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Social Distancing.

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Hello Morganeers

Being in New York (we live 1 mile outside NYC) during this medical event has been a bit trying. We are safe and well but are getting a bit of channel fever being cooped up in the house. Unfortunately the boat is on the hard so we can't go off on a cruise to hide. Bonnie and I hope that everyone is well and doing their part to avoid the virus. A good thing is we have the Morgan Board to keep us busy and in touch. Let us know how you are all fareing.

Jim
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
Hi Jim- I was wondering how you were doing out there in NY and glad to hear you and Bonnie are well. I watch Governor Cuomo’s news conference every day because it is so rational & sane it keeps me calm. As opposed to other press conferences at the national level.;)

I hope everyone is staying isolated for now. It’ll pass, but we need to stay diligent for now. Susan and I have been trying to convince our 80+ YO parents that this is serious stuff. We have been quite thoroughly quarantined for 15 days now. We were already prepped for a big earthquake so we didn’t need to do much.

Not to rub it in though, Jim, but we have been doing social distancing on Zia. Here she is with Susan this week and Mount Hood looking on!

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Cheers, everyone!
Mark
 
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jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Mark

Now that's what I call "Social Distancing". Oh to be on the water! How far away is the mountain in that photo? Looks like you got a nice ghosting kind of day. I'm experiencing just a little bit of envy. Enjoy and stay safe.

Jim
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
At that point we are about 45 miles from the peak of Mount Hood. We are about at sea level and the peak is at 11,350 ft. It is a volcano but hopefully it doesn’t blow in the next few months!
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Mark

So you are sailing on the Columbia River? I'm looking on my atlas at Mt Hood and the river is the only open water nearby.

Jim
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
Yeah, she usually lives on the Columbia River. Unless we are cruising her up the coast to Washington or British Columbia, Canada.

The river here is roughly the width of San Diego Bay (in places). Year round sailing. The fresh water is a little less rough on her than salt. Although she enjoys her time on the ocean.
 
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jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Mark

I remember you took her up to Puget Sound last summer. How was that trip? Did you go up the inside passage?

Is the river an estuary? Are you dealing with a strong river current?

Jim
 

hallelujah

Helene Schmidt
Hi Jim, How are things in my home town? I finally sold my childhood home in 2018, so I don't get up there anymore. I hear Elmhurst is a hotbed of cases, but hopefully, there isn't much of a problem where you are. I'm safe and well in Delaware and the boat is still on the hard in Rock Hall, MD.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Helene

Good to know that all is well with you. The New York area is reeling at the moment. Most people are following the procedures for staying virus free. But with the population density, it hard to keep up. Bonnie and I are cooped up in the house and only need to get out occasionally for groceries. My biggest concern at the moment is that this is the weekend that the local chandleries have their spring sales and I will probably miss getting a discount on my bottom paint.

Jim
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
Hi Helene - glad to see you on here and to know you are good in Delaware.

Yeah, Jim, our trip up to Puget Sound was great last year. We loved it, but loved even more the trip before that when we went up to Desolation Sound, BC. That was really amazing and some day I want to go up there without a schedule and just hang out and explore.

The Columbia River is an “estuary”, I think, down by Astoria where it dumps into the Pacific. That’s about 90 river miles downstream from where we keep Zia. The “bar” where the river enters the ocean is considered some of the most dangerous waters in the world. We are super cautious about weather and tides when we cross and haven’t had a problem. They call it the “Graveyard of the Pacific”, but we’ve been to several different places along the coast now that call themselves that.;)

We normally have about a 2 knot current in the river, although it varies higher & lower seasonally. I’ve sailed in the northeast and know there are a lot stronger currents up there. For that matter, there are in the northwest too. Near the San Juan Islands and BC it wasn’t that unusual to see 7+ knot currents some places.

We still have about 3 ft tides here even though we are 90 miles upstream. That was a little surprising to me.

Here’s a shot of heading into Seattle during our Puget Sound adventure last year.

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jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Mark

I'm amazed your river is tidal 90 miles from the ocean. The Hudson river in NY is tidal to about the Newburgh Bridge which is about 60 miles from the ocean. So when you are transiting the river, either up or down, do you time it so the current is with you? On Long Island Sound we always play the current when we are going East or West. More fun going 8kts than 4kts. The real trick is to get the current and the wind in our favor. Doesn't work out often, but when it does,WOW!

