Archive for July, 2008



July 30, 2008   

I was able to visit my good friend Cam Geer and his wife in Chicago as I had to overnight due to not getting on my flight. It was great fun catching up with them.

La Trinite to St Peter Port

July 25, 2008   

For the race back only 2 boats were entered so we had a little match racing pre start action going on but it was drifting conditions and my little brother on the helm got pushed over the line early by the old guys on Imperator so he had to go back. We then worked our way out of the bay – very light upwind. At the 1st mark 7 miles away we were about 200 yards ahead of Imperator who is 5 feet bigger than us. It should have then been a reach for 70 miles to the next corner however the wind increased and it became a dead beat. With 7 crew on the rail Imperator took off as we changed down to a number three and went into a watch system with 2 on deck and 2 below – it was going to be a long race if the grib files were correct.

Imperator could not point and for the next 9 hours kept on tacking above us and then falling down onto us and ending up miles to leeward. We just stayed on port tack and watch them be a satellite! Finally we decided to have fun so when they crossed ahead really close my little brother Myles and I hid in the cockpit with Myles helming from on the cockpit floor so when they crossed no one was to be seen – they had 5 people hiked out at the time with way to much headsail up. Then they tacked a 1/2 mile to weather of us and started falling down on us. So we went to the next stage of having a laugh. Myles put on his ski goggles, Flavio got out the fog horn and I suited up in my lifejacket, harness and trapezed while Flavio sounded the horn. We were in fits of giggles. Totally against the rules however, we decided there was no way Imperator would protest as it was only us in the race and we weren’t gaining any advantage as we only did it for 5 minutes! Myles texted the race committee who were the best race committee I have had in a long time and admitted our infringement – a bottle of jack daniels was our penalty!

Imperator dissappeared to leeward again and ended up crossing in front just as the sun set by about 20 yards. The wind died in the night and shifted behind us so we hoisted the spinnaker we lost Imperator’s lights. When the sun came up we looked around and could just spot Imperator on the horizon behind us. They stayed there all day getting smaller and smaller we estimated about 9 miles behind.

Out ETA became 6pm at Ushant on Friday night – a very slow race and the sea was becoming glassy calm. The grib files looked really bad not even showing feathers on the wind direction. We again texted the race committee and asked if it was possible to shorten course at Ushant and that way we would still get results for the race. There was still 120 miles of the race left and there was no way we would do it before Saturday night when the prizegiving was going to be held. They left a message saying that we should retire and motor to St Peter Port as Imperator was retiring and had had a sense of humor failure and were protesting us for the trapezing! That was a surprise to us seeing as they had not flown a flag and not told us at the time of the incident so the protest was not valid. However, we decided not to float around being the only boat out there and turned on the engine heading for St Peter Port.

It was a 24 hour motor to the finish and the engine started spurting fuel out of the lift pump as the gasket had failed so there was a bit of babying going on – the rpm’s would change as the engine would be starved of fuel every so often. We couldn’t fix it as we didn’t have a new gasket.

Peter Chantres the JOG secretary was standing at the fuel dock with nozzle in hand as they were closing 5 minutes after we pulled up and we filled up with diesal. He had also kindly organised for us to stay on the fuel pontoon for the few hours we stopped there which was very kind of him. I have never come across such a great race committee!

In St Peter Port we ended up with the trophies as they had already been made so it was worth the motor for a nice Pimms jug! We had to sit through the your boat is a bandit conversation with Imperator and then went off for a nice pub dinner before leaving 4 hours later for the Hamble.

Pictures of La Trinite

July 23, 2008   

IDEC on the left and Santana the Capo 30 on the right with the black mast.

Looking towards Belle Isle low tide with lots of rock pools

The enterance to the gulf of morbihan see it is a beautiful part of Brittany.

Oyster beds in the Gulf of Morbihan

Cowes to La Trinite


A race report by Myles (my little brother) will be posted next week. I am currently in france having raced to La Trinite with my little brother on Dad’s boat Santana a Capo 30. The sailing was the best I have had in a long time with a sunny downwind ride to Southern Britanny. It is very beautiful here. Prize giving was tonight and we got a beautiful trophy tomorrow we will be racing home.

Have a good week.

Exploding Head II

July 10, 2008   

So a while ago I wrote a blog entry called Exploding Head – about studying in Florida. Well tonight I received an email from a client of mine – Wayne who owns a Quest 33. I laughed so hard when reading it that I had to post it here…. Don’t read this if you are about to eat! I am very glad I wasn’t on the boat for this race!

