Current activities

Posted on: Wed, 2020/02/19 - 10:53 By: kevin.klop

It's been quiet for the last few months as I've been working on various things. One of them was a transport of a sailboat from Seattle down to San Diego. It was a leisurely trip, with stop offs in San Francisco, Monterey, Avalon, and then San Diego. We left the boat there for a bit and then returned to race it from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas. That was a stage race as well with the legs ending in Bahia de Tortugas, Bahia de Santa Maria, and then Cabo San Lucas. Despite blowing out our spinnaker, we ended up winning our division (Cruiser/Racers with Spinnaker).

On the radio net two days before the last leg, the director informed everyone (not that we weren't already looking for ourselves) that a storm was headed up towards Cabo San Lucas from the south.  It was up to each boat whether it wanted to hunker down in the current bay, which was well protected, and weather the storm out, or whether they wished to continue onwards.  We looked at the weather, did some projections, and figured we would make Cabo about 24-36 hours before the storm hit, so elected to continue racing.  Our fallback plan was simply that if, at any time, we were approaching a point where we wouldn't make it even under motor, with at least 12 hours to spare, we would douse the sails and continue under motor.

It turns out that our estimates held and we made it to Cabo San Lucas with about 24 hours to spare, rafting up as the 4th boat out from the dock.  We donated a number of lines to the two boats closest to the dock under the assumption that if they broke free, it wouldn't matter how well we were tied to the 3rd boat.  Sure enough, the next day, the water started to come down in big fat drops, hiding the world from us.  They closed the port - no boats in or out of the harbour.  Finally the storm passed and we cast off, motored to the fuel dock, refueled and then were casually told by the fuel dock workers that the harbour was still closed - we couldn't leave - and that it would likely open tomorrow.  It would have been nice if the office had told us that when we checked out, eh?  But, maybe they just thought we were moving to an adjoiining marina.  So, there we were, tied to the fuel dock and trying to figure out what to do.  Fortunately, they opened the harbour a few hours later and we pushed off to ferry the boat up to La Paz, where it would be left for a month or two before others started cruising the Sea of Cortes on her.

So what else am I up to?  Well, I'm currently studying for my USCG OUPV certificate as well as my RYA Yachtmaster Ocean theory - though I may switch tracks and go for IYT rather than RYA.  I'm not sure yet about that.  I've also made a lot of contacts when I attended the Vancouver Boat Show, and had a wonderful discussion with some people who had sailed in the Clipper Round the World race - the race I'm doing in 2021.

Lastly, I'm working on some hardware and software for ships - low cost electronics that people can DIY.  First up is a wind speed/direction indicator, followed by a water speed indicator that is, hopefully, semi-immune to fouling and marine growth.  This is all in preparation for presentations at boat shows - and of course for my own boat if I should ever manage to find one that is right for me and my wife.

Speaking of boats, I'm looking for a catamaran for us.  I originally was looking at cats in the Robertson & Caine manner, such as Leopards.  However, I'm starting to think more along the lines of an Outremer.  I'd love to get some time on one for a bit and would doubly relish a chance for my wife to see what one is like before really settling in on it.  A gunboat might be nice too, though I think it's a bit out of my price range.  Oh, and length we're looking at is in the low-to-mid 40 feet length, likely used.

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