I think, therefore I am. I am, therefore I sail

Tag: Sam Leavens

Eagle Harbor – First cruise since motor rebuild!

Today I finally took my first cruise on Billabong! It was a small shakedown cruise from Shilshole Marina to the Eagle Harbor Public Park dock on Bainbridge Island.

Took a couple good friends along as well as a new friend Jesse that I met right before he got on the boat. Motor fired up beautifully again and we got out of the marina no problem. Wind was strong on the way down to Eagle Harbor. 16 knot southerly with big gusts. As we headed south towards West Point from the marina we got lots of lifts and headers. I was sitting on the low side watching the headsail and missed a couple gusts and buried the rail in the water. It was a blast! As we came around West Point the wind shifted to south south west. We set the sails once and stayed on a port tack from the marina right up to the entrance buoy of Eagle Harbor.

The Eagle Harbor Public Park dock can be crowded and rafting is encouraged. We rafted off to a beautiful old Westsail owned by a nice couple and headed into town for a food and drinks. The dock pay per foot and the cost of this “big boat” compared to Zippey is quite different. Zippey would have cost $2.30, Billabong cost $3.60! Breaking the bank here ;).

One of the crew over was Benjamin, a co-worker who lives on the island. He hopped a ferry to Seattle and I took him back home. It was fun.

One the way home the winds died and the seas became glassy. Used the iron sail to get home.

We made it to Eagle Harbor in about an hour and a half and got back in about an hour with the motor.

Great day all around! I think that long tack helped me learn the steering on the boat much better. She is a bit sensitive. I was able to keep her on edge pretty well. Looking forward to testing myself again on tomorrow’s race!

Sailing with friends new and old

The groundhog may have said we have have six more weeks of winter weather but Mother Nature must have ignored the memo. February 12th a few friends, both old and new, got together to go sailing on Mo’mento, Anne Girven’s Beneteau 323.

The skies were bright blue, the mountains standing out proud, and the wind a perfect 8-14 knots all afternoon. Mo’mento joyfully swept us back and forth across Puget Sound, from Shilshole to Bainbridge, from Bainbridge to Spring Beach. It was a wonderfully relaxing way to spend a weekend doing something you love with great people around you.

Big Wave Sailing in Elliot Bay

There was 20+ knot winds this afternoon and what looked to be a good chop in the water. I grabbed my buddy Sam and we headed to the marina for some sailing. Another sailboat owner saw us getting the boat ready and decided she wanted to come out and join us for a sail.

The wind was pushing the boat hard to port while Sam motored us out of the marina, and a couple times we almost bounced off other boats or pier fingers, but we made it just fine.

After motoring out into the sound a ways Carrie and I conferred on the waves and decided it may be best to not raise the sails for safety. We stayed out maybe forty minutes and then headed back in, also for safety :).

Zippey was plowing into the waves and when I went forward to secure the headsail I found myself going weightless several times. It was kinda fun actually.

Carrie is a rockstar and proactively hopped up to help keep the boat stable and get her back into the slip safely. This was Carrie’s first ride on Zippey and she seemed to enjoy it. Hopefully next time Zippey will provide better sailing conditions for her!

I shot a video of the “calm” portion of the ride ( or you can download it ):


September 18, 2013

Some plans fell through this evening so Sam and I wound up on the boat, as per the norm when neither of us has plans. Another gorgeous evening. Unfortunately the sun is departing rather quickly these days. By 8pm we were sitting in darkness. The new battery is rocking the lights perfectly so we can stay out after dark now. With the full moon and the light from the city it does not ever get really dark, so I want to do a few night sails this fall.

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