sailing the NorSea


WEEK 8 2012

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Saturday 25 February 2012
Saturday - After getting back on Friday afternoon I collapsed into the bunk for a couple of hours napping. The stress of the exit, and the return, I guess. And when you haven't been out for a few months it's a bit like being in a barrel going over Niagara Falls, you bang into everything as you stagger about without your sea legs, and ache all over from using muscles in unaccustomed ways.

I was thinking of another sail Saturday morning, but it was a dead glassy calm, and I had to be back in Lancaster in the evening, so I cleaned up and headed home.

A short list of things the boat needs:
And more sailing. She's always happier after a sail.

In the evening I read another Garrett PI book, this being Book #28, Petty Pewter Gods, by Glen Cook, this being Garrett P.I. #8.

Friday 24 February 2012
Friday - By the time I got myself organized it was late morning, and the predicted good winds hadn't arrived. I went out anyway - there is a bit of a process involved, mostly because I have to move anything that's going to fall over to a safe place. So, the microwave, the coffee pot, books, cutlery, bowls, various containers of this and that, all the tool boxes, and so on have to be moved about. Then you remove various canvas sail covers and such, attach the main halyard, make sure the main and jib sheets are free,  make sure the engine works, clear the decks of extraneous gear that always seems to build up, and so on.

My boat hook was missing. This is a problem, because the semi-full keel on the NorSea means that it's an awkward beast to maneuver. I checked the office, and no-one had turned it in. So either it was stolen or fell/blew off - probably the latter. But rather than take the time to go buy another I just went out. Which was probably a mistake, because what wind there was actually turned the boat around, and I was stuck trying to turn it around or back it out. Which I couldn't. It looked so stupid and moronic that a guy from the marina office came down and helped me out, unasked. Embarrassing.

Then I tried to sail out. But the wind started to die, and I eventually had to motor sail out. If the Marie Virginia was longer than 12m then for sailing under power I'd be required to display the proper daytime shape - an inverted cone in the rigging. She isn't, I didn't, and I strongly suspect that the Coast Guard station personnel that one must pass in front of wouldn't care anyway, unless it was a very large yacht or vessel for hire. Eventually I was past the breakwater and out sailing. Yay!

I had about a 30% jib unrolled, expecting the 20 kt. winds, but kept unrolling it until I was at the 135% or whatever it is. There were some good puffs heeling us at first, but they eventually died to probably less than 3 kts. I could sail, but it was kind of disappointing. But it's typical coastal wind behavior, with the marine layer preventing any land/sea breezes from developing.

After four hours or so I headed home, on the iron jib, with the sails up to keep her from rolling too much.

Any sailing is better than none.

I fooled around a bit in the main channel, trying to practice some slip returns, but there was so much traffic that I eventually gave it up and just decided to give it my best, even without the boat hook to fend off.

And greased the maneuver, performing it perfectly. Probably my best docking, ever. The NorSea is 27' on the water, about 35' overall, and the slips are only 50' apart, and I made the turn, came in dead center without touching the dock or boat fenders, and came to a complete stop. Best of all there was an audience of people getting ready to go out on their boats (in a dead calm) so they probably think I'm a master mariner. Unlike the marina staff, who know better.

Thursday 23 February 2012

Thursday - Well, down to the Ventura. I bought the Mac Mini, we'll see how it works out next week. I guess I also have to pay to be an official developer - I remember Jerry Pournelle saying that having to pay versus free developer resources is the reason that Microsoft Windows beat out OS2. But clearly Apple doesn't have a dearth of developers.

I fixed the dodger bracket with a couple of stainless steel screws one size larger and quarter inch longer than the old screws.

I found the missing Garrett P.I. book on the boat, I guess it fell out of my luggage. So, Book #27 was Red Iron Nights, by Glen Cook.

Wednesday 22 February 2012

Wednesday  - The weather has turned warm again, and with no wind. Nice.

I've been putting out gopher/mole traps. They've been tripped, repeatedly, but there's never anything in them. These are the mouse trap kind, not the spring loaded kind left over from the Indiana Jones movies (which I can't find locally). There aren't any new burrows evident since last week, so maybe the littler rodent was fatally injured or scared off. Or just off eating the neighbors tree and plant roots.

