review, systems checks, etc. The photo above is taken at the final approach to the finish line - you can just barely make out the island on the horizon. And the video below is one of the porpoises off the bow on Saturday at dawn. I'll post my final race results when it's available, perhaps today but definately tomorrow. video

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

And now we play the waiting game

Well the asym blew up again and just in case I need it one last time, I went after the tear frostbiting style with about 30 yards of duct tape. I doubt it will last very long but I may not even need it.

The wind is very light but on the nose so I'm just gently making my way toward Kitchen Shoal, NE of St George Harbour. I had hoped the wind would hold out but there's just not a lot going on out here for the moment. Thankfully there's a half knot of current helping me along and the breeze is just enough to fill the sails. The forecast indicated it would fill in from the SW or W later this morning but we shall see. I'm about 15 miles from Bermuda and still hope to finish today though it certainly won't be this morning.

I found a new use for the smaller spinnaker last night that I'm very excited about. The shape doesn't indicate it would be of any use in this capacity but I found it to be a productive reaching spinnaker, producing 5.5 knots of boat speed from 8 knots of apparent wind speed at an apparent wind angle of 72 degrees. My 140% genoa was only capable of propelling the boat at about 4.5 knots under similar conditions. If the wind keeps clocking on me this morning, I may have an opportunity to pull it out again which would be fun.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

It's alive

After three unsuccessful attempts, the three quarter ounce asym is flying once again although I'm being very gentle with it, keeping the apparent wind below 10 knots while trying to stay high enough to make Kitchen Shoals. It could blow at any minute but for now, all's well except the tape supply. I've been fighting with a large cold water eddy NW of Bermuda. With 1-1.5 knots of current in my face all day, tiresome isn't the word. Forecast looks good and I'm hoping to finish sometime tomorrow.

Good run last night

Couple squalls and some lighting showers but nothing too hairy as I only had to reef once. I'm just now getting rolled by who I thought was Bluebird (sail number 171 & a blue hull), but as they got closer and dawn materialized, I discovered the boat to be Ariana (sail number 17 & a blue hull).

Monday, June 8, 2009

The 12 hour dead zone appears to be over

After wallowing around for half a day, we appear to be on our way again as the wind chimed in from the SW. A true test of my patience as come to an end and the race is back on.

All quiet on the western front

The wind went very light late yesterday afternoon and, if possible, has gone even lighter overnight. If it were not for the single knot of current in my favor, I doubt I'd be making any headway at all. The weather is beautiful, bright sunny sky with hardly a cloud in sight but the lack of wind makes me wish for another low pressure system, rain and all.

I've taken to belting out TV theme songs with the Beverly Hillbillies and Gillian's Island comprising much of the concert, though no cheers have gone up from the passing wildlife so I'm forced to change my tune to some local favorites such as Flipper's theme song.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

When the going gets tough

After a brilliant run this afternoon with an average speed in excess of 8 knots, I blew out my large 0.75 ounce asymmetrical spinnaker. The tear is at the clew and is too large to tape up. I think I can have it repaired in Bermuda but for this leg of the race, it's all done. This is a crippling blow to my competitiveness as my other spinnaker is too small for light air work and precisely those conditions will comprise the balance of the race. It's painful to watch the boat limp along at 6.5 knots when you know, with the right sail, she can do 8. I'll have to slog it out as best I can to the finish line and hope everyone else blew out their spinnakers as well.

Rolling Rolling Rolling

As "Big Boat Craig" likes to say, it's a matter of keeping the bus moving. Nice breeze on the port quarter with the big asym flying is yielding 7-8 kts of SOG. (for the non boaters among you, that's good). I intend to enter the gulf steam at 38 degrees 30 minutes North latitude, 068 degrees 40 minutes West longitude where the main body of the stream dips Southward a bit and will hopefully provide an additional knot or two of VMG. At my current rate of speed, I should reach it around sundown. There's one more stream feature I might play, a cold water eddy Northwest of Bermuda, the West side of which may yield a knot or two of favorable current. It will take me fairly West of the rum line so I'll wait a day or two before deciding so I can get a decent wind forecast for the area before I trek over there.

