Welcome anonymous guest

Please Support

News » My Sailing Stories

Harvest Moon Regatta 2010 - 157 miles of Texas Coastline (in the dark)

Added by damonAdmin on Nov 04, 2010 - 10:32 PM
2010 Harvest Moon Regatta on the Beach

Story by Lee Wicklund -- Initially I had planned on doing this race with Chris Green as we had talked about doing it for the past few years on my Nacra 20 beach catamaran, 20 feet long, 8.5 feet wide, 390 pounds with no cabin, just a trampoline between the hulls. Usually something came up and we scrapped the idea. This year, I was hell bent on doing it. Unfortunately Chris has a job and couldn't get out of some previously scheduled commitments.

I contacted Wendy Simkins of Spanish Fork, Utah since she had expressed great interest in doing more of this type of racing at Ruff Riders in South Padre. She bought a ticket and headed down Wednesday evening before the race. I stopped by the Green's for a few last minute items and picked up Wendy at the airport then headed to Galveston. The forecast wasn't looking to favorable for a beach cat doing this in the dark and I was contemplating my escape routes should it get too rough. Initially it was looking like the weather wouldn't get rough till mid day Friday, so we should be ok.

Footnote: The Harvest Moon Regatta is a long distance coastal race along the Texas coast, one of the rules of entry is boats must be "27 feet length on deck" which is why the Nacra 20 didn't quite qualify for official entry. Good effort and great story Lee, get em next time.

Remembering My First Ocean Sail

Added by damonAdmin on Jan 06, 2006 - 03:14 PM
By Gary Friesen -- I was about 21 years old and had just bought my first Hobie 16. It was a beat up, old red thing with plain white sails. I wasn't proud of her appearance, but I could afford her. I think that I paid about $350, on the trailer. As usual, I had no crew.

My niece who was about 9 years old at the time, was a good swimmer, body-surfer, and had taken some kind of a junior life saving swimming pool class. The two of us had swum like fish together in the ocean surf, many times. So I invited her along for a possible boat ride. I invited my parents too. It was a ploy. I could tell them that they were needed to baby-sit my niece in case I found it unsafe to take her on the boat. This way, I did not have to admit that I wanted my father there in case I couldn't raise the mast or get the boat back onto the trailer.

I had sailed my friend, Dan's Hobie 16 in a lake and had sailed my 12' mono hull in another local lake. Both experiences were lacking much wind. I knew where to find wind; the Pacific Ocean. I was familiar with where all the public motorboat launches were and I chose the one that I thought looked like it had best access. I was not too far from a well-known catamaran beach at Claremont Street but did not know anything about Claremont.

Los Angeles harbor is huge, a hundred square miles. It seemed like a good place to get ocean breeze while not being too affected by the surf. I headed to Cabrillo Beach public boat launch in San Pedro. When I got there, the wind was already blowing pretty hard and I was noticeably intimidated. I spoke to one of the locals and asked about how windy it gets there. He found out that I was a rookie and immediately told me that I was at the wrong place. I did not know that I was at the windiest hole in Los Angeles that carries the nickname "Hurricane Gulch!"

Footnote: Thanks Gary, for this sentimental story of the beginning of your catamaran journey.

Local Catamaran Sailors Venture to Catalina Island

Added by damonAdmin on Nov 21, 2005 - 03:29 PM
All who sailed or attempted to sail to Catalina Island this past weekend had a wonderful time.

From Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro, we had 4 Inter 20's, a Prindle19, a Nacra 5.8, a C-class cat, a Warrior 29, a Tornado, and a Reynolds 33. The C-class cat opted out when it looked highly improbable that anyone would actually reach the island before dark-thrity. Chris on the Tornado also turned back, as he had planed to because he only had one sailing day available.

Solo sailors included Chris on his Tornado, Lee on his Inter 20, Alan on his Inter 20, and John on his Reynolds 33. Also Kelly single-handed from Newport Beach on a 30' Piver trimaran.

Those who had motors used them quite a bit and those who didn't were either towed at times or did lots of paddling. The one exception was Alan, who took a ride on the C-class cat Friday, then sailed himself over to the island on his Inter 20 on Saturday when he had wind for the whole trip. He may also have been the only one in the entire fleet to have landed when there was still some daylight.

The Marina Del Rey fleet that was to consist of a Viva 27, a Reynolds 21, and a Hobie 21, a Hunter 42, and a Choate 40 had no wind on Friday. The Hunter did not go. Geoff, on the Viva 27 motored all the way to Twin Harbors. Chris and Richard from the Choate made the crossing on an 18' Whaler with a 150 horsepower grinder. I presume that the Reynolds 21 didn't set sail. I spoke with Collin who sailed the Hobie 21 on Saturday and made it to approximately the shipping lanes and having not been to Twin Harbors before, opted to turn back to the coast where they made an emergency night landing for safety. They sailed back to Marina Del Rey on Sunday and it was a very long haul for them. They accepted a tow from a passer-by when they got close to the harbor. It took them 4 hours to get close to the harbor from Point Vicente.

Footnote: Thanks Gary, for that great report!

Hobie 18 Catamaran Shipwrecked on Lake Michigan

Added by damonAdmin on Sep 14, 2003 - 06:30 PM
Here is a cautionary tale from a Lake Michigan catamaran sailor that explains the events leading to the demise of his Hobie 18 catamaran sailboat while sailing from Muskegon Harbor. Damon

I had been tracking the wind speed, from the office, at 12-16 knots steadily from the southwest all morning. Around noon, I was able to get a crew to head out to the lake at 2:00 PM - Friday July 25, 2003.

