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Thread: Show (and Tell) Us About Your Pandemic Day-Sailing

  1. #1
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    Default Show (and Tell) Us About Your Pandemic Day-Sailing

    Prompted (or perhaps goaded) by Tom Pamperin’s thread wondering where all the sail and oar cruising threads are, I thought I’d better write something. I didn’t think a day-sail really qualified for its own entire small boat cruising thread, but, in these pandemic times, perhaps it qualifies for its own post, at least. Then I thought - why not cast the net to see what others are doing for day-sailing amusement? I’ll kick off the thread with one of mine:

    I had built a new rudder blade for Fire-Drake over the winter but had not had a chance to try it out, as the Coast Guard here had been discouraging people from going out on the water while the COVID case load was high. They were worried about having to rescue boaters that potentially had COVID, I guess. Come June, though, the COVID numbers had dropped way off here in British Columbia. After a persistently wet and cool spring, there was a prospect of a nice day in late June, so I gathered up all the bits needed for a day on the water and trailered Fire-Drake, complete with new rudder blade, down to the nearest boat ramp to me in Victoria, BC, at Cattle Point in Oak Bay, a tony suburb.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    We are extremely fortunate in Victoria to be on the doorstep of some terrific cruising grounds - the San Juans to the east, the Gulf Islands and the entire Inside Passage to the immediate north. One of the overlooked gems, however, is Discovery Island Provincial Marine Park just off Oak Bay.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    Discovery Island is only a couple of nautical miles from a busy beach and residential area, but once around the corner of the southwest point of the island, you can’t see or hear the city. What you do see is the wide open east entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the entrance to Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains in Washington State. On a clear day, such as I had, you can even see Mt. Rainier, Seattle’s resident volcano, over 100 miles away.

    It was dead flat calm when I set out, and I rowed the whole distance from the launch ramp to the beach on Discovery, about 3 nautical miles. I was a little out of shape so it took me about an hour and a half, but I was in no hurry so this was of no consequence. When I arrived, I found that I had the beach and park to myself, an unusual occurrence in the summer.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    There is a kayak camping area in a meadow just behind the beach and I had a pleasant wander about, seeing lots of Tree Swallows working the air for insects and Goldfinches working the grasses.
    I also spotted flowers that were new to me, Brodiaea, a type of lily. I was able to identify it with the aid of a cool app that I had loaded onto my phone this spring: iNaturalist. The app uses AI, I think, to identify what you have taken a picture of and offers you a choice of what it thinks it might be. You pick the best match and upload it, whereupon others who know more than you can chime in to let you know whether you’ve got it right. It’s been great fun to use all spring and I’ve learned about all sorts of local plants that I couldn’t previously identify. But I digress.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    The Strait of Juan de Fuca is a busy place for shipping, as most large vessel traffic headed for Seattle and Vancouver pass by, so ship-watching from Discovery Island is usually interesting. You never know what you will see. While eating my lunch, a 40-ish foot Uniflite power boat came by, just off the island, headed west, towing this boat, the Callie Belle.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    After lazing about for a bit after lunch, I headed back. By this time, the flood tide had set in and it was a tough 20 minutes of rowing flat out to get round the point against it, to where it was assisting me. I resigned myself to rowing the whole way back when a breeze came up and I raised sail. The breeze held for about an hour. This was long enough to get me back to the ramp and also to try out the new rudder on various points of sail.

    Near the ramp was the Callie Belle, anchored just off the beach. I sailed round her to have a closer look and was not impressed with what I saw – lots of bits of wood missing from the superstructure, every plank fastener weeping rust. Still, I couldn’t hear a pump going and she didn’t appear to be sinking. I found out later the boat had been purchased from somewhere in Seattle by a local Victoria man who thinks it is a viable restoration project. Good luck to him, I say.

    The breeze died away and late afternoon saw me hauling Fire-Drake and snugging her down on the trailer – a satisfactory end to a fine day on the water.
    Last edited by AJZimm; 07-20-2020 at 03:50 PM. Reason: fixed incorrect link
    Alex

    "“I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw” " Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2 - Shakespeare

    http://www.alexzimmerman.ca

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Show (and Tell) Us About Your Pandemic Day-Sailing

    Looks like you had a great time Alex. We have spent quite a bit of time at our boat moored in Lake Champlain. Great to be out on the water. Looks. like you have excellent cruising grounds.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Show (and Tell) Us About Your Pandemic Day-Sailing

    Thanks, Alex.

    I got out on a tiny local river today with some family--2 plastic kayaks and 2 home-made inflatable pack rafts. Lots and LOTS of downed trees, and sections shallow enough to drag on the bottom in water less than ankle-deep. Fun in its own way. Maybe I can post a photo or two later on.

    How long have you been sailing Firedrake now?

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Show (and Tell) Us About Your Pandemic Day-Sailing

    Also in Victoria, Australia where we are struggling to contain the virus to the capital, Melbourne where it is barely in control yet.
    Took my Macgrggor sailing canoe out 2 days ago, no wind, rowing. Yesterday 25kts, too much wind, I got rather wet. Water is warmer tha the air……...

