May 2007


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Rob’s been very motivated this week and has done a lot of stripping. Months ago, I bought some West Marine “PRO” stripper that worked like a charm. Rob used it up awhile back and bought some more of what he thought was the same stuff. Only this tub didn’t say “PRO” on it. Didn’t work at all. Not at all. The next time we were in WM, we looked it up and apparently they’re not selling it anymore. Lucky for us, there was a big gallon tub of it at the nearby Boat US store, which we quickly snapped up and stored away. Now this stuff actually works! Isn’t that always how it works? You find some incredible product that works great and they pull it.

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So this weekend our only goal is to install the Monitor. If there’s any spare time after that (which there should be), we’ll continue stripping the decks and maybe even get a little sanding in. Who says we don’t know how to have fun?!

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I have no clue what was going on yesterday but here are the pix I tried to post. The first was close to the beginning of the race when Sutter, our race editor, went by in the photo boat. We sucked in our tummies, showed our good sides and smiled for the birdie.

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Yes, I know the jib looks like shit. My bad. I raised it and didn’t get it tight enough — Rob fixed it later. I’m just a frail little woman that can’t raise a sail, apparently. Wimpy jello arms. Gotta work on that.

After shooting a jillion boat, Sutter came by again a couple hours later. Though the jib looks better, we weren’t much farther along than when she went by the first time.

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And just look how high cut that clew is! There’s no two ways around it, we need a bigger headsail. Rob said “You can’t blame the sails for how badly we’re doing.” Uh, hello! It’s my birthday and I can do whatever I want! Damn straight it was the sails. Heh hem.

And finally, Kim sent us a few shots of us leaving China Camp (after getting pushed off the mud!). She may be a slug, but she sure is purty.

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We checked the schedule and we don’t have another race for awhile. We will be in Brownsville celebrating my folks 50th wedding anniversary on June 2, the date of the Delta Ditch Run AND the In the Bay Race (both of which we would have like to have done). After that is the LongPac (the qualifier for the SH Transpac next year) but Rob’s son Ian will be in town.

This lag in racing gives us plenty of time to finish a bunch of stuff – stripping and painting the decks, repainting the hull, mounting the Monitor, setting up the interior, replacing the rigging (though that may wait till winter), etc. No rest for the wicked . . .

My only birthday wish was that we not finish dead last in the Great Vallejo Race and my wish came true! We didn’t finish at all! It was an unusual year in that the race to Vallejo on Saturday was a beat the whole way — it’s usually a lovely spinnaker run. We decided just after rounding the first mark waaaaaaaaaaay after everyone else, that we were just going to bag it at China Camp but didn’t ‘officially’ call it quits till we got there. We were only one of two DNFs — I guess that party is really worth it!

We met up with some friends — NINE boats! — and had a great Cinco de Mayo celebration on shore, complete with carnitas, guacamole, chocolate flan, margaritas and a pirate pinata. Rob was the 7th to take a whack and he blew that bugger to smithereens! This was all that was left:

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By the time we all puttered home, the wind had died and the rolly anchorage had calmed considerably. We were gently rocked to sleep only to be tossed awake a couple hours later by strong northeast winds — the WORST direction for the wind to come from for that anchorage. We weren’t in any danger but it was very uncomfortable and kept us both awake for most of the night.

We woke up at 8:30 and realized we’d better skedaddle or we’d be stuck there all day with the strong flood against us. Our dinky little short-shaft motor doesn’t work in any kind of swell or chop so we couldn’t use it to pull ourselves up to the anchor. We raised the main to sail up to it, tack and break it free. We got up to it but Rob couldn’t break it loose. A friend finally came over in his dink and pushed us up to it. It broke and we promptly tacked the wrong way and drove firmly into the mud (China Camp is notoriously shallow). He shoved the bow around, we raised the jib and were off! I was worried that I’d be stuck in that spot — heeled 15 degrees — till the tide rose. Not fun on my birthday!

We had a beautiful spinnaker (I’ve named her Barbie) run home with the ebb, hitting 9 knots on several occasions. We made it from China Camp to our slip — about 15 miles — in just under 2 hours. That’s making some good time!

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Yes, there’s a small wrinkle up there but I liked this shot better than the ones where the sail was all full. I post more pix but the server’s acting weird. Gotta run!

We’re getting all set to do the Great Vallejo Race tomorrow. For the past few years, entries have been declining but this year their up. My only goal (and birthday wish) is that we don’t come in dead last. Regardless, it should be a fun day, what with 20 knot winds and sunny skies. Wheeeeeeeeeeee!

We were in Napa for a long weekend with Rob’s folks. This week the only thing we really managed to get done was rebed the hull to deck joint. Remember that the entire way around the Farallones, Rob was pumping the bilge like mad. We figured the joint was the culprit and we were right. Just look at this:

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The goo on the starboard side was a little stickier but there were still lots of voids. We reefed it all out and gooped it with 3M 4000. Reattached the rubstrake and Bob’s your uncle. If we were keeping this boat long term, we would have glassed the whole thing but we’ll leave that chore for the next owner.

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This should do the job for awhile. I guess we’ll find out on the beat home this weekend! Wish us luck!!