Tuesday, September 21, 2010

First Ever Motorized Lynx 16 Catboat Sail

Early Sunday the 19th found me on another pre-workshift sail into the harbor with our July 4th Sailing Pavilion bouncer Andy Carvalho and Linda Greene.  Having two lifeguards aboard is great assurance if I fell in!

There's a saying a watched tea pot never boils but it might also extend to the wind.  If you go searching for it, it might not be there.  This was certainly the case, as the only wind we felt was from the apparent wind generated by our motorised movement.  OK there was some, but so little that we would never have gotten past the Coast Guard station on it alone.

Instead, by firing up the 4-stroke, 4 HP engine we went south and then East of Long Island, through the Nubble Channel (still searching for wind).  We found much evidence of wind...far away...cruise ships were making unexpected stopovers here to avoid the hurricane just several hundred miles to the east.
Linda Greene surveys the incoming Cruise ship while Andy Carvalho (sits) watch on the port side. (MS 1645 AW)

We did establish that you can do a motor trip on 4HP in four hours barring excessive boatwakes.  Yeah, another 2 or 3 HP would've been great...better yet a twin engine mount! 

I know I know...we didn't set sail but then again, I am told that these type of boats were primarily engine powered during the non-summer seasons when used as a workboat, so history partially had us covered!

Everyone is happy to return to the Home Waters - heading West on the Charles River. MS 1645 AW

The wind did finally fill in on the inner harbor - just as we were about to enter the Charles River locks to go back home (where there was barely any wind again)... Maybe that was Nature's way of saying, "C'mon again and give it one more shot!"

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Harbor Trip: Herding Catboats


Yesterday we took three Lynxes into Boston Harbor.  Since this trip was our largest ever, I really wanted to get some photos.  After lunch on Spectacle Island, Kong-Jie agreed to stay behind on the dock in order to take pictures as we sailed past in formation.  He must have had a lot of trust in us to come and get him afterwards!  He took fantastic photos.  I'm in sail #6!

On top of the North Drumlin on Spectacle Island
with the Boston skyline in the background.

While we were on the island, we hiked up to the top of the North Drumlin.  I love seeing the markers for Boston Main Channel from up there.  We got a group shot of all of us, with a great view of the Boston skyline.  You can see the kite lines in the background.  You can make your own kite at the island, and it flies itself at the top of the drumlin! 

Nevermore got in touch with us and relayed their location, off of Deer Island.  Kong-Jie got a very dramatic shot of them next to the the sludge digesters, flying their mainsail and genoa.  This photo was taken from the top of the North Drumlin on Spectacle Island, the tallest spot in the harbor.

On our way back, Nevermore caught up to us, and we got shots of her flying her spinnaker.  She seemed much smaller from another boat then she does when you're aboard her!
"Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'"
Photo by Carie Cardamone.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

September 11, 2010 - Harbor Trip

Conan, JoAnn and I (Melitta) went on a morning trip to the harbor yesterday.

It was a gorgeous sunny day with blue sky and small cumulus clouds stacked up. The wind was up on the harbor after a flat and calm river. We started off with one reef and the Lynx was loving it. Later the wind dropped a bit and we took the reef out.

It was a short morning trip so we only went out to Castle Island and stopped by to say hi to Matt Wall on our way back. Matt was out on Nevermore working on a repair.There were quite a few people out sailing, tons of kayakers and I'm pretty sure we saw every duck boat while on our way back up the river. So many were out enjoying the river and the day.

JoAnn got some great pictures of planes landing at Logan. It was bittersweet to realize that we were out on the harbor sailing under the flight path from Logan on September 11, 2010. It was a day, time and activity that all
three of us felt lucky about. Check out a few more
pictures http://sailing.mit.edu/gallery2/v/general/HarborTripSept112010/.

Hope we get out a few more times this season! The fall is a great time to sail.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Harbor Trip: With a Little Help From My Friends

Motoring underneath the MBTA Railroad Bridge
with the mast down.
On August 28, we took two Lynxes on a harbor trip to Spectacle Island. It was marked by a lot of equipment failure, but we made it out and back safely despite the problems. It all started when our yoke broke. (The yoke helps hold the gaff to the mast.) We'd just stepped our mast and raised sail.  We did a slow, gentle jibe in very light air when a bolt fell out of the yoke! It turned out that the bolts were older copper bolts, and were due to be replaced anyway.  

We lowered our sail and started our engine. Since Tom's boat was also out on the harbor, we decided to keep going under power. We had another boat nearby if we had engine trouble, and that way we could help him out if anything happened. It's always nice to have backup! We motored down the Sculpin Ledge channel, around Spectacle Island and back to the docks. While we were waiting for Tom, we hiked up the South Drumlin, and saw his boat sailing towards the docks. They dropped their sail, but then raised it again.  We heard on the radio that their engine had died!  So we helped them dock their boat and had lunch together on the island to decompress.

After lunch, we decided to tow Tom's boat back. We rigged a towing bridle from side cleat to side cleat, and then tied the painter to the bridle. Someone had to manage the bridle the whole time to stop it from knocking the engine, but it worked pretty well. We made it safely back and certified Simon as a new Lynx harbor skipper!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Scuba Diving Underneath Nevermore

The old centerboard line. (Photo by Ted Young.)
On August 18th, Ted Young and I dove underneath Nevermore and tied on a new centerboard line. We moored the boat by Rainsford Island. When we got there it was slack tide, and the current wasn't bad. But by the time we got suited up and in the water, it was flowing pretty fast with the tide coming in. So we ran lines under the boat to hang onto, and then it was okay. I jumped in without my fins on and put them on in the water, but I don't think I'd do that again with that much current.

We did it in three descents.  First I tied a bowline through the padeye on the centerboard.  I cable tied it down, and clipped off the ends. Then we surfaced and got the hose that protects the line from chaffing.  We descended and put that on the line, and I tied it on with a reef knot.  Then we attached the centerboard line to the wire that we threaded down through the mast.  We signaled for them to pull the line up by hitting my dive light on the hull three times, but they didn't hear, after two tries.  So we ascended, and told them to pull the line up.  Then we descended once last time to check it, and everything looked great!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Kazakoffs get hitched! (And a boat)

I attended a belated wedding reception yesterday for Miro and Elizabeth Kazakoff.  (Miro is an MIT Sloan 2nd year.)  Just prior to the event, the three of us took a spin around the Charles River in a luxurious Cape Cod Cat Boat.  Of course, we wore life jackets for the majority of the trip, but took a couple of pictures without them for posterity.

The weather was perfect; the breeze was blowing an ideal 8 knots.  One thing I learned is that boarding and unboarding (word?) a boat in high heels can be quite a challenge.  Congratulations to Elizabeth, who made it look easy.

Gwen and Travis followed us in a chase boat and snapped photos the whole way.  I think they came out great.  The rest of the album is attached.

Friday, August 13, 2010

MIT Sailing | Hello World!

This is the 1st blog post of the MITSailing Blog. We're officially out there. I hope that this will blossom into a forum for user generated stories about sailing at MIT. As the birth-place of collegiate sailing, it's a wonder how we have avoided having a blog before now.

See you on the interweb,

-Tom Rose, Commodore