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Sat, Oct. 16th, 2010, 08:23 am
Well, I must be heading toward the end of my really serious racing thoughts. Got an offer a bit back for my spare mast. Stars when raced really hard can go through masts, and they are more expensive to replace than old hulls. Some people buy old Stars just for the masts. I picked on up down in California a few years ago when I first started getting into racing the boat down in Victoria and was concerned about the mast that came with #6983. A very strange mast that really wanted to invert all the time if you did not keep it very heavily pressured back. So when Rick The Star Guy was doing a trip up the coast to deliver a boat I asked if he had any lightly used spare masts he could bring at the same time, to save a lot of shipping hassle, and he had a virtually new Emmetti, so I bought it. Its been sitting as a backup ever since and #6983 is long gone by this time, with its original mast still intact. The fellow down in Victoria that first got me into racing Stars, Malcolm Smith, is putting together a new boat for himself and he is a big Emmetti fan, so wanted to put one on in place of the quite fine Sparteck mast that came with the boat. We briefly discussed price and his offer was far too good to refuse for a spare I was not looking to be needing anyway, so I said yes and he came up and collected it. But I think my ease at letting it go means I am no longer seriously considering putting in the time and effort to get the skills to be at the top of the regionals. I still plan to race locally, and on occasion take #7612 to a regatta up here on the Island and in Vancouver, or even down to Washington or Oregon, but not likely to go past that. Must be getting old... :)
Thu, Jun. 24th, 2010, 07:19 am
Again it has been a while. There was a meeting at the RVYC during the winter to try to get some sort of Star racing organized again, but it was all the same people, so I did not hold out a lot of hope. As spring hit, that proved accurate, with the first night getting 5 boats but from there on 2-3 being the norm. This continues to make it not really worth while for me to keep the racing boat down there, so instead it sits on its trailer and I just run it to the occasional regatta, having for the time continued to have given up on weekly racing. I did do the first 4 races of the season at the local Ladysmith club but won all 4, so do not intend to race there again this season. Not only is it mainly handicap racing, as there is only one other Star to compete against, but also the competition is just not enough to keep me interested, plus it is better for overall relations with club members not to overwhelm their local events calendar. So, this year is going to be pretty light on racing too, from the looks of it.
Fri, Nov. 27th, 2009, 09:49 am
Well, it has been some time. The drought of the summer finally ended about a month ago. This year it went for almost 7 months, basically from mid March to mid October with virtually no rain, and never any above what they call a shower or a trace. That was a lot of watering plants and trees to keep things alive. When it did start raining about 6 weeks ago, it tried to make up for the previous dry spell. I think we have had 300+ mm in the last 6 weeks, which has had me down to Trapezium next to the dock at Ladysmith Marina more often to bail out the boat than to sail it. Today, however, looks to be clear, going up to +8C, and moderate winds, so I will take her out today, for only the second or third time this November. It has been wet.
Meantime Piranha sits out back all set up for winter and long term storage on her trailer. All the cleanup for her has been done, everything packed away, and general organization done. I popped off the back bumper completely, just to make her fit the spot better and of late all I do is occasionally sweep off the cedar and fir needles that fall on the cover. Down in Victoria, Star racing has stopped completely. There were only 3 of us racing there after the spring series (where there had been 6-7 regularly), and when I pulled the boat back up here last July, that went down to only 1-2 showing up on Wednesday nights, but when September hit both of those quit too, and since not a single Star has shown up for any round the buoy or regatta. Basically, the class is now dormant on the Island except for the two of us up here in Ladysmith, and racing here is mainly over until next February.
It had a really good run, but these sorts of things do tend to go in cycles. If it starts to pick back up, I will take Piranha back down there and do it again, but if not, well, I have a spare Star ready to take off to regattas just sitting out back ready to go. :)
Tue, Jul. 28th, 2009, 04:33 pm
Today we went down to Victoria early, trying to miss the heat of the middle of the day, to collect my Star from down at the RVYC and bring it back up here to North Oyster.
