The Write Byte's Log. Log 1998
April 12, 1998
I have already been remiss in my log keeping. At the beginning of 1998, we had 971 nm on the GyPSy log. Today, there were 1,019 nm on the log. Most of those were put on April 4th during a delightful trip to Sharp's Island Light. On return trip with winds building from 13-20 kts, we achieved a speed of 9.0 kts. Rich Sweeney was crew and at the the helm when we reached that speed.
Tuesday April 21 1100
On Sunday April 5, Ed Shorter and I tried the spinnaker for the first time. With almost no wind, we had the opportunity to play a little with the trim to see how she behaved. Winds 12 kts dropping later to 5 kts, clear skies.
Friday April 10, Ed and I departed at 1640. After a brisk sail to Green 19, we turned and hoisted the spinnaker. We had a positively glorious return trip. Saturday April 11, with Wayne Mack and Richard Strauss aboard, we sailed to Choptank light and back, Winds 14 kts, clear skies.
Depart marina solo. 72 degrees, light and variable winds out of N.W. Sailed to R. 18 and returned. Winds built to 10-12 kts then moderated to 8 or so. Frequently saw 6.0 kts on way down river / upwind. 4.5 dropping to 2.5 on return trip. ED. (elapsed distance) on GyPSy 1025.2 nm. Returned 1600
Wed. April 22 0735
The boat is prepped, the engine is running, no crew as yet.
Friday April 24 1300
We were supposed to leave the dock at 0730. Grrr. Other than that, it is a glorious spring day. 55 degrees, light NE breeze. Too bad the winds have been so light. I fear the only Whitbread boat we will have the chance to see is Brunel Sunergy.
0859 We departed at 0800. Right now we are crossing the mouth of LaTrappe Creek. What was a beautiful Clear day has clouded over and gotten a damp chill in the air.
Arrived Sharp's Island Light at 1300. Brunel Sunergy had already passed. Swedish Match and EFLanguage were on the far side of the bay. Proceeded N 7 miles on Intercept. We eventually saw 8 Whitbread boats, 1 container ship and 1 submarine. Returned 2100, 1070.8 nm ED. on GyPSy. Engine leaking fuel. Ripped Genoa.
P.S. (during transcription, 4/2/2000)
Despite my rather cryptic log keeping, this was a fantastic day on the water. For someone who used to write for a living, this really is very pathetic and I resolve once again to try keeping better logs in the upcoming season.
After replacing the Fuel pressure switch, engine fine. To bleed engine, I tried cracking the throttle to half and cranking. It worked!!! I have heard many horror stories about bleeding engines trying desperately to get fuel back to an engine. What luck, to have it go so well on my first attempt!
Saturday May 2, 1998, 1215
Departed 1315 for sail. Sailed to Castle Haven, then up LeCompte bay under perfect skies with 10 kts wind. 1600, wind beginning to drop. Removed ripped Genoa and hoisted Spinnaker alone. Whipped Adrienne good. Getting back to G23 1.5 nm ahead, them having a mile or so head start. (They had been chasing me al afternoon, not very successfully and turned and ran when I hoisted the spinnaker, which took me 15 minutes to hoist and set.)
Departed dock under partly cloudy skies, winds about 7 or 8 kts, temps in the 60's. ED. is 1088.2. This will be an overnight, just Capt and 1st mate (admiral) aboard to watch Whitbreaders come down the bay from their leg start in Annapolis.
Sunday May 3, 1998.
1850 Squall came through at 1620. Furled jib and motor sailed with double reefed main. After squall passed, shook out reef for about 10 min. before dropping main to motor into Dun Cove. Ran aground in Dun Cove at 1730, trying to get into a small finger. 1800, dropped anchor. My lovely wife and I just finished a spectacular meal of T-bone, hash browns, coleslaw. Beautiful, still evening. E.D.1105.7
Departed Dun Cove. Sailed on main bay all day with Sea Fever and three or four hundred other boats. Exhilarating day.
