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  #11  
Old 08-09-2012
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Re: 39th Annual St. Mary's Governor's Cup

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Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
I have heard the birds in time to avoid a trap. Janet kept saying "Why are there so many birds out here in the middle of the night?" until it finally occurred to me that we should probably stand further off. *grin*
This year, while hugging the Eastern Shore near Hooper Island, I noticed a chirping sound in the rigging. Then, I seemed to me there was a cricket in the boom. Seconds later I thought, "that's a bird, not a cricket." Then I heard many birds. Thought, "what is a flock of birds doing out here in the middle of the night?" Next thought - Fish Trap! "Helm's A-lee!"

Last year it was much darker. Just north of our close encounter of this year, we were getting ready to tack. A ship was heading north and I was waiting to make sure we could clear the ship's stern before making the tack. Everyone was staring at the ship to starboard, waiting for me to give the command when we drove right into an unlit/unmarked fish trap. First indication - poles going by the starboard rail...I fell off immediately and heard shouts from the crew that I was driving right into the center of the trap. Instinctually (or was it panic?), I just kept steering to port and called "gybe ho!" We gybed and sailed out the way we came. Except for one pole pulled down by a loose sheet, we touched neither poles nor nets. Not sure if the trap was abandoned or if were just super lucky. Either way, the crew was pretty alert for the rest of the night.
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  #12  
Old 08-09-2012
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Re: 39th Annual St. Mary's Governor's Cup

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Originally Posted by johnnyquest37 View Post
A ship was heading north and I was waiting to make sure we could clear the ship's stern before making the tack. Everyone was staring at the ship to starboard, waiting for me to give the command when we drove right into an unlit/unmarked fish trap.
That's called target fixation. It's very hard to avoid. When everyone awake is watching one thing I look elsewhere. When I'm up alone and there is something *ahem* big to watch I try hard (with some but not complete success) to keep making horizon scans for the next problem.

On the Chesapeake it's often a tug & tow avoiding the same ship I'm watching.

Commercial traffic at night is still better than the recreational folks during the day.
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  #13  
Old 08-09-2012
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Re: 39th Annual St. Mary's Governor's Cup

We had two close calls with bouys this year. One while I was below deck which was unlit, but we passed close enough for one of my crew to inform me we just passed an unlit can and read me the number (I forget which one it was) but I did confirm with the crew that they just read the number off the can. Being it was well after dark and he read the number unaided, the bouy had to be damn close and none of us saw it before it was abeam us. I think he saw it in time that we could have avoided it if we were on a collision course, but didn't say anything until we passed it, having decided we were not going to hit it still I would have like to know about it sooner.

The second one was one of the lit yellow bouys near Taylors Island. There are two fairly close together and I'm not sure which it was, but I was at the helm, saw the bouy go behind us a short while before we tacked. Well, the crew blew the tack and everyone (3 on deck at the time), myself included, got distracted trying to grind the damn sail in. I lost focus on my job, and let the boat fall off to a beam reach before I realized it and started heading back up to close hauled as they got things sorted. About the time I looked up, we shot past the yellow bouy at about 3/4's of a boat length. I had discounted the bouy because we would have sailed well to windward of it if we'd made a clean tack, so there was no one to blame but me if we'd hit it and nothing but luck that we didn't.

Like in flying, you always have to mutitask, keep scanning and drive the boat 1st.
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  #14  
Old 08-14-2012
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Re: 39th Annual St. Mary's Governor's Cup

We has an awesome ride (for us). I had an awesome crew this year - a few that had crewed for Audrey (thanks Trevor!!). We missed 10th in PHRF B by only 2 minutes which was hard to take but beat another by 2 minutes so it balanced out. Compared to last year, wind was moderate in our view at 15-20 with occasional gusts to 25 (why was it only during MY watch??). We flew a double reefed main and 145% genoa with twist induced in the tops of both sails to flatten the boat a bit to 20-25 degrees heel. As a result, our helm was neutral and boat speed was very good. But our Achilles heel was again sailing too many miles (110 NM). Gotta work on that.

When we turned the corner at Pt. Lookout, we set our reaching gennaker increasing boatspeed a full 1.5 knots to 7 knots. We replaced the "reacher" with the full spinnaker at the St. Mary's junction buoy after momentarily switching back to the genoa to keep boat speed up. It was a complicated change, but worked without a hitch. I plan to add another spinnaker halyard and avoid the swap to genoa in the future.