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Show (and Tell) Us About Your Pandemic Day-Sailing

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Thanks, Alex.

    I got out on a tiny local river today with some family--2 plastic kayaks and 2 home-made inflatable pack rafts. Lots and LOTS of downed trees, and sections shallow enough to drag on the bottom in water less than ankle-deep. Fun in its own way. Maybe I can post a photo or two later on.

    How long have you been sailing Firedrake now?

    Tom
    Tom, any time on the water is good.

    It's been 4 years, 1 month since I splashed Fire-Drake for the first time. One overnighter then off with Yeadon on the southern half of my Inside Passage adventure.
    Alex

    "“I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw” " Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2 - Shakespeare

    http://www.alexzimmerman.ca

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Show (and Tell) Us About Your Pandemic Day-Sailing


    Yesterday we had one of those brilliant blue-sky days that suck tourists into moving here.

    After spending the first part of the the day smearing joint compound on my house project (and myself) by 1500 I decided it was too nice not to get the boat out. I thought heading north towards Murden Cove would be nice, not really thinking too much about how slow it would be with both the flood tide and 5-ish knot northerly wind working against me. One of the things uninitiated people don't know about the Salish is just how much water flows in and out on every tide, it is common to feel like you are snorting along nicely because the wake is streaming aft but if you look up the trees aren't sliding past at a commensurate rate. It was one of those days for me but all the mountains were out and being Monday there wasn't too much boat traffic other than a few folks getting their (mostly empty) crab pots out of the water before the sun went down. Limited crab season here, Sunday and Mondays only through Labor Day, I didn't even bother getting a tag this summer. After aiming at Magnolia for a while but not really getting any closer I tacked back over towards Bainbridge where I found a nice back-eddy along with a bit more wind as it bounced off the bluffs and I made progress short tacking to the north. It did make for a lovely downwind run home where I timed the ferry just right and slipped in on a fading breeze.

    My typical daysail is what I refer to as my "3 hour tour". Leave Eagle Harbor, tack around Elliot Bay for a few hours then head back in, the wind is either north or south so I tend to go upwind for the first leg so the run home is the reward. Or I can just put her on a nice beam reach and aim for the Space Needle, Magnolia or West Seattle depending on which way the current is setting and chill.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Show (and Tell) Us About Your Pandemic Day-Sailing

    I've sailed Wandering Star a few times, and rigged an old Folbot Super for a short sail.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Show (and Tell) Us About Your Pandemic Day-Sailing

    Image 7-22-20 at 7.58 PM.jpg


    Staying 6' apart on our lake in ht middle of town. My friend Chris in his lovely sharpie, and me in my canoe. We have had a couple of these meet ups. All public ramps closed now, only access is through private ramps, marinas, and clubs.
    "Yeah, well, that's just, like your opinion man"
    -The Dude-

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Show (and Tell) Us About Your Pandemic Day-Sailing

    Quote Originally Posted by stromborg View Post
    One of the things uninitiated people don't know about the Salish is just how much water flows in and out on every tide, it is common to feel like you are snorting along nicely because the wake is streaming aft but if you look up the trees aren't sliding past at a commensurate rate.
    Steve, the funniest example of that happening to me was several years ago, when heading to the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival. I met a friend at Keystone on Whidbey Island where we left the cars and trailers in order to sail across Admiralty Inlet to Port Townsend. He arrived a little later than we had planned so we missed slack tide in the middle of the inlet and caught the start of the flood. To top it off, the wind, which had been a good sailing breeze at the start, slacked off halfway across. The result was that we were pushed south to the tip of Marrowstone Island.
    My friend recognized that we weren’t making sufficient progress so he sensibly dropped his rig and rowed in tight to the shoreline of the point and squeaked around. I stubbornly hung, sure that if I made one more tack off the point, I could make it. I tacked the boat, hardened in the sheet on the new port tack and was gratified to feel the boat moving through the water at what felt like a 4 knot rate. I glanced down at my GPS to see that I was doing 3 knots – pretty close I thought. I then looked over at the point and saw that I was moving rapidly past it, in the wrong direction! I was doing 3 knots backwards in what must have been about a 7 knot current.
    Alex

    "“I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw” " Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2 - Shakespeare

    http://www.alexzimmerman.ca

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Show (and Tell) Us About Your Pandemic Day-Sailing

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt young View Post
    Image 7-22-20 at 7.58 PM.jpg


    Staying 6' apart on our lake in ht middle of town. My friend Chris in his lovely sharpie, and me in my canoe. We have had a couple of these meet ups. All public ramps closed now, only access is through private ramps, marinas, and clubs.
    Sounds like a good outing, Matt. Who was taking the picture?
    Alex

    "“I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw” " Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2 - Shakespeare

    http://www.alexzimmerman.ca

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Show (and Tell) Us About Your Pandemic Day-Sailing

    Alex good question, Roger Siebert took that picture. He has a Lillistone Flint. See image below from another outing down at the TX coast last fall, included is the Flint, a Pickup Pram, and a Mike’s Boat. His Flint is nicely dialed in and he knows her well. He had a good article I believe in Small Boat Monthly about a rowing trip he took.