Wednesday, May 6, 1998
Once again, my brevity embarrasses me. This was a watershed moment for me and once again, my log prose bubbled over... The least I could have done was mentioned the burned in memory of coming down Harris Creek, parallel to Tilghman Island and for as far as the eye could see up Choptank River, there was a continuous parade of boats heading for the bay, all wanting a glimpse of the Whitbread boats. (For our trip out when they arrived in April on a Wednesday, there had been but a handful of boats. But on this day, a beautiful May Sunday, there must have been 500 boats coming out the Choptank alone! This small contingent of the total Bay fleet must have put over 5,000 boats on the Chesapeake Bay for this beautiful Sunday in May. Contrary to our trip in April, we never did see the Whitbread boats on this day. While we had a glorious day sailing back and forth across the bay, up by the start, winds were light and fluky and the competitors didn't go past the Choptank until we were halfway back to Cambridge. Others stayed to see them, but Terry wasn't feeling well and we went home. We got home and tied up, just in time to beat a terrific thunderstorm that thundered in behind us. Had we stayed like some of our friends, we would have been caught in it like they were.
Wed. Night Race. Almost skipped because roller furler jammed. Fixed in time to start 10 min after gun. Still passed Wampu, Duet, Sansted, What's Next. Wind died, didn't finish in time limit.
Sunday May 10, 1998.
With Frank Schmidt aboard, Departed 1430, returned 1800. Temps in Mid 50s, Winds NE at 10-15. Occasional rain. ED 1156.6 Sailed to R20 and back, then 3 trips between G23, G25.
May 13, 1998.
Single handed the Wednesday night Race. Wind started light < 3 kts, finished at 13 kts. Invigorating sail, ED 1161.5
May 16, 1998.
Sailed to Castle Haven under 8-10 kt winds. Motored home when the wind died.
May 17, 1998.
Tonya and Veg visited for a lovely sail to Choptank Light and back. Hazy, 11 kt winds. ED. 1187.4
May 20, 1998.
Wed. Night Race. 6-8 kt winds, Joe Botkin Joined me. ED 1192.6
May 22, 1998.
Beautiful Day. 10-12 kt winds. I'm going t have lunch with Ed, then depart 1845 return, Light Variable Winds, ED 1212.6
May 23, 1998.
Wend out with Keith to properly place the ESSA buoys G & H. Return 1700, depart with Terry and 3 dogs. Swung on hook @ ESSA G (Dickerson Bay) Returned 0730 5/24. Beautiful breeze.
May 27, 1998.
Wed. Night Race. Filled fuel, 20.1 Gal. Came in Dead last. No wind. 3134.2 engine hours.
May 29, 1998
Sailed to Castle Haven and back. SSE breeze at 10 kts. Beautiful Sailing. Depart 1500, Returned 1715. ED, 1238.5. Uncontrolled Jibe. Tore Traveler stop off. Gouged starboard cockpit coaming. Wrecked Starboard dodger zipper. Removed dodger for zipper repair. As of 1500, we have owned the boat one year!!! What a good day.
July 13, 1733 ED 1381.2
Just returned from stimulating sail to 19 and back, solo. Winds 13-16 kts. 5.3 kts on broad reach down river, 7.5-7.8 kts close reach - close hauled upriver. Very light chop due to S. wind. I see that we have been neglecting to log our outings again. Not many guests yet. Last weekend, Julie and David showed up. We took them out. Terry and I spent the entire July 4 weekend on the boat. It was idyllic. Fireworks, excellent. Sean left two weeks ago. He spent his last night here on the boat, under duress. I went sailing all day after he left. It soothed my angst. I think I will go home, now. I don't really want to, but my lovely wife is so happy to see me, how can I resist?
September 5, 1998. 0930 ED 1525,
At anchor LaTrappe Creek. Waiting to escort Sansted to Crisfield. Clear. Winds 10 kts, northerly. Good weather and good wind, for now. Expect to fight tide out of Choptank. Perhaps not make it to Crisfield but stop at Deal Island, instead. Installed new refrigerator and a stereo this week. Water pump (fresh) died Thursday. Previous owner didn't fix an injury properly and it burst. Depco Pumps in Clearwater FL Federal Expressed a new Base Kit. $86.68. We'll make the trip with potable water working thanks to Depco.
September 7, 1998 1847 ED 1633.5, 4.5 from R10, bearing 41, Course 39
We're back in the Choptank, having scooted with battened down hatches from T-Storms on the bay a couple hours ago. Bruce said these storms wreaked a little havoc in Annapolis and Kent Island (Report courtesy of Tucky @ home base!) All we got was some strong winds. We've motor sailed most of the day - Bruce has to be back to work.
