Nose Job

Yeah, the rumors are true.  In the last race of the last VARC regatta of the year, we hit the committee boat at the start of the race.

The damage to Occam's is not pretty, that's for sure.

But Mark immediately went to work on doing what it takes to get the boat fixed and back on the water quickly.
(Photo by Olaf)

What this shows is that lightweight carbon fibre is no match for heavily build fibreglass.  I did a little reconnaissance after the fact to check on Blue Peter (the boat we hit), and there is not a scratch.  I don't think it's the first time that boat has been hit in the course of it's duties.
Blue Peter is non the worse for wear.

Now, we just have to figure out what to do about the paint scheme.  I'm thinking something along these lines...
Yeah, a nice shark's mouth!

The exact timeline for getting back in the water has yet to be determined, but I'm thinking late February at this point.  Stay tuned!

The Story of the Go Pro

Once upon a time, there was a young woman with a Go Pro camera.  She thought it would be cool to set it up on the stern pulpit of Occam's Razor for the Swiftsure race this year.

So, she fastened it to the rail, set it to take a still photo every minute, and off we went.

Well, about 3 hours into the race, the camera fell off!!  We're not sure what happened, but if you look at one of the early videos of the race posted on the blog, you'll see that we had just noticed that the Go Pro was gone.

Naturally, we all thought that was the end of the Go Pro experiment.

Not so fast!

A couple of months on, and Mark received an email from Port Angeles.  It seems that the Go Pro, which was in a waterproof case, and had a float attached to it, had drifted all the way from Race Rocks, across the Strait of Juan de Fuca, to the American shore and ended up on the beach.  A young girl, walking on the beach with her parents found the camera.  They looked at the pictures, noted the sail number, and tracked Mark down!!!!

Soon, the camera was back in Janet's hands, and here is what we found on the camera.

So, with many thanks to the young girl in Port Angeles, here is the start of Swiftsure......

(Music by Hole)

New Toys

For those who have not heard, Mark has been very busy working, and upgrading our sail inventory!

To date, we have taken delivery of a brand new North 3DL Light #1, and two lightly used Farr 40 kites, one of which will be a major light air weapon.

We went out on Saturday the 18th to check out the new duds, see below.

View from the Helm - Swiftsure 2014 – A Tale of Two Days

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” C. Dickens.

I was going to recall the entire race, but I think hitting the highlights (and the low lights) is a better way….

So, a few random thoughts and impressions:
  • I have done a number of Swiftsures in the past, but not in about 20 years, and never as the Skipper.  The good news is that the basic course is still the same, and the experience is still a highlight of the year.
  • The inner harbour on the Friday before the race is a fantastic place to see people and boats.
  • The beer lines at the Skipper’s Meeting are too long!
  • They need more dishes at Lure.
  • 7am boat time is EARLY!  But breakfast wraps are a big help!
  • A long start line is a big plus when sharing the start with 70 footers.
  • Going through Race Passage against the tide is a whole lot better when there is a good breeze.
  • There are big gains to be made for those willing to go right in on the rocks.
  • Look out for the Orcas!
  • Don’t get too fixated on one aspect of the changing conditions.
  • Be willing to adjust your strategy as warranted.
  • If all your competition is splitting from you, cover the fleet!
  • Sailing in super light air is a huge challenge, but big gains can be made.
  • The Code 0 can be a major weapon.  And having the apparent wind be almost 90 degrees ahead of the true wind direction is a weird experience the first time it happens.  And depressing when the ride stops.
  • The best place to be when the drifter is hoisted is down below in a bunk.
  • You can’t really suck a hard boiled egg through the shell.
  • Chocolate covered espresso beans are the best candy.
  • 12 hours is about the limit that a group of 12 people can stand going absolutely no where before they start to go stir crazy and pour water on each other (in the rain)!
  • Pulling the plug and quitting a race is never easy, no matter how desperate the situation is.
  • It’s a long way from Port Renfrew to Victoria, even under power at 7 knots.
  • 11pm on a Sunday is not a great time to try to find food in Victoria.
But seriously, as I said on the way in to the harbour, I am very impressed by the effort everyone put in prior to, and during, the race.  The group did very well together, and everyone got along and did their best.

The foredeck team in particular did a fabulous job keeping things straight, even when there were three sails on the foredeck.

Again, I appreciate the effort from everyone, and I look forward to sailing with everyone again.


Happy Skipper

Where's the beer?!

Sunny sleigh ride home

Heading back home from Swiftsure 2014.

Swiftsure 2014

Whale watching

Photograph By Clint "Showtime" Rivers, Clint Rivers
On the beat to Swiftsure Bank, a pod of Orcas came in for a close inspection of Occam's Razor.

Leading the Opener

On the second day of racing at the VARC Opener, Occam's Razor secured her first-place finish with another pair of bullets. Thanks RVYC for another great event!

The chase is on...

VRC Polar Bear Series #9


The fleet took a beating but survived
WVYC Snowflake Winter Series #5

Reaching Hard

WVYC Snowflake Winter Series #4