Baggy Wrinkles

Baggy Wrinkles
S/V Nautica, Hull #614, Built at Whitby Boatworks Ltd., Ontario, Canada 1977, one of the most recognizeable Carl Alberg designs. A masthead sloop displacing 9000 lbs, keel hull, Yanmar 15 hp diesel, LOA 30.27 Beam 8.75, Draft 4.29, roller furling headsail, tiller, berths for 4, interior teak bulkheads, teak cap rail and cockpit teak coamings, 12 volt lighting, aluminum mast support, Harken self tailing winches, in its day was designed for customers as a Cruiser-Racer, the Alberg 30 remains a Classic design of the large Alberg inventory.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

So the weather turned foul, sunny skies overhead disappeared, and rain filled squalls began crawling over the horizon one after another, blowing and huffing like it might try to push Baggy Wrinkles over.  But the first reef was working great and we had by now committed to the objective of arriving as close to Bomb Island as possible before running downwind to safe port.

Rain just makes things uncomfortable.  Cold rain makes things miserable.  Hard, cold rain makes you play out conversations in your head.  A whipping wind, with a hard, cold rain, makes you wonder why in the world you ever came out in the stuff.  Well it wasn't really that bad.  Getting a face full of spray every few minutes was actually rather comical and I had to laugh out-loud when it happened even if no one was around to hear.  The GoPro was so overwhelmed with wind noise that it never heard me either.

The forecast on the radio continued to chatter with the same monotonous mantra, "winds ten to twenty miles per hour will continue throughout the day..."  So much of that.  Had to turn off the radio to keep sane.  While I was warm enough, the water was a bit cool and reminded me how nice it was going to be to run with the wind home.  But in this sequence of video below, you can see how the little Cape Dory Typhoon takes the wind as I tack westward into the wind to reach Bomb Island.  As always, click on HD and full screen, for the best video quality.

By the time we'd sailed south, past Bomb Island, the turn-around brought us into her lee and the winds scooted right over our mast creating a small quiet refuge about 100 feet off her shores.  I thought about testing the Danforth anchor down below but remembered how lake winds are often fickle and can die in a few minutes to the unsuspecting, leaving one stranded miles from their port.  Unless you have a trusty motor like mine or Boat US towing, you're out of luck!  However, that I had no crew with which to chat, or to toss an anchor, thoughts of a warmer cruise home made a downwind run more attractive. 

This is undoubtedly my last sail of 2014 and a great way to finish off the year.  The sailing season continues into 2015 even if a bit chilly on some days!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Balancing between keeping the dory on tack, a GoPro that keeps jumping into the lake, and minding my route, I managed to get a bit of nice footage of a gorgeous sailing day.  Using a GoPro mounted on a pole extending from the flag mount, I chronicled about 2 hours of footage of a 3 hour sail.  There are so many things we don't see since we're not getting the entire view of the vessel underway.  Not saying this is the best photography, but it is an attempt to get a candid view of sail handling and effects of a tack in the dory.

This  partial chart above reveals my approximate tacks and rhumb lines across Lake Murray.  The red straight line is my downwind course.  Once to the finger of land at the top of the chart, I was able to simply "turn the corner" taking the wind on the beam returning to our "cove" area.  In all, probably had about 10 miles of sailing in this sequence.  Measured boat speed was about 4.5 kts at any given time.

Below is the first of two videos I took on the sail in which the conditions changed from windy and gusty to gusty and blustery, rain pouring out of squalls coming across the lake.  Rather than return to the Yacht Club, and intent on getting to "Bomb" Island, I set forth to make my way.  There was no convective activity, so I felt quite confident that the most I would encounter would be cold and wet.  Winds were gusting to 24 kts according to my handheld anemometer and waves were beginning to be quite bossy at about 2 feet or so.

