A great afternoon of sailing in the Great South Bay in warm, summer conditions. Winds around 25 kts, second reef in the main and not much jib sail unfurled. Lots of spray!
Second Reef Summer 2017
Cape Dory Typhoon
Its been about a year since I got to sail on "wink" a Cape Dory Typhoon that has been restored to Bristol condition by my friend Mikey DeTemple. This is the smallest monohull sailboat I have ever sailed on and I was a little concerned about how she would perform under sail. This day was a beautiful summer day with light Southerly winds in the morning that increased to about 10 knots or so during the afternoon.
At first sight Wink looks like a smaller version of the very sea capable Cape Dorys of the larger sizes like the Cape Dory 36. This little pocket yacht is very capable with a full keel and a real below cockpit rudder. These little boats can sail in a solid breeze and decent size waves. They even sail and perform well in light wind as seen in this video. I hope I get to sail on this boat again soon, I really enjoyed sailing a small vessel like this.
Cape Dory Typhoon
Spring Sailing 2017
A short and very sweet video edit by www.SailorsBox.com from a 30 nautical mile sail day. One of the first warm days of Spring on the Great South Bay gave us some nice Westerly/Southwesterly winds that ranged from light at times to 10-15knots with gusts to around 20. The sun was out and so were many of our South Bay Cruising Club buddies sailing on this amazing Spring day.
Spring Sailing 2017
Spring Sailing 2017
Summer GoPro Mix
All gopro clips from a great summer of sailing in 2016. Great South Bay, Long Island, New York. This was my first summer with my current sailboat S/V AleboatII a 1992 Hunter 28. I also had my first child with my wife in June of this summer. All in all, I still managed to get plenty of sails in. We even brought our son on the boat a dozen times, once he turned 2 months old. This is a video mixed of gopro clips through out this summer.
Summer GoPro Mix
2016 iPhone Clips
With over 150 sailing video clips all recorded on my iphone 6, I decided to make a video of just the clips captured using my phone. There was alot of clips from many different days sailing. Some with my wife and son, some days with my dog Gilligan and some days sailing with friends. Heres the edit of all these different clips.
2016 iphone Sailing Clips
FI Inlet to Montauk
Having a new born baby, a full time job, a house and all that goes along with that, its hard to go on a sailing passage. This summer I took a week off of work and planned a sailing adventure. But sailing offshore with a newborn isn't the smartest idea on a 28 foot sailboat. My wife and I decided to pick a place that she could drive and meet me with the baby and we could sleep on the boat for our vacation.
Montauk Yacht Club was my wife's choice and the 100 nautical mile sail trip in each direction was my idea of a vacation. I left my home dock around noon to head to Montauk. After 19.5 hours of mostly sailing and some motor sailing due to light winds, my self and crew of 2 friends made it to Lake Montauk. However we had some excitement of a two hour squall that packed winds around 30 knots with full sails up at 2 am. We managed to drop the main sail minutes before heavy rain that followed us for a couple hours. We made it by the next morning.
My wife and son drove out and met us at Montauk Yacht Club which we spent 2 nights at their dock. Having your boat and family at such a nice place with an in ground pool overlooking the boat basin was truly a vacation for the family. I enjoyed having my boat as my hotel room, in one of the best towns on Long Island. One of my crew took a train home and the other stayed in Montauk at an Air BNB rental and would sail back with me.
The sail back was into the wind and took 21 hours dock to dock. This was a pretty long passage with just two people splitting the time at the helm. But with competent crew, a solid vessel and proper preparations it was a wonderful sail back home. I look forward to a similar vacation sail trip next summer.
FI Inlet to Montauk and back Aug 2016
SBCC Race Night
Summer is one of the best times to sail in the North East (of USA). The air temps are warm as well as the water temps and there is plenty of water activities going on. This summer of 2016 was no exception to great sailing weather. What could make sailing any better this summer? Well joining a sailing/cruising/racing club sure adds some excitement, and the opportunity to sail and race with people who have the same passion.
This summer I finally joined the South Bay Cruising Club (SBCCsail.org) and started to join in on the Thursday Night Races. I am a cruiser at heart but wanted to start racing for a couple reasons. One to sail near and with people who love sailing and two to get better at handling my boat both in all wind conditions and in close quarters to other sail boats. I raced in as many of the races as my work schedule would allow and I learned a ton. I learned the rules of the road (racing safely and according to the rules) and fine tuned some of my sail trim and boat handling. Not to mention had so much fun and look forward to next race season.
This video is an edit of all the different races this season from on board and in the sky from a drone.
South Bay Cruising Club Race Night
Summer is known for hot days and great sailing but it is also known for the common afternoon thunderstorm or squall. Usually you can see the dark clouds from an approaching thunderstorm which warns you that it is coming. They often move very quickly so the warning to get ready comes quick. Too quickly to sail away and out run. This means if you are sailing, it is wise to drop the sails and perhaps the anchor depending on where you are.
