"Any damn fool can navigate the world sober. It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk." - Sir Francis Chichester when asked why he carried so much alcohol on his solo sail around the world.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Last Call..

Jim and I have just closed the Chicago Yacht Club bar and's time to sleep. The women have rejected us and Joe.....well...his boobs are too small and droopy.

Our tracker is on and we're ready to race, with a few small details that we need to attend to: finish the bottom, make some sheets, and drink a few more Mount Gay's, has nothing to do with sexual preference.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

It's always something

Joe and I arrived Monday night to start the last minute preparations for the race and the pre-race inspection, which we passed with flying colors. The weather has been awful with temps around 100.

The bottom of the boat looks terrible, so I'm spending the day in the water scrubbing it clean. Boats and women should both have nice clean bottoms. Tomorrow we'll tackle the spinnaker pole and hydraulics. Also, tomorrow we'll do the final race sigh in,'s time to push her hard and see what comes out at the northern end. The key to winning....sail the fastest and shortest race, the doing is the hard part.

Right now, depending on the weather source, we'll start in 8kts from the SW with the wind building to 15 and holding till Sunday night. Of course, this is likely to change by race day. If this holds then up the rhumbline we go.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Who's in our Section?

Here's a list of the boats in Section 7. There are 23 boats in our section and 344 in the race.

Sail number Boat Name Yacht Make Length Club ORR AP ORR OW
USA 50369 Absolut Beneteau 38S5 38.3 None 0.855 0.853
USA 16826 Absolute Peterson 37 37.2 North Star Sail Club 0.864 0.860
USA 64 Aegir C&C 99 32.43 Burnham Park Yacht Club 0.863 0.865
USA 42973 Blue Heaven Pearson Sl 39 Waukegan Yacht Club 0.867 0.861
USA 32823 Bootlegger Peterson 37 37.16 Harbor Point Yacht Club 0.864 0.856
USA 50254 Celerity C&C 402 39.8 The Anchorage Yacht Club 0.856 0.852
USA 16770 Cheep N Deep C&C 39 39.5 Chicago Corinthian Yacht Club 0.859 0.860
USA 51804 Cyclone J92 30 Chicago Corinthian Yacht Club 0.863 0.870
USA 15004 Fast Tango North American 40 39.73 Bayview Yacht Club 0.858 0.856
USA 52832 Foray Beneteau First 37.5 37.5 Columbia Yacht Club 0.859 0.850
USA 31436 Heat Wave Dehler DB1 33 South Shore Yacht Club 0.851 0.847
USA 53026 Measure for Measure Morgan 36 Nelson-Marek 36.0 Columbia Yacht Club 0.847 0.841
USA 6204 Rush Nelson Marek 36 36 St Joseph/Benton Harbor Elks Yacht Club 0.864 0.857
USA 60016 Samba Beneteau First 30 32.2 Columbia Yacht Club 0.859 0.856
CAN 161 Smokum Too Beneteau 42s7 LWshoal 42.6 Thornbury Yacht Club 0.870 0.875
USA 212 Spar Wars III Olson 30 IB 30 Boyne City Yacht Club 0.863 0.857
USA 51045 Steadfast Canadian Sailcraft 40 39.25 Bayshore Yacht Club 0.868 0.865
USA 54951 Tenacity Olson 34 33.9 Burnham Park Yacht Club 0.843 0.840
USA 52845 Tide The Knot Jeanneau SunFast 35 35.3 Midwest Open Racing Fleet 0.865 0.854
USA 40655 Unknown Lady² Frers 36 36 Jackson Park Yacht Club 0.859 0.853
USA 15044 Velero VII North American 40 39.8 Bayview Yacht Club 0.858 0.856
USA 73038 Vesalius Tripp 37 37 Midwest Open Racing Fleet 0.871 0.860
USA 42934 Whisper Express 34 34.0 Columbia Yacht Club 0.848 0.844

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Are we there yet?

We left St. Louis Tuesday, June 26 and arrived in Chicago on Saturday, June 30 one day latter than our planned arrival. There were 8 locks that we had to pass through and we had an average wait time of 5 hours, much longer than any trip that I've taken in the past. Part of the problem was lock maintenance which caused a loggerhead of commercial traffic, another contributing issue was the gross inefficiency of some of the lockmasters, one of which made no effort to hide is distaste for pleasure craft.
Our fuel consumption really surprised us, I was expecting to use close to a 1/2 gallon an hour, instead we only used a quart an hour.
After the first day, which was our only cool day, we saw a lot of 100+ degree days and tried all kinds of different techniques to stay cool: bucket baths, plugging the cockpit drains and filling the cockpit with water, using a bed sheet as an awning, and drinking an incredible amount of water.

The heat wasn't our only weather foe, while waiting for the Lockport lock to empty we were hit by a very powerful squall that had winds in the 60's+, lots of horizontal rain, and more lightening than than I've seen before. With a lot of difficultly we put the boat against the wall at the lock entrance, but when we tried to tie up to the railing, it was hit by lightening and then the transformer, only about 30 feet away, was also hit and exploded causing the lock to lose all power. In time, we were able to get the boat tied up and wait while the lockmaster got the generator to power the lock.

After entering the lock a second squall hit us causing a bit of a wrestling match between us and the lock wall. We won and the mast escaped with bearly a scratch. Seeing that we were about to be hit by a third wave, I asked for, and was granted, permission to tie up for the night outside of the upstream side of the lock for the night.

Leaving St Louis with Matthew taking a nap on deck

Matthew climbing a cell, used to tie up barges outside of locks, while waiting on the Starved Rock lock.

Joe, taken from the Starved Rock cell.

Jim, taken from the Starved Rock cell.

Matthew summits the cell

Inside the Starved Rock lock, almost at the top of a 38 ft. rise.

Approaching Chicago.





Downtown Chicago. When we passed under the Canal Street bridge we had to remove the windex arm, put everybody on the bow, and weigh down the end of the mast with a bucket of water to clear the bridge.

Approaching the last lock between Chicago and Lake Michigan. I jumped the gun and tried to enter the lock early and received a rather public lecture from the lockmaster to wait my place in line.

Finally. The last lock behind us and we're on Lake Michigan. Now on to Burham Harbor to put the mast up.

On the mooring with a storm approaching. Nothing like the Lockport storm, but it did have a officially recorded 82 mph wind gust. This storm went on to cause a lot of damage in W. Virginia.

In a tender, water taxi, leaving the boat on it's mooring.

Leaving Jeanne and the kids after their short Fourth of July visit.