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 Sailing in the San Juan's
San Juan Sailing Club Newsletter-
August/September 1997
Don’t have a cardiac arrest--it’s a real newsletter (well, maybe surreal would be a better description!)
 “It ain’t long before it’s gone, might as well have a good time...”
   Betty Sampson --MERRYEYE
Sad, but true--summer is rapidly drawing to a close, just as club participation seems to be peaking.  The past couple of weekends have been some of the nicest of the summer--nice wind, nice weather (dodging the occasional thunderboomer), great racing--too bad it has to end.
Lots of news to cover, so we’ll start with upcoming events
LABOR DAY WEEKEND--The First Annual Jimmy Buffet Classic.  Gather Saturday evening at 5:00 p.m.  at Turtle Cove for a beach BBQ.  Bring your own everything.  There should be spaces to pull up even deep draft boats, or anchor out (if you don’t have a dinghy, someone will come by & ferry you in).  Bring your favorite Jimmy CD, too.  And maybe, if we’re real good boys and girls and aren’t too hung over, we can try for a race Sunday morning in that lovely morning breeze (see race notes, below).
The  Annual He-Man Cup and Brunch--September 13&14th--It’s our annual endurance exercise (a few would call it masochism, but hey, we’re tough). Are you ready for the annual endurance contest?  the prayers for wind?  swimming to push the boat (not!)?  the race which is grounds for divorce in any court?
For all the griping about lack of wind, etc., we sure seem to have a great turnout for this one, so start getting ready now (hint--your esteemed commodore even unloads his cheese grater).  Here’s the schedule.
Skipper’s meeting (and cocktails):
7:00 p.m. at the mooring cove dock, Friday, September 12.  Mandatory except with “papal” dispensation.  (Call Jerry at 247-7702 or Dan at 259-1160  if you can’t make it--you must attend or make advance arrangements!)
He-Man Cup on Saturday, September 13 (note change from previous years--not Sunday).  Racing fleet (spinnaker class), which will sail around the buoy at the  mouth of San Juan Arm past Sims (about 16 miles one way), will start promptly at 7:00 (10 minute gun at 6:50).  Starting line at mouth of mooring cove; finish line is “no wake” buoys in mooring cove.   Depending on number of entries, cruising fleet may start at same time or 10 minutes later.  Cruising fleet (non-spinnaker) sails to La Jara buoy, about 12 miles one way.  (Need to start early to catch what breeze we can, ha-ha.)  Entry fee $10 members, $15 non-members.
Brunch for all members & guests (not just the He-Man racers)  on Sunday the 14th at 10:00 a.m.  (again, note change from previous years), at Mooring Cove Dock.  Club provides champagne, rest is potluck.  Bring yourself and enough of the following for your crew and guests: Orange Juice (to go with the champers, naturally), eggs, bacon, and breakfast rolls.  We’ll combine all of this and have a cookout!  Awards at brunch.   Please RSVP to Jerry at 247-5607, Dan at 259-1160, or Janet at 247-5607 with how many plan to attend.
A few reminders...
SAFETY FIRST!  Make sure you have required life jackets & safety equipment--nav lights are required by racing rules if sailing after dark.  Food & water (and beer!) strongly recommended.  Race Committee reserves right to prohibit small open boats from competing, depending on weather.  Boats are expected to go to the aid of any boat requiring assistance--see time allowance provision, below.  Pushing the boat while swimming is not allowed, and the first mate’s decision to start the motor at any time after 8:00 p.m. is final.
Any boat not keeping track of its own time is an automatic DNF.    Either use a stopwatch or keep track of your own start and stop times.  Time allowance during race (you must give us the start and stop times) for emergencies or threatening weather--note cause.  (Inventive excuses about spousal reconciliation not acceptable.)  Race committee may halt or cancel race due to weather, but each skipper is expected to use his own judgment!
A big thank you to Frank and Marilyn for letting us use the mooring cove dock.  Please do not tie up at the dock--slips are all reserved.  Dinghy in, or a couple of dinghies (and the Dinghy Lady) will be available for shuttle service--call on VHF (we’ll have a couple of hand-helds at the dock).
Pray for wind and start whistling and scratching those backstays. . . .
(“It’s deja vu all over again”--Yogi Berra.  The above may look a little familiar, but hey, it’s tough to improve on last year--thanks, Janet.)
He-Man trivia--Old timers remember past He-Man Cups with nostalgia (isn’t it amazing how your memory blocks out unpleasant events?  The first He-Man was in 1988, with a diverse fleet, ranging from Crazy Kid’s predecessor, Flying Eagle, and Candle Dancer to a Catalina 22’s,  Cat’s Paw, Blue Parrot, and Mike Hagan’s Cyclone 13.  Mike achieved immortality when asked  what provisions he had aboard.  In reply, Mike held up a banana and a can of Coke.  This had the best wind of any He-Man, with most boats finishing before sunset (all but two with an uncorrected time of less than 10 hours).
