Archive for September, 2006


Pyewacket Halyard Diving

September 6, 2006   

Photos of the Day – September 6

Santa Catalina Island

Today’s Question of the Day involves today’s Photo of the Day. Specifically, how is it possible for the crewmember of a boat to, starting from deck level, manage to get so high in the air? Mind you, he didn’t jump from the spreaders, nor was a ‘human cannon’ involved. Answer below

Answer to Question of the Day. It’s long been common for rambunctious crewmembers, mostly young males, to take a halyard to the bow of a boat, then swing themselves out alongside the boat. The goal is to get as long and high a ride as possible, hopefully letting go before slamming back into the side of the boat or landing on the deck. This is most successfully accomplished aboard boats with canting keels, as it’s possible to start out with the masthead exit of the halyard almost being off the side of the boat to begin with.

But as all males know, qualities such as bigger, faster, and higher are always admired. So the crew of the boat, in this case the 86-ft Pyewacket, got to thinking about how new heights might be scaled. The plan was actually quite simple. Put six guys on the coffee grinders, then have them grind for their lives at the instant the boatstronaut jumped off the bow. Is this a great country or what

Newfoundland to Maine

September 1, 2006   

I am at position 45 17N 56 42W on SY Vivid with four crew we left yesterday the 30th August from St Johns on our way to Camden Maine. Total mileage is around 830nm and after 29 hours we are 250 miles into the trip. Forecast last night was for gale force winds early this morning. The most we got however, was only 30 knots and the barometer is now rising to 1024MB from a low of 1013 yesterday. The seas are still pretty confused but the sun has finally found its way through the clouds and it is pretty warm out. Tim is hand steering as he has been seasick since we left St Johns. The other guys are wearing anti seasick patches – I am glad I don’t have to wear them and feel great.

Lisa isn’t on for this trip as she took time off and is at home with her parents so I have taken her place. The fourth crew member is a friend of Tim’s from Chicago who I sailed with several years ago at the Swan North Americans.

The food is a good as usual – yes daniel I will have to lose weight for the nationals ?. Last nights dinner was shepherds pie with a twist – instead of beef it was musk oxe from Greenland (tastes pretty similar). Yesterdays lunch was a delicious caramelized onion and bacon quiche and this afternoons lunch was homemade creamy asparagus soup with a BLT.

Annie sent cod tongues to the boat which you cook in pork fat but I think they will live in the freezer for ever as no one on the boat is that adventurous. I didn’t even know that fish had tongues – shows how much I learnt at uni…

Lisa left my room all made up with fresh flowers in a seagoing vase the roses smell really nice in my cabin and she also left her cuddly bear and of course my uniform. I am meant to be the stewardess in her place this trip but the guys are going to have to fend for themselves as that is not my forte!

The engine is off and we are sailing under full jib and 1/3 of the main. The trip started as a beat into 20 knots which we motor sailed into and we were thanking our stars for the beautiful dry pilot house. Unfortunately there are some leaks in the boat and the main saloon has a few drips as does the starboard guest cabin (the leeward bunk in there is soaking). The wind has switch from the SW to the N so it is now off our beam and we are moving along nicely straight down the rhumb line at 9.5 knots (not Pyewacket speed but fast for this heavy cruising boat). The only bad thing about this boat is the wallowing – it wallows like that tall ship I sailed to Portugual a few years ago. 40 degrees either way…. There are many seabirds swooping around just missing the tops of the waves with their wings – amazing poise. I wouldn’t like to see what would happen if they clipped their wings on the surface of a white cap ?

We should be in Camden for Monday mid morning. If I have time after cleaning up the boat I will try to call the Poyners and have dinner with them. I have a plane ticket booked for Thursday out of Boston and will go see some friends in the area. Bit of a holiday – I am looking forward to it. I keep on transiting through Boston and never get to actually see the town which probably has the most history of any of the US cities. I am going to stop at Lisa’s and visit with her and her parents.

I am tired today as my body is getting back into the watch system of 4 on 4 off it always takes me about 2 days to get into it. At 4 am I woke myself up with a cold shower as that was the only way. You know this is a luxury boat when you can wear your PJ’s on watch.

Last weekend was my last ‘’ride’ on Pyewacket and it was really good fun. Mum don’t know why you don’t like Catalina I thought it as great. We anchored in Whites Cove which has a little clubhouse owned by the Balboa YC and another one owned by the NHYC. Basically mini Tinsley islands. The Long Point Series is a race from Newport Beach to Catalina on the Friday and then up to the north of the island and back on Saturday and back to Newport Beach on Sunday. You anchor over night Friday and Saturday in the cove and people bring their kids, motorboats and toys. Racing only lasts about 3 hours each day so they don’t start till 1pm and there is lots of time to play in the water and socialize. Friday night their was a party at BYC which was bring your own meat and they provided BBQ pit and sides and Saturday night was at NHYC which was a prime rib dinner. There are about 50 boats in the race. I ended up with quite a few bruises from the sails but was smiling the whole way home as we were going at about 16 knots on a reach. That boat is beautiful and powerful I will miss sailing on it every other boat seems boring now maybe I need to take up 18 foot skiffs..