December has been a busy month with the past two weeks particularly full! Last time I blogged I mentioned the pending protest against Dorade after the second race of the Seaweed soup Winter Series. We were protested by Spirit of Elvis for our leeward mark rounding, claiming we did not give them room at the mark. They were found in the wrong by the RC at GGYC as we gave them room to round the mark and when they sailed past it we turned up and cut between them and the mark. Dorade kept our place in that race and Elvis was thrown out.
After all that excitement we needed to get the boat decked out for the StFYC Holiday Light Parade. I witnessed the Sausalito light parade the weekend before and realized this is quite a serious affair in the bay area. Realizing I needed many more lights than I had, I visited every CVS and Riteaid in the Marin area. I bought out one store and went to another for more strands of Warm White LED strands. I feel bad for anyone trying to decorate their house, it seems all the stores are running out! We ran lights up and over the two masts, like you would dress flags, down the shrouds and around the life lines. The final touch was to add icicle lights hung under the boom. The parade itself was lots of fun with some Christmas music, eggnog and good friends. The only things missing were Matt and Pam, they were unable to make it back from the airport in time, it would have been perfect if they were able to be on board. We even won a prize!
The festive lights only lasted that one night, as we had team practice last weekend. Two very successful days of evolutions, sail changes, driving practice and a man over board drill. On day one we concentrated on sail changes and setting the pole. Running the rigging and brainstorming solutions to poling out an A sail and setting the symmetrical spinnaker as well. On day two we practiced maneuvering in much less wind. Communication was an emphasis, how and what to say and who to say it is a key feature in any successful team. Ashley was nice enough to volunteer to bring a dry suit and I think she surprised quite a few people when she jumped overboard! After a safe and successful pickup of our MOB, we headed into the yacht club to warm up. Thanks to everyone who made it out for a good weekend.
Monday was the start of a very busy week. The main butterfly hatch has been leaking again and it was discovered that some of the corners were rotten through. What looked like a smallish project turned into a major repair. Trying to come by Honduran Mahogany to match what we have on board was difficult as well but we found some and it’s going to look really great when it’s all finished.
A couple functional aesthetics were tended to this week. The mast bracket for the new B&G displays came back from Tony. It is a larger bracket to hold 4 displays. It is shiny and new at the moment but will be nice and green soon, with a little weathering and some sailing. The life rings came back from Valhalla sign works as well. They are now painted with Dorade and New York with StFYC and Two Star Maritime burgees. They look beautiful and will adorn the boat in decoration and as a throw able safety device.
An unplanned project came about yesterday when the contents of the black tank started spraying out of its breather valve. I spent the day cleaning up what had sprayed out and fixing the breather cap. Just goes to show yachting isn’t all glamour!