Then there was the year of thunderstorms.  Only 4 boats participated that year.  Don Aarvold doesn’t often retire from a race, but that year he was single-handing aboard his Merit 25, Blue Ribbon.  After almost being struck by lightning and then running aground (it took Cat’s Paw and Hagans’ Flicka 25, Columbine, to pull him loose), he understandably threw in the towel.
At least three skippers have single-handed--Hagan (at least twice), Aarvold (at least twice), and Dickinson (unless a basset hound and two cats count as crew).   Betty commented that when Don single-handed, she wondered if he yelled  at the autopilot. Any others?
Longest finishing time--25+ hours for Loye Hilton, giving birth to the Tenacity Award.  (It seems to me that we once had a boat finish at 10:00 the next morning, but I couldn’t find mention in the old newsletters.  Loye has won this twice.  The last time,he was last seen motoring off for home with the turtle trophy proudly displayed on top of the cabin.  Unfortunately, the lack of sleep kicked in, and he fell asleep and ran hard into the shoreline!
Two years ago, it was a real drifter, even worse that usual.  Janet Dickinson & Jenny Wolff, along with assorted crew, were committee aboard Cat’s Paw.  Dementia was drifting around in with no wind just above the narrows about dusk.   Jerry had managed to ghost in on the last of the wind about 4:30 The crew called Cat’s Paw to see what the wind was like.  The reply was, “Flat calm.”   Before the transmission was over, you could hear the starter grinding!
Best fleet ever was seventeen boats in 1991.  Unfortunately, that was the year we tried to start the race over by Island Cove on the east shore.  The wind shadow hit big time right at the start, and only eight boats made it around the first mark.  After bobbing around for two hours and being pushed into the rocks, the rest called it quits and had a beach party.   Willis E (Roger and Jo Beachy) and Boatique (Ron & Beryl Seabourne) got the Tenacity Awards that year, with Boatique finishing at 3:30 a.m. and Beachy’s finally throwing in the sponge at Euell Canyon about 10:30 the next morning.  (They were afraid that all the champagne would be gone before they got in.)
Is this fun, or what?
MEA CULPA--One of these days I’ll remember to get all the dots, tildes, and other assorted characters in my URL’s (internet website addresses, technically a Uniform Resource Locator) and to proofread my work.  Betty’s website address, where the club newsletter & other useful poop may be found, is (see that pesky little tilde, the squiggly mark in front of “merryeye”?  I sort of left it out.)  Site is up and running.  Thanks again, Betty.
Dinghy Report— Motor is temporarily out of service.  Apparently, the waves from a storm shoved the dinghy’s gunwale under the dock, and the motor slamming against the dock broke the magneto mounts, part of the cylinder head.  We’re checking to see if it can be fixed (or if it’s worth it).  The motor guru has known for years that the lower unit leaks, but Trembly’s Marine says as long as you drain it each year so it doesn’t freeze, it will probably keep going.  If it can’t be fixed, Board will decide whether to replace it.  If you know of anyone with an old used motor,  4-8  hp., contact a Board member.  Also, someone (the guilty party knows who he or she is) dropped the lock in the drink--it will be replaced.
The racing Corner--Starting with this issue, we’ll try to have a regular feature on racing rules & tips.  Guest columnists are welcome, as until a few years ago I knew about as much about yacht racing as I do about astrophysics.  We’ll start off this month by taking a look at one of the major changes under the new rules and a situation which arose in the last race.
As most of you know, the
CAN WE DO ANYTHING ABOUT PWC’S?  Editorial Comment   As cruising sailors, most of us don’t have much use for personal watercraft (jet skis and jet bikes, collectively personal watercraft or PWC’s).  All of us have grumbled from time to time when an evening sail or a quiet anchorage is disrupted by the damned things buzzing around.   Why does it seem that many operators of PWC’s range from the  inconsiderate (or imbecilic) to the outright dangerous?  My personal theory is that there is some sort of boat attractor built into the damned things which causes them to buzz around every boat in sight, even if the rest of the lake is empty.
In recent weeks, a couple of incidents have been more than mildly annoying. On the 4th of July, PWC’s being operated by juveniles repeatedly circled Dementia, Cat’s Paw and other boats rafted or anchored in Turtle Cove.  This probably was deliberate.  The previous evening, a polite request to a jet bike in the same group not to start a water skier within 50 feet of the boats met with obscenities.  The jet bike, incidentally, had no observer and was operating without lights after dusk.
The past two weekends, a jet bike (yellow SeaDoo, no one has gotten the registration) has been running around with a straight exhaust, which can be heard clear across the lake.  This clown also was pulling a skier without an observer.  Unfortunately, attempts to involve State Parks have been unsuccessful.   We’re trying to work with the Arboles State Park Office to determine which New Mexico statutes apply and can be enforced.  New Mexico is less strict in many areas--no speed limits, for example.  Colorado has an 86 dbA limit on noise 50 feet from the vessel (our friend on the jet bike wouldn’t make this 500 feet away) and also requires a factory muffler or underwater exhaust (he flunks that one too).  State Parks, however, apparently has only one db meter, which is passed around from park to park, and no enforcement units were on the water this weekend.
