Above photo taken by Steve Domjan at the Bowl. Thank you Steve, you could have been sailing you

  • Above photo taken by Steve Domjan at the Bowl. Thank you Steve, you could have been sailing yourself instead of taking photos of me.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Hot and windless.

winter.sail.segue from Frank Messina on Vimeo.

I did manage to catch a nicely powered ocean session at Gilgo on Thursday. I didn't have the good sense to wait for the wind to fill in. Some of the guys just gave up and left. But I tried...and managed to do the walk of shame three times. [BTW thank you again Pete for helping me carry my gear a half mile back upwind.] I just wanted to get a session in before the rain. Before the run-off; before the inevitable sewage spills, and beach closings.

Finally, at about 5:30 Kevin, Florian and I sailed our 5.5 to 6.0's fully powered in waist to overhead swell. We had about an hour and a half before the down pours.

Yesterday, and today; I find myself inside, dreaming of those cold, crisp Winter sails on Segue. All alone, [Segue practically sails herself.] without the Summer crowds.

Segue is a Cape Dory 26. They were built in the mid 80’s as a less well known version of the well known Cape Dory 25.

One thing they did is raise the freeboard by about six inches. This allows for standing headroom down bellow for a six foot tall person, but adds considerable windage to her.

 Next they added another foot to her by stretching out the aft lazarete. This allows for an outboard engine to be hidden just aft of the rudder. While outboards are cheaper than say an Atomic Four inboard, you do lose the ballast of having an engine down low in the CE. As a result, you really need to sail with a full water tank under the forward V berth if you want to sail to windward with any success. Plus the placement of the outboard leaves it in the water all the time and this prone to growth. The great this though; is if you do have a problem it is easily replaced.

Built in 1985, Segue has been in my family since 1986. She is all Cape Dory: Plenty of teak, and bronze; everything is oversized. Thick hull, thick gell coat [can lead to crazing, and a minor blisters ] . Her hull is over-built to the standards of a classic full keel attached ruder sailboat. My only complaint is the balsa sandwiched deck, to save weight. I have seen plenty of balsa decks soak up water, but not mine.

She is not fast, with a hull speed of 6 ½ knots, but she is very well behaved when compared to today’s floating Clorox bottles. The above video was shot with a GO Pro last winter. I often sail her alone. Just set her sails, tie off the tiller, and let her go. You’ll notice at about 1:00 in that I go forward to shake out a reef in the main sail. While I will heave to when shortening sail, you can see it is not necessary, the olde girl just holds her heading. I do wear a climbing harness, and use a jack line in the winter. Going overboard alone is not an option in 30 degree water.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

This is some crazy “wind porn”.

This was the title of an e-mail from Ted; who always seems to send me the best videos.
See, when my friends and I search for “porn” on the web, it’s this kind we spend hours drooling over.

Jason Polakow and Robby Swift at Backyards from NeilPryde Windsurfing on Vimeo.

Also http://vimeo.com/67369283

Ted was supposed to come back from Maui last night. He instead decided to delay his trip by another week because of last night’s weather.

I on the other hand, could not concentrate at work yesterday. I had, I believed, a sailable window from 3:00 to 6:00, where the tide would be moving in the opposite direction of the wind. Last week I was inpatient; tried to sail too early from the wrong beach, and paid for it in broken gear, and a bruised body. I am well past the bruised ego part; but I am acutely aware that if the conditions are not ‘just right’ in the ocean, then don’t go. You risk losing our fragile access for everyone, or worse yet, risk injury, or death.

Which is why trying to sail at RM3 in a dead onshore breeze last weekend was a dumb idea. I wanted to get on the water early, because I knew T-Storms would likely kill the wind by 5. So I didn’t wait till 6:oo PM, when the wind and tide were right. Those that did, had a nice session.

I had fun. I sailed with two guys who are much better sailors than I. But none of us made it past the outer bar. We just played in the shore break sailing parallel to the beach, unable to work to windward. And we had the good sense to stop short of the swimming area, even if that meant getting pummeled in the impact zone for a while.

Yesterday we had our first named tropical storm of the season. I watched it come up the coast with a mix of anticipation and dread. [Worry...dread; that's something that never happened before Sandy].

This time my only concern was not just when the best wind and swell would hit us and where. But did I have enough gas in the generator?: Would there be flooding?: Will everyone be safe?

As it turns out, I had a situation at work...so I missed my window. And today; while the swell is expected to be perfect; [8 1/2 feet with a 10 second period]...I have been to enough lectures on “run off” to understand the consequences of the 2+ inches of rainfall we had last night.

I hope you and your families are safe and sheltered.

I will just have to wait several tide cycles before I enter the water again.
Last weekend; post RM3 session.