In the case of this video we were sailing and noticed the storm front approaching... We dropped the main sail instantly since that takes a few moments to drop and secure. We were sailing jib only as far as possible to try to get in the lee of some land and in the most shallow water possible. Once the wind started increasing rapidly it was time to roll up the head sail and drop anchor. Dropping anchor only helps if you have a good anchor and rode set up. Thankfully I had swapped out the rode that came with the boat when I bought it which was just an 8ft plastic coated stiff chain. I replaced it with 15ft of a thicker, non coated, galvenized chain. This anchor chain is longer than half the size of my boat being a 28ft boat. This extra anchor chain is what kept my stock (lunch break fair weather anchor) laying on the bottom of the sandy bay floor and hooked in. The extra chain lays flat on the ground which allows the anchor shank to stay flat or parallel with the ground.
This storm caught us quick and packed a strong punch. Winds maxed out over 55MPH according to weather buoys close by. Although the storm lasted just about 20 minutes, it was intense and could have caused real damage. The location where we sail is not large and the strong winds, non stop waves and current could have drifted the boat into multiple docks and a large bridge. Be sure to have a good ground tackle arrangement on your boat because as the saying goes... Anchor like it's going to blow 50, because some day it will.
Summer Squall 2016
When asked to go for a sail on someone else's boat, I always try to take the opportunity. It was an early June shakedown sail on a friends 1972 Pearson 30 "Flatline". Our plan was to sail with the mainsail alone, not only to make sure the sail was properly set up, but to see the boats performance both down wind and briefly up wind with just the main. This was the first sail on Flatline this season. After stowing the sails away for the winter, it's nice to go for a sail with out a destination to ensure proper set up of the sail and it's running rigging. This boat handled well up wind with its deep 5' fin keel that is longer than the modern fin keeled boats. Downwind was a breeze with the main sail alone as expected. Of course we had to unroll some of the Genoa to have some fun heeling back up wind and to increase speed. It was a fun sail, sailing with a tiller once again especially on a boat of that size and weight. I look forward to getting back on Flatline again soon.
Flatline Pearson 30
While sailing upwind in a light east southeast breeze we decided to get some aerial video footage from my buddies drone. We have used the drone off a moving sailboat before but each time you must use extreme caution. Launching a drone off a moving boat while taking the wind into consideration is a tricky task. You need a crew of 3 people to get the drone launched. One person on the helm that can hold a steady course, one person steering and controlling the drone, and one person to hold and release the drone into the air.
It's important for a smooth drone launch for a few different reasons. Crew member safety is most important since the sharpe, lightening fast propellers can seriously cut and injure someone. Those same propellers can slice and damage sails in a flash. Also sailboats have plenty of lines, wires and stays that the drone could potentially hit and cause the drone to drop into the water. The drone is ruined if you can even retrieve it from the water.
We have unfortunately lost a whole drone setup including the drone, batteries and the attached gopro camera. We have learned our lesson to be sure to keep an eye on the drone when it is flying. If you lose sight of the drone it makes it incredibly hard to find again with the wind blowing it. We also have learned to not fly the drone in a setting sun which makes it very hard to see. If your drone has a "homing" feature that allows the drone to return to the controller area, get used to using that feature in the event that if you do lose sight of it. Needless to say the reward is worth the risk as seen in the video edit. Enjoy!
Drone View May 2016
May Sail Day
It's been a couple weeks since we had some heavy winds and clear skies here on South shore Long Island, ideal sailing conditions and better yet on a Sunday. The forecast called for westerly winds in the 20-30 knot range. With a forecast like this the message was spread to some sailing buddies and out we went.
I reefed the main at the dock and headed out with half the jib unfurled. In doing so, sailing downwind is easier with the jib alone. Having the main sail up as well can lead to an accidental jibe, which can be dangerous. This could send you straight to your local sail repair shop, mine being Sailors Choice, in Amityville, NY. Jibing accidentally can also cause injury to those in the line of the boom. One way to prevent jibing downwind is by tying a preventer from the boom to the deck.
After tacking to start sailing upwind close hauled we had to raise the mainsail under sail with just the jib pinching on the wind. We somewhat released the main sheet so we could stay under sail and raise the main. This allowed the boom to get a better angle into the wind. Once the main was raised we adjusted both the main and jib sheets to achieve our proper direction. We sailed upwind on multiple tacks and hadone had hell of time burying rail and getting sprayed!
Photos by: Tim on his new Parker, thanks man!
May Day Sail - Pic from Tims boat
May Sail Day
Mid April, can at times be seasonably warm and sunny with some good winds here on Long Island. However this year, April has been mighty chilly which has halted the usual yearly maintenance from getting its start. Varnish work shouldn't be done below 50 degrees and the water hasn't even been turned on yet down at the dock to scrub down the boat before a good waxing.
Unable to maintain and upkeep my beauty only means one thing, to sail her where the winds will take me. There's nothing better than ending a day at the office than to go for a sail. The sun was shinning with a nice breeze out of the west northwest. The only down side was the 40 degree air temperature which felt more like the lower 30's, which didn't stop me.
