Sunday, March 31, 2013

How they do it in Sag Harbor.

The guys and gals who comprise the Sag Harbor Europe dinghy fleet pretty much sail year round as long as the bay doesn't freeze solid.  Now Sag Harbor, New York is way out on the eastern tip of Long Island and is a hard day's drive north from diarist HQ.  Your diarist normally doesn't sail after about mid-November unless we're talking Florida.  I once asked one of the main proponents of the fleet what they did to stay warm.  Was it dry suits, wet suits, Armani suits?  Perhaps all three at the same time?  Nope.  Turns out the answer is revealed in the photo below.

Pine Barrens single malt whisky  is their secret for insuring a good fleet turn out.  Now at $45.00 for a 375 ml bottle this little mid-winter warmer is a bit too spendy for your thrifty old diarist but it works for them.  My other observation is that the name "Pine Barrens" seems out of place for Long Island.  I think there may be a couple pine trees on display in a Museum of Natural History somewhere up there, but really folks, the name "Pine Barrens" should have been reserved as a southern New Jersey appellation!  Bottoms up!  Photo credit: Nick Gazzolo.

Friday, March 29, 2013

What's doing in Jönköping, or I thought they only did stuff like this in America...

Egad! Now here's something you don't see every day--a "low rider" Rolls Royce with an enormous supercharger sprouting through the bonnet. Hopefully the "Spirit of Ecstasy" won't get sucked off the top of the radiator surround.  And just look at those wheels.  Terribly Californian.  But where are the Lake pipes?  Must be an oversight...!  You can see this and many other wondrous sights this weekend at the Elmia Custom Motor Show in Jönköping, Sweden.  Just book your ticket and jet on over.  A tip of the cap to diaristwoman's cousin Celilia, back in the old country for keeping me up to date.   Details of the show, for the curious, are here

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Meanwhile in our Viva La France Dept...

I was trolling through the abused car dept of fleabay the other day and came across a pair of auctions for Renault 4CVs, both in Washington state.  One car was rather down at the heels but a never the less a good solid "runner".  The other car was a good bit smarter.  The most interesting thing about this brace of Renaults was that each auction contained an entertaining video.  I came to the conclusion that if one wants to flog a 4 CV within the Washington state boundaries, then one must produce and direct the obligate cinematic tidbit for the bidding public.

The first video is for the scruffy car and features a "secret agent" theme.  I particularly like the part were the secret agent-man actually gets the poor little beast to spin the rear tyres!  I was sorely tempted to bid on that one (in the end she sold for a modest $2600) but didn't jump in for fear that I'd have turned up at "headquarters" with a greasy smudge on the back sleeve of my white dinner jacket and as a consequence "M" would've been madder than a wet hen. Furthermore, I couldn't make out from the auction description if the two "jerry" cans on the roof rack conveyed with the vehicle or whether they were full or not.  Could have been a deal breaker...

The other car also sold, but for a good bit more.  It's video features a leisurely "chase" involving a 2 CV Citroen, apparently with Screamin Jay Hawkins in the driver's seat.  I give my exclusive Golden Palm awards to both vendors.  See if you don't agree.  As always, full screen and good headphones will enhance your viewing experience.  You can bring your own popcorn.


Thursday, March 21, 2013

And now for something completely different--a little Souvenir...

It's a dull, cold, windy night here in central Maryland.  Winter seems intent on holding spring off as long as possible.  But like all bitter entrenched reactionaries, winter will soon be overwhelmed by the goodness of spring.  So kick back, click on the full screen option, put on a good set of headphones, close your eyes and relax to the sweet, soothing voices of Anna Netrebko and Elina Garanca as they sing "Barcarolle" from Jacques Offenbach's  Les Contes d'Hoffmann.  Ahhh, I feel better already.  For those unfamiliar with these vocalists, I'll let you do some google research to answer the question of who's who--a little mystery to figure out.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Corona: it's not just for breakfast anymore--a little treat for my Husqvarna audience.

