|GoBackTo 2007 Chapter Six|
|20 August, 2007||Marina del Rey||Mixed|
|25 August, 2007||Seawind Rally, Catalina Island||Yachties|
|28 August, 2007||Santa Barbara to Morro Bay||Yachties|
|1 September, 2007||Arrive San Francisco Bay||Mixed|
|GoFwdTo 2007 Chapter Eight|
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Since the boat was in Southern California I thought it would be fun to join in with the Seawind Rally in August and thus KatieKat spent the last two weeks of July and the first two weeks of August at a guest dock in Alamitos Bay in Long Beach while we went home to catch up on housekeeping. The setting at Alamitos Bay was lovely, but the boat got covered with a black gritty substance and the price for an end-tie was astronomical (sigh). We left Alamitos Bay under threat of having the boat impounded if we overstayed our guest moorage by even one day (I was able to postpone my jury duty obligations back home, otherwise Kathy would have been singlehanding). Had a lovely sail up to Marina del Rey, where we were lucky to find a guest dock for a few days. We finally had a chance to relax and, among other things, did a lot of bicycle riding on the famous Venice and Santa Monica beach pathways - sorry, I was too slow to catch a photo of the Perfect 10 rollerblading.
KatieKat at the dock in Marina del Rey, next to a lovely park with wonderful summer evening concerts right next to the boat! Ah, if they only had WiFi available at the guest dock. The fuzziness in the picture is due to a dirty lens on my camera - affected about 100 photos :-(
A street sign with a familiar ring - one of many nicely-landscaped walkways in Marina del Rey.
Umm, they must have had fun getting the building permit approved. Imaginative.
No argument from me about the suitability of this graphic adorning a monohull's transom.
We've replaced our bicycles with a mountain bike which now lives somewhat protected in the cockpit (imagine going around Point Conception in a monohull with a full-size mountain bike in the cockpit!) and a stainless folding bike I've had for years. We did a lot of sightseeing on these in Marina del Rey. Kathy pointed out that the "No Bicycles Allowed" sign actually made sense because of all the exiting doorways along this alleyway.
Mika the cat is still with us, although after the Baja Bash she's had it with rough-weather sailing and self-stows into a tiny cave for the duration of any passage and then re-emerges when we've anchored or tied up to the dock.This photo is her usual zonked-out position when we're NOT sailing.
The Second Annual Seawind Rally was held on Catalina Island 23-26 August. Lots of socializing, food, liquid refreshment, and a race.
6 October 2007 Update - Click here for more photos of the Rally.
We had a lovely 30nm sail to Catalina Island from Marina del Rey, and were met by Seawind US rep. Kurt Jerman who snapped our photo with my camera which still had the dirty lens (sigh). A nice view of stretched KatieKat under sail. Note that I've taken off the wind generator (it died doing the Baja Bash).
Here's Kurt and son on the Melvin/Morelli power catamaran.
Party time and the raftup after the race. Joe Weathers on Sea Ya had already left very early in the morning.
It was great to meet so many Seawind owners - we had a lot of fun comparing boats, swapping sea stories, and enjoying the cameraderie and the festivities. I was remiss in not taking a lot of photos and keeping notes - as examples, Joe Weathers put on a fantastic "Shrimp on the Barbie" on Sea Ya and then there was the happy songfest during the raftup. More details to follow after we get home.
We were joined onboard KatieKat by Seawind 1000 owner Stephan Wendl and his son Torsten. They drove down from San Francisco Bay to participate in the festivities and have Torsten finish his scuba qualifications. Kayaks and the SeaCycle were great transportation between the moored boats and shore. Here's a photo of Stephan but unfortunately I don't have one of Torsten.
This is the dinghy dock at Two Harbors on Catalina Island BEFORE it got crowded!
On the other side of the island, in the early morning it was peaceful and quiet and I ended up towing a couple of stranded ladies who couldn't start their outboard and didn't have any oars onboard.
Gone but not forgotten: this plastic lounge chair had graced KatieKat's cockpit for six years - after numerous repairs, it finally bit the dust and collapsed under me. I think it was jealous having to share the cockpit with the bicycle. The photo shows Kurt hauling the thing off to the dumpster.
The things one sees from the boat on Catalina Island: look closely in the first picture.
Second photo is the detail.
Finally, KatieKat acquitted herself quite well in the elapsed-time race, finishing second despite being loaded down with cruising gear, towing the SeaCycle, having a bicycle up on deck, and using plain old working sails with over 25,000 sea miles on them! Joe Weathers deservedly won the race with excellent tactics and a superbly-equipped boat. An unexpected bonus of racing while towing the dinghy is that when you're on starboard and other boats have to give way then it means they also have to clear the dinghy - next time I think I'll use my 120' towline! :-)
6 October 2007 - I've added a stand-alone webpage with many more photos of this event.
Point Conception is THE defining separation between warm Southern California and the rest of the (cold!) Pacific Coast northwards - and it has a nasty reputation requiring a well-thought-out strategy for rounding it. We talked with many people and the conventional wisdom is to anchor behind a point just below Point Conception (Cojo Anchorage) and then take off at dawn (to see the kelp) and motor as fast as possible in the presumably light airs to get around both Point Conception and Point Arguello. Did we listen? NO! Instead, we believed the weather forecast of 5-10 knots and thus sailed straight around Point Conception in the late afternoon. Problem was, the winds ended up being a steady 20, and then 25+ when we got close to Point Arguello in the early evening. Oh well, grin and bear it - KatieKat handled it with aplomb, and the stretched transom noticeably smoothed out the ride.
