Saturday, August 30, 2008

Size is everything....

The scale of the new BMW/Oracle monster tri is almost beyond comprehension. Check out how it compares to the current inshore and offshore multihills that are currently dominating the races.

The BMO boat (nicknamed DOGzilla) dwarfs them all - including the new Banque Populaire. Be afraid, very afraid...

Inshore Comparisons

Offshore Comparisons

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Three Cheers for Walt and Crew

Syndicat foredeckman extrordinaire Walt Meagher, Kristy Sundholm, Callie Weber, Kim Kelly with help from others produced the finest meal of the year Wednesday night @ the club. Delicious BBQ oysters, yummy salads, and NW finest kind salmon. For the series it was a multihull domination in A fleet, usual suspects in B, and for the 5687th time handyman in C (skippered by Dave Baker)!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Final Permit for Fixed Marks...

Thanks to the hard work of Ed Kennedy, today we received the final permit for seasonal fixed marks. This permit is for a period of five (5) years and will have to be renewed in 2013 (which hopefully will be less of a challenge). Copies of the permit were delivered to the AYC Board last night.

Some of the key conditions of the various permits are as follows:
  1. The Coast Guard permit describes location, color, (White with yellow reflective tape, and Black markings). The eight marks are to be lettered to match the cardinal compass points in large letters, and have some additional small wording for ownership and to indicate they are not mooring buoys.
  2. The Corps of Engineers permit includes a scheme for anchor rode counterweight that should minimize fouling with keels and should help keep the anchor rode off the bottom during low tides. This was required to minimize environmental impact on adjacent sea floor critters & eel grass. They also want the anchor left in place year round although we remove the marks during the off-season, end of October to April 1. The location of the anchors during the off season with a small crab-pot-float on a short line to surface only at low tide.
  3. The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife permit requires the anchors be set with diver-directed placement to minimize damage to eel grass. They also require an intermediate float on the anchor rode at the 1/3 length and a total length of the anchor rode of 120% of the depth at highest tide. They also require adding their permit number to the wording on the buoys.

So now you have it...

Cosmic Muffin...

Just when you think you have seen it all, someone takes it to an even new high (er low)...

The Cosmic Muffin takes the concept of a seaplane all too literally. Once owned by eccentric aviator extraordinaire Howard Hughes, this unique houseboat was crafted from a 1930s vintage Boeing 307 Stratoliner, the civilian version of the B-17 Flying Fortress. These days it cruises at a much more sedate pace (and lower altitude) and is available for charter houseboat rental.

Perhaps Anacortes Yacht Charters could consider adding this to their fleet!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Deed of Gift Monster Launched...

In case you have been completely cut off from civilization - BMW/Oracle Racing spashed their new monster tri today right here in Anacortes! There is no doubt that this thing will haul ass... Rumor has it that it should hit 45+ knots and that they will be test sailing it for about a month here in Anacortes. The current mast is the smallest of the three that they will be using and the BMWO racing team is coming to town to go for a ride.

The test sails apparently will be conducted from Lovrics followed by a whole fleet of BMWO chase boats. There is still a great deal of uncertainty whether they will be racing the AC Defender Alinghi, but for now they will have to be content with having one of the coolest (and most expensive) racing yacht on the planet...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch...

In the broad expanse of the northern Pacific Ocean, there exists the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, a slowly moving, clockwise spiral of currents created by a high-pressure system of air currents. The area is an oceanic desert, filled with tiny phytoplankton but few big fish or mammals. Due to its lack of large fish and gentle breezes, fishermen and sailors rarely travel through the gyre. But the area is filled with something besides plankton: trash, millions of pounds of it, most of it plastic. It’s the largest landfill in the world, and it floats in the middle of the ocean.

The primary sources of ocean debris include storm sewers, illegal dumping, littering, commercial and recreational boats, and commercial shipping.