So when you cross the bar, either into or out of the ocean, are you looking to do that at a slack current? Or do you want a bit of current going with or against you?

Jim
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Mark

I just found Desolation Sound in my atlas. That looks like a fantastic area to cruise in. How long of a window is there for a comfortable cruising season?

Jim
 

terry_thatcher

Terence Thatcher
Thought I would chime in. My family and I cruised in Desolation Sound in the summers from 2002 to 2016, when my son and I decided to go south and on to Polynesia. The scenery is beautiful, fishing good, wildlife marvelous and the wind is fickle. In 2018 my son and I sailed around Vancouver Island, something I had not done since 1986. Same beautiful scenery, but typically more wind. Unfortunately, what my forester friends used to call asbestos forests are dry and burning in the summers now. We often anchored in smoke in 2018 and occasionally could see the flames on the hills. I will not comment much further in order to avoid politics, but I do hate to see our world burning up. My father's generation saved the world from Nazis and Bolsheviks and look what we have done to it.
Good cruising up north can start in June, but it is best July, August, and my favorite time has often been September. Not as warm and the days shorten, but the wind is more reliable. Having been to Mexico, French Polynesia, Hawaii, and British Columbia, BC is the best for family cruising and gunk holing. And, amazingly enough, the bays in Desolation Sound often have water temperatures in the 70s. Otherwise, I have to use a triathlon wet suit to get in my laps. Crossing the Columbia Bar can be a thrill. Typically do it at high slack if you are lucky. Can't come in against a 7-10 knot ebb current and ebb currents kick up such waves that going out on anything but the very beginning of an ebb is asking for trouble. Stay well and safe everyone.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Terry
Desolation Sound sounds like a great place to cruise. Maybe we'll look into chartering there one day. It sounds like we need to do that sooner rather then later before it all disappears. Even here on the East Coast the changes in the cruising grounds due to climate change and politics are horrendous.

We have an area on the East River in NYC called "Hell Gate". The currents there are amazing. The only way to navigate it is to plan to be there when the water begins to move in your direction. We have been up and down that river many times and have come to know the tricks to do it safely. Coming through there at full flood current one time we registered 11.8 kt speed over the bottom.

Stay safe and healthy.

Jim
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
We recently learned that our boatyard has closed its operations. The yard is still open for owners to work on their boats but there will not be any launching until this crap gets better. Looks like there goes the season, at least the beginning of it.
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
Hi Terry & Jim - yes, I’ve read about Hell Gate and it sounds like the Columbia River Bar: if you plan things out and are cautious, it’s fine, but if you don’t it can be a really bad thing.

Jim - sorry to hear your boat is land locked for a while. I’ll affirm that it won’t be for more than a few weeks and you can resurrect the season.

I agree with Terry - we’ve sailed in French Poly, Mexico, Thailand, Greece, BC, East Coast, West Coast, Alaska, and Caribbean. We loved all those places but if we had to choose one area to go back to, I would choose BC/Desolation Sound/SE Alaska. The only problem is that when the weather is good (summer), the sailing kind of sucks because of no wind. But I’m not too proud to motor, especially with my shiny new/smooth engine.;)

Terry - are you still on the hard? Where?

Cheers! Everybody wash your hands and mask up!
-Mark
 
Hi all,
Glad to hear everyone is well and taking their social distancing seriously. We managed to get our boat in the water early in anticipation of some social distance weekend cruising, but then the Maryland Dept. of Natural Resources interpreted the governor's stay at home order to ban all recreational boating for the duration of the emergency. Doh! Of course there are exceptions for fishing and crabbing, so in effect they seem to have basically banned sailing. It has me more than a little steamed, but nothing to be done but stay home and wait it out for now.

We are very lucky to have two jobs we can do from home, and two kids who are adapting well to home schooling. At least for now. Fingers crossed we don't miss another whole season.
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
Hi Keefer - yes, my Dad lives in Annapolis and I heard about that. Maryland and Florida and other places. Too bad! We notice when we go out that 98% of the people have very few people on their boat and they are responsibly social distancing. Then of course, there are the "special" 2% of boats that are loaded up with 12 drinking buddies, blasting the music and having a big party. I reckon that is the reason, and unfortunately they will probably just go have their big party at their house instead.

