Crewing and Rendezvousing

Having a hole in my boat has not stopped me from enjoying the gorgeous weather and the fun of sailing, both on and off the water. A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of sailing aboard Story a Cape George Cutter. Its captain, Jim, asked me and two others along for Sunday’s local regatta race, and with the winds perfect and sun shining, I naturally hopped aboard. And over this past weekend I met more fine people and drooled over spectacular boats when I attended the Perry Rendezvous. 

First, the race. The wind was ideal. About seven boats gathered in the bay, sails up, cruising around waiting for the start. Jim didn’t want to cheat by getting too close to the start line before race time, so we made a loop. By the time the horn blared to signal the race’s start, we were in last place. Jim is, like many people, more honorable than I. My competitive nature sometimes gets the best of me, and I would’ve been as close to the start line as possible. But Jim’s a good guy.

A Cape George is a full keeled, heavy ballasted boat. Translation: not quick in light winds. We stayed in last place until reaching heavier winds, and then Story came to life. Jim manned the helm, I took the starboard jib sheet, and Amber, a new friend we’d met that very day, took the port jib sheet.

We were having so much fun sailing, Story heeling and speeding along the water like a champion, we unanimously decided to abandon the race and head south, so Jim could fly the asymmetrical spinnaker (wind was northerly). It was a fun sail, made great by good company, laughs, and wind. I did lose a great hat, though, and that bums me out. Anyway, a few photos, courtesy of Amber’s camera:

The crew! Jim taking the photo. From left to right: Me squinting into the sun, Ken holding the boom, Amber manning the port side.

The girls manning the ship.

Me and Amber, chilling out. You’ll notice my hat is gone. The wind took it and gave it to the sea.

With the publication and continued hit count of this post about Robert Perry, I was invited by a few folks to attend the 2012 Perry Rendezvous, with Perry boat or without. On Saturday I made my way first to Port Hadlock to see a friend’s custom boat, being built at the Jeff Hammond Boat Shop at the Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding. The boat project “SILVER” was magnificent to behold. Read about the custom Perry design SILVER over on Cruising Anarchy.

The boats lined up for the rendezvous were all beautiful, of course. There were a number of Baba 30s, a Tashiba 31 I recognized from a yachtworld.com listing, Felicity, and not surprisingly, an abundance of fantastic people. Sailors seem to be a different breed of folks, and one of the best things about living aboard has been meeting these fellow sailors. I got to chat with a couple who cruised their Baba 40 to the South Pacific, I saw the inside of a Tayana and heard about the boat’s history, chatted with some liveaboards I’d met previously aboard their Baba 35 pilothouse, and, while I was out looking for keys in ignitions of boats while people were away, met Mike and Kristine aboard their Baba 30 Wind Dancer and got to see its interior. They didn’t take me too seriously when I said I’d wait for them to have dinner then steal their boat, though. The cabin of their Baba was warm, clean, inviting, roomy, and adorable. Well worth stealing.

There were also games and events at the rendezvous. As I was lining up to watch the blind-folded dinghy races with Donn and Kerry, I was spotted by James, who I’d met once before at the would be sail-by. I wrote about that event in the infamous Bottoms Up! post. He pointed at me and said “There’s my coxswain!” for the race. I didn’t know what a coxswain was until then, so at least I learned a new word for the weekend. My role in the race was issuing commands, and James rowed. Once we were inside the dink, James informed me that he’d won the competition last year. Awesome, I’m always hoping to win something. And, of course, we did. The main prize was bragging rights. Prize accepted.

James rowing, getting the dinghy to nearly plane. I’m simply saying “left” as the boat kept pulling right. My job was much simpler. Photo taken by Jose Carumba.

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Copyright 2018. Courtney Kirchoff.