The gyre has actually given birth to two large masses of ever-accumulating trash, known as the Western and Eastern Pacific Garbage Patches, sometimes collectively called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The Eastern Garbage Patch floats between Hawaii and California; scientists estimate its size as two times bigger than Texas. The patch is characterised by exceptionally high concentrations of suspended plastic and other debris that have been trapped by the currents of the North Pacific Gyre.

The main problem with plastic — besides there being so much of it — is that it doesn’t biodegrade. No natural process can break it down. (Experts point out that the durability that makes plastic so useful to humans also makes it quite harmful to nature.) Instead, plastic photodegrades. A plastic cigarette lighter cast out to sea will fragment into smaller and smaller pieces of plastic without breaking into simpler compounds, which scientists estimate could take hundreds of years. The small bits of plastic produced by photodegradation are called mermaid tears or nurdles.

Besides the obvious affects this has on both marine life and tourism, another question that presents itself is how do we clean this up? This question is yet to be answered. For now, experts say the best approach we have is not to clean it up at all, but to keep it from growing.

Friday, August 22, 2008

How to Salvage a Boat...

Apparently in the Carribean they have come up with a new way to salvage boats called the Bahama Way...

Check out this great sequence of pictures of some serious yacht salvage - we wonder how this might work here?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Town Crier Calls Up the Wind...

In what was supposed to be a wet and windy night, a few brave Wednesday night racers had to settle for a wet night with no wind! The RC set a course for the prevailing SE winds, only to have it completely shut off.

Our town crier Richard solicited the wind Gods with a song and to our amazement the wind magically appeared, except this time from the NW! The RC managed to get one race started (same start for all boats) in a course completely opposite from what they planned - but hey, we will take what we can get...

So the moral of the story is - when the wind shuts off, call Richard and have him call up the wind for you - seems to work every time!

PS - now what happens when he sings backward - does this mean the wind shuts off?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

AYC "Permanent" Race Marks Approved...

Thanks to Ed Kennedy's tireless work since November of 2007, today the club received approval from Skagit County for the proposed AYC Race Marks!

We already have approval from US Coast Guard, Corps of Engineers and WA Dept of Natural Resources. The County however has ignored our plea for fee waiver & request for refund of fee. We now are waiting only for approval from WA Fish & Wildllife. We have been told that they will approve after Skagit approves, so before long, (a few weeks?) we may have ALL the necessary approvals in place!

Meanwhile Ed Clauson has been working 0n the actual marks and within a week or so they should be ready to set. The fixed marks consist of a very large PVC pipe that floats vertically in the water attached to a large concrete anchor. The pipe is light green in color and has a reflective stripe around the top.

Once we have ALL the necessary approvals and the marks are constructed we will be holding a "mark setting party". Hopefully this will happen before the last bouy racing series of the year! Stay tuned for updates!

PS - if you are new to this subject, the club has been seeking to install permanent seasonal marks in Fidalgo Bay in order to make it easier for the race committee to set race courses and give us more options. We are presently using a number of aids to navigation as marks, plus adding temporary marks when needed - but this presents many challenges when attempting to set a true windward / leeward course due to the limited number of options.

Friday, August 15, 2008

AYC Cleans up at Shaw Island Classic...

Congrats to the killer performance of AYC boats at the Shaw Island Classic this past weekend...
  • PHRF Division A winner - Grafix
  • PHRF Division B winner - Pulele Hua
  • PHRF Division C winner - Lowly Worm
You can get full results at this link:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Cat Sass Wins COW Bay Regatta

BREAKING NEWS - Cat Sass takes first place in the 2008 Cowichan Bay Regatta, with Son of Raven taking a 3rd in a field of 17 boats (Multihull & A-Class Cats)! Congratulations to Keith, Pat and Chris on their outstanding sailing!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

AYC Pirates Camp

The 2008 AYC Pirates Camp is in full swing - pictures from the first day are in the website gallery. Below is one of the crews gearing up for racing this Wednesday night - watch out fleet, the kids are coming...