But that makes it an excellent time to work on the boat?! ;)

Yes, fingers crossed that you don't miss the whole season!
 
We finished all of our major winter projects just in time for the season to start, so now on to some decidedly more minor boat work - I spent a solid two hours stitching up our ratty old bimini canvas yesterday in hopes of squeezing one more season out of it. And my wife managed to wedge herself down into the stern locker to build some new shelving for wet storage items. I guess if this keeps going for longer than a few more weeks I may try to get a head start on next winter's list?

Aforementioned wife already suggested we take on the brightwork. Ugh, anything but that! Would much prefer sailing with ugly flaking varnish to that particular form of torture. If it were up to me I'd probably just let it go gray.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Mark
I'm sitting here on an early Monday morning. Not only are we confined in the house because of the virus rules, but it's raining something awful and blowing 30 kts or so. So I thought you would be interested in some thoughts and history of New York City's infamous Hells Gate. First of all it is Hells Gate, not Hell Gate. The name was translated from the Dutch words that basically meant "The place that's so awful that you never want to go there". That isn't a literal word for word translation.

Hells Gate is the narrow section of the East River where it branches off to combine with Long Island Sound and where the Harlem River joins in. The tidal ranges between the Sound and the lower bay are in the neighborhood of 7'. So as the diurnal tides change daily the displacement of water from one to the other is pretty large. Those changes create currents that probably average about 5kts. Those currents are then channelled into a twisty narrow area between Randalls Island (Bronx) and Astoria, (Queens).

In addition to the fast moving currents moving horizontal, in the middle of all this fast moving water there are wellups. Because the bottom contours below the surface are at places radically different, the bottom can go from 160' to 60' abruptly, there are currents created that are called wellups. This is where the horizontally moving water is diverted into a vertically moving current that reaches the surface. As you cruise through the Gate there will be multiple round shaped eddys on the surface. The problem with these eddys is that the vertical moving water prevents the hydrodynamic effects on the rudder of a slow moving (relative to the water) sailboat. Thankfully the size of the eddys is not so great so that the boat will pass out of the eddy before you realize that your rudder isn't working.

Another hazard at Hells Gate is the commercial traffic. This is a major waterway between the City, the Sound and points East. All sorts of ships, tugs and barges are using the Gate all the time. Because it is narrow and there is a big bend in the middle of the channel, you can't always see what is coming and how big it is. Radar and AIS help a lot but not always. You can have calculated the perfect time to transit the Gate with the current helping you through when a full size ship appears coming the other way demanding right of way.

A bit of interesting history about Hells Gate. Over the centuries there have been hundreds of shipwrecks associated with the Gate. Today the depths through the area are deep enough for clear navigation. That wasn't always the case. On the West end of the Gate near Manhattan there was a section of shallow water clustered with large rocks. For many years that area was a severe hazard to shipping. Something needed to be done. In the early 1800's a French engineer took a contract for $12,000 to blow away one particularly large rock. His idea was to drop weighted sticks of dynamite on the rock at slack tide and destroy it. After he used up $12,000 worth of explosives, the rock was still there and he quit. By the 1850's something a bit more organized was deemed necessary. Vertical shafts were dug down from what is now Shearer Park, the location of Gracie Mansion, the home of the NYC Mayor, in Manhattan. The shafts went through the rock to below the river bed. From there they tunneled a spider web of tunnels under the shallow areas of the river. When the network of tunnels were finished and all the debris removed, they packed the tunnels with explosives. Something like 300,000 lbs of explosives. When they blew the explosives, it was recorded as the largest man made blast until the first testing of the Atomic bombs. The river bottom with all its dangerous rocks subsided down into the space of the tunnels and the Gate became much clearer to navigation.

Bonnie and I have navigated Hells Gate many, many time over the years. If heading down (Westbound) the river we plan to arrive at the Throggs Neck Bridge about 45 minutes to 1 hour before the slack before ebb occurs at the Gate. That gives us a fair current thru the Gate, past Manhattan and out to the Varranzano Bridge. To Come back up (Eastbound) we make the Varranzano Bridge 2 hours before the slack before flood current. That takes us all the way back into Long Island sound with current in our favor. This is all based on motoring at 6kts. Sailing through the Gate and up or down the river is not an option although we always have the main up and the jib ready just in case.