    95F13853-7A56-4A1C-A6E2-825B32C66675.jpg
    "Yeah, well, that's just, like your opinion man"
    -The Dude-

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Show (and Tell) Us About Your Pandemic Day-Sailing

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt young View Post
    Alex good question, Roger Siebert took that picture. He has a Lillistone Flint. See image below from another outing down at the TX coast last fall, included is the Flint, a Pickup Pram, and a Mike’s Boat. His Flint is nicely dialed in and he knows her well. He had a good article I believe in Small Boat Monthly about a rowing trip he took.

    95F13853-7A56-4A1C-A6E2-825B32C66675.jpg
    Sorry, that can't be the Texas coast--I see a couple of trees in the background.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Show (and Tell) Us About Your Pandemic Day-Sailing

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Sorry, that can't be the Texas coast--I see a couple of trees in the background.

    Tom
    Yeah your right, it’s probably a giant duck blind!!
    "Yeah, well, that's just, like your opinion man"
    -The Dude-

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Show (and Tell) Us About Your Pandemic Day-Sailing

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Sorry, that can't be the Texas coast--I see a couple of trees in the background.

    Tom
    Yeah you are right, it’s probably a giant duck blind!!
    Last edited by Matt young; 07-23-2020 at 07:31 PM.
    "Yeah, well, that's just, like your opinion man"
    -The Dude-

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Show (and Tell) Us About Your Pandemic Day-Sailing

    So, I guess this qualifies as a cross post. Decoded to check out the photo posting how-to described in another post. That seems to have worked.

    DDBA6E27-D691-4452-8C47-EE0465B754C5.jpg

    My Welsford designed Pathfinder, Gardens of Fenwick on McKay Bay in Les Cheneaux Islands at the north end of Lake Huron. That line/bar across the photo is the life-line on our friends' 35 foot sloop anchored in the bay. Photo is from August 2019.

    We plan to sail a small local lake this week. Nothing exotic, but we will be sailing.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Show (and Tell) Us About Your Pandemic Day-Sailing

    Bob,

    very cool to see Gardens of Fenwick on the water! I'm jealous--Les Cheneaux is a beautiful cruising ground--no need for exotic when local is that good.

    Is the balance lug yawl a standard option for the Pathfinder now? I thought it was designed as a gaffer. I think the balance lug is a better choice.

    Cheers,

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Show (and Tell) Us About Your Pandemic Day-Sailing

    Thanks, Tom,

    Getting Gardens on the water has taken longer than it might have, but now I can enjoy sailing her (and fiddling with maintenance and personalizing her).

    Yes, the balance lug yawl is an option for the Pathfinder. There are at least two balance lug sail plans available. The supplemental drawing Duckworks and, I'm sure, other agents for John's plans, shows a total sail area of 148 soft (if I did the conversion correctly). Gardens' sail plan is 121 sqft, drawn for a 100 sqft Scamp main. I'm using my 105 sqft GIS main - and it works well.

    I'm still learning to sail with a mizzen.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Show (and Tell) Us About Your Pandemic Day-Sailing

    I've been dinking around my home waters of the Columbia River and Gorge. On the solstice, I did a 20 mile row...




    A little current helped!

    Even the train had fun!
    Tales from the land and sea: http://terrapintales.wordpress.com/

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Show (and Tell) Us About Your Pandemic Day-Sailing

    I wish.
    I've been working on the "big boat" for months, a new pushpit, a new solar charging system, a secure battery compartment, extra hatchboards in case I lose the main ones, a way to tether the boards to the boat, a huge bolt through the case for the 600 pound daggerboard, a new ditch bag...on and on and on. The last daysail I took, I busted my tiller, right at the head. So that meant I made a new tiller, with s.s. cheek plates, and while I was at it I replaced the plates on the rudder with 1/4 inch stainless as well. The old tiller was epoxied back together again, and also now has s.s. plates on it. The tiller for the emergency rudder will get red oak side "cheeks" which isn't as bombproof as aluminum, but is a significant upgrade in terms of strength over what it's make from, now.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Show (and Tell) Us About Your Pandemic Day-Sailing

    IMG_5796.jpg

    Valentia Island, off Kerry, sailing to beginis
    https://www.google.com/maps/place/Va...!4d-10.3548996

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Show (and Tell) Us About Your Pandemic Day-Sailing

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Bateau View Post
    I've been dinking around my home waters of the Columbia River and Gorge. On the solstice, I did a 20 mile row...

    A little current helped!

    20 miles is a long day, Bruce, even with current.
    Alex

    "“I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw” " Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2 - Shakespeare

    http://www.alexzimmerman.ca

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Show (and Tell) Us About Your Pandemic Day-Sailing

    Quote Originally Posted by Rational Root View Post

    Valentia Island, off Kerry, sailing to beginis
    Looking at the map, that looks like a windy area, just off the N Atlantic as it is
    Alex

    "“I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw” " Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2 - Shakespeare

    http://www.alexzimmerman.ca

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Show (and Tell) Us About Your Pandemic Day-Sailing

    Wow. If ya miss Beginish you're going all the way to Greenland!

    Jeff

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