Hey Sea Joe,
No worries on the time lapse....we all have things going on in life. Good to hear from you now. Great info on the traveller mod, unfortunately, I could not see the photos. I'm sure that is frustrating for you.
For me, it's no big deal because I enjoy, and by I, I mean the admiral enjoys the cockpit space, so your traveler mod would not be for us. It's still great info...especially for anyone thinking about racing their Cal 22. Every once and while I get crazy and move my traveler pin from center to windward, which almost centers my boom in 15 knots. She sails better, and it reminds of the inefficiency of the traveler. It wouldn't be so bad if I could beat for a while, but on my skinny lake, I am more likely to be tacking every 90 seconds or so. Of course that makes moving the traveler pins unpractical while single handling. Although I still try.
I think I have become totally accustomed to my weather helm of my Cal at this point. Perhaps it is completely normal and I was ignorant at the time. It seems very normal to me now. I think new sails (this year) improved the situation too. I sail my little Cal in a lot of wind from time to time, and I have found she can handle quite a bit when reefed properly. I sailed in the remnants of a hurricane that produced sustained 30 knots on our lake, and did just fine with her reefed down tight. I was beating up to the dam of our lake to prove I could do it....I proved it for a mile or so and decided after I got about half way there, that I could do it, but if something major broke I would be bummed out....so I ran back to the marina. The hardest part of the day was getting back in the slip under motor.
I have been at the helm racing Pearson 26 for the last year and that boat has a lack of weather helm. I like helm on my Cal a lot better. The Pearson is a bit of pig in my opinion, but having said that, she'll handle a lot of wind for a 26 footer. We race on a budget, don't have a "sail inventory", so we fly a lot of (our only foresail) genny in big wind. Not my boat, not what I would like to do, but my point is, Pearson 26 will take a of wind before weather helm becomes and issue....At least the one I am on does. My Cal is a lot more responsive, and fun to sail in a variety of conditions.
Still love my Cal 22. If I can get out this weekend I'll post some Fall photos from the lake.