One last interesting tidbit. If you you ever pass under or see a photo of the Hells Gate railroad bridge, which crosses the narrowest part of the Gate, you'll probably notice a striking resemblance to the famous Sydney Harbor Bridge in Australia. Both were designed and built by the same designer. The One in NY was built first.

I hope this will be of interest to some. I figure it got me through an hour or so of a rainy morning where we can't go out. Enjoy.

Jim
 
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Thank you Jim for taking the time to write this history and navigational details. I find it really interesting even though I will probably not find myself there, in a boat.

We are not in such a dire lockdown as you. Though we probably should be. Many here are still just not taking this crap seriously. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and everyone there.

This past weekend was particularly tough in our home, we lost our beloved Cassidy, our dog, to cancer. Sunday,
I went to my "happy place" yesterday. it helped a little. Whiskeytown Lake near our home.
I sailed and thought.

This is "boobie" (no, not what you're thinking) a Naples Sabot that is another really expensive FREE boat. I was trying to put together a sailing tender for Sonata. But of course in normal fashion, the project got out of hand. What was a really battered little boat, fractured and holed hull, wood a mess, rigging a mess turned into a full restoration. To Full race Spec! Dyneema running rigging, new sail and all. So, y'all understand, "boobie" was my imaginary friend when I was little. Thought it an appropriate name for a dinghy.
Anyway,
I hope we can all get beyond what is happening around the world someday soon.
Mitchell
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jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Mitchell

She is beautiful! And I won't ask as to the amount of money invested. Not to mention the time. But you now have something very special to go messin about in. Is she on a lake in the photos? Where do you keep the big boat?

Our shelter in place rules here are fairly strict. Bonnie and I are both over 70 so we are very concerned with following the rules. I'd just like to hug my Grandkids and maybe go out for dinner and ice cream. Getting the boat back in the water comes right after the ice cream. But as you say, this will be all over in time. Hopefully while there is some summer left.

Jim
 
Thanks Jim, Yes, way to much time and money involved. And probably (undoubtedly) not realistic. This is a lake in Northern California outside of Redding where we live. Whiskeytown Lake, this was the area of the Carr Fire a couple years ago that was so devastating. I often describe our lake as a High alpine lake at low elevation, about 800'. It sits at the beginning of the grade that heads West over mountains to the coast.

Sonata is on San Francisco Bay, more accurately, Point Richmond, on San Francisco Bay. It is about a 2.5 to 3 hour drive to get to her.
It's a great little harbor that opens right onto the bay. There is the famed Richmond Yacht Club and our marina in the harbor surrounded by high end homes on the water. Quiet and secluded or so it seems. Really pleasant being there.

I understand your desires for the human interaction too. I don't have grandkids yet, but our daughter comes and always tries to hug us. I worry a lot about Larissa, my wife. She is in the medical field and on the front lines every day. Fortunately it hasn't become super critical here yet. My folks are in their 80's too, scary stuff these days.
Stay safe
Mitchell
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Mitchell

I had to break out the atlas to see where Redding is. That must be beautiful country up there. Years ago we toured California from San Diego to San Francisco. We're looking forward to one day going North to explore the upper parts of the State. One of my hobbies is photography and Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada's are big on my bucket list. I hope the fires didn't directly effect you and your family. Has the area recovered from the effects of the damage?

Bonnie was a medical ICU nurse in NYC for 40 years. Happily retired for 11 years now, she recently received a letter from the City asking her to return to work for the duration of the crisis. That didn't go over too big.

You have to make a long drive to get to the boat. How often do you get down there? It certainly must be beautiful to sail on the Bay. San Fransisco Bay must be very much like Long Island Sound only with more wind. Our Western end of the Sound during the summer months get caught up in the thermal inversions that are created by NYC and we get robbed of a lot of wind. Thank goodness for the Yanmar.