“And here’s semi-amusing story re the head. For HMB, some unknown person apparently really had to go and used the head big time. Whomever had a problem pumping the bowl clean, as after the race, back at the dock, I discovered the smelly mess. After I found it, I too pumped and pumped, and made modest progress on moving the obstacle. There was so much pressure building up, it caused me to investigate. First, I removed the pump out cap on deck, thinking perhaps there was pressure lock. (Left the cap off, which figures in later.) Second, I traced the plumbing, as I pondered a possible dismantling of the head. Found the problem.
Someone had changed the Y valve to direct the head outflow to the overboard setting — we were way offshore, so no big deal. But, whomever had forgotten to also open the large sea cock, which meant that all he and later I were doing with our pumping was building pressure in the system between the head and sea cock. Voila. Now all I had to do to resolve things was to change the Y-valve back to the holding tank.

Feeling quite proud of my investigatory prowess, I implemented the plan and turned the Y-Valve. There was an immediate WHOOSH as the truly impressive amount of pressure the two of us had managed to get into that modest length of hose was released — which then drove a two foot geyser of #*% out of the pump out fitting on deck! I witnessed the geyser as my gaze followed the whoosh sound along the hose and out the port in the head. The people on the boat two slips down were beyond amused, and my sweater on deck will not be seen again. This story of course falls perfectly in that well worn boating expression “Shit happens.” (I have now put a nylon tie on the Y valve so if someone wants to change the discharge again, I will know and will remember to open the sea cock too. And despite the mess, I was happy that I did not have to rebuild the head.)”

Moral of the story – label the sea cocks and laminate an instruction sheet to post in the head!

On the Bermuda trip we had a head issue which turned out to be a result of baby wipes down the head. Rob heorically cleared the blockage when it was blowing mid 30’s and it involved removing cabinetry and the head door to fix the issue!

Moral of the story – don’t put things down the head if you haven’t eaten them.

Cliff Walk – Newport RI

July 7, 2008   

I had one of those unusual for me ”days off’ at the end of the delivery in Newport. So decided to go and do the Cliff Walk see it was a really beautiful sunny day. I walked from Easton Beach to the Chinese Tea House and back to the car at Easton. Past the Breakers, Salve Regina Collage, Rosecliff and the Marble House. Check out some of the houses….

Bermuda to Newport

July 2, 2008   

Last week I flew out to Bermuda via a delayed stop over in Miami we got in just before the 10pm airport curfew. I have never flown into Bermuda before having always sailed in. The immigration hall has a faux fireplace with a portrait of Queen Elizabeth over the top. A bunch of sailors were on my flight so we all piled into a cab to RBYC and I walked around in the dark looking for the boat Conspiracy to drop off my kit. I found Lively Lady the boat my little brother raced over on and all my friends were on so took a nap on the bunk while waiting for the guys to get back from dinner. Had a good time catching up with all the crew – same guys as NB 2006.

Woke up with a headache not feeling great on Friday morning having slept only a little and seeing as they didn’t need me for racing on Conspiracy I crept off to Lively Lady to find a quite place to finish off sleeping! Unusual for me but I needed it. I woke up Myles (my little brother) and forced him to come to the beach with me on the bus. We went up to the Coral Beach Club to visit the Hubbards and made it in time for the 4pm English style tea. I had to help out with provisioning the boat so after tea went to the store – everything is super expensive in Bermuda as it all has to be imported. Then back to the Coral Beach Club for dinner with the Hubbards.

We left Saturday mid morning and wind started building sunday night pretty consistent 30’s on a reach stayed on rhumb line the whole way. Two reefs in main and jib out. Had one squall come through with gust to 39 knots. Rain for 36 hours on and off – hard – stinging the eyes! We had 4 boat captains onboard so it was fine. We had the liferaft out ready to go as the boat was flexing a lot and making interesting noises.

‘Securite, Securite, Securite
All Stations, All Stations, All Stations
This is sailing vessel Conspiracy, the sailing vessel Conspiracy, the sailing vessel Conspiracy
We are in dense fog our position is fourty one degrees, one six minutes decimal four four north, seven one degrees, two one minutes decimal five seven west
I say again all before
We are in dense fog our position is is fourty one degrees, one six minutes decimal four four north, seven one degrees, two one minutes decimal five seven west
We are bound for Newport Rhode Island on a heading of 345 degrees true.
Conspiracy standing by on channel one six Conspiracy out’

We were in fog from 7am on Tuesday morning till we past the mother in law house in Newport. We cleared customs, tied up at NEB, unloaded the boat and gave it a quick hose out. Dinner in town – thanks to the owner – then a warm dry stable bed.

There was quite a few incidents with boats on the delivery trip home see the below links with three rescues required off J120, J44 and a J122.

The beginning and the end.