My buddy, Netter, another lifetime bayman and I were cruising down wind to the east and sailing upwind with the sheets hauled in tight toward the west. We bundled up in multiple layers under foul weather gear and a full body suit. Still wearing gloves along with multiple layers under foul weather gear seems like a hassle but it's worth it when you have the whole bay to yourself without another boat in sight. With a fresh breeze we were reefed down and sailing around 6 knots. The sun getting increasingly stronger as the spring goes on, was hardly helping keep us warm in the 15-20 knot wind. It may feel warm on land with temps in the 50's but once your off the dock, in the open breeze the temperature drops due to the frigid water temps that surround you. It's important to dress according to the sailing conditions and not the on land conditions as well as bringing extra clothing, jackets and gloves in the event that you get wet or the conditions get drastically worse.
What to wear/gear for cold spring Long Island weather when sailing......
The Third Reef Foul Weather Gear from West Marine:http://www.westmarine.com/third-reef is the perfect gear for inshore and close to shore foul weather gear. The Third Reef line is the largest selling because it is a good value for decent quality gear. This isn't the best line for around the world sailing but is great for the weekend sailor for an affordable price.
BVI Bareboat Charter
Throwing it back to last April 2015, my wife and I went on our first bareboat sailing charter for a week down in the good old British Virgin Islands.
Prior to booking this trip I was unsure if my sailing resume was up to par with the standards charter companies require when they hand you over the keys to a 200,000 yacht. After reviewing my captains log and compiling the lists of voyages I have taken from NYC through the north shore of Long Island, to the Atlantic Ocean and through pretty much the entire great South Bay I began to feel like cruising down in the crystal clear and deep blue waters of the Caribbean wouldn't be so intimidating after all.
Booking a bareboat charter requires your commitment very far in advance, that is if you want the best bang for your buck (getting the early booking fee discount) and dibs on the perfect vessel for you, your friends and or family. Being I only booked a bareboat charter twice, BVI Yacht Charters gives you this awesome early booking discount a year in advance as well as a returning customer discount. Some may think how can I commit to a trip so far away, but for sailors, people seeking adventure, and those who just simply enjoy navigating new waters, not to mention crystal clear waters with your next destination in view an island away, then early commitment is a must!
Boat check, airfare check, vacation time check... Time to plan your sailing itinerary. Sailing unknown waters required me to do a lot of research. I started by ordering BVI/ USVI nautical charts along with the BVI Cruising Guide. On those snowy and cold winter and early spring evenings leading up to the trip my wife and I would lay out the charts on the dining room table and crack open a craft beer. No better pairing than a couple Montauk Session IPAs and a nautical chart on the table.
You can find our April 2015 BVI sailing itinerary below:
Day 1: Sailed from Road Town, Tortola where we left the charter dock. Sailed to Sopers Hole, Tortola.
Day 2: Sailed from Sopers Hole to Great Harbor, Jost Von Dyke. Went to the famous Soggy Dollar Bar and Ivans on White Bay Beach.
Day 3: Sailed to DIamond Cay and Sandy Spit.
Day 4: Sailed from Jost Von Dyke to Norman Island. Jumped off the Willy T Ship Wreck.
Day 5: Sailed from Norman Island to Cooper Island.
Day 6: Sailed from Cooper Island to Virgin Gorda. Stopped along the way at the Baths. Checked out the pristine Bitter End Yacht Club and went to Saba Rock for dinner and drinks.
Day 7: Sailed from Virgin Gorda back to Tortola.
Day 8: After a long week on the water, spent a night at the Scrub Island Resort, Scrub Island.
I hope those of you trying to plan your BVI sailing itinerary find this helpful! Just booked a Nautitech Open 40 Catamaran with a group of good friends for next April. Looking forward to doing it all over again, with a few revisions to the itinerary!
Sopers Hole, Tortola
Sunrise at Sopers Hole
White Bay Beach, Jost Von Dyke
The Bight, Norman Island
Willy Ts, Norman Island
Dinghy Dock, Cooper Island Beach Club, Cooper Island
The Baths, Virgin Gorda
Saba Rock, Virgin Gorda
Bushwackers Poolside at Scrub Island Resort, Scrub Island
BVI Bareboat Charter 2015 pt 1
BVI Bareboat Charter 2015 part2
Reefed East Wind Sail
Reefed Sail East Wind march 2016 Final
The plan was to sail about 20 nautical miles East of the dock to grab lunch up the Patchgoue River. With solid East winds in the 20-25 kt + range and 2-3 foot short period chop, we sailed up wind through the Great South Bay tacking back and forth. We made it about 3 miles from our destination when we decided to make a final tack and sail down wind.
When we were sailing downwind we kept both the reefed main sail up and the half furled jib open. Making 6-6.5 knots down wind, we accidentally jibed the main sail which broke 6 sail slides. Immediately we cranked on the inboard diesel engine and headed into the wind to drop the main to prevent further damage. With about half the jib open we sailed down wind between 5 and 6 knots toward Bay Shore Marina. Over a couple beers and burgers we warmed up and relived the day of sailing. Going forward we will now drop the main sail and sail downwind with the jib alone to prevent a damage causing jibe.
Reefed Sail East Wind march 2016 Final
Welcome to The Sailor Mon! Just a quick glimpse on deck of some of my favorite sailing vessels, conditions, waterways, and good mates.