Jim
 
It is a beautiful area. Though has it's pros and cons too of course. Redding sits at the North end of the Central Valley of California. So we have mountains on 3 sides. It gets bloody hot in the summer. Usually 100+ for 100 days or more. 118, and higher is not unheard of. Each year I swear I am going somewhere cooler for the summer. That hasn't happened yet. I do spend more time on Sonata though.

If you guys do get out this way, let me know. Sailing in SF Bay is a kick. Winter is usually much milder than summer. The valley heats up in simmer and draws the ocean air into the bay. We say the wind doesn't blow, it sucks, The hot inland areas suck the air through the bay.

Yosemite is one of the wonders of the world. I love it there. If you ever get a chance, GO! Even for just a few days. Try to be there in the Spring just as the snows melt. Amazing, Try to go up to Glacier Point too. It is a high overlook that yo can see the whole valley. It really is breathtaking. Words can't convey anything meaningful. Tahoe is another area that is a must. Being a Photog, you should be in heaven at either. And there is so much more too!

On our fires, it is coming back slowly. It burned hundreds of thousands of acres and countless homes. It burned so hot as to create it's own weather. We were lucky, we are on the East side of town and it came to the city and they finally managed to divert it to the North. The Forest will be many years to grow back, but I see some green and hope already. The Camp Fire (2 years latter) to our So. East in Paradise did even more damage to people than here. That place was literally leveled and many lost lives. You have storms, we have fires and earthquakes! None of is much fun.
Mitchell
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Mitchell
Years ago my Sister moved from NY to southern California. My Brother-in-law took a job in aerospace in Burbank. She was not happy to go and expressed worries about earthquakes, landslides and fires. My Brother-in-law promised that if she would just give it a year, he would move to wherever she wanted if she wasn't happy in CA. She agreed and they went. Six months later I asked her when they were going to come back East. Her answer was "NEVER". What about the earthquakes, landslides and fires, I asked? "Nobody cares" was her answer and they lived there for years. In fact one time we visited them in Saugus. They lived in a valley and while we were there, the ridges on both sides were burning and all the people were just going about their business as usual.

If and when we are able to travel again, our two most planned trips are going to be the National Parks of California and the British Isles. So we will definitely keep in touch and look forward to meeting you guys.

How long have you owned "Sonata"? Which model is she?

Jim
 
Yep, we all deal with whatever Mother Nature throws at us.
We have had Sonata about 2 years now. She is a 1982, 383. Hull and sail #029. I have sailed all my life but she is the biggest boat I have owned. So different than anything else I've owned!
I grew up racing dinghies and Hobie Cats. Then on small racing keel boats. I still have my Moore 24, we are about to relaunch her and put her out at the marina on Whiskeytown Lake. So, if you get out this way, You can sail the Bay and the Lake!
Mitchell
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Mitchell

Sonata is slightly older than Dana. Dana is 1978 382 hull # 53. Are you still using the Yanmar 3QM30 engine. The first 100 or so boats came with Yanmars then they went to Perkins for the rest. What are you plans for cruising her? Staying on the Bay or getting offshore? The Bay looks big enough to be able to spend a lifetime sailing on and not get bored.

We have sailed Dana all up and down the East coast from Maine to the Bahamas. Bonnie and I have been talking this morning about putting together a trip next spring to CA, OR, and Washington. That would be great.

Jim
 
Sonata is actually few years younger than your Dana. Built in '82, and a 383. From what I have gathered, hull numbers seem to have restarted with each series, 382, 383, 384. I think.
Ours has 029 marked on many parts of the boat, headliner panels, etc. The sail number on the the main is also 029 for what that's worth. In older photos, previous sails were also numbered the same. I know that doesn't count for much. But the "hull build" markings bear that out. The odd thing is the VIN/hull number doesn't seem to correspond.
Sonata came with the Perkins and still has the original engine. Still going strong thank goodness.

I would really like to do some blue water cruising. Beginning with coastal and learn more about the boat, and myself. A dream of mine is to somehow cruise the San Juan Islands and British Colombia and Desolation Sound someday too. We have spent time there in the past, and it is truly amazing!
I got a quote recently to sail the boat North to Seattle for about $2500. Which seemed pretty reasonable. I don't want to disassemble and truck. So we'll see. My other issue is lack of crew, and my own experience on the ocean.
But going UP the Coast is the difficult direction on the West Coast. So, Perhaps South, Cannel Islands, Catalina and then Mexico. Then...?