I also called the city about the tree damaging my block wall. I have to get permission from them to take it out, but I also have to do that work at my own cost. Man, talk about having your cake and eating it too. It's good to be the king municipal government!

I'm thinking of doing a little Ipad programming, and have a line on an older Mac Mini down in Goleta. I'll head down tomorrow and pick it up. Hopefully it's up to Xcore programming and Ipad emulation duty. If not, I can probably sell it for what I am paying and get another better model.

I have a friend with some very specific ideas for helping handicapped children learn - she has very clear ideas on what the developmentally challenged need and will respond too, so there may be a nationwide market for a good product. Right now I'm looking at the main Apple programming language, Objective-C in the Xcode environment, but am also looking at the use of a higher level scripting language (Corona, Dragonfire) that can do probably 90% of what I need, easier. But that last 10%...

I screwed up bad in an effort to make things better. The anti-glare coating on my glasses is really old, peeling off in spots. I decided to help the peeling along by dipping the polycarbonate lenses in some Armour Etch. This has worked for me before, and I had a little bottle of the stuff left over from last time. Unfortunately, after coating and letting them sit I then buffed the lenses to make sure all the coating was off. It seems that the Amour Etch was old, and had crystallized bits in it, and horribly scratched up the lens. It was so bad that I had to find an old set of glasses to drive to the store and get silver polish to buff the scratches out. They are,just barely, usable again - I ended the day with a nasty eyestrain headache.

I also ordered a pair of new glasses from, which, with a $15 coupon off, plus $5 shipping, came to $25.

Interestingly the ancient pair of glasses was so much clearer than even the pre-screwup glasses that it was shocking. Things were clear but not sharp, if that makes sense, so the blurriness due to scratches has been around a while!

If I get a chance, maybe I'll do some sailing for the first time this year.


Tuesday 21 February 2012

Tuesday - Getting tired of peanut butter, grilled cheese, sliced meat and hot dog sandwiches. So yesterday and today it was home made hamburger sandwiches. Not bad. I also made some corn bread muffins, from mix. Hopefully my stomach will keep it all down.

Went for a nice walk in the late afternoon, about 3.5 miles. It was overcast but warm. The dead cat just around the corner, that I saw last night, has disappeared from the street - hopefully an adult moved it before a little Lisa realized she needed a Snowball #2.

Book #26 was Deadly Quicksilver Lies: Garrett PI #7. It should have been Red Iron Nights: Garrett PI #6, but I misplaced it. I mean, I had it, just two or three days ago, but set it down somewhere...


Monday 20 February 2012

Monday - not much going on here.

Hmmm. Mentioning The Hunger Games yesterday reminded me of a couple of books missing in the listings already this year!

Book #24, completed some time in early January, was The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. This is, of course, a huge bestseller, and they are making a movie of it. It wasn't great literature, but it does draw you in - particularly since I was listening to a borrowed audio Cd version.

After listening to The Hunger Games I read Book #25, the second book in the series, Catching Fire.

I borrowed the third book on audio and am using it for commutes, so it'll take a while to finish.

Sunday 19 February 2012

Sunday - Overcast, windy and cold. Typical Lancaster. No rain, though the hills apparently got a little snow dusting. Not really a yard work day, and I wasn't feeling well in the afternoon and evening either - I suspect something I ate.

Book #23 was the next in the Garrett P.I. series, Dread Brass Shadows. Cook has a knack for names, reminiscent of Jack Vance. People, places, events. For example, in this series magical aristocrats (usually evil), FireLords and Stormwardens rule the country of Karenta, living up on the hill in the capitol city of TunFaire, with names like Raver Styx and Fox Direheart. It's nice. A lot of authors have fairly limited naming ability, generally just pronouncing and spelling things a bit differently - in The Hunger Games for example, the main male protagonist is Peeta instead of Peter.

Picture of the Week
K & S at Cayucos
Photo Notes: Afternoon on the beach, Cayucos.

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