It’s more that just irritation, though.  PWC’s cause a disproportionate number of accidents and injuries.  Recently, in Florida, a national champion jet skier jumped a wake and landed on another PWC, killing the driver.  He is charged with manslaughter.  There have been at least two serious accidents involving rental PWC’s at Navajo.  How many of us have had to make a sudden course change to avoid a PWC (or water skier) who fell right in front of our boats?
What to do?  The best article I have seen on the subject is “The PWC Plague” by Tom Neale in the May 1997 issue of Cruising World.   Neale correctly points out that an outright ban on PWC’s is probably not legally nor politically possible.   I am always hesitant to suggest government regulation--it might be used on us next! As the saying goes, be careful what you ask for--you might get it.
Neale argues that the principal problem with PWC’s is the number of inexperienced operators (especially rentals)  and operators under sixteen. He suggests that PWC’s aren’t boats and should be in a separate category, like ATV’s and snowmobiles, and that the key to solving the problem is mandatory education, age restrictions, and restrictions on speed or operation in sensitive areas (along with improved enforcement).  Get a copy of the article and forward it to your friendly state legislator and to the Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation.
And while we’re on the subject--I’d like to shove a db meter up the transom of some of these power boats with straight pipes or megaphone exhausts.  You know the ones I’m talking about--when they fire them up in the marina, conversation instantly becomes impossible, and they hurt your ears when they’re ½ mile away.  Why is it that at the lake, where everyone comes for peace and relaxation, exhaust systems are allowed which would be illegal on any city street?
asjsc bd mtg 8-25
DLD secy
Last Month's Newsletter:
San Juan Sailing Club- Event Update
August 1997
 Sorry, folks, for the abbreviated newsletters lately!  The following note from Betty helps explain what’s happening.
To the Board and Members of the San Juan Sailing Club...Ahoy and greetings!
This note is to let you know that I am going to be unable to continue as secretary for the San Juan Sailing Club.  As much as I enjoy the challenge of making stuff up for the newsletter, not to mention the bribes I get for making up finish times for the races, (er   uh   did I say that out loud?) it is difficult reporting on on the water events when
we're not actually on the water.  As most of you know, MERRYEYE has gone sailing to the San Juan Islands without us; reports are she is having a wonderful time and enjoying her new crew.  However, without a boat (sob,whimper, heavy sigh) it is difficult keeping up with Club activities and David Dickinson has done an exceptional job (as always).  So, David, tag... you're it.   Betty Sampson--Merryeye
Thanks for the great job, Betty.  Betty will continue to mail our website postings at  (P.S.--Betty, when I tried to access this today, I got the “server is down” message).
San Juan Cup Rescheduled!
Due to weather and conflicts, it appeared that we were going to have a very low turnout for the San Juan Cup, so it has been rescheduled for August 16.  Skipper’s meeting at 2:00 at the mooring cove.  Hope to see you for the last scheduled “round the buoys” race of the summer.
Upcoming events:.
August 23-24th Tres Equis Race -- Bicycle-Swim-Sail Triathlon. Ride your bike to the shore, swim to your anchored boat, & sail a race. Making rules up as we go...Contact: Jerry Pope 247-7702
Aug. 30-Sept. 1 Labor Day  Jimmy Buffet BBQing, guitar playing, sail and play day. Impromptu at this point. Beach party & potluck on Sat. p.m., maybe a little racing, maybe a cruise to La Jara--who knows? Call Dan Wanstrath 259-1160 Watch this space for updates.
Sept. 13, 14 Shhhh Don’t tell the wind!  He-Man--no matter when we have it no wind! Scheduled for a full moon, hope to have better wind,  better participation than earlier in year. He-Man Brunch on Sun, race on Sat. Call Dan Wanstrath 259-1160.
Beer Can Series
Betty, I’m in no better shape than you--I’ve had to miss the last two!   If anyone knows results, give me a call.  Which reminds me--
If you want it in the newsletter--please fax, e-mail, telephone, telegraph, carrier pigeon (on second thought, maybe you’d better not send it UPS right now) or whatever your news and notes to David Dickinson, (h) 247-5607 (w) 259-3002 (fax) 259-3003.   email:
La Jara Cruise--Great turnout for the cruise --Kemo Sabe, Restless, Romance, Crazy Kid, Sabbatical, Venturess, Lady Wayumi, Candle Dancer, Doubloon, Dementia (seems to me I’m missing one).  Some sailing both going & coming, water was great (clear and 75o), lots of fun and relaxation.  Heavy wind Saturday evening made beach ties difficult, so most of us wound up swinging on a hook.   Maybe do one more before the end of the year?
Passage Notes--Just got a nice postcard from the Mohrs, who were sailing to Catalina Island.
And have you paid your dues yet?   We’ve been sending out a number of courtesy copies of the newsletter.  Due to high cost of postage and (donated) photocopying, we’re going to have to trim the mailing list back to members and subscribers.  Need a registration?  Call 259-3002.
Happy sailing!     David Dickinson
      Unassistant Secretary

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