What I do on some Saturdays

Winter Vashon 2013-3Most of you who are Facebook friends will likely have seen a few of these shots that I’m tagged in, but I know there are friends of mine who aren’t on Facebook, but do read my blog once in a while. These photos are for you. I don’t usually take my camera on the boat because I’m too busy doing other stuff, as well as being terrified I’d drop the thing overboard. These were taken by semi-professional photographers on power boats who were covering the race.

For the last few years, I’ve been crewing on Great White, a J35 skippered by Dan Wierman. Unlike the races I dabble in, like the Thursday night Elliot Bay series where they draw the winners out of a hat, these races are for real with skippers who know what they’re doing and are out to win. And Dan is one of the best. He likes to win, and he often does. I’m glad to be a regular on his boat, and I’ll stay as long as he’ll have me.

Last Saturday we competed in The Winter Vashon Island Race, a clockwise race around Vashon Island, starting and ending in Tacoma. This is a pretty big race with 73 boats competing in 10 classes. The course is 30.7 nautical miles long, and this year they weren’t kidding about the winter part. It was cold (temperatures in the 20s) and clear, with pretty good winds. On the upwind leg to the north end of Vashon, it was so cold that ice was forming on the foredeck – and on my glasses. The downwind leg was much more comfortable. We were leading at the upwind mark, but slowly and surely we lost a couple of places on the downwind leg, ending up in 3rd place. Even though it was cold, as evidenced by these pictures it was a gorgeous day on the water.

Winter Vashon 2013-2For you landlubbers out there, that pretty pink thing is a spinnaker that acts like a big parachute on downwind and reaching sailing angles. And yes, that is Mt. Rainier in the background.

Winter Vashon 2013-1That’s the back of my head, just behind the mast.

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One Response to What I do on some Saturdays

  1. Mary says:

    Great pictures Walter…and I loved seeing the skating at the cabin – I need to get up there this winter.

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