Friday, October 30, 2009

Salish Sea is Official...

Washington has a new name for a very old waterway. The inland waters including the Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Strait of George will now be known together as the Salish Sea.

The new named approved Friday by the Washington State Board of Geographic Names does not replace any of the longstanding identifiers. Instead, it gives a label to something that has not had one.

The name has also been approved by the board’s Canadian counterpart.

A retired professor of marine ecology at Western Washington University proposed the new name. Bert Webber hopes it will promote public awareness of the common problems of the inland waters and the need for cross-border solutions.

So now you know - we are not in Puget Sound!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

October Commodore's Column

Our club Commodore Jerry Van der Veen has written another column for the club for the month of October. You can read his latest here:

Oct 2009 Commodore's Column

If you are interested, you can also read the historical columns here, along with our historical archives of the Knot News newsletters:

Lido Fleet Newsletter...

The Lido Fleet is alive and well after another great season of racing. Garrett Johns started creating a newsletter for the fleet - these will be posted under the Lido Section (under Racing) on the AYC website, plus we will post them on the Blog.

Here is the October newsletter - thanks to Garrett for getting this going!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Syndicat, Pangaea, and Thumper

For the second year in a row Syndicat took home yacht of the year honors. This is a true feat as Jerry and Walt are always willing to take out new sailors. You can be a part of this program by purchasing a share for $2500.00. Pangaea; probably the boat with the most miles under her keel and certainly the most well loved, brought home the honors for the A boats. Thumper now resting comfortably in a barn in the valley waiting for transport to her new/old home in Cali., scored first for the B boats. Congratulations to the winners and many thanks to all the volunteers that donated time, their boats, and computers to make this all happen!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Round the County Party

Get the word out to sailors, RTC racers, yacht club members...
Roundthe County party at AYC will be Friday, Nov. 6.
Bar open 5:30
Dinner will be lasagna and/or chili (both, you pick)
Dancing to Gertrude's Hearse (live music!)
plus raffle tickets to cover the band
We'll have fun, so come on down. Also, we'd love to have some help. You'll have fun while helping out, we guarantee it!

Adios, RAK

New York judge has ruled that Ras al-Khaimah (aka RAK), United Arab Emirates, cannot host the America's Cup based on the 19th-century document that governs sailing's marquee regatta.

The ruling by Justice Shirley Kornreich of the New York State Supreme Court is a blow to two-time defending champion Alinghi of Switzerland. The Swiss picked the Persian Gulf for their February showdown against American challenger BMW Oracle Racing.

Kornreich said her decision was based on the stipulation in the Deed of Gift that the America's Cup cannot be sailed in the Northern Hemisphere between Nov. 1 and May 1, not on concerns by the Americans that RAK was unsafe due to its proximity to Iran.

Guess what happens from here?

Volunteers Needed for Round the County Party!

Come help and have big fun! We have had a great response on the Round the County party Friday, Nov. 6. The doors open at or by 5:30 for the bar, and 6:00 for dinner and dancing. I'm sure we'll need:
-cooks/servers of Lasagna and Chili
-raffle ticket sellers
-anyone have a good raffle item to throw in the mix?
-clean up
-we could decorate on Wednesday night, too, if anyone is into that!
Knowing the crowd that is coming, this will be super fun. We are expecting 100 or more rowdy sailors. Eat, drink, dance, and be merry! Then get out of there at a reasonable hour, because we are all waking up early! Call Andy or Steph if you'd like to volunteer.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pirates of Padilla

Sunday, Nov. 1 we have scheduled a Spooky Sailfest. Traditionally this end of year party on the water has featured MOB drills, floating pumpkins, sailing backward and the like. We are looking for a ghoul or goblin to take charge. Steph and Andy are feeling un-festive, although Laser sailing might be fun! It might just be a nice day to sleep in, and play on the dinghies in the afternoon. Please call if you're planning on bringing out your boat, or would like to take charge!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Tonight is the night (Saturday, October 17, 2009) - year-end awards at the clubhouse. Be there and join in the fun!

Friday, October 16, 2009


Due to changes in our US Coast Guard permit, the course for the Lawson Reef race on Saturday, October 17, 2009 has been changed to the following:

Start Line - between the "R2" buoy and refinery pier
Leave Lawson Reef "RB" to starboard
Finish between "G3" and "G4" at the Guemes Channel Entrance

You are no longer required to round "R2" in Rosario Strait as the Coast Guard is concerned about us racing across the shipping lanes.

The race starts at 09:30 on Saturday, October 17 - hope to see you there!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cheney Cup Results Posted...

The 2009 Cheney Cup Results have now been posted - twelve (12) boats started and seven (7) finished, with the first boat home taking about twice the time to finish as the slowest boat home last year!

The winds were very light heading up to Eliza Island with many parking lots along the way. At each parking lot the fleet compressed until the wind picked up a knot or two and the faster boats sped away. The fleet was evenly split with respect to which side of Eliza Island to take - with most of the lead boats choosing the west side, although Pulelehua managed to pick a great line heading way east of Eliza using the great circle route.

The north RG Buoy proved to be tricky to get around given the light winds and current. With nearly no wind the entire fleet compressed here making it impossible for the faster boats to place well.

On the way home the northwest wind filled in somewhat (to a ripping 4-5 knots) and the faster boats managed to stretch it out on the way home (although not enough for time-on-time scoring). Congratulations to Pangaea for winning A-fleet and Lucky Duck in C fleet (also with the overall). Unfortunately the sole participant in B fleet (Slightly Ripped) was unable to finish, so there was not a winner in that category.

