Monday, November 30, 2009

Snakebit! Vipers' nest at Lake Pleasant

More distant view of blue-hulled Viper no. 71.

close view of Viper 31 (Gerald is third from left)

Nice view of Viper 31.

Saturday afternoon was the "Viper Demo Day" at Lake Pleasant, north of Phoenix, Arizona. Gerald and I got to sail on a couple of the boats and Carol Anne watched. When we weren't sailing, we got pictures; Gerald shot several hundred images with his good camera, which will be distilled into a much smaller number of good images. I got these and some other cell phone camera pictures when I was on the motorboat that was following the Vipers.

View from the south boat ramp at Lake Pleasant

View to the west, toward the dam, at Lake Pleasant, Arizona, from the south boat ramp.

View to the northwest

View to the north

View to the northeast with marina's boat ramp in the distance

View to the east from the south boat ramp at Lake Pleasant, Arizona.

Heron and Capri at Tempe Town Lake

Capri sloop easing back to the boat ramp at Tempe Town Lake on Friday, November 27, 2009.

During "Black Friday", with cars whizzing by on the Red Mountain freeway, a seemingly unexpected shopper checks out Tempe Town Lake adjacent to Arizona State University and under the flight path for Phoenix's Sky Harbor Airport: a Great Blue Heron. The heron doesn't seem to mind too much that people are nearby, as can be seen in the background, so long as the fishing is okay.

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Gerald in condo in Tempe, Arizona

Gerald rented space in a condo this year, gaining more privacy and quiet than in a dorm room at half the price.

Soap Dispenser, Holbrook, Arizona

"Boraxo" dry powder hand soap dispenser with legend "Moisten hands before using" appears to have been in use for several decades. Heward Ford dealership in Holbrook, Arizona.

Etchells Black Magic at Rock Canyon Marina

Black Magic went into Zorro's slip while Zorro was working on his boat and gets to serve as his "loaner boat" while Constellation is out of the water. These pictures were taken Sunday, November 22, 2009.

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Sunday, November 29, 2009


Viper Sailing

Oh Yeah

At the Viper 640 Demo Day at lake pleasant in Arizona.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Valentine's Day

This story has been told before but it seems appropriate for a brief re-telling in honour of Tillerman's Love and Sailing request.

Carol Anne had found herself right at home on a long lean racing sailboat after we had been cruisers for several years. And now Valentine's Day was approaching and what could I get to remember the date? Flowers? Roses or carnations or something? Chocolate candies? A greeting card? Dinner out? Jewelry?

Well, "Zorro" as we call him had another idea for just the right thing for me to get Carol Anne, and it wasn't any of the above.

So, I made a phone call to Ventura and got Carol Anne a boat. Soon, Carol Anne was driving out with friends to take possession, with me and Gerald following on a plane to help with the pick-up and shopping for gear.

note about the recent photo posts: if the photos below make it appear that the skippers had very odd ideas about mast bend and sail trim, that's an artifact of how cell phone picture-taking captures images digitally. With high winds, nearby boats passed quickly, challenging the scan rate of the camera.

Fall Series 4 with wind

Merit 22 in breeze

J/24 Oso found plenty of wind.

Etchells Constellation makes a quick appearance

Windy day for Fall Series 4 Sunday, November 15

Sunday was so windy that even deploying two anchors in-line with 430 feet of rode out didn't completely prevent dragging. During the race, I had to use the tiller to steer to boat to reduce sideways swinging and dragging, then move the boat upwind to restore the finish line to a reasonable geometry. After the race, it was so gusty and rough that, without a boat hook, we were afraid we'd be unable to retrieve the pin buoy but we managed to use the anchor to grab it. Average winds for Sunday's race, which only a few boats even tried, were about 20 mph, but gusts were well into the 30's.

More pictures with big Commodore's Cup wind

Fleet panorama

more pictures from the Commodore's Cup at Elephant Butte Lake -- Happy Thanksgiving!

And they're off at the start of the Commodore's Cup.

Boats head upwind just a couple of minutes after the 1:04 p.m. start.

View from the bow a few minutes after the start of Saturday's first race.

J/24 Oso and crew power up at the start of the second race.

Boats head upwind after the beginning of Saturday's second race of the Commodore's Cup at Elephant Butte Lake on November 14, 2009.

Etchells Constellation passes by and sails into the distance.

J/24 Kachina enjoys a downwind romp.