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Old 13-10-2009, 21:52   #1
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Pushing My Envelope While 'Kroozing' Locally

It was a breakthrough for me to spend 2 nights aboard our own boat 'Odalisque'. It did not matter that we were tied up to the clubs dock for each night. What mattered was that we were prepared for an overnight or two and that we actually did go up the Hudson about 20 miles, about 2 miles past the Bear Mtn. Bridge before we turned around and rode the northerly winds down the river with just our jib out after motoring north against some 30 knot gusts in the worst spots. I spotted a juvenile Sturgeon leaping out of the water that was about 2' long. It is nice to think that our Hudson River can still sustain such life in it.
Why just the jib? Well, the halyard fitting that grabs the hea of our main sail is as old as our boat and worked itself loose in all the winds and when we raised the main near Indian Point the halyard went up the mast and needs updating. This took a bit of wind out of our sails so to speak. We motored dutifully on with our old Atomic 4 cranking out the thrust as the scenery changed from sloping hills to hilly. We decided to turn around before West Point and the crook known as 'Worlds End' as it would be easier to get home and fix the halyard then motor on into certain brutal headwinds. It was not a bad choice as we had come 20 nm. up the river in about 6 hours of motoring and sailing and we had the wind with us going back down if not the current.
The stink blowing winds by Anthony's Nose (mtn.) and Bear Mtn. gave us readings on the GPS of 6 knots with just our full jib out. Our boat was acting more like a dinghy as the gusts came in and made it try to head up then I ever recall so we tacked downwind under genny alone making great time where the best we were able to eek out against these same winds was 4 knots under motor against the wind and waves. We flew down river so fast that we reached Haverstraw Bay (one possible anchor/ditch out point) by nearly 5 after setting out at 9:30 the same morning. About this same time we noticed that the A4 was quite reluctant to power up under load and shut her down and sailed for a bit in Haverstraw Bay. Matt and I serviced the engine with some carburator linkage checking, replacing the old spark plugs and checking and renewing a bit of oil for our old work horse. Once all this had been done our old flat head engine was back to her usual self and up for the challenges ahead.
We continued sailing under jib alone making close to 5 knots most of the time as the sun set lower in the west over the rocky Tors above Nyack. At this point my shutterbug companions had their lethal looking SLR cameras out so I took over the helm and let them shoot the twilight sky; I did sneak a shot or two of my own which will be forthcoming from my very diminutive camera, yet I am hoping for some sharing of the images captured while I helped to make it so.
All in all we covered about 40 nm. of the Hudson going up and back in about 10 hours which would give us an average speed of around 4 knots. The faster part of those two legs would be under sail alone given the wind was gusting from the north to close to 30.
My regrets are that we did not spend and overnight as a group and it was only me that stayed with the boat tied up at the dock, which is about as sweet as it gets really, and that we did not try to pull into a lee area and try to hoist one of us up the mast as I have witnessed on Terry's boat. Since it was our main halyard that was lost up at the top I was not at all confident about hoisting one of my good friends up the mast to retrieve it. A boat from the club up the river was parked at our mooring so I got to spend another night on board while tied up at the dock after a wonderful dinner in Nyack.
The next day we found a teenager who we hoisted up there with the mast crane at our club and he grabbed the errant shackle and line and dragged it down. A few beers are owed out as payment to the father of the young lad and some others who helped.

That is quite enough and is 40 for tonight,
Over and out.
My best to all,
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Old 14-10-2009, 03:52   #2
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Sounds like a great time. Congratulations!

Sounds like you need to have higher confidence in your Halyards. Main, Spinnaker and jib (assuming mast head). That kind of failure is a PITA.

Noce photos too - thanks for sharing!
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Old 14-10-2009, 07:36   #3
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Great adventure, and wonderfull pics thanks.
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Old 14-10-2009, 08:23   #4
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Well done, we all did it one step at a time and the Hudson is alot harder to sail than the Caribbean. Just tie the halyard with a bowline and sail on. But you might want to buy towing $150 I ever spent.

"Remember, experience only means that you screw-up less often."
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Old 14-10-2009, 14:03   #5
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Originally Posted by CalebD View Post
It was a breakthrough for me to spend 2 nights aboard our own boat 'Odalisque'.

I sheepishly have to admit you are one up on me. I've owned Espina since 2005, and have yet to spent a nite aboard. In between repairing and renovating, I've never had a bunk that was fit to sleep in. I almost made it this summer but the portlight gaskets have decayed to the point that water won't stay out, and that cushion is now a moldy mess.

I tried it one night on Sabre Dance and ended up on deck at 0630 coughing from a mold attack. Seems the cushions weren't as clean as I had thought.

Anyway, I envy you. Next year for sure on one or the other of them....

SV Sabre Dance, Roberts Offshore 38
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Old 14-10-2009, 14:34   #6
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Sounds like a grand trip to me. You made the best of the situation and got the job done too. Some times you can't do what you expect and it takes a lot to know the difference.

You learn a lot on trips like this and part of it is knowing wanting is not the same as doing. There is only partial truth to wanting something bad enough is actually enough. You do need to execute properly to be safe.

Running a boat in big air is clearly a hoot and a half. Sounds like you had a great trip in the end. Running on a only a jib is a good tactic when you could have been clearly over powered with both. Once the winds blow over 25 on your boat you need to use caution. Wind power is geometric not linear.
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Old 14-10-2009, 17:25   #7
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Congratulations! always benefit more from what you learn early on...that knowledge will come in handy down the road.
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