For now the Bay is enough, and we have the Delta too which is incredibly vast. Sonata did the Pacific Cup with the previous owner and is relatively well set up and equipped for that kind of thing and that is in the back of my mind too. Lots of options :)

Mitchell
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Mitchell

I'm sorry, I thought Sonata was a 382. Being a 383 makes her a few years younger than Dana. Mark Pearson and Terry Thatcher will be the guys to talk to about sailing offshore North from San Francisco. They have a great deal of experience with that. Mark has been educating me on sailing the Pacific Northwest and it sounds wonderful. If you cruise South, it looks like you may have to sail out to Hawaii before sailing back up the coast. If you do get into some offshore work, I'd highly recommend taking the US Sailing's Hands-On Safety at Sea seminars. Bonnie and I have done many of the seminars over the years and always benefit from the info given out.

Jim
 
Yes, it seems the Hawaii route has advantages to get North. The Pacific Northwest and BC are incredible cruising areas. I think you could spend a lifetime cruising just there. When I was in high school our family cruised a little while in the San Juan Islands, and up to the Victoria BC area. It was really beautiful and so much fun! I have been back several times since, but not on a boat.
I will look into US Sailings programs, that sounds good. I have gone to several of the seminars that the Pacific Cup Race puts on and gained a lot of knowledge. I need more to feel comfortable though.
Mitchell
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Mitchell

the Hands On seminars will have you jumping into a pool with all your foul weather gear and inflatable vest. You'll be getting into and out of a life raft from the water. You'll fight fires, shoot off flares, patch hull leaks, learn damage control, do man overboard drills from a boat. Lots of cool stuff that you can't get from a book or a lecture. You'll love it.

Jim
 
Yes, it seems the Hawaii route has advantages to get North. The Pacific Northwest and BC are incredible cruising areas. I think you could spend a lifetime cruising just there. When I was in high school our family cruised a little while in the San Juan Islands, and up to the Victoria BC area. It was really beautiful and so much fun! I have been back several times since, but not on a boat.
I will look into US Sailings programs, that sounds good. I have gone to several of the seminars that the Pacific Cup Race puts on and gained a lot of knowledge. I need more to feel comfortable though.
Mitchell
SF to Hawaii in the Pac Cup was my jumping point for my circumnavigation, and also my first offshore passage. I will likely sail Mexico to Hawaii, then to the Victoria area and back down to California to complete my trip. I have done much of the California coast though. Both Half Moon Bay and Drakes Bay are an easy for a one day trip, and nice places to stay the night when you get there. If you don't mind sailing overnight, Monterrey Bay or Santa Cruz are nice destinations also. You will always be in sight of land, and always in VHF range of the Coast Guard.

Get used to looking at the weather. A trip to Half Moon Bay could be an easy few hours, or deadly. Often the conditions outside the gate are opposite what they are inside the gate.

Modern Sailing is a good school/club that I attended. You will meet lots of potential crew on club sails. They have classes (ASA 105/106) that sail from Drakes bay to Monterrey bay over a week. It covers navigation/weather/provisioning/heavy weather tactics etc. It isn't a cheap course, but a great introduction to sailing the Northern California coast.

-warren
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Warren

This morning I read that the Salty Dawgs organisation is putting together a group of boats, right now 180 strong, to sail back to the US from the US Virgin Islands. You might want to check that out.

Jim
 
Yes, I have heard of the group. I didn't know it was that large. I am waiting for a new sail to be delivered, so will be here until late May, after the group has left.
 
SF to Hawaii in the Pac Cup was my jumping point for my circumnavigation, and also my first offshore passage. I will likely sail Mexico to Hawaii, then to the Victoria area and back down to California to complete my trip. I have done much of the California coast though. Both Half Moon Bay and Drakes Bay are an easy for a one day trip, and nice places to stay the night when you get there. If you don't mind sailing overnight, Monterrey Bay or Santa Cruz are nice destinations also. You will always be in sight of land, and always in VHF range of the Coast Guard.

Get used to looking at the weather. A trip to Half Moon Bay could be an easy few hours, or deadly. Often the conditions outside the gate are opposite what they are inside the gate.