In the map above I give an approximate idea of wind direction from the West and my approximate headings as I made my way slowly to the west beating against the blustery weather.  For an idea of the first hour of sailing, I have pared down a couple hours of GoPro video to about 3 mintues, tossed in some delightful music, and give you an "over-the-shoulder" look at what it must have been like to be aboard the Baggy Wrinkles on the first part of this day of sailing:

  It's take a bit of time to edit the footage on this 3 to 4 hours of sailing.  However, I think these frames will help the observer get a feel for the way the Cape Dory handles in the wind and waves.  This was the most pleasant part of the day.  The next installment will illustrate how weather will change and conditions worsen.  One has to be prepared for that when sailing out in nature's playground!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

So a gentle storm was "a-brewin" from the west, moving onto our lake for one day this week.  The winds were estimated to be all over the map, from 10 to 20, to as much as 17 to 30kts.   All sorts of wind variations were indicated.  It is nearly the end of December and the Yacht Club is deserted but for a few hearty folks who scoff at the wind and set sail anyway.  Like a friend said years ago, "if it were easy, everyone would be out sailing today...!"

I figured there was just this one day of good sailing in the next week or so, then Christmas holidays would require family visiting and travel and demands would keep BaggyWrinkles on her trailer.  So a trip to the club was in order despite the forecast.

Winds were forecast to be out of the West-SouthWest, just perfect conditions for making it back to our cove in safety if it proved more stormy than enjoyable.  However, looking at the photo below, you'd think no one in their right mind would want to be in that weather!  Even the lake was transformed into a dark lava looking surface strafed with lines of white left by heavy gusts.

Foreboding isn't it?  At least the temps were bearable.  Air was about 50+ degrees with a water temp in the 55 degree range on the surface.  I clocked winds with my handheld anemometer at a peak velocity of 24kts or about 30 mph.  Wind waves were initially about 2 feet and increased to a vigorous 3 feet during the sail.  Inviting?  Hardly, yet I wanted to run reefed again in this wind, and get some GoPro of the adventure into the winds this day.  Plus, I wanted to do the run to "Bomb Island" and back.  Bomb Island, duly named because it was a WWII practice Island for B-25s.  Today a bird sanctuary.  It was a crazy but do-able day of sailing.  You just had to accept that you would be wet most of the day!

Although I have video from this, it will take a while for the production unit (me) to get it assembled in a viewable form.  Plus, the PVC pipe rig bounced out and off the dory several times.  I had it lashed to the stern cleat fortunately.  Talk about hilarious.  Imagine sailing in that wind, grabbing the pole adrift at the stern, and keeping the entire thing headed in the right direction.  Even a little boat, Baggy Wrinkles can test your nerves quickly.

Here is a sequence of photos I grabbed with my handheld Nikon D3100 while hanging on to this wild ride.  I had it on automatic shutter.  I enhanced the photos to show what the frenetic activity really looked like.  Our human eye catches the brilliance of the water but it is hard to recapture.  The fact that the waves are hitting this hard illustrates the impact of waves and wind.  The bow was charging the increasing swell, causing the crashing you see in photos 1,2,3 and 5.  The lean of the boat is vivid in photo 4.

In the next installment, I will chronicle a bit more of this tempestuous sail.  I will explain the route I was taking and the plan beating to windward and returning wing and wing.  Overall, it was a great sail, very dynamic.  The dory kept pace with the winds and waves.  The only thing it lacked was its capability to "point" very well.  But I've known that.  It could be remedied a bit with a traveler, but I'm a bit reticent to put one on the transom and alter the original design of the vessel.  More follows...

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Explore the Cuddy Cabin

Sometimes we overlook the obvious.  After a short sail where the wind did not cooperate as much as I would have liked it to, I found myself putting things away on Baggy Wrinkles and thought, "why not show the real situation on available space down below?"

It seems we spend a great deal of time on deck, looking at rigging, pointing out this and that on the exterior of the vessel, and overlook the convenient storage and appointments of the cabin below.  This video clip is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but provides for those who may not know, the extent of space aboard a Cape Dory Weekender Typhoon.  It's about 5 minutes, no music, little editing, pretty straight-forward look:

I didn't explain everything down below however.  There are some other features, like the access points for the chain plates signaled by the teak covered caps on either side of the bulkheads, the storage shelf forward, the missing cushions which are fitted to the curvature of the fore cabin ( I keep these at home so that humidity will not invade them during longer periods of storage ), and I did not point out the obvious anchor lying between the sea-cocks on the sole underneath the cockpit.

A question might arise if I had repainted down below?  No I have not.  And I do not believe anyone has done so.  All the surface appears to be original and well cared for.