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Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Third of the Fourth Returns to Port

Bridge decks are made to keep the water out of the cabin should you get pooped. You know they’re handy things to have around. The Capt’ always liked HideAways, bridge deck except when he stubs his toe on it. But the Capt’ was very glad it was there on this occasion as it did a fine job of keeping his neck straight.

With the reef set and the wind still in the 20s and gusting HideAway settled back on her lines and cruised along at a comfortable six knots with no further drama.

SV HideAway - Compac 23

The sky told a different story. All that wind had to come from somewhere and since it came from several directions the guilty parties looked like a prairie schooners circling Boca Ciega Bay. The HideAways finally succumbed to the threat of even higher humidity and upon returning to port found the wind had lain down, the sun peaked through and with the clouds laughed at their joke.

Never the matter the HideAways shall sail again for the fourth time on the fourth.

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Compac Yacht Owners Association

Monday, July 19, 2010

On the End of the Boom of Doom

Falling back into the cockpit narrowly missing in what would have been an unfortunate and expensive trip to Compac for a new tiller the HideAways settled, if it could be called that, into blasting along with their rail firmly planted in the water. 6.0 - 6.5 – 6.7 - 6.8 -7.1 claimed the GPS. That’s’ not possible maintained the Capt. Perhaps the tide suggested the crew. Tacking back produced high sixes as HideAway roared along her rail awash and her crew tiring quickly. A reef was in order and soon.

Reefing HideAway is a one man show as long as the crew handles the tiller. Rather than round into the wind HideAway heads up a little and lets the main out enough to luft then hardens the jib to keep the boat moving.

Kneeling by the mast on the house the Capt removes the sail stopper and stows it in a pocket then releases the main halyard to drop two sail slugs off the mast. The outhaul line is lead forward along the boom so it is an easy task to set the clew. Then the tack is cleated to the mast and the main halyard hauled in less time than it takes to explain the process.

During the reefing process the boom slides down the mast a few inches which can be viewed as lowering the center of effort and that is not a bad thing during a high wind event. The bunt lines are tied in later.

Of course if something happens to the crew the whole process can take an unpleasant course. The Capts’ first indication of a problem came with the swinging boom and the realization the boat had unexpectedly tacked and that he was on the wrong side of the boom. Raising for the second time that day, the possibility of the Capt swept over board, this time by the other end of the boom.

The Capt dived towards the boom of doom hoping to clear the bottom of the boom and top of the cabin to land somewhere on the bridge deck. A wise choice considering the options, however

To be continued . . .

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sailing On The End of the Boom - A Boom Reach

The engine dies, the sails go up, HideAway falls off on a nice 5kn reach – Life is good. Towering clouds all around us gives the feel of sailing on a mountain lake. The building wind from under those mountains and an occasional rumble and perhaps a flash now and then give way to thoughts of reefing and home miles away.

The rail in the water provoked the Capt to admit the outhaul had slipped its cleat requiring immediate adjustment rather than a reef of HideAways loose footed main. Precariously balanced standing on the stern blindly reaching for the out haul line and fighting the strength of the wind on the main sail the Capt thought of the new throw ring sitting safely on a table at home waiting for paint to dry and that it just may be possible to fall off of a Compac 23 with her rail in the water and her Capt hanging from the end of the boom.

To be continued . . .

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Adventures of the HideAways Independance Day July 4th

Of Fire Crackers Water and Wind 2010

Day 1

The residue of the seasons’ first hurricane drenched the Florida west coast for the days preceding the Independence Day Holiday. Next a cold front stalled only a few miles north of our favorite sailing area. Like two Sumo wrestlers, the heavy weather south of Tampa Bay could not advance northward bullied by the late season cold front pushing south. Boca Ciega Bay near Gulfport seemed to be protected by a large dome of invulnerability. But how long could it last?

The HideAways were among the few that brought enough luck along in their sea bag to search for the answer to that very question. The HideAway slipped her dock lines with a full main sail, 110 jib and half an engine.

It is a sailboat after all the Capt explained.

To be continued  . . .

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Independance Day Watermelon Racing -HideAway WINS BIG

Boca Ciega Yacht Club of Gulfport Fl occasionally sponsors an under-appreciated Independence Day Watermelon Race that starts from a small beach unknown to the public.

The race, sanctioned by the Sailing Watermelon Racing Authority, headquartered until recently under an Australian Pine tree in the back yard of the club, has few rules other than all vessels must be powered by natural wind only. Gas cartridges, helium balloons, electric fans and race-trained pulling fish are specifically excluded as propulsion sources.

Due to the nature of watermelons and the summer heat of Florida vessels cannot be constructed more than 24 hours before the race to maintain efficient hull shape. Watermelons are selected with great care to assure the best hull shape.

One competitor this year travelled hundreds of miles in this quest, however most haunted local purveyors for days searching for a melon with the perfect hull shape. Rumors that watermelon racing enthusiasts construct molds to grow their own melons have not been proven true.

The twin masted HideAway started slow in the down wind race then deftly spun on her beam ends to avoid a collision with a gaggle of other craft to quickly gain the lead which she did not relinquish until crossing the finish line floundering immediately thereafter.

"I used a semi-dihedral sail plan with twin masts set on a flying arch and hull mounted booms” Explained the Race Design Manager for the HideAways to the Local Press Reporter on the scene. “The absence of a keel gave the vessel its ability to maneuver away from the fleet and the spinning dance down wind gave spectators a sight”

"It looked like a spinning top" The Local Press Reporter reported

"But we won" R.D.M.

"Your sails are not a true dihedral" Stated a local famous yacht designer

"But we won" R.D.M.

"You had no keel" the Porch Committe declared "and it didn't sail straight"

"It's a sailing watermelon what does is matter?" explained the Race Design Manager
"Besides we won"
Editors' Note: The last win the HideAways posted was 2nd overall in the Hutchins Compac Regatta of 1998.
Follow The Adventures of the HideAways on video at SVHideAway

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Welcome Aboard the SV HideAway

Join us on the SV HideAway as we explore Florida's West Coast searching for treasure and enlightenment aboard a 23' Compac sail boat - An adventure in itself . . . .

We seek to capture the essence of sailing, how to plan a cruise, what to do when something breaks, the stresses and the joys of the sport, the technical aspects of entering a port of call recorded live as it occurs.

You will hear and see what really happens aboard a small cruising sailboat as well as at our ports of call all without getting wet although you may want to keep a spray bottle of water handy for use at the appropriate moments.

So climb aboard the SV HideAway and let's go sailing