Modern Sailing is a good school/club that I attended. You will meet lots of potential crew on club sails. They have classes (ASA 105/106) that sail from Drakes bay to Monterrey bay over a week. It covers navigation/weather/provisioning/heavy weather tactics etc. It isn't a cheap course, but a great introduction to sailing the Northern California coast.

-warren
Hey Warren,
Thanks for your info. I am beginning to look into schools. Hopefully things will normalize a little in the near future so it is possible.
I have sailed since I was 6 or 7 years old. Mostly, racing dinghies and cats, then racing the Moore 24 extensively. But she is just a big fun dinghy. Very little coastal, and only in mild weather. I need to learn more in that area surely, so I can get beyond the Bay. I do watch the weather daily along the California coast and beyond. I have several weather apps on the phone. I would like to begin along our coast as you have suggested, Monterey, Drakes Bay, etc. to gain some insight and experience.
Sonata is more involved than other boats I have sailed. I have said before, the most complicated system on my Moore 24 is the bucket. And it's used for everything, lol.
I hope you're getting along well there,
Mitchell
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Warren
So if you are able to go ashore then it sounds like your biggest issue will be hurricane season. The last couple of years the caribbean has not fared well with the storms. What has been your thinking?

Jim
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
Jim - thanks for the interesting note on Hells Gate. That’s amazing to me that in the 1850s they tunneled under the river and blew it all up as a means of deepening the channel. Wow.

Per Warren’s note: I agree about Modern Sailing in San Fransisco Bay. I took my ASA Instructors training there and it was very well done. Absolutely loved sailing there - it was stunning to bop out onto the water and see the Golden Gate Bridge, downtown San Francisco, and Alcatraz. Accompanied by a lively 20+ knots of wind and a current that was something like 4 or 5 knots as I recall.

Mitchell - we think your Boobie is adorable.

My work has been kind of crazy the last two weeks, but we have managed to get Zia out on 2 and 3 day jaunts. Very relaxing and stress free. We are out on a 3 day trip now and I’m listening to the rain pouring on the deck from our cozy heated cabin. Wonderful!

It’s quarantine day #44 for us, and we feel quite blessed & thankful.

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Mark,
Thank you for your kind words. I had never sailed a little square boat like Boobie. I have been amazed at how well it performs and moves. A little bit squirrelly at times.

Better stay on top of things or water is pouring in over the sides, quickly. Gotta sail flat in this little one. I still haven't had enough wind to really need to hike out my190#. Though it has been pretty breezy. I think I was optimistic when I installed the hiking strap as I was finishing things!

Boobie is great fun, but definitely a young/little persons boat. I am glad I haven't added oarlocks yet, thinking it would be more a tender. I am now looking at inflatables.

San Farncisco Bay can be a challenge, but exciting sailing. I guess we take it for granted here. But you're right, the wind, the City, the Bridges. It's pretty cool. I don't know if it's true, but it has been said, if one can sail SF Bay, they can sail anywhere.

Mitchell
 

rickdowe2

Richard Dowe
Hi Jim,it’s been a while since I have chimed in.
Doing ok in Maine, the place where I work is considered essential so as I write this it is 3 in the morning. I have been doing overnight work so I can watch grandkids during the day for my daughter. The company is operating with only half the normal workforce and at night I rarely see anyone. Mary is a nurse so she is busy but no interactions with Covid patients. I have not had enough time to work on the boat even though it’s In my backyard. I have been trying to wrap up small projects. I made a steam room for Mary for Christmas, just finished. I think the boat will enter the water without having all the projects done that I had on my list. Stay well everyone.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Mark
Thanks for putting up with my babbling on about Hells Gate. I just find the geology and history to be awesome. It also shows that I'm reaching the point of being bored to tears. And I have many hobbies and honey-do's to keep me busy. I just can't imagine the plight of someone stuck at home with no interests or hobbies to fill the time. Years ago I was working at the New York Historical Society doing a major electrical overhaul of their building circa late 1800's. While working in their "stacks", which is where they store all the books, maps, and documents, I found that I was reading history more then I was doing electrical work. There was a book all about the Hells Gate tunnels and explosion that was fascinating.

