Posts from — May 2009
OCSC’s adopted schooner, SEAWARD, won the Master Mariners Regatta this past Saturday, May 23. OCSC owners, Rich and Anthony and OCSC member, Jerry Fiddler and family were aboard for the thrilling day on the Bay. A flawless start and sharp mark roundings and course calls added up to a clean sweep across the broad course that covered most of the Bay.
Congratulations to everyone aboard and the fine organization, Call of the Sea, that does so much for getting young people out on the water and preserving the traditions we all cherish.
-Anthony Sandberg, OCSC President & Founder
The Master Mariners Regatta dates back to 1867 when the “Boatmen’s Protective Association made an impressive contribution to the Fourth of July celebration by staging a race between the large coastal schooners and the sailing scows of the San Francisco Bay Area. It was so successful that it was repeated in 1868 and again in 1869. At that time, they reorganized under a new title, Master Mariners Benevolent Association.” The current form of the race was revived in 1965 and is a great event for the classic wooden boats in the Bay.
See the complete race results here.
May 26, 2009 1 Comment
Nick Jaffe is a 27 year old Australian, currently sailing singlehanded from Holland to Melbourne, Australia on a 26ft British sailing vessel named ‘Constellation‘. Nick is currently docked in the Berkeley Marina as he seeks to continue his journey down under. Nick officially departed on the September 17th, 2007, from Monnikendam, Holland, after a passage from Southampton, England.
Nick will be coming to OCSC Clubroom to give a presentation on his voyage on Wednesday, May 27th at 8:30pm. The presentation will be going on immediately following the Wednesday Night Sails. The event will be FREE for members and non-members alike. Bring your friends!
I’ll let Nick introduce himself…
My name is Nick, I am currently sailing singlehanded back home, to Melbourne, Australia. I first sailed a Tazer dinghy in 2003, before crewing in Melbourne, and taking a sailing course in Gibraltar in 2007. I then went on to crew, sail, and refit my own vessel (Constellation), in one of the world’s greatest training grounds: The Solent, UK. I’ve been living on my boat since May, 2007.
The voyage so far
I officially departed singlehanded, on the 17th of September, from Monnikendam, Holland, after a passage from Southampton, England with friends sharing portions of the trip in August, 2007. I sailed north from Vlissingen through the Dutch canal system into Amsterdam, and further on to Monnikendam. [Read more →]
May 23, 2009 1 Comment
Last week we posted about the Junkraft, a team a eco-mariners who sailed on a vessel constructed of garabage from California to Hawaii. The mission of Junkraft was to raise awareness about the plastic waste that is accumulating in our oceans. We think that is a pretty great reason to go sailing.
The Junkraft team is currently on a Junkride, a bicycle tour down the west coast to raise even more awareness about the pressing issue of plastic waste. Dr. Marcus Eriksen, one of the leaders of the Junkraft team, let us know about an event they are hosting during their stop in San Francisco.
The Marine Debris Event:
When: Saturday, May 30th, 2009 1-4pm
Where: Richardson Bay Audobon Center & Sanctuary
376 Greenwood Beach Rd. Tiburon, CA 94920
What: Presentation on Plastic Debris and building a new Junkraft for the Bay!
This should be a fun and informative event. You will learn much more about the problems that plastics are causing in the marine environment, as well as participate in the creation of another Junkraft!
Important: The Junkraft team needs your help!
Please bring one or more plastic bottles to the event to use in constructing the Junkraft. Also, if you are able to donate new or used fishing net or know somewhere or someone who could help find some fishing net, please email Dr. Eriksen as soon as possible!
May 19, 2009 No Comments
Aircraft pilots have a key motivation to avoid the ground unless they are landing. Like pilots, sailors have a key motivation to avoid lee shores, unless those shores happen to be a dock that the sailor intends to land upon.
Many of the problems and mistakes made by pilots flying at low altitude and sailors operating close to a lee shore occur because of a simple oversight; They forget for a quick moment: “Speed equals control.”
