Thursday, June 18, 2009

Keeping Cool in July

The Memorial Day Cruise was great fun. The wind actually blew this year! For pictures and a summary please see page 5 and look for emails in the List when Ray & Sandy and the Adams' get their pictures out!

On June 6th, Vicki Lathom hosted a rendezvous on Luce Creek on the Severn. By all accounts this was a great event. Once again we tried to get the racing crowd to join in, but between family emergencies, and other instances of reality impinging on our sailing agendas, we were not able to do that. I am looking forward to attending next year. This is a short sail from where I keep Laughing Gull, and I really have no excuse.

By the time you all are reading this,
the heat of summer will have really set in. For us July and August are a a time of evening sails, and so often too much motoring around the Bay. An awning is a godsend. I am always a little surprised when I see a cruising Alberg without an awning in the heat of the summer. Awnings are fairly easy to make. I recently cut up an old sail to make one. This is great during the day, but does not handle the dew well at night. For those of that sleep in the cockpit, this means a potentially soggy morning - depending on the dew. There are plans on the web site for a simple awning using PVC tubing as spreaders. Obviously you cannot sail with this up, but because it mounts above the boom, it tends to let the air circulate and be a good solution for while at anchor.

I am a great fan of a dodger. in nasty weather a dodger has obvious advantages, and you can sail with it up. However, one not so obvious benefit is that during hot weather, it keeps the cabin MUCH cooler by keeping the sun from coming directly down the companionway hatch. Also, depending on how you design the dodger, it covers a decent chunk of the cockpit. I can sail tucked into the shade most of the time. I have an extension that comes off the back end of mine that reaches to the back stay. If you are not doing a lot of tacking, you can sail with this up. However, you need to be in the cruising mode, as it is a pain to tack (you have to put down your beer).

I do not have much experience with biminis. I would like one but as I also race I have resisted adding one. Currently it is OK to remove the dodger to race, but another set of hardware - that sounds like work. Regardless, I keep looking into it - I like the idea of being able to tack without having to wrestle the dodger extension. If anyone has plans for a dodger that they like, and allows them to quickly remove it and not have extraneous hardware that gets in the way, I would like to hear it.

Regardless of how you stay cool, enjoy the summer! Next time -- the report on the summer cruise, the Orioles game, and just how successful we all were at staying cool in Baltimore Harbor!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Cruising MainSheet - June 2009

We know that we should try and achieve some sort of worklife balance, but it struck me that we should also by trying to maintain abalance between the amount of time that we spend working on our boats andactually sailing them. At some point you just have to draw the line, and admitthat everything that you wanted to get done will not get done. At that point,clean things up, get all the necessities of life back on the boat, and getsailing! I think I reached that point this weekend. I finally everything backaboard so that we can hit the Memorial Day C ruise in comfort – which means getting everything ready so that we can leave early enough on Saturday to get to the starting line in time.

Thanks to all that came out to the Spring Rendezvous. The weather and the venue were perfect. Sue Barrett did a great job of arranging things for us with the Bay Ridge community. The fact that we were able to keep some of the boats there that were racing was a great help. After a day of racing it was nice not to have to put the boat away, and then travel to another local. I hope that we will be able to do the same next year. By the way, Mike Lehman was sailing a screw for $70. Did anyone buy it? He seemed to think this was a great deal – “after all when was the last time you got a screw for $70?!” You gotta love a guy that gets such a kick out of his own jokes.

The cruising season is starting in earnest. By the time you get this, we will have been up the Wye
River on Memorial Day, and Vicki Lathom will have hosted the Luce Creek on June 6th. In Mid June, we have the kids cruise on Broad Creek in the Magothy. I look forward being able to make some of those, and to seeing folks there.

The Summer Cruise is coming in early July. This year, we will be cruising the top half of the Bay starting in Bodkin Creek on the 4th, and finishing up in Baltimore Harbor for the Orioles game. Bill Carter is hosting a BBQ at Warton Creek’s Green Point Marina on the Thursday (6/9), and then the following day, we will meet in Swan Creek and have a white sail only race to Baltimore
Harbor. It looks as if there will be a significant number of attendees for the second half of the cruise. I am interested in figuring out how many folks will be attending the first half. Let me know, and we can plan accordingly.

See you out on the Bay!