Rick
Glad to know you guys are doing alright through this. We hope Mary stays safe from the virus on her job. Being a nurse now is not an easy task. I think a lot of us will be happy to just get the boats back into the water. So not all our projects will get the attention they deserve. Our original plan for this summer was to head back up to your neck of the woods. But obviously Maine will have to wait another year with this summer in limbo.

Jim
 
Warren
So if you are able to go ashore then it sounds like your biggest issue will be hurricane season. The last couple of years the caribbean has not fared well with the storms. What has been your thinking?

Jim
I think that sometime in the next few weeks I am going to head to VA. I have some job prospects there that hopefully will work out.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Warren

Great. Which way will you travel up the coast? Up through the Bahamas or out around them, past Hatteras, and into the Chesapeake?

Jim
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Warren

I understand the offshore route. If you come up between Florida and the Bahamas you have a lot of commercial traffic to deal with, but you also have the Gulf Stream to boost you along. Safety over speed is the best way. Let us know when you plan to leave USVI.

Jim
 
Happy to report that Maryland is finally open for boating, with what appear to be some sensible limitations to preserve social distancing. It was a bit too cold to go out today with the Arctic blast that has descended on the Northeast, but we are hoping to get a Mother's Day sail in tomorrow. Between our rig refurb in 2018 and last summer's repower, it will be the first time putting a sail up since July 2018.
 

jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Keefer
Have a Happy Mother's Day and a great sail. Our winds today on the Sound were 15kts from the West. Hope you had the same.

Jim
 
Thanks Jim. Happy Mother's Day to Bonnie and all the other Moms out there in Morganland.

We had SW 15 kts today, perfect sunny skies, and everything worked. Even got the last coat of varnish on all that teak I was dreading taking on.
 

schlepper

John m. Harrison
We finished all of our major winter projects just in time for the season to start, so now on to some decidedly more minor boat work - I spent a solid two hours stitching up our ratty old bimini canvas yesterday in hopes of squeezing one more season out of it. And my wife managed to wedge herself down into the stern locker to build some new shelving for wet storage items. I guess if this keeps going for longer than a few more weeks I may try to get a head start on next winter's list?

Aforementioned wife already suggested we take on the brightwork. Ugh, anything but that! Would much prefer sailing with ugly flaking varnish to that particular form of torture. If it were up to me I'd probably just let it go gray.
Keefer, we had a good bit of sailing in Tampa Bay the last three days. My teak was revarnished about 2 years ago but I was in the process of moving the boat from Clearwater to a surprise opportunity down in Palmetto so I never was able to actually get it finished (as to the number of coats). The work I did do was for naught as it needs to be revarnished again now. I'm almost tempted to take it to natural as well, but when it's fresh with varnish, it does look so good. With that said, I think I am going to wait to re-do mine until the Fall when things cool off a little bit. Summer and varnish down here are tough!!
 

mpearson

Mark Pearson
Staff member
Jim - I hope you splashed Dana?

We had a great night of "unofficial" socially distanced racing last night. About 20 boats from our club. We did okay, but "screwed the pooch" when rounding one of the marks, fouled our jib sheet and lost about 5 minutes getting things straightened out. Main thing is we had a lot of fun. In honor of COVID-19, everyone was either solo, or only had 1 crewmember who they live with. These guys normally race with 5-7 crewmembers.

The sustained winds were about 12mph, but it was gusting above 25mph and we almost got knocked down a couple of times. It's nice: Susan has learned not not to scream in those situations. ;)

Here is a photo, with Mount Hood looking on again.

I hope everyone is getting to use their boats!

Cheers,
-Mark

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jimcleary

James M. Cleary
Mark
We splashed last week and cruised to Oyster Bay, the next harbor over from us, for a couple of days of organizing our stuff. The sail home was a beat in 10 to 15kt winds. The wind was very shifty in direction and velocity but we had fun just the same. It was so nice to be out on the water again.

I read the Scuttlebut newsletter each day and it sounds like sailors and organizations are adapting different ways to be out sailing, racing, or cruising. There is just no stopping an inventive mind. lets hope this virus stuff ends sometime soon so the racers can bring back the deck apes and us cruising folk can have our Grandkids on board again.

Jim
 
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