Recently a regional commercial jet crashed in Buffalo, NY and the post crash investigation determined something strange. Apparently, the plane crashed mainly due to the failure of the pilot to keep his speed up despite warnings. When a stall warning came on during landing approach, the pilot pulled back on the ‘stick’ to try to climb away from the ground. What the pilot should have done was actually attempt to nose the plane closer to the ground for a moment to pick up speed and regain air flow over his foils (wings). The reason the pilot made this mistake may never be known with certainty, but it is known that in these situations the correct response is often counter intuitive. The pilot, despite his training, may have been psychologically hardwired to pull back on the controls despite his training to do otherwise.
The same psychological trick can happen in sailing. Under sail, the control you have over the direction of the sailboat is, for the most part, a function of its speed..
More boat speed = More water flow over the rudder = More control of the boat’s direction
More Boat Speed = More Control
If the boat loses speed near hard objects, especially lee shores, the risk of collision greatly increases (as does the level of anxiety.) That’s why OCSC works hard on teaching all our students, “Under sail, speed is your friend.”
The next question is: What can we do if we lose boat speed near a lee shore? We need to do just what the pilot needed to do. Head the boat toward danger to escape the danger. In other words, bear away from the wind (even if it gives up precious maneuvering space) while adjusting sails so they are properly trimmed, to accelerate the boat. It may seem imprudent to turn the boat downwind and toward the very rocks you are trying to avoid, but the alternative, heading upwind with the boat stalled (not moving forward), your rudder will have no effect and your boat will drift down on the rocks anyway. This is a little counter intuitive and requires preparation and forethought to overcome your natural inclination to jam the tiller to leeward and ‘wish’ the boat to windward.
What you do after you’ve gained some speed is just as critical. Once you have some speed back, you can turn back closer to the wind and away from the lee shore. However, you must avoid turning too much and putting the boat into irons and losing all the precious speed you just gained. Bring the boat to a close reach, trim your sails properly, ensure you have kept your speed, then trim in and head up carefully until you are close hauled.
1. Under Sail, Speed is your friend.
2. If you lose speed, bear away to a beam or broad reach with proper sail trim until enough water flow is restored over your rudder
3. Once you have speed and can head back upwind, do so deliberately and continue to trim your sails in as you turn up so you keep that hard earned speed.
The good news is that you can practice exactly these skills. One of the coolest courses at OCSC is the Advanced Basic Cruising Course and it is a wonderful tool for drilling OCSC members on their close quarter sailing skills.. we give you the opportunity to sail in VERY tight quarters with full speed and give you multiple exercises to enhance your confidence in control of your J24’s speed and direction at all times under sail. This is just the confidence you need to make the right decision if you ever find yourself losing boat speed just to windward of a lee shore.
May 18, 2009 3 Comments
Have you ever wondered what is going on in the depths of the Bay, been curious how does the wildlife behaves below the surface, or just dreamed of cruising in a submarine? Well, it’s closer than you think. In fact, a personal submarine has already been cruising in the Bay. Graham Hawkes showed off the Deep Flight Super Falcon, a small battery-powered submarine, at the California Academy of Sciences on May 13th, 2009.
The 20 ft winged submarine, Super Falcon, is set to fly around Monterey Bay from June 19th to July 17th, and will be on display to the public when not in use.
The curious craft with its 10-foot wingspread looks like a sleek jet plane, not what it really is: a small submarine capable of flying deep beneath the ocean’s surface to survey whatever’s there. [Read more →]
May 17, 2009 No Comments
A few weeks ago we brought you the story of the Plastiki, a catamaran being constructed out of plastic bottles with aspirations of crossing the Pacific. Turns out, the Plastiki isn’t a totally original idea.
The Junkraft has already completed the trip from California to Hawaii aboard thier plastic bottle-constructed vessel. Two eco-mariners, Dr. Marcus Eriksen and Joel Paschal, sailed a raft built of junk to help call attention to a major oceanic environmental problem – the accumulation of plastic trash in the seas. Their vessel was built from 15,000 plastic bottles and a Cessna 310.
May 11, 2009 No Comments
Save The Bay is the oldest and largest organization working exclusively to protect, restore and celebrate San Francisco Bay. As the Bay’s leading champion since 1961, Save The Bay is committed to making the Bay cleaner and healthier for people and wildlife.
As Sailors, we have seen the problems that plastics are having on the Bay and the oceans. We are committed to doing our part to reduce or eliminate the generation of plastic waste at the club.
May 5, 2009 1 Comment