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My Sailing Experiences
Update from Last Week
05/11/2009

It has been a few days since I updated this Blog but my most recent sail was this past Thursday May 7th. I sailed on Cats Meow again, which is the boat I have raced on since I started doing the Thursday Night Races at DIYC. I mention that because the boat I have been doing some racing on during the weekends, Rocket, is going to start doing the Thursday Races.

Although I have been torn between loyalty and frustration, I have made a decision regarding Thursday Nights. I have become a little frustrated with either riding the rail or just doing strings because more experienced or senior crew shows up. On Rocket I will be sail trimming. I spoke to Dave about my concerns and he assured me that there would be no problem and that it would be better for me because of the experience I would further gain and the connections I would make. It seems that J Boat racers are competitive and once you become known, others try to pick you up for major races.

Lets see if my feelings as far as racing are concerned changes, but at the least I will be doing what I come to do every Thursday. Although I love sailing, I find no great pleasure in just riding the rail or strings. I love sailing but also really enjoy the personal reward of sail trimming. Enough said on all of that and what will be, will be.

I did not get to sail this weekend but went out Saturday afternoon on my friend Frank's Sea Ray for a booze cruise and cigars. It was a beautiful afternoon and it is always a great time on the water. I spoke to Jessie and I will be sailing with her again next Saturday. I look forward to those sailing experiences because it is more laid back and relaxing while rewarding at the same time. Lets see how the week develops and how the Thursday sail goes.

Thursday and Saturday Race
05/04/2009

This is a combination post because there really was not information worth writing a new blog entry for based on Thursday's sail. I went to the DIYC for the Thursday night race and because a lot of the older crew were there, I spent all of the trip as weight over the high side. The sail was nice but for me it was very uneventful.

Saturday's race was much better. I raced on Rocket which is the J35 that I raced on a few Sundays ago. They asked me back to race with them this Sunday for a Regatta at DIYC. The course was simple with beats and runs. The day was nice and the winds were consistent in the morning. The actual race started around 11am but by 1pm the winds had died down to nothing. The race was postponed and we took the time to eat some lunch aboard while we waited for the committee to decide between calling the race or continuing the races.

The race was called due to the lack of wind and we motored in to the dock. It was a good time and fun to race with this crew. I worked as Jib trimmer and worked the guy for the Spinnaker runs. My Jib trimming was good and fast on the tacks. I really enjoy that part of sailing. At least with this group, if I'm on the boat and I am working or trimming something. Its is better then just being weight over the highside.

I noticed that the winds filled in as the afternoon passed. I guess we are heading for the time of year here when the winds are good in the mornings, die down around mid day and then tend to build as the afternoon passes from the breeze coming in from the gulf.

Lets see how the week develops with the race on Thursday and whether there is crew work for me. Like I said, it depends on who else is there. Saturday will hopefully be back on Jessie's or Reggie's boat for a day sail or something. I really enjoy that as well. I'm still in the mindset that racing is alright but cruising around is a lot of fun as well.

Saturday Sail
04/25/2009

Went on Jessi's boat and she brought a long her grand daughter and her boyfriend. The winds were consistent and blowing in from the east to northeast most of the day. we sailed close reach and some close hauled most of the way south. We were not to far from the Skyway Bridge and the entrance into Boca Ciega Bay.

We talked about doing a longer day sail in the near future. I suggested leaving one morning and sailing past the Skyway Bridge and into the gulf. Maybe sail around Egmont Key, anchor for some lunch and then sail back. Jessi also had a great idea of an early sail to Tampa, having lunch at Jackson's and then sailing back. Both are good ideas and Reggie, Jessi's friend is on board for such a day.

After sailing south we tacked heading north and sailed a good distance as well. We sailed more so on a beam reach and passed the St. Pete Pier. It was a nice daysail and I spent the day trimming the jib and mainsail. We came back in around 5pm and headed for some good seafood and beer.

On the books for this week is the Thursday Night race at Davis Island and racing with the new crew on S/V Rocket on Saturday for a race at DIYC as well. Jessi sent me some pics of me sailing from the first race with Reggie. I can't post them here but Have posted them on my other sailing blog. The url for anyone that reads my blog is http://mysailingexperiences.blogspot.com/

Thursday Night Sail
04/23/2009

Raced again last night in the Davis Island Races. We had a very light crew of only 7, but all experienced. The winds were light at times and topping off around 10 knots at others. There was a lot of reaching and close hauled sailing, so we took advantage of the course to put time in the bank on our competition.

I worked as Jib trimmer, starting out on starboard side and then to port side after the spinnaker run. We came in first place and made it in just as the sun was setting. It was a really nice race. The crew works well together and adapts to what needs to be done.

I made plans with Jessie to go sailing on her boat this Saturday. According the websites, the winds are forecast to be real nice. Jessie told me that she had another picture of me that was taken on our Saturday race with Reggie. I'm kind of glad there are no plans to sail on Sunday. although that is always subject to change for the right opportunity, there are some things I need to do around the house.

Sunday Race at DIYC
04/20/2009

Sunday April 19, 2009

I met up with Bill from S/V Rocket on Sunday for the Sunday Race series that happens at DIYC. He contacted me based on a conversation with Dave and Sandy. He asked me to come crew on his boat for a practice run this Sunday, in preparation for a regatta that is happening on May 2. Like most sailors one meets, everyone on his crew was real nice. I worked as port side jib trimmer and controlled the guy for the spinnaker run.

It was a great sail with mild but consistent winds. We performed several tacks to adjust out point of sail to the course. All in all it was a good experience and they welcomed me back for the upcoming race on May 2. I think I am really going to like racing with this group, especially if there is always work for me to do such as jib trimming.

Awesome Saturday Sail
04/18/2009

Saturday April 18, 2009

I went sailing with Jesse and her husband on her boat in St Pete. The winds were consistent, probably around 10 knots. Getting out was no easy challenge. The tide was coming in and the winds were from the east so getting past the break wall got real choppy and a lot of effort for the motor. We decided against using the head sail for the time being and sailed only with the main. The winds were forecast to be stronger in the morning and slowing to between 5-6 knots in the afternoon.

The afternoon was a great sail. We hoisted the jib and quick began cruising along. Jesse had the helm as I control the jib and mainsail. The jib was setting well but we need to fix some telltales to the end of the battens on the mainsail so it is easier to determine if we have the right shape.

we came across of a patch of no wind and drifted for a bit. I took the helm and still controlled some of the jib work because of its proximity to the wheel. This boat is set up so that it can single handed if one should want. The winds picked up and we began sailing on a close hauled point of sale with a little bit of heel. It was cool to have the helm on this point of sail and to sail in the groove. We met up with Reggie at one of the markers and cruised around together for a while.

The sail back was mostly broad reach and then pointed down for some wing on wing. It was a great day sail and topped it off with some wings and cerveza. Reggie let me know that someone took a picture of his boat during the race we were in, my first time on his boat. He is going to send me the pick so I will post it soon. He mentioned that in the picture you can see that the jib is trimmed perfectly with all the telltales streaming back. It is going to be real cool to have that pic.

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Who: Ramon
Port: Tampa, Florida
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