For the first series of Wednesday night races this year we had excellent participation with 4-6 boats out each night (I ended up with a second place overall for that first series), but as the second series started that fell to only 3 and the club instead of starting the Stars on their own mixed us in with a couple of other classes, which is a very negative thing. The result was it dropped to only 1 or 2 boats. At that point it is not worth it for me to make the trip down, and with no indication it is going to change this year, I figured I would stop taking up foreshore space and paying for it, and instead wait to see if things improve. I can always bring the boat back down then.
So, We were there by a bit after 10AM and the boat came apart for transport very smoothly, plus the setup on this trailer for transport is super smart (German trailer) with screw down clamps to hold the boat in position and on top of the clamp system there are mount places for spare masts, booms, etc. I strapped on both masts, both booms, got everything ready, and then discovered that the trailer also needs a 1 7/8s ball, not the 2 incher more common to Star trailers. A fast trip to Home depot near by found them out of that size, but there was a Canadian Tire not far from there, and though I hate buying at CT, it always has that sort of stuff, so I went in, got one for a big $7, and with only an hour delay for all that we were off with the boat heading north. Air conditioner on full. By 2pm Piranha was parked out back of the house. Too hot to clean it up, put on a cover, and clear out the storage lockers today. Maybe tomorrow morning.
Cool on the lower level, though, so I straightened out the sails, re-rolled as needed, put the boat cover in the washing machine for a good cleaning, and generally organized. Much better than being outside today. On the news the other night, when talking about this heat spell we are having, the meteorologist said it was seriously unusual to have this sort of heat for this duration here. It happened back in 2004, but prior to that the last time was in 1928. A completely stalled high rather than the normal line of weak ones moving past seems to be the culprit.
Tue, Jul. 14th, 2009, 09:40 pm
My major task of a the weekend was to finally replace the ceiling fan in the living room area. It was the last light fixture remaining from when we bought the house and I have hated it from day one. Those tulip bulb type shades drive me nuts. Plus, as we replaced the oil heat with a heat pump when doing the renovations after buying the house, the ceiling fan itself became redundant.
Two problems with doing all this held it off. First, I was not smart enough to buy two identical light fixtures at the same time for both the bedroom and the living room. The bedroom one we replaced almost immediately, and in the ensuing years, its 'style' became hard to find. Eventually (well, 4 years later), with occasional stop ins at lighting places and rums past the lighting sections at department stores, we found one that though not identical is pretty close, certainly close enough not to matter except to a decorating fanatic, and neither of us qualify.
The second problem is that the fixture is on the main carrier log for the peak of the roof, which from the living room floor is about 20 feet up. That means a very long ladder and working at really awkward positions with very heavy and breakable items. So, even after having the new fixture for a few months, I hesitated. But Friday I borrowed the required ladder from the neighbor across the road and gave it a run.
Generally, I suppose, it went well. Or as well as could be expected. The old fixture did not want to come off and because two of the attachment screws were on the opposite side from the ladder and it could only go up on one side, things had to be done backwards and faced away. And that thing is seriously heavy. Eventually it came off, but doing so bent up mounts so that getting the new one on was a major trial. And it is not light either, though no where near as heavy as the fan.
So, it is done, works well, and looks good. But now I have this fan. Which is the point of this story. It is a seriously heavy duty type, probably 15 + years old but works perfectly, brass, 5 blades, 4 bulb sockets, and moves a lot of air. Free to anyone that wants it and will pay the shipping. Let me know.
Fri, May. 16th, 2008, 02:40 pm
I just got back from sailing. Remarkable day. I ended up in a BC Moment on the way back. I was in a light air (4-5 knots) broad reach (solo sailing my International Star) and a pod of orca surfaced around me. They stuck with me from outside Transfer Beach through the narrows and all the way down to the sawdust barge pier at the mills, about 2 NM.
Distance varied between 5 and 15 meters the entire way. 5 of them, I am pretty sure. A calf and an adult that always surfaced together, two adults that always surfaced together, and a single adult that was always by himself. Or there might have been two singles, but no way to be sure.
They were short dorsal fin, by the way, and all seemed to have sort of lighter grey patch somewhat in front of the dorsal fin.
Most cool. :)
Mon, Apr. 28th, 2008, 07:58 am
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