Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sailing all Day in Key West!

We rented a Hobie 16 from the Sunset Watersports guys on Smathers Beach Saturday. The best deal ending up being a beach pass, which gave us unlimited access to whatever toys they have for the whole day. The guys had a hard time accepting that neither of us was interested in parasailing. They asked at least three times if we were sure we didn't want to go and each time we replied negatively, they said, "Well, you can make up your mind about it later. The last boat goes out at 4."

I think they were still shaking their heads as we walked away at 4 and headed back to town on our bikes.

The wind was great the whole time, blowing out of the North, steady 15 kts early and gusting up to 20. In the afternoon, toward the end of our second session, we got a nice sustained 20+ kt wind and we were about two inches away from flying the windward hull. Very fun, thrilling beam reach!

I can see why they are warm-weather boats, however. The water flys around and with the sun mostly hiding behind clouds, Kris was chicken-skinned from head-to-toe for most of our sailing.

I ditched my shirt and I've got a nice red-tint to my skin. Happy for a sunburn on my Willamette Valley winter skin.

We saw a trio of keelboats working West a bit outside of where we were, so we sailed right out to them and gybed onto their line. We passed all three of them in short order. They all had their Key West Race Week placards on their bows and looked to be in the 20' range. Not sure what class/boat-type, though. (Addendum: looks like they were J 80s.)

The Hobie is pretty easy to get caught in irons, we found out quickly. Tacking into the wind is a touchy business and we spent a bit of time blaming each other. Me, certain that Kris wasn't working the jib properly through the turn and Kris repeating, "What did you do?" each time we'd heave up and stall.

We gybed okay, however, so tried to approach everything that way. Which must have looked funny when we sailed back to the beach, directly into the wind, and did loops at each of our tacking points. But maybe experienced sailors thought we were just showing off ...

We will probably try it again on Monday and see if we can master the Hobie Cat tack.

We ended the day with a bottle of rum and a game of dominoes in the galley onboard Appledore. Looking forward to sailing on that boat this afternoon.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Planting Spars

The girls and I spent MLK Day planting trees with the local chapter of the Friends of Trees. Well, maybe we just spent the morning. That's not bad, though.

We put in two rhododendrons and four Ponderosas, after the girls ate a donut that looked like a battle between a bottle of Nyquil and a bottle of Pepto-Bismol had transpired on top; nuclear blue vs. I-Dream-of-Jeannie pink.

Followed it all up with a pint o' Mirror Pond and the Miss Piggy at Flying Pie Pizza. Can't go wrong with smoked ham, Italian sausage, and pepperoni all smashed together on top of a pizza.

Less than 72 hrs from now we will be landing in Key West. I expect to be working through my first half-dozen rum runners in about 72 hrs, while listening to the Race Week participants tell stories at the village on Greene St.

Sunshine, c'mon!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Abstraction Leads to Neglect

We've been making slow progress on our transition from dinghy sailors to keelboat owner/sailors. We quit the sailing club a couple of months back and have been waiting on spring to spruce up Love and Coconuts and put her up for sale.

Not a lot to talk about on the sailing front then. That, coupled with lots of job and life transitions has, um, well taking the wind out of our sailing blogs.

I could go into the boring details of finance-finagling, but suffice it to say, they ARE boring details. We move glacially toward the liveaboard boat, with our eyes on minimizing costs to get there, in hopes of maximizing our time sailing.

This is all so abstract. I'm much happier with sensation-driven writing.

Fingers crossed that more of that is coming soon.

Key West in six days!