When I looked at the iboattrack.com web site on Friday morning prior to the start, I noticed that they didn't have the class breakdown posted. For those of you interested in tracking my competition, here's a list of boat names and their skippers:

Bluebird, Gust Stringos Curlew, Brian Guck Glory, Allerton Cushman, Jr. Mirari, Dan Stadtlander Nimros, Douglas Shearer Panacea, Peter McCrea Robin, Douglas Campbell Williwaw, Rusty Duym Windswept, Rick McCally

Mini dismasted last night

Among the garbled VHF transmissions, it sounded like the mini named Carbon Neutral was dismasted and required a tow back to Newport. Ouch! At dawn, a pod of dolphins swam along with me for a half hour or so and I'll post some video of them when I get to Bermuda.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Good Start, plenty of wind

We might get a little crushed tonight from the low pressure system that came through but nothing too bad. We're beating in to the rain and the waves are up to about a meter and a half and will probably increase as we get further south. I'm just sauntering down the rhum line so far and haven't really decided which side I want to play. All's well!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Doublehanded News Flash (Halifax)

5 double handed entries in each division (PHRF & IRC) with another 4 undeclared! I know I shouldn't be thinking about the next race when this one hasn't even started yet but this is pretty exciting. Halifax has never had this many double handed entries. Not even close. This is heating up to be a great race!

The award for best use of a paint stick

Keane will like this one. A wholly inappropriate use for a worthless scrap of junk serving a vital role in the affairs of men: a paint stick supports the sat phone external antenna.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

49 degree water + 1.5 hours under = numb fingers

The dry suit came out for one last bottom scrub today. No, it's not coming to Bermuda with me.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Inspection passed with flying colors

Woohoo! Nine months of prep officially paid off this morning as the Bermuda 1-2 boat inspector issued a passing grade to Jeroboam although some would say the work won't really pay off until we're safely back in Newport following the race. Zoe and I got some good practice in over the weekend but blew out the traveler car. I have some suppliers scrambling this morning to find a replacement but I won't really know the score until I have one in hand. This might be a nail biter.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Bermuda 1-2 Boat inspection on Monday

I think I’m basically done with boat prep. This is Jeroboam’s first category one race so there was a lot to do for her to qualify. Here’s a partial list:

-          New lifelines, without the plastic coating

-          Lee cloths for sleeping heeled over

-          Emergency drinking water packets for abandon ship bag

-          A second manual bilge pump

-          Mechanical bilge pump that runs off the engine

-          Masthead tricolor LED w/ emergency battery hook up

-          Emergency VHF antenna

-          New radar reflector with > 10m^2 reflection

-          Sail number painted on bow

-          Wood plugs for all thru hull fittings

-          Cockpit clip in points

-          New fire extinguishers

-          Flashlights – race requires 5…strange considering I can only use one at a time

-          Beefed up first aid kit and manual

-          Paper and electronic charts of Bermuda

-          Alternative rudder

-          MOB pole and all that goes with it

-          EPRIB

-          Liferaft

-          SOLAS flares, smoke signals

-          Heaving line

-          Cockpit knife

-          Storm jib & storm trysail

-          New autopilot

-          Another asymmetrical spinnaker

-          90 Db alarm wired to boat systems

-          Upgraded navigation software

-          Satellite phone

-          A bunch of new running rigging

-          GPS upgrade

-          New genoa and main sail

-          Weather cloths w/ race numbers

 

Hopefully I’ll pass the inspection on Monday morning and can spend the balance of the week working on strategy, giving the bottom one last scrub, provisioning, practicing and tying up some loose ends.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The automatic text message to blog feature is kind of funny. It will certainly keep my entries brief.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My first blog post.

Wow. Does not my eloquence entice you to frequent this site? The hope is that I'll have some time to recap the races I do this summer, the text of which might appear here. I can't say I'm really dedicated to doing this. Frankly, if I were you, I wouldn't bother even looking here again because chances are this will be my final entry.