Memorial Day on the Water

Lake Macatawa in Holland was busy and hot.  The winds were dropping, so we had to rely on the iron genoa (motor).  It was pleasent and the waters were busy.  Big and small boats were out enjoying themselves.

Passed OUPV and Masters Tests

Well April 28th was the day.  I passed six Mariners Learning System proctored tests in one sitting.   There are four for the OUPV (rules of the road, deck general, navigation, and plotting), and te Masters 25-100 ton, and the Sailing Endorsement.  The proctors had seen many students take six tests in one sitting, but only I had passed them all. 

As I drove home from the test, I had time to reflect on the process.  I preferred the study at your own pace so I could really absorb the plentiful amounts of information.  I figured I studied over 200 hours, in all my spare time since Christmas through April.  It was a proud feeling of accomplishment.  Now I need to  complete te CPR and First Aid training, drug test, and collect my references.  Yahooo

Spring Sailboat Prep Starts

Well it is March 15 and 80 degrees.  I met up with the most of the crew on Wednesday at the barn where two S2 7.9 racing sailboats are stored.  After a bit of refreshment, we started working on adding spinnaker ram cleats to the top deck and moving bottom paint line up four inches by removing the old vinyl trim and sanding out the lines.

A flourescent bulb burned out and made a nasty smell, and the 30 seconds it took us to find the burning object was high excitement.  Nobody wanted the boats to burn up.

Time for a break and some pizza.

Till next week.

OUPV Exam April 28

Eeek – Coast Guard exam for the OUPV and Master license is scheduled for April 28.  I need to speed up my ability to mark the chart and perform the math.   Lots of reading and practice questions.

Question of the night.  Are slack water and stand of water really any different?

Send me your sample questions so I can practice.

Spectator from a Marker Boat

 I hope that everyone can occasionally crew on race committee marker boat for the race committee.  This is different than the race committee boat where they have to set flags, check in boats, start the race, and record the finish times, while the marker boat is much different.  Here is what I saw and why I think you may be interested volunteering on the marker boat.


There are four distinct phases for crewing on the race committee marker boat.  The four steps are: 1) planning the course, 2) setting the anchors for the two race markers, 3) watching and critiquing the boats during the race, and 4) picking up markers.


Step one included a lot of experienced individuals providing input into the wind direction, weather forecast, expected wind changes into the decisions on the ultimate course.  Current winds were between 60 (NE) and 90 (E) and forecasted to change.  We settled on 70degrees. The forecast was for increasing winds through the evening and no bad weather on the radar for the next few hours.  Therefore, we opted for a course of four legs versus two legs and the legs length of .9 mile distance. (4 x .9 = 3.6 mile course)


Now that the decisions were made, we were on to our second step of placing the markers.  We motored 70degrees directly into the wind and placed our windward marker at .9 miles from the race committee boat.  Then we needed to place the start/finish buoy 90 degrees port of the race committee starting boat.


Thirdly, we enjoyed and critiqued the race.  Doug, who has been racing for years, knew when they were going to tack, and who would have trouble with the spinnakers.  Unlike the race committee, which is very busy at the start of a race, the marker boat is free to watch and take photos during the entire race.  I took photos and remembered how cool it was to receive race pictures by other volunteers.


Lastly, we picked up the markers and packed them away.  I really enjoyed my leisure trip out on the race marker boat and thought you should know.



 Race Committee boat preparing for the start

 Spinnakers flying


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Bay Shore Wednesday Night Race – 8 September 2010

Our crew of six raced on Lake Macatawa. The winds had calmed to 13 knots after five days of 20+ knots.  Our usual Lake Macatawa course was four legs West to East loop.  The winds nearly from the North meant it was going to be a West reach and East reach and we were doubtful that we could run the spinnaker.

We had a good start but we were not the first.  We could have used Vaseline to pass one of divisions competitors sailboats, as we sailed for over hundred yards within feet of their siderails.  We passed the mark by over a boat length to leave the leeward boat sufficient room to round the mark to port on a jibe, and as we jibed, we took notice that they were not jibing, but pushing and forcing us to unjibe and we lost momentum.  Eight thousand pounds slowed to one knot.

We eventually completed our jibe, but we now had three of our competition in front us and three legs to pass them.  We hit 9.3 knots in winds 15knots plus.  I guess our averaged speed was 7.8 in 13 knots winds.

On leg four, one of our competition (Nemisis) was flying the spinnaker and rounded up within 400 yards of the finish, giving us enough opportunity to pass the finish line ahead, but behind the other two.

Steady winds

Bay Shore Wednesday Night Sailboat Race

1 September 2010

Lickity Split had a crew size of six.  The wind predictions from the internet noted winds at 5PM at 7 knots, at 8PM to be 4 knots, and 11PM to be 2 knots.  This suggested that the regatta may be canceled because of too little wind.  We prepared for sailing and headed out to the big lake, but we kept our sails down. As we approached committee boat and announced our boat was in the race.  They smiled and waved back, and then announced over the radio that the race was canceled.

In my humble opinion, I believe te weather predictions are getting more reliable.  Lickity Split is a J35 and she requires 7.5 knots of wind, and it depends on the waves.

Till next week, Study Winds.

Family Friday 25 June 2010

We chartered a 1973 38′ Columbia from GT Sailing, out of Anchorage Marina, Holland MI. This boat is completely restored and the hardware was wonderful to use.  We got the whole family on board, one friend for each child, the grandparents, and Aunt Lynn.

Captain Kim helped us cast off, and being a full keel, it needed a bit more steerage way than I anticipated. The weather made it even better, as we sailed through the channel with our main sail up. Then off shore about 10 miles, and headed back. We had appetizers and snacks for everyone. This was the first time for Grandma and Aunt Lynn to be on Lake Michigan.

Out return was early because of other commitments, but we made the slip very easily, as the full keel was our guiding angel with a strong cross wind at the marina.

Till next time. Skipper Drifter.