Diaristwoman was cleaning the other day and found this folio sized post card featuring a Husqvarna Corona moped.  I love the swinging 60s motif--especially the woman in the background with a beer!  How many motor manufacturers today would so closely feature their product with alcohol?  A stick in the eye of political correctness! The postcard shows both of the available color schemes of "cherry with cream"  and "sun with black".  The little scooter featured the 49cc "Egg" motor and could achieve a lusty 25 km/h (on level ground).  The Corona was produced for a relatively short period of time--from 1958 to 1960.  Put up your hand if you'd like to turn back the hands of time.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Google Reader is dying.

Google will put the stake in Reader's heart on the 1st of July, 2013.  What is the best replacement RSS application for PC & iMac computers?  We'll need to migrate soon!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

2013 Classic Moth Boat Mid-Winter Regatta

Greg Duncan (blue t-shirt) and your diarist (funny looking glasses) pause for the traditional mini cup of Florida grapefruit juice after crossing over the border from Georgia.  It was almost warm enough for me to lose the fleece jacket.  photo credit: John Zseleczky.
The last weekend of February was the date for this year's CMBA Mid-Winter Regatta.  Most of those racing drove at least four hours and many drove 4 or 5 times longer than that to arrive with boats at Gulfport Yacht Club.

One sees many odd sights along the back roads of central Florida.  I assume that the "Warriors" are the local town high school football team but I could be wrong.  Probably just as well to not ask a bunch of dumb questions in a state where a lot of the residents tend to pack heat.

Greg Duncan, John Zseleczky and I convoyed down I-95/ highway 301/I-75 to Ocala, where Merv Wescoat and his daughter Barb generously fed us and put us up for the night.  The next morning we continued the journey to St. Petersburg and finally arrived at Gulfport YC.  For me, one-way is just a whisker over a thousand miles.  Is it worth it?  Ja, you betcha!  Turnout was a bit disappointing this year with only 8 boats, but the weather was warm (daytime high temps in the low 80s) and there was a good breeze (high teens to around 12 knots out of the SSW).  Those of you who stayed home because of a multitude of reasons missed a great event!

Moth Boaters always get a warm welcome from GYC

Gulfport YC's clubhouse. 

We arrived around 11 o'clock and were greeted by sea smoke.  Fog is common here in the mornings due to the temperature differences between the bay and the land.  It usually burns off by noon.

This ex-Scott Sandell Mistral was for sale.

No reasonable offer refused!
Don't know about the "race ready" part.  Looks like the fore deck needs a bit of TLC after being in the hot Florida sun...
Anyway, we unloaded boats and rigged up.  There are condos not far beyond that sea smoke but you can't see them! Photo credit:  Amy Parker.
Some renewed old acquaintances.  Here Larry Suter (white cap) chews the fat with Jeff Linton. Photo credit:  Amy Parker.
Others whiled away the afternoon playing "corn hole" and drinking beer.  Barb Parsons (blue top) watches the opposing team's corn bag drop through the hole.  Note to self:  remember to move your boat before the corn hole games start!  Photo credit:  Amy Linton.

Saturday morning.  Registration and the skipper's meeting were held on the front porch.  Photo credit:  Len Parker.

The race committee used this course and also a windward leeward course.  The modification involved moving the start/finish line from the center of the course to a position below mark Nr 3.  Photo credit: Len Parker.

The first warning signal was at high noon.  Nice pix of the first start.  Where the hell am I?  Photo credit: Len Parker.

Here I am.  I had more bad starts than good ones.  Thankfully I had my sail shape dialed in and had good boat speed and was sailing higher than most of my competitors.  Not only are the condos emerging from the fog but it was clear enough that we didn't need compass bearings to find the marks by the time racing started.  Photo credit: Len Parker.

Another start where I'm late to the line.  I'm always interested in seeing the photos from various peeps with cameras out in the mark boat.  They are usually quite instructive if a little humbling.  Photo credit: Amy Parker.

Another blown start!  You can tell I haven't set foot in a boat since last October.  Photo credit: Amy Linton.

I finally did begin to achieve halfway decent starts as seen here.  Photo credit:  Amy Linton.

