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

Tag: zzZippety Doo Dah Page 1 of 4

Zipping Zippey

Scheduled with a group of friends to go out sailing tonight. Turns out most were unable to make it, but an old college friend and I pulled Zippey out of her slip and headed out. There was not much wind when we got out of the marina so we motored towards Seattle for a bit.

The wind came up to a whisper so I tossed up the main and turned off the motor and we coasted towards the city. The wind continued to build to a respectable blow and we put out the head sail as well. The wind was going towards the city so to have more fun we turned around. The wind heeled Zippey over a respectable amount and we started screaming towards Bainbridge Island.

Tonight was the most fun and exciting sail I have had all summer. I hope it can be repeated tomorrow!

Georgeous sunset sail

Had a fantastic sunset sail this evening. A few friends invited themselves along on what turned out to be a gorgeous evening. There was no wind, but we had a great time bobbing on the water and fellowshiping.

Sadly this was also a going away sail for Alcane Clowe. Alcane is moving a few hours south in a couple days. Going to miss my erstwhile first mate.

Check out some of the gorgeous shots of the sunset! Click to enlarge. If you want to download right click the enlarged and save for full size!

Zippey enjoying the sun

It has been a few weeks since I have had time to get Zippey out sailing. I miss her.

Snapped a shot of her basking in the sun today while.

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Scotch on the rocks

scotch

Now with video! Courtesy Automattic

Last year a good friend, Mike Karikas, moved to Orange County right as I was coming back to Seattle. This week he is in Seattle working with his colleagues and asked if I would be interested in taking him and some co-workers out for a sail after work. Of course I said yes!

The weather was dreary, but it was not cold or rainy so we cast off after 5:30pm. After being baffled by a closed fuel dock we headed towards open water. The wind was blowing just perfect for a waterfront sail along the front of Seattle. I had not taken this route before and was rather excited to try it out as I have seen many boats sailing along the front of the park.

The plan was to cruise down near the Seattle Aquarium and then head back to the marina for dinner. Mike’s coworker John had brought along a bottle of scotch and poured the five of us a glass. Mike, having enjoyed time on his parent’s sailboat, was at the helm and we were moving along quite well and having a great time. I received a phone call some time after 7:30pm from a co-worker and decided I needed to take it. Up on deck it was noisy so I ducked into the cabin for some peace. After about a five minute phone conversation I popped back topside to discover us quite close to the rocks, or rather gigantic terrifying boulders in front of the park. Mike wanted to get in close and close in he got!

rocks

I grabbed the tiller from Mike and attempted to get us back out in open water, but unfortunately the surf had grabbed ahold of Zippey stronger than the wind and we were moving sideways toward the rocks! I reeled in the sheets to get every ounce of power out of the sails to no avail. Fairly confident now that we would hit the rocks I had Mike grab the boat pole and attempt to hold us off the rocks. To his credit he did a darn good job, but we still ground against them a couple times.

As Mike was trying to hold us off the rocks I yanked on the starter cord for the Yamaha outboard. This motor is beautiful and always starts first pull but no surprise the cord stuck this time. I had forgotten to take it out of gear! Precious seconds were lost while trying to get the motor started. Vrooom! The motor fired up and I slammed it into reverse. The prop and shaft came flying out of the water! Dagnabit, the motor had not locked down on the mount. John, a coworker, tried valiantly to hold the motor down, but it wound up flipping sideways and pulling us toward the rocks even quicker. Oops.

I idled the motor and hopped up to douse the sails. That slowed our impact and grinding on the rocks quite a bit. After walking to the bow and assessing the situation with Mike I decided there was no other option than to jump into the water and try to manhandle Zippey away from the rocks. I was not at all confident about this but it was better than the not options we had. I hopped near waist deep onto the rocks and somehow managed to get the boat pointed straight away from the shore. I was quite impressed by this as the wind and waves were battling me.

As Zippey was coming around I instructed Mike to walk back to the motor and prepare to open the throttle wide. I knew we were going to have inches to spare after I turned the boat, with the wind and waves pushing us straight back to shore. I was not at all sure I would be able to get back onboard before he did that, but as the boat came around I had her off the rocks far enough that I hazarded pouncing onto the motor mount and vaulting into the cockpit. As I did this I grabbed the throttle on the motor and opened her wide. The motor was still in reverse! With less than two feet separating the prop from the rocks I did a bad thing. There was not enough time to switch down to idle to change from reverse to forward gears. I slapped the shifter hard in forward. With nary a hiccup we rocketed forward like the wind and waves were not there. Victory!

After traveling several hundred feet from shore the girls came back out to the cockpit and everyone picked up their scotch glasses. Mike looked at his glass and regarded me for a moment. Seeing that I was not too upset he raised his glass and said, “Ben, you should know I like to drink my scotch on the rocks!”

After much laughter we checked the time and headed back towards the marina. Mike played some sea shanties on his Uke and we were all feeling pretty good.

I am happy to report that other than some scraped paint and bruised egos both Zippey and the passengers sustained no damage. It sure was a learning experience for me though.  Mike + neat scotch + boat + rocks nearby == &&#*$*(%(%($*

Some good wind today!

Alcane and I took the boat out this afternoon as an escape from a hectic and crazy day. Zippey is getting a lot of growth along her bottom. I am still frustrated that no ablative was put on the bottom when I had her painted. I was told first that soft ablative was going on, then hard ablative, but there is nothing… I need to get a scrub brush and get down there to clean the plantation off.

When we first left the marina the wind was really light. By the time we passed the point the wind was whistling through the rigging. It was great fun! I have not had Zippey in at sort of wind for some time. Lost a lot more of the 130% genoa. It is definitely time to replace that sail. I need to think about getting a jib now as well. Sinclair inlet was fairly protected and I needed the 130% most of the time. Winds in Elliot Bay are much stronger.

I am also worried about the centerboard. Last time I saw it was on the trailer where the swing keel was jammed up into the slot to put on the trailer. When Zippey was placed back into the water no slack was taken up from the centerboard cable when I attempted to lower it. With the higher winds it is important to have the centerboard down. When the winds came up I let the rail get close to the water, but no it. Still a bit skittish until I know for sure I will come back up.

Docking was interesting. A big gust of wind caught Zippey as I was turning into her slip. We almost bounced off a couple boats. Had to travel back down the lane to a free slip and try to pull in again. The second time was perfect.

Anywho, it was a short but great sail. Excellent tension and stress reliever as always.

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