Stay tuned for next week - it looks like there will be some wind for the Lawson Reef race, although the weather will likely not be as nice!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Smith Island Race Results Posted...

For those of you that participated in the Smith Island Race on Oct 4, the results have been posted - looks like a great day on the water with some very close racing.

Note that the Smith Island results are under the Tri-Straits section of the racing results. Also note that the date of the Smith Island event is listed incorrectly in the results. This will be fixed shortly - the results however remain unchanged...

Friday, October 02, 2009

Party On!

End of the Year Awards Party:

  • planning is in full swing!
  • October 17, after the Lawson Reef race
  • BBQ at the club at 6:00
  • Slide show with Steph's mix tape and hundreds of photos from this year's racing and the pirates
  • "Starting flags" all-new drinking game!
  • Trophies!

Come one and all! We'll get out a RSVP email soon!

A Wild Ride - TRUE STORY

This just came in from the SV Gallivanter who was tied to the dock during the recent earthquake at American Samoa - check it out:


This morning (six hrs ago) we were shaken awake by an earthquake which seemed to have no end! We were aboard Gallivanter and tied side-to a big concrete dock in the heart of Pago Pago, American Samoa. And after living up & down the California coast, I knew this was no minor tremor.

After the rude awakening, Cath & I walked across the dock and chatted with a few of our fellow sailors, one of whom said that he’s just done a Google search on “recent earthquakes” and said that it measured-in at 8.1 and the epicenter was only 120 miles distant.

We returned to Gallivanter and I turned on our laptop and searched the same website. Sure enough there it was… “8.1 earthquake – American Samoa – 20 minutes ago”. I clicked on the “Show Map” option and noticed the epicenter was located south west of Pago Pago… which is located on the southern side of the island.

Just as I was considering the ramifications of that little fact… all hell started breaking loose! Our boat was on the move! My first reaction was to start the engine and dash up on deck to see what was going on. I witnessed the water around us was rapidly dropping! Rapidly! In a blink of an eye, we were on the bottom and the boat was falling away from the dock! Three of our big dock lines popped and we fell right over into the mud – the entire basin we had been floating in only moments ago had completely drained! People were screaming!

Next – the water came flooding back in at an even more alarming rate and the next thing I knew we were floating directly above the dock! Over the concrete slab and drifting toward a young lady we knew (from another boat) who was desperately hugging a power pole and up to her chin in swirling water! I told Cath to cut the two remaining dock lines with our serrated bread knife and to be quick about it!

Right as I put the boat into gear, we were somehow washed back off the dock and into the basin as I advance to full throttle and we accelerated through a floating debris field of floating docks, fuel drums, sinking boats, a shipping container and a barnacle encrusted wreck all of which were spinning in the torrent of rapidly dropping sea level. It was absolute mayhem! As we steered out toward the deep water in the center of the harbor I looked over my shoulder and saw what appeared to be a waterfall pouring off the dock and shore beyond. Not one of the dozen vessels remained at the dock. All were underway in a matter of seconds… with or without crews aboard.

We motored around in the middle of the harbor watching the waves of floods & ebbs while wondering about after-shocks and our fellow cruising sailors. As we passed one of our neighbors she shouted to us that her husband had been washed off the dock as they were trying to get away. She was alone and seriously concerned. Other boats broke free from their moorings and anchors in the initial seismic waves and many were driven ashore, or driven under by loose tuna boats.

After about three hours, we felt it was finally safe enough to return to the dock. All we had were lengths of old line and we were short a couple fenders.We were the first to go in and we started un-tangling lines and helping others get back along side the concrete dock. All of the store-fronts along the water are destroyed, roving mobs of kids can be seen looting, the fence around the dock is gone, every boat on stands in a nearby boatyard were washed away. Big fishing boats are now in parking lots across the street. Absolute destruction is seen everywhere along the shore.

Phones and power are down but we got back online right away and I immediately went back to the recent earthquakes website to see if things have been calming down in the center of the earth. A number of aftershocks as strong as 6.0 have been recorded over the past few hours – but thankfully no more wave action has been noticed. We’ve been making Skype calls to our families and letting others use the computer as well to phone home.

Online news reports say that the earthquake lasted three minutes and the highest flood rose 25 ft above normal! There are 20 confirmed deaths… including our neighbor who was swept off the dock. Most fatalities occurred in and around the harbor where we live. Boats are battered and nerves are fried. One friend wound-up on his boat nearly 1000 feet away from the water after breaking from his anchor and sailing right down Main St. taking power & telephone wires down with his mast! Some people lost everything… including their lives. We came through remarkably well with only minor dammage sustained to our toe rail when the dock lines parted and to our fender basket which was the only point of contact with that drifting wreck. I never felt any jarring loads while we were hurtling around above & below the concrete dock, so I believe our hull, keel & rudder suffered no dammage from the wildest boat ride I’ve ever been on.

We’re all okay… and very lucky.

And we’ve adopted a tiny kitten.

And that’s the way it is.

All the Best – All the Time,

Kirk, Cath & Stuart ~~~_/) ~~~ s/v Gallivanter

Thursday, October 01, 2009

URGENT - Smith Island Course Change

For those of you planning to participate in the upcoming Tri-Straits I race (Smith Island) on Saturday, October 3 - please note that due to the currents in Guemes Channel the race will now start between the #3 & #4 buoys at the west entrance to Guemes Channel instead of by the tanker dock.

The race will start at the same time (0930), but from this new location! This race has long been one of the classic AYC events - see you there!