One of our better skippers, Mark Saunders, seen to windward of my boat in this pix, paid me a compliment by telling me that my ability to sail higher than his boat was really becoming "annoying"!  Photo credit:  Len Parker.

86 year old Merv Wescoat didn't feel up to racing his Moth Boat but he brought his Harpoon 5.2 down to Gulfport to spectate and get in a little practice with his daughter Barb before the next Harpoon regatta.  Photo credit:  Len Parker.

There were a couple of new sail shapes tried out at this regatta.  This one (Nr 3) is on Larry Suter's Europe.  Photo credit: Amy Linton.

Greg Duncan tried this loose footed sail with full battens. Photo credit: Amy Parker

Right before the start of the fifth race, overall regatta leader Jeff Linton had a problem with his outhaul control.   He capsized on purpose so that he could swim to the end of the boom and fix it.  Photo credit: Len Parker.

Mark Saunders and I made the most of Jeff's misfortune.  Mark came in 1st overall that race and I finished 2nd.  Photo credit: Len Parker.

Mark seemed good with that result.  Ah, Yuengling beer, the pause that refreshes!  The carbon dagger board seen here was almost Mark's undoing.  In true Moth Boat tradition, Mark barely got this boat finished in time for the regatta and when he arrived Friday afternoon he discovered that the blade didn't fit the trunk.  He spent all of Friday evening and most of Saturday morning with a wood block, wet/dry sandpaper and a bucket of water.  Mark did a great job redecking this old glass Europe dinghy hull.  I'll post a few photos of the boat in a separate post in a couple of days.  Photo credit:  Len Parker.

At the end of racing on Saturday Walt Collins, who I never beat unless he beats himself, and I were tied on points with me leading the Generation I group by virtue of the tie-breaker rule.  Photo credit: Len Parker.
Sunday's breeze was less robust than the preceding day.  This spectator doesn't seem to mind.  Photo credit: Len Parker.

However, the morning sea smoke did delay the start of racing for roughly an hour.  Photo credit: Amy Linton.

We started off with light and flukey air, which is not my forte.  Somehow I surprised myself and got a  good start this race. Photo credit:  Amy Parker.

Walt was on my bumper the whole way around the course.  Nervous times!  Photo credit: Amy Parker.

I didn't know if I could hold him off but in the end I did.  In this pix I have my eyes closed and I'm praying that when I reopen them I'll be safely across the finish line!  Photo credit:  Amy Parker.
The next race was a windward/leeward course and both Walt and I got confused by an extra horn during the starting sequence.  We were both over early and had to come back.  Walt made a better job at recovering and beat me by two boats.  Here I'm still going back to the line while the rest of the fleet is racing off in the correct direction!  Photo credit:  Amy Parker.

It's lonely out here in DFL land...  Photo credit: Amy Parker.
Hmmm, maybe it's not as lonely as I thought.  Is that a porpoise fin or a shark???  Whatever it is, it's a biggin'.  Photo credit: Len Parker.

Mike Parsons is seeming to have a good time even if his back gave him enough problems that he dropped out of the racing on Saturday.  He went well on Sunday after rest and prescription strength advil.  Photo credit:  Len Parker.

At the end of the regatta Jeff Linton had won another overall Mid-Winter title and also won in the Generation II division.  Is there no stopping him?! Photo credit:  Len Parker.

In the Generation I division Walt got me by 2 points for 1st place.  I took 2nd over Larry Suter but only because Larry, a very good sailor, missed several races with a rudder gudgeon failure.  Above is a pix of one of the trophies from this year's event, donated by Mast Head Enterprises.  Presenter, Amy Linton tells us these are the perfect size for a cell phone, a $20 dollar bill and a lipstick!  Who knew?
A tip of the cap to my photo crew on the mark boat, without whom we wouldn't have these instructive pix.  Here we have Amy (the good looking one) and Lennie Parker.  Photo credit: Amy Linton.
Last but not least, is Amy Linton, mark boat skipper and shutter bug extraordinaire.  Photo credit:  Len Parker.