Here's our GPSNavX track around Point Conception. "Clean3" I believe is an oil rig workboat that was in Cojo Anchorage (which is where we should have gone for the night).
Here's our GPSNavX track after Point Conception heading for Point Arguello. That location is where we experienced the strongest winds, which didn't die off until about 2am.
I'm afraid that just before Point Conception I was driving the boat a little harder than usual (seeing how she'd do with the extended transoms) and, sure enough, as we slammed into a particularly nasty wave the shackle holding the mainsheet to the traveller car EXPLODED! It didn't just bend and shear but actually snapped off in two places.
This failure is not uncommon on Seawinds if they're pressed hard. Last year there was an Internet debate among owners as to whether this is a design inadequacy - my own perspective is that the stock shackle is ok for ordinary daysailing (remember, reef early and reef often) but if you're going to be seriously racing then the traveller system should perhaps be modified (e.g., I had already changed the traveller adjuster from 2:1 to 3:1, and a number of owners have added dual cars and fine/coarse mainsheet adjustments). After all, my original shackle lasted seven years and 25,000nm of some pretty serious cruising. In the stock boat, I think of this shackle as a safety valve which can blow and perhaps prevent more serious trouble elsewhere if the boat is overpressed. Anyway, the loads are all calculable if someone wants to undertake a serious analysis - I don't.
After the shackle blew at Point Conception, we just slogged along and motorsailed very slowly, at times even having over a knot of adverse current to contend with.
Even though Kathy was somewhat concerned at the sudden noise back there and loss of boatspeed, it took just a few seconds to tame the boom and keep sailing using the two preventers I have permanently rigged (and usually have one attached to the boom). In a few minutes I had also figured out a workaround attachment for the mainsheet and will probably sail it home this way. Onboard I have a number of endless loops using mountain-climbing tubular webbing which serve as great attachment vehicles. Strangely, a few days ago during the Seawind Rally race my purposely-weak preventer attachment on the boom had sheared off (after seven years of heavy use and only the second accidental jibe ever on KatieKat) and in Santa Barbara I had installed a new beefed-up attachment onto the end of the boom. Go figure, as it certainly now proved useful.
For a few hours I was regretting stopping in Morro Bay and not continuing up the coast, as the forecast was for increasing winds; however, during the night there was a tremendous thunder-and-lightning storm with accompanying heavy rain - something virtually unheard of at this time of year in this part of the world! KatieKat FINALLY was washed, as this was the first rain the boat had seen in 1-1/2 years! Not only that, in the morning we were subjected to more thunder and lightning, directly overhead. Someone said a nearby house was struck by the lighting (and you all know how much I like this stuff!). Anyway, after the storm, instead of hanging around Morro Bay bemoaning the upcoming strong winds, we decided to make a run for it up the coast - turned out to be a good decision as we motorsailed up to Monterey Bay in light winds and fog, stopping for petrol and a sail repair in Santa Cruz for a few hours.
Snapped this photo as we were leaving Morro Bay. Talk about taking everything with you ... I could see a pickup truck with motorcycle on its bed and a powerboat amongst all the other stuff carried aboard this workboat.
Coming up the coast is rough on sails (motorsailing in light airs is especially tough as the sail luffs a lot, stressing the batten attachment). In Santa Cruz I did a temporary repair. My Australian Hard Yakka shorts are getting a little threadbare.
We departed Santa Cruz in the early evening and, much to our dismay, we were faced with a horde of race boats coming down the coast participating in the Windjammers Race, with winds in the high-teens and lots of impenetrable fog. [Expletive deleted] many of the race boats were all but invisible on radar (less windage not carrying a reflector) so it was a very nerve-wracking few hours until they were all past us - some passing very close to us. Awful experience!
We sailed through the Golden Gate in the morning of 1 September - Kathy is one happy camper at being home (as you can tell from her smile)
Approaching the Golden Gate Bridge, motoring against the waning ebb tide.
Note Kathy's threadbare elbows of her favorite sweater, which she started wearing again as we sailed past Point Conception.
A true testimony to the comfort onboard our catamaran: this is our TV set in front of the bed just sitting there unsecured, and we normally lay it down on the bed for rough-weather passages. Well, we forgot to lay it down, and came up the coast with the TV sitting upright; not only that, but on top of the narrow LCD display is Piggy - a small wooden pig which just sits on top of a blue non-skid. The darn thing just sat there for the entire bash up from Southern California. Unbelievable! Our motion on KatieKat has always been comfortable as the bed, main saloon table, and galley are in the center of the pitch axis of the boat - even more comfortable now with the extended transoms.
At the dock in Brisbane Marina, just south of San Francisco.
Note the broken radar reflector, which after seven years gave up the ghost in the final sail from Santa Cruz.
As we were offloading KatieKat, I thought I'd show you how nicely the SeaCycle skids up/down the extended transom. In particular, hoisting the SeaCycle is now even easier than before.
Note also the second radar reflector (Tri-Lens) on top of the targa bar portside - not an optimum location (I felt it was too heavy to put up on the top spreader), but in conjunction with the small reflector up high on the mast and the radome itself we present a good radar return image.
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