Thursday, July 19, 2007

Wed. Nite 7-18-07

What was billed as the last Wed. night race did not turn out so. I will have several more at least until 8-1-07. Crew was Ellen and Jack, Steve and Jackie, Trent, Rick and his son Derek. The wind was brisk and felt great. We were the only finisher as Lone Star turned back. Once again I dispare of the future for Wed. Nite racing. It seems to be in a terminal decline.

The lashings at the halyard let loose so I had to be hoisted to the masthead after the race. No fun. I guess I will have to spring for some shackles this week.

Oil Change

Today was the first day of my retirement without any medical duties. It was great.

I changed the oil on the White Pepper. I got all 5 quarts of oil to come out through the dip stick hole and 5 new quarts of Mobil 1 back in. I changed the filter, greased the steering cables, added anti-freeze as coolant, and cleaned up the lazarette. There must have been 110 pounds of old line down there. It went to the storage unit. I may need the line as "webbing" in case of a hurricane. Bob came down to change out the baby stay which has sprung several wires.

This is just the start of a very long process of clean up and preparedness for out cruise.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Last Wednesday Night for White Pepper

In all likelihood Wed. 7-18-07 will be the last Wed. night race for yacht White Pepper for some time. I plan to move the boat to her new home in the canals of Padre Island. There is so much work to be done that I wonder if 5 months is not enough to prepare for our cruise. I estimate that I have done 800+ Wed. night races since 1976 and probably 450+ on the C&C. So everybody show up. After that Wed. we will race on Steve's new Ranger 26.

Also the Navy Day Race will likely be the last competitive all sails race of the year. Please everyone e-mail me if you can or can't make it.

Bastile Day

We cruised to Bahia Mar for the Bastille Day celebration. There was good sailing and the wind blew hard in the anchorage so mosquitoes were not a problem. Larry Joe Taylor played great. All of the usual suspects were at the party including a surprise visit from Thomas Greisen. Thomas was my sail maker 20 years ago when I was trying to turn the Puff into a grand prix racer. Thomas went on the make sails for Larry Ellison's 150 foot sloop--far cry from a Ranger 28.

Ellen and Jack stayed on the boat Sat. night which was great since I needed Jack's help Sunday morning. The new freezer/fridge has burned up all of the batteries. We made a flying run to Walmart Ingleside Sunday am to buy a cheap marine battery just to start the motor. Soon I will have to buy large, expensive batteries to stand up to the steady current draw of the freezer. It only drew 5 amps which is a miracle considering the oppressive heat of July, but 5 amps times 24 hours will empty almost any battery on the market. I am considering buying 2 Odessy brand AGM's--the largest they have.

White Pepper sails to Las Vegas

White Pepper sailed to the port of Las Vegas to help marry off loyal foredecker Clay Watson and master quarter stay mate Chrystal Glisson. The 7-7-07 wedding was wonderful, and the illusion presented by the Venetian hotel of St. Mark's square at sunset was amazing. Also at the wedding was Mark McNamara. Along with Jan and I that makes 4 of the 6 crew members who made the wonderful trip to Isle Mujeres. Also present was Bruce and Tamy Swart. Bruce is an honorary Isle Mujeres crew since he picked us up at the Reyanosa airport. Best wishes to Clay and Crystal and I hope they keep sailing.

White Pepper saw many amazing things in Las Vegas--the ship sinking outside of Treasure Island casino, lions at the MGM Grand, tigers at the Mirage, water fountains at the Bellagio, a really scary front row ride on the roller coaster outside and around the New York, New York casino, and more concentrated luxury than imaginable at the Forum Shop of Caesar's Palace.
But the most amazing sight was the Cirque du Soleil's Beatles' Love. This has to be the future of theater in the 21st century. Even with such a thin libretto as the songs of the Beatle's psychedelics period (i.e. St Pepper and the White album) Cirque do Soleil put on a spelling binding show. I wonder what they could do with Mozart's Don Giovani?