To promote the appreciation of sailing and foster a community and culture committed to advancing both sailing and sailing education in the Juneau area.

Sailor Talk #1 - Southeast Cruising (Past & Future)

01/29/2015 - 18:00 to 20:00

The theme of the first Sailor Talk of the year is “Southeast Cruising (Past & Future)”. Several members will present their local trips to Southeast Alaska destinations such as Tenakee, Sitka, White Sulphur Hot Springs, the Outside Coast, Glacier Bay, Fords Terror, etc.

We'll also discuss plans for more cruising this season & beyond (Neka Hot Springs, Petersburg, Myers Chuck, etc.). 

All Good Things . . .

Leg One

Winds were very light early Saturday morning, and those at the pre-race Skippers Meeting discussed options for moving the start line up to Sheep Creek or Marmion in case it didn’t pick up enough to get the fleet out of Gastineau Channel. Optiminium served as Committee Boat and, finding around eight knots of breeze on the water, set the start line off Mayflower Island. Lyric-WR, Surprise, Thalia, and Tango all crossed over the line upwind on a starboard tack, favoring the Douglas Island, while Optiminium took a port tack towards the mainland and nabbed an early lead. As the boats neared Sheep Creek, Surprise crossed in front and would stay ahead out of the Channel, followed closely by Optiminium, Thalia, Lyric-WR, and then Tango.

A Tale of Two Races

For the sailors living downtown and in Douglas, the day started early with cruise ships coming in to port starting at 4am, sounding their horns every five minutes as they passed through the dense fog that filled Gastineau Channel on Saturday morning. The weather forecast showed a storm blowing in that evening, with gale-force winds and heavy seas building in Admiralty Cove, which is not a very well protected anchorage. With memories of more than one boat dragging anchor in Admiralty Cove earlier this summer, it was decided at the pre-race Skipper’s Meeting to forego the evening fellowship and race back the same day.

Visibility was low as Loa’a Nalu, Haiku, Optiminium, and Cetus motored out to the Marmion Island start of Leg One. Boats struggled to find and then stay within view of Loa’a Nalu, serving as Committee Boat, and at a half-mile from the day mark, no one could actually see the other end of the start line. Eight to ten knots of breeze was enough for a strong start and Haiku was quickly in front on an upwind tack. Wary of the low visibility, even with GPS, Haiku, Optiminium, and Loa’a Nalu all gave Marmion a wide berth, staying well clear of the point before all quickly setting their spinnakers. With Loa’a Nalu and Optiminium both flying their asymmetrical spinnakers, Haiku’s symmetrical allowed her to point more downwind as they all rounded Douglas, building a lead that she would not relinquish that morning. Cetus stayed much closer inland, and without a spinnaker in her sail inventory, was unable to keep up with the rest of the fleet for very long.