At one point we were on starboard and were crossed on port tack by a boat with NO running lights and grey racing sails. I couldn't see his numbers or name and Kattack was down. Otherwise, I would have protested the dirtball. Scared the @$#^S! out of me! Earlier, we were on starboard and someone was on port coming down on us having trouble reefing. He eventually headed downwind to reef (huh?) and I stayed our course. My crew thought that I should have ducked him, but I felt otherwise.

The Admiral (Vicky, "Victoria", get it?) really likes distance racing and is looking forward to next year. She also expressed an interest in Down The Bay. After 35 years, the girl keeps surprising me. If I can get crew and the logistics work out, I'm in!


PhotoBoat (plug intended) got some nice shots. I'm in the yellow ballcap and Vicky is in pink.

PhotoBoat Regatta Photography Gallery | Victoria | 2012 Gov Cup A 1286
PhotoBoat Regatta Photography Gallery | Victoria | 2012 Gov Cup A 1286
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  #15  
Old 08-15-2012
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Re: 39th Annual St. Mary's Governor's Cup

Sorry I missed you, we were running a bit late and I didn't have a car with me. Sounds like you guys had a great time on Victoria.

Audrey got smacked around a bit. We had 4 on board and they were light crew, real light. At one point we had a reef in and the #3 up and were still overpowered. Just didn't have enough beef on the rail. We took 9th in PHRF C. We rounded Pt Lookout and set the blast reacher, then set the chute about 1/2 way to the St. Mary's mark. Did everything we could to keep the boat moving in the light stuff, then we rode a nice puff in for the last 200 yds.

What was up w/ the party? Pretty dam lame incomparison to some other's I've been to. Explains why so many dip the line and head straight back the same day. Sad really. I hear they used to be legen-----dary.
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Old 08-15-2012
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Re: 39th Annual St. Mary's Governor's Cup

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What was up w/ the party?
Don't know but this was our 5th year and they've all been pretty tame and not nearly up to what I'd been led to expect. The worst part was the single, tiny shuttle boat from the anchorage. The poor guy was running on no fuel had been led to believe that there would be other shuttles. People were yelling at him, as if it was his fault.

Next year, we'll drop the hook and let the crew go ashore. I plan to sleep and swim and then leave after 2 or 3 hours. By the time that we cross over to the Yeocomico and tie up at our marina, it's pretty late. We usually drive one or more crew home, so by the time that we get home to Fredericksburg, we can barely stay awake.
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Old 08-15-2012
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Re: 39th Annual St. Mary's Governor's Cup

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Don't know but this was our 5th year and they've all been pretty tame and not nearly up to what I'd been led to expect. The worst part was the single, tiny shuttle boat from the anchorage. The poor guy was running on no fuel had been led to believe that there would be other shuttles. People were yelling at him, as if it was his fault.

Next year, we'll drop the hook and let the crew go ashore. I plan to sleep and swim and then leave after 2 or 3 hours. By the time that we cross over to the Yeocomico and tie up at our marina, it's pretty late. We usually drive one or more crew home, so by the time that we get home to Fredericksburg, we can barely stay awake.
We only stayed in St. Mary's about an hour then motored down the river to take a slip at Point Lookout (The place is really getting run down). We were at least able to plug in and run AC for a cool nights sleep. Fortunately, the restaurant at Point Lookout is still pretty dang good even if the docks are falling apart, so we had a great supper before crashing for the night.

I think if the townhouse dorms were cheaper and you were allowed to cram your whole crew in, the party might be livelier.
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Old 08-15-2012
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39th Annual St. Mary's Governor's Cup

I found Pt Lookout to be run down too, with a lot of empty slips. We were there a week before Gov Cup It's certainly a far cry from only a few years ago. My understanding is that there were financial issues with new owners. I think that the original owners may have bought it back.

Also not sure about the dock heights. They are at water level at almost every tide. Are they sinking? I don't remember them being so low several years ago.
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Old 08-15-2012
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Re: 39th Annual St. Mary's Governor's Cup

Yeah, I can't really say. They were "rustic" but ok when we stayed there a few years ago but really pretty sketchy this time. As we approached I thought they had put in floating docks, but we were soon disabused of that notion.

I was the last one off the boat, and one of my crew said "be careful you don't go through" as I jumped off the boat and he wasn't even busting my chops. The docks really were so decrepit that you might go through if you landed on the wrong spot. And you will be jumping down and climbing back up since the docks seem to be right at water level these days.
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Old 08-20-2012
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Re: 39th Annual St. Mary's Governor's Cup

Are you guys talking about the Point Lookout State Park, inside Lake Canoy? This doesn't match what I've seen. Or maybe I'm looking at the wrong thing??
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