Archive for July, 2009


Crotch Straps!!

July 28, 2009   

Recently the OYRA (SF Bay) has basically instituted Cat 2 regs to their racing which are rules I believe strongly in. Some people don’t think that complying with the crotch straps is necessary and they are also not finding a place to purchase them. RYM is making them so email me at amperrin at and I can make you a set for $7 each. See some examples below of why they are important.

In the early stages of a Fastnet Race on a OOD34 Haley’s Dream lost a man overboard. He was wearing a lifejacket, adjusted as he thought correctly. Recovery was not as quick as he had hoped and he was thankful that the lifejacket gave him plenty of buoyancy. But soon he found that he could not breathe. The powerful up thrust of the lifejacket under his chin began to suffocate him. “I had to summon up my energy to use one arm to force the lifejacket down every few seconds than I took a great gulp of air rested my arm then had to do it all over again. Efforts to wave or shot were severely hampered and it would have been very difficult for him to have operated a torch or any other device.

As part of an arduous assault course, British combat troops wearing lifejackets were made to swim the length of a pool. Officers conducting the course noticed that several men had serious difficulties caused by lifejackets riding up and decided to add crotch straps which became standard equipment. Many services do likewise.

A yacht taking par tin a race from the RWYC was sailing across the bay of Biscay when a crewman disappeared at night. The next morning his harness and tether were found over the side empty. The harness had no crotch straps.

In the Hobart 1998 in different incidents, four sailors had harnesses pulled over their heads but fortunately none was lost. John Campbell was unconscious when he was pulled out of his harness build into a jacket but without a crotch strap. He said At some point while trying to hoist me over the lifelines still unconscious the jacket turned inside out and I slipped out of the harness. It happened in just a split second. There was very little warning – one second I was in the harness and the next second it was turned inside out….

Fence building

July 26, 2009   

Instead of going racing this weekend I spent two days putting in 26 fence posts at my brothers house. The auger did a great job digging the 2 foot + deep holes however, in some holes it would hit bedrock and then it was time for the jack hammer. My nephew supervised and helped Aunty Ashley and Dad mix concrete. Very tired and sore for the start of a busy week!

Almost Done

July 21, 2009   


Picture above is me going diving in SF looking for a boat part my friend dropped over the side of his boat.

I am almost done with my divemaster cert after spending three days in Monterey I have only a day left to complete the course. So by the end of August I will be ready to go to Scotland for my commercial course. It has been quite a long haul. There are a lot of requirements and aspects to the certificate with 8 exams and an internship component. The internship has been really interesting and I have learnt a lot by guiding experienced divers and assisting in teaching complete beginners. Back in Mill Valley now to get my boats up to perfect condition for the fall and winter while I will be away. Only 7 weeks before I leave for the UK.

Outhaul safety

July 15, 2009   

I learnt a new way of making an outhaul safety the other day which I really love. See the below picture….
The clever thing about this is that the splice can be opened up (not completely taken apart because of the whipping) and then the knot slid through and the splice tightened. This allows you to put the main on the boom and put the outhaul on the clew ring and then put the outhaul safety through the clew ring. This means that the outhaul or the shackle could fail and you would have the outhaul safety as a back up allowing you to continue to race (with the main in the downwind position) until you sort out an alternative outhaul.

Houses, Boats, Diving, Camping

July 12, 2009   

My July has been all about working on my boats trying to get them back into racing trim after being away for so long at the beginning of the year. It has also been about sorting out issues at my parents rental. I have spent quite a few days down in Monterey trying to complete my divemasters which is time consuming to say the least. I am starting to offload items onto Craigs list to try and clear out the garage for my departure in September to the UK for training. Spending as much time as possible with my nephew and nieces. So basically just boring daily life stuff 🙂

dscn3592 Henry in his fort at Blackies Pasture

Last night I had a great treat as a friend was able to get a reservation for camping at Kirby Cove which is in the Marin Headlands basically 5 minutes from the city but a totally different world. We had appetizers looking out over the enterance to the bay watching the pelicans fishing and a double rainbow over the city. There was no fog and it was a beautiful sunset. The company was great and the food delicous. This morning I woke up to the fog horns on the bridge – everyone was still sound asleep so I went to the beach and sat on a log. Since no one else was stirring I went back to sleep and was woken up at 9:30am to a great campfire breakfast. What a great night and morning. The only thing to have made it perfect would have been to have my nephew and the dog with me….

The pelicans sit on the rock to the left in the photo, you can’t see the double rainbow in the picture..
My tent on the hill over the beach at Kirby Cove.
A rainbow over the Presidio
Early morning fog over the Golden Gate

County Fair

July 3, 2009   

I took thursday off work and took my nephew (aka RYM poster child) to the county fair with my mother. It was really great fun. Henry made it all worthwhile by turning to me and saying ”Aunty Ashley I am having so much fun – followed by a hug – several times I might add! My nephew will break a lot of hearts if he keeps that up 🙂

The fair was great fun with ferris wheels, children performing, merry go rounds, lots of animals on show being judged including cows, goats, pigs, kangeroos, chickens, ducks, rabbits perfect for a 2 1/2 year old.

Have a great 4th July weekend.

Wrinkly hands

July 1, 2009   

After spending 8 hours in the swimming pool on tuesday and a few hours on wednesday my hands were very wrinkly! What was I doing you ask..

Well as part of the divemaster exams you have to be able to demonstrate 21 key scuba skills so that you can be called upon by an instructor to demonstrate them to students. You have to have 68 points to pass and each skill demonstration is graded out of 5. My instructor Bruce insists on at least a 4 on each skill and will continue drilling you until you get 4. I ended up with 98 out of a possible 105 points it was hard work and tiring for myself, the other divemaster student and my instructor but it was also very rewarding.

There is also one more test which is called gear exchange. You and your buddy who you basically haven’t worked with before have to sit on the bottom of the pool and exchange your fins, weight belt, BCD and mask. That in itself takes some team work but here is the kicker you are doing this while buddy breathing. Which for non scuba divers is when you have one tank and one 2nd stage and you take two deep breaths of air and then pass the octopus to your partner to take two breaths. While you don’t have the octopus you must breath out. So basically you are task loaded in the extreme. I must admit it took us two goes. The first time we got all the way to the last article to exchange – the mask – before we decided between us we couldn’t hack it anymore. The second time we were smarter and did the mask first as it is the hardest I think. We also took more time the second time and kept a better rythm of handing off the air.

I did a few hours of boat work wednesday afternoon and was on the water match racing for a few hours in the evening. A good match racing practice with some lively discussion afterwards. It was blowing pretty hard up to 30 knots which is hard work in a J22 so we didn’t fly kites.