Saturday September 19, 1998. Fueled 23.8 Gal. Hr Meter 3191.2 ED 1763.4
Last night, we rafted up in Deal Island, skipping Crisfield. At DI, we met up with Bob Gordon, his wife Sue, son Eric and John W., crew. Met Bill and Chris aboard Plover, kindred Dickerson 41ers who have been all over. They regaled us with charming stories of Turkey. Frank (Duet) was aboard the Nathan of Dorchester for his first stint as skipper of the skipjack. We fed Stedman and Bruce aboard (Bruce, Tim and I all cooking together.) - a combo of steaks, burgers, Tim's rice, beans & salad... Bob L brought cupcakes aboard, so add John Womack (w/Bob Gordon) and everyone else above, and The Write Byte was home to quite the little party!! A full harvest moon rose, the beverages flowed and the music from Tim's handiwork encompassed West Africa, Brazil and good ol'' 70s rock and roll. The weather was clear and the company delightful.
Add to this the wonderful in slip stay @ Solomons, the air so sweet we didn't need the wind scoop. The trip across the bay was real rock n roll. - but good winds meant real sailing which was great. (The roll for me was not so great - forget doing dishes next time and stay on top! But, I did hang in.)
As for the skipjack races, winds were southwest 10-15 kts, though mostly closer to 10, I think. We came in 3rd out of 4. Bob Gordon took it, along w/ The Captain's Cup. Nice to say, Stedman took 2nd. Stedman must feel real good about that.
The sun is down and Tim said we're running against the tide. Guess I'll hang up the pen for now.
P.S. It really has been great traveling with beside Stedman & Bruce. Both on and off the water, those two have really enhanced the trip. We also had Dave aboard Sansted until his departure in Deal. It was nice getting to know him a little better.
Sailed with Alan and Chriss Greenblatt. Lunched in LeCompte Bay on the hook. Lovely day, light winds. Reset ED to 1950 to compensate for 1st month without GyPSy. (45 nm delivery plus almost daily sailing, avg. 5.5 nm.)
Saturday October 3, 1998. 0758 ED 1956
Anchored in LaTrappe Creek last night. Left the Marina at 1730 with diminishing winds. Early on, I was moving at 6.8 kts and hoping to make Oxford. By 19A, I was down below 4 kts and eventually started the engine and motored into the creek. Chilly night and morning. Avoiding Breakfast. It's not so fun to make a big breakfast without someone to appreciate and enjoy it with.
October 19, 1998 1549 ED 2016.1
Just finished cleaning up after haul out last week. Hauled on Monday. Replaced the Speed log / Sounder. Wrapped the keel in 3 layers of glass. Painted bottom. Much sanding to achieve a relatively flake free bottom prior to painting. Tried new style zinc on tip of shaft. Hope it lasts longer.
Season Post Script:
1998 was a busy year for us. In addition to sailing a bit over 1,000 miles, we did numerous projects to prepare the boat for offshore work. Since we got the boat, I had been preparing it to go offshore and the project list always seems to grow, instead of shrink. Projects not mentioned in the skimpy logs included replacing all fresh water tubing, a complete refinishing of interior and exterior bright work, (ten weeks for that project, alone.) replacing all the reading lamps with genuine brass lamps, installing red lamps and 12 volt outlets and the list goes on. The Write Byte it seemed, was either out sailing or had part of its guts torn out with some sort of project. Unfortunately, during one of my hard drive crashes in the last year, (I had 3 total failures) I screwed up and toasted my spreadsheet backup that delineated the lists of what was done, what yet to be done, and the projected and actual costs of the projects. I do remember that my project costs were averaging 67% of retail, so I felt good about that. The boat is almost ready now, and we will make our 3 year goal of going offshore in 2000 with a trip around DelMarVa this fall. I didn't re-create the spreadsheet because at this writing we are down to just a few big ticket items to be purchased.
The Pundits will tell you to budget 25% of the cost of your used boat for outfitting and refurbishing. We spent that the first year, and the second year. And, as it turned out, the third year, too. The good news is, that for the first time in my life, the cash flow was good enough to support those expenditures and continue our debt reduction program at the same time. If we stay on schedule, we will be ready for extended cruising in two more years.