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Trip Report    

Sail - Esther, Port of Edmonds Marina

Another fine day on the water. Holding our 2nd Place standing in the series.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Falling tide mostly.  Good steady wind at the start, but eased more than I would have liked it to toward the windward mark.  Funny, came up a little fresher shortly AFTER we crossed the finish line.  Still, couldn't beat it for a day on the water.

We had anther good performance in the CYC Edmonds Frostbite series.  Had aboard a new to racing crew member, John, with Scott and Bill who've raced a few times before on Esther.  As John was new-ish, though he had taken the Racing course and sailed with me before, he was on trimming in the cockpit.  Bill worked foredeck, which he's done a little of before, and Scott got some foredeck and mast experience.  I am glad everyone got to develop skills in new areas, to try new challenges and learn what goes on in other parts of the boat when racing and flying the chute.

Though a little colder than the 72 degrees of the previous Monday, it was hard to knock the weather.  Puffy clouds drifted by, but the sun shone and the wind was pretty steady and strong enough to move along very nicely.  We got rigged up and just had time for a few warm up tacks before the warning horn blew.  Moving to the start line, we began timing our approach to so as not to go over early.  In our start was only one other boat today, a fast Thunderbird which rates a bit higher than us, but well crewed, so a leader to follow and try to learn from.  Alas, as we made for the start and tried to keep it on starboard, the wind gave us a little header, so we were not as sharp to the line as I would have liked, and therefore approached at an oblique angle.  We were almost a minute and a half getting over the line after the starting horn.  Still, on we chased after the T-Bird.  We followed their course inshore for a while, but then felt the wind was weakening so we tacked out into the open Puget Sound.  A few long tacks and we were soon passed by the second start boats (fear not, gentle reader, for these were the faster boats, so it was not unexpected we'd be lapped by them as the race went along).  We hunted for the windward mark as we got closer, ever closer.  Passing the Point Wells oil dock we actually got on a nice lift toward the windward mark.  But it could hold, for though the wind was lifting and we were moving, the ground below wouldn't shift in any direction except slowly upward and the danger of running aground increased to the point that the skipper could no longer tolerate the fear.  And I could see the bottom starting to show even through the rippled waters.  At least we still had wind.  Tacking off for the deep, we sailed on.  But fate is a cruel mistress and as we got closer, the wind, as is her character, began to slacken.  A few more tacks were added working our way up. It never deserted us completely, but we kept wishing for the fresh breeze of the start.  Weathering the mark, we then turned downwind for the home stretch and prepared to pop the chute.  In retrospect, perhaps the weaker breeze was a good thing, for it kept the challenge of hosting the spinnaker within tolerance.  Hoisting went pretty smooth, though as always with the chute, there may be a hiccup or two.  But light wind and working any problems allowed us to match the task.  The wind stayed light as we headed back to the finish.  Would the Committee Boat be kind and patient as we worked our way back?  There is a 5 hour time limit, and it seemed we'd have no problem staying within it, but still, I hate to make them wait for too long for us.  Inching ever closer, at one point I couldn't make out the Committee Boat, and thought they'd gone home. But a short time later I was able to pick them out from the back ground.  Time came and we gybed the spinnaker, which is a challenge in any wind, but thankfully(?) we were in light airs today.  Holding steady, we eventually crossed the finish and cheered the Committee Boat for their patience and hard work.  Dumping the chute and squaring away the sails, we headed back to the barn.  Overall the crew did a great job, the sun shone enough to give us hope for Spring, and we came in 2nd again, admittedly against one other boat.  But better than a DNF or DNS.  You have to play to win.   Three more races to go in the series!

Now to rest my St. Patrick's Day sing-along scratchy throat and slightly sot-ed head.