Monday, September 02, 2013

Team Wreck Yacht Club

I've been chronicling the new adventures of the Team Wreck flagship over at S/V Grace O'Malley on facebook. Unfortunately some key crew members are stubborn luddites who refuse to accept the good book into their hearts, so for them I will take the time to repost here.

Cruise #1 : test run

Crew : Chief Engineer Boston, Acting Ensign Dabby

The first time Grace has been out under her own power in about three years. Minor panic upon starting the engine, as water didn't seem to be recirculating. We shut it down and Boston took the water pump apart and inspected the impeller. It looked good, he reseated it, put everything together and it worked fine.

Leaving the slip for the first time was a little nerve wracking. We're on an inside dock very close to shore, with no current or wind it would be relatively simple, unfortunately there is current and wind. We made it out and back in with no incident, I'm sure it will get easier with time. I've also asked Dabby to not shout "Full reverse!!!" in my ear whenever he gets nervous.

Once out in the channel we ran the Yanmar diesel
 almost to St. Helens and then back again. Everything worked fine, a little smoke at full throttle to start but she was soon purring.

Big thanks to the Boatyard at Rocky Point, super friendly service and she was done ahead of time and $80 under estimate, amazing. Special thanks to yard manager Travis, who gave us lots of great advice.

Cruise # 2 : That's not dirt...

 Crew : Cory, Boston, Tricia, Jerry, Travis

A lovely day on the river. We raised the mainsail for the first time in a few years, or tried to, the halyard broke on the first try (must replace running rigging) but chief rigger Cory tied some clever knots and we tried again. As the sail went up a rain of dirt came down on our heads. At least I thought it was dirt until I looked closely, heavy gray lumps of clay like stuff mixed with bits that looked like the leftover pupae from insects of unusual size. Moths maybe? Whatever they were, they didn't like to eat sailcloth, which I am grateful for. I would imagine that main sails, like every other part of a sailboat, are ridiculously expensive.

The wind was barely blowing but we cruised along for most of the afternoon and had a nice swim off Kelley Pt. Might have to invest in a swim ladder, climbing up the dinghy steps on the stern is tough.

Cruise #3 : All systems go

Crew : Boston, Dabby, Captain McCarthy, Cory the Kid, Smellen

 Great wind today, we raised the genoa and were flying. It was terrific to have the Captain on board. He sailed an Alberg on Boston Harbor for many years and has a lot of knowledge (and hilarious stories) to share.

It's hard to show how far we were heeled over from the deck, but the rail got wet and a lot of stuff slid around below. Exciting!

We also deployed the new swim ladder to great acclaim, $46 well spent.

 Smellen was delightful, as always.

Big thanks to Chief Rigger Cory for all the knot tying and stuff.

Mid tack.

Cruise #4 : Fishing with Cowboy

Cruise number 4 - Sunday afternoon, crew : Dabby, Mace, Junko, Cowboy, Michelle

Warm and sunny, winds light and variable with occasional gusts to 20 knots (I'm guessing here)

We motored up the channel to the Willamette, then raised the main and motor sailed past Kelley Pt. Park. Cowboy and Michelle dropped lines rigged for salmon off the back but there was only one bite, and minority opinion held that it might have been a piling or log and not a fish.

This was my fourth time at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers and the most exciting so far. Between wind, current, giant freighters, swarms of fishing boats and jet skis there is a lot to pay attention to. With the wind gusting strongly at times and two thirds of the crew asleep or drunk, acting first mate Dabby and I decided against raising a headsail. We sailed with the main for a few hours, just getting used to the river and all the traffic. Good practice, and another mostly pleasant day on the boat.

Cruise #5 : Overnighter to Sand Island

Crew : Eric Spence, Boston, Tricia, Jaqcue, Ted

A super fun overnight trip. Dead calm early in the day, even when we made it out to the Columbia, so we set off to circumnavigate Sauvie Island. When we made it up to St. Helens a few hours before dark the wind picked up and we tacked and jibed around downriver for a while, dodging salmon boats.

Eric Spence, King of Leisure

Grace at the Sand Island dock. We were stuck on the outside so it was a bouncy night (must get bigger fenders) but we felt lucky to find a spot, the other free docks we saw were all packed.

St. Helens from Sand Island

Boston and Tricia's campsite on the river side of Sand Island.

Breakfast and bocce, good times.