I should have known was not a good sign that on the way to the lake there was a major accident. An driver had crossed the center lane of the highway and hit another car, forcing us to detour and delay launching.

My Hobie 18 Magnum catamaran is kept mast up on a catamaran beach inside the Muskegon Harbor breakwater, so we quickly got it rigged and launched. The acceleration out of the harbor was GREAT! After clearing the lighthouse, that is where we ran into a slight problem.

Footnote: Ken, thanks for sharing, the only way catamaran sailors can learn from others experiences, is if we hear the stories.

Tornado Catamaran Sailor "Enters" the Tri-Point Anacapa Race.

Added by damonAdmin on Aug 28, 2003 - 01:40 PM
Well, I crashed the Tri-Point race last Saturday. This race, part of the LandRover 3 races series, goes around Rig Gina & Anacapa Island to starboard and is organized by PierPoint Bay Yacht club in Ventura Harbor, CA. Race distance is ~45 miles. It's primarily a lead-bottom sailboat race, but they have an ORCA class for multihull sailboats. My Tornado catamaran doesn't qualify, but what the heck, it's a free ocean! Here's my report of the race... my first ever solo circumnavigation of Anacapa Island:

Multi's started last (about 11:25am) at the Mandalay power station buoy in 5-10 knots wind in fairly flat seas. Since I wasn't an official entry, I decided to let Afterburner (a 52 ft LOA catamaran racing machine), 2 of 10 (a 36 ft Rolland flat-out racing catamaran), a Reynolds 21 catamaran, and several Farrier and Corsair Trimarans have their way with the line.

Footnote: Great job Mike!

Rough Day on Santa Monica Bay

Added by damonAdmin on Jul 17, 2003 - 01:57 PM
It has been a tough month for me and yesterday's adventure was hopefully the peak of my excitement for the month. 

At June's end I had a great trip in the Channel Islands National Park with my crew, Bill Mattson.  We sailed Whisk (my Mystere 6.0 catamaran) for four days, covering 140 nautical miles and visited a lot of places that we had not yet seen.  We hit a superb weather window that occurred as the "June Gloom" lifted and light to moderate winds blessed our days of sunshine and calm seas. July was off to a bang for me as I toured the West Coast by car and saw a spectacular fireworks show in Seattle.  On the way back home, I took a jet boat ride on the Rogue River in Grants Pass, Oregon.

Footnote: Be sure and read the rest of Gary's account of his catamaran sailing adventures in the Pacific Ocean. Please note that Gary is an exceptionally well prepared and experienced catamaran sailor, don't try this at home!

Offshore At Night, Capsized In A Storm, With A Shark.

Added by Windlord on Jul 07, 2003 - 05:42 PM
First person present tense works best for this catamaran sailing story. It allows me to think and try to feel what I was thinking and feeling then.

Background: Port Aransas, Texas (on Mustang Island) Hobie Fleet 99 annual Sand Dune Regatta, after sailing the last race on Saturday

It's been a frustrating day. Wind 10 to 15 and gentle swells, but the courses were set with very long upwind and downwind legs, and very short reaches. Upwind, cross current and almost broadside to the wave action. Downwind about the same but with a few sleigh rides. All races were course VIIs.

Footnote: Thanks for sharing, Sonny!

December long weekend

Added by Bill on Feb 06, 2003 - 12:44 AM

I thought it would be a good idea to share our "long weekend" vacation adventure last Dec 5-9 with you all. However I need to set the stage. To do so I have started our story with the E-mails traded at the Beachcats Mailing List that led to this story.

Bill Cash" Date: Sat Nov 9, 2002 9:01 am Subject: Re: Charters
Katherine and I are planning a vacation around our 30th anniversary in February. One thought is to go to Belize and do the "Under the Sun in Belize" trip. Sounds like a fun trip... 8 days on an 18 going from Cay to Cay and lodge to lodge, BUT its expensive. $1950 each plus 750-1000 each for airfare. And since we don't know anyone who has done this trip we have some reservations about dumping 6K on a vacation.

My second thought is to do a bare boat charter, BUT the vast amount of our sailing experience is on beachcats or very small monoslugs. IM not sure a charter service is gonna allow us to bareboat a 30+' catamaran with beachcats as the backbone of my sailing resume... Can anyone point me to a "more relaxed" charter service, in the Keys of the Islands?

From: "Damon" Date: Fri Nov 8, 2002 9:08 pm Subject: Re: [beachcats] Charters
Do it! Do it! Take lots of pictures and write an article for TheBeachcats.com, you can be the reporter for the Central America desk while your there. <grn> The pay will be low (0), the work will be hard, but the honor will be great!

Footnote: Great job Bill, thanks for sharing. <grn></grn>

The Milt Ingram Story - An Unsuccessful Attempt on a Hobie 16

Added by mattson on Nov 03, 2002 - 06:21 PM
By Bill Mattson

It was a tough day with lessons learned.

We started the Milt Ingram Trophy Race on a Hobie 16, the smallest boat in a field of about 70. We came back on a Coast Guard boat with the Hobie in tow...

New Member, Marina Del Ray

Added by makoa on Mar 21, 2002 - 03:22 PM
I have just moved my Hobie 18 to Marina Del Ray, CA. I;m looking for people to sail with and people whom I can learn from since I am a novice sailer. Thanks Brad Gaian