Sat. started early. My nearly perfect wife, the Lady Zen, got up early, unexpected by me and made me breakfast and lunch. It was a pleasant surprise as I was ready to do my make protein drink and grab a sandwich at Safeway sailing Sat run. So, nice breakfast of blueberry pancakes and a couple of sandwiches later. One Tuna and one vegetarian BLT by the way. I was off to The Second Part of Coastal cruising.
I was expecting it to be cold, thinking we were going to Angel Island. The weather report was calling for a high of about 60 degree. Therefore I planned it on being even cooler on the water. Time for the silk Long Johns, yup silk Long John, they are the bomb! Those plus a fleece jacket and my serious windbreaker from off Zen. and a extra sweatshirt, I was ready. Better too hot than cold is my motto.
Easier to take off what you do not need than to put on what you do not have
...book of Zen sailing edition.
So down at the dock, it is cloudy and fair cool, not cold but cool enough that I was glad to have on the John's. Which is most likely why it was not cold just cool.
So the guys are down getting the boat ready, sadly it was not the boat I was expecting and we were told we were using. That one, the 30fter had engine problems. Bummer!!! I was hoping to get on something larger than mine. C'est La Vie!
So we spend the next hour or so getting things ship shape and hearing the plan for the day.
We reef the Main sail at the dock. Even though the wind in the Estuary was not that strong, once we hit the Bay it would pickup seriously! So finally we and the Tanzer 7.5 are ready. This is a so so boat, at least all the control go to the cockpit. So we are off for an very uneventful day.
We head out of the Estuary, the winds are light, our progress was SLOW. Add to the low winds we were reefed. So after much tacking it is now Lunch time or after so we stop at Jack London Square the now normal spot for lunch.
It is the weekend of the Boat show. It was not the big Sail boat show of the spring , this was a smaller mixed boat show. One could not get in without paying. Which I still think is weird. They have a show for one to buy stuff , but you have to pay to go buy...
Well needless to say, I did not go, I looked at a few cool and VERY expensive boat from over the fence after I ate lunch.
We docked again in the free public dock there at Jack London. That is a great thing they have. If I am ever
over that way sailing I will make use of it. The Estuary is kind of a nice place to sail, if you can deal with lots of boat traffic and a lot of tacking.
After a bit we head out again, now the plan has changed, we are not going to Angel island too far , just out into the Bay a bit and sail around. Still we are making SLOW progress with the winds. Did I say I was bored, yes , way bored today. But at least I was warm, perfect. We did not do much in the way of learning something new, just practicing sail trim. By the time we made it to the mouth of the estuary it was time to turn around and go back . Did I mention I was bored.
We encounter a lot of traffic on the way by to our home dock. Seems all the others who went out for the day were returning the same time as us. We got to see several nice trimerans fly past us with their Spinnakers up. They are quick boats. Once the wind catches the Spin. they jump like stepping on the gas in a car.
Ok so we do a few man over board drills. The teacher
tries to do a surprise one on me, while I'm on a run. But I saw it coming...Please you have to do better than that! So no biggie. It did take me a couple of passes to pick up the "man". The reefed main, really effected the handling and dodging several boats in the way made for a bit of a challenge. So that was the most interesting part of the day so far for me.
After class the Lady Zen had taken the Train into Oakland and I picked up her at Jack London Square. Form there we headed over to Alameda to the Cal boat affair at the Encinal Yacht Club
Professor J of Spindrift
( in picture ) invited us over to meet and see his band. He also had a boat in the event. He was in charge of the event turns out. He had both of his boats there the CAL and the Islander "Dog days
". So finally after a while of reading his blog and missing him here and there, we got to meet.
Spindrift is the blue boat in the Picture, Dog Days is off the Port Bow
Great Guy BTW. We got a tour of the Islander, Lady Zen loved it.
It is a very comfortable boat. We would not mind having one like that. Of course, having the money to buy one like that would be nice!!!
We hung out awhile at the dock, chating with a few friendly folks. We got a couple of boat tours from a few nice folks, and saw some impressive boats.
So now we are getting hungry, so we head inside for dinner at The Club. (heheh hey Captn Bob I said it too)
We get a nice view of the dock for the bar room at first to get a feel for the place.
Then move into the dinner room
The menu was nicer than expected. There were two menus in fact. One from the bar grill another from the restaurant. Prices were reasonable we were surprised.
I had two fish tacos with a salad, which was excellent! Lady Zen had chicken lettuce wraps. She said they were also excellent, we both had Salmon Creek Merlot, again yup, excellent!
After eating our fill, we relaxed and listened to the band. Professor J the band leader on keyboard and the rest were excellent. They played, Standards and Classic Jazz. It was nice,
They looked like they were really enjoying themselves, even though the audience was somewhat small. Those that were there enjoyed it. It is better to play for a small group that enjoys it rather than a large group that could care less. It makes a difference in the energy.
So that was our Sat. It was nice ending to a long mostly boring day. Lady Zen was pleased to be out doing something new. She said she'd never been to a Yacht Club hanging out, so it was an event for her as well as riding the Amtrak train here in the states.
Home to bed...
Sunday the finals...
So now it is Sunday the last day of the class. Most of the morning was spent, well at least two hours of it spent on the paper test. Grrrr. That was the hard part. Really the only part I had concerns on. Some of the wording is weird as well as the drawings. Somethings are kind of relative and obscure. Somethings are only lightly touched on in the book.
So we sat on the benches answering the questions and fought off the ants. I was kind and just blew them away instead of smashing them.
After the test, we spent time getting yet another boat ready for the sailing of the day. This one was an Erickson. The nicest one we sailed so far. Roller Jib, handled well, comfortable, all lines to the cockpit. Sweet. So after the paper test, and the knot tying test, we had lunch and reviewed the paperwork.
From there after spending 1/2 hour trying to get the motor running, only to find out they had something set wrong we took off.
The day started out with zero wind, however by the time we got going the winds had picked up to moderate. Today had no plans to go far. Just to test us on points of sail we all got a couple of turns. It was a nice little sail, things had cleared up weather wise, which started out as very overcast.
So whilst we were doing our points of sail the instructor was making the paper test. After I had finished my turn at the helm, I get called down below. I knew he was working on the test, and I thought, oh no, I failed, he is calling me aside to tell me. However as I was going below he says to all. I just want to go over your test with you, everyone passed. Ahhh relief.
So we go over my answers, he said you do not have many wrong. We went over those few, one of which after I explained thing to him my feeling on the choices and answer he changed to correct. So my finally score was 96 out of 100 point. Sweet!
So we rotate around at the helm whilst everyone got their scores. Then we just sailed around for a while. After a while of not doing anything but sitting I got bored again. Thing got somewhat more interesting when we got involved in a race with another sailboat. Another Ericson in fact. They did not know we were racing but we did :-)
After they went into dock we headed back to home base. I sat on the foredeck and took a cat nap while the others sailed down the channel, wing n wing mostly.
After a bit I get called to take it into dock. I stretch and rise to the occasion. Give a few command, get the sails lowered and motor in. I check out the feel of the boat, and the current.
We drift a little, I check out our entry, and say. Ok, put it in gear give me a just little power...
I made the approach, and say ok, cut it...
we drift in...
The bow gets right to the dock, I push the helm over a bit, the man on the bow steps lightly on the dock and the boat stops...
The instructor turns looks at me and says...
The grads Zen, Michael, Wilson, Anthony & the instructor Mike