This day was without a doubt the most exciting day of Potter sailing
experienced to date. And like the windy conditions last Saturday at
Woodward Reservoir, contributed much to my appreciation for the my
I arrived at Richmond Marina at about 7:30 AM to allow plenty of time
for a leisurely set-up of Lazy Ka. Winds in the 20 knot range were
forecast, so I wanted to rig my Jiffy Reefing system for the first
time, and make sure that I was familiar with it’s operation. I also
needed to patch a small hole in the lower panel of my main sail.
Don Person had called me Friday evening to confirm that I would be
making the trip, Pat Brennan’s “Eaglet” was down for a broken trailer
spring, and was looking for a ride; I couldn’t pass on the opportunity
to glean a little something from Pat’s experience. When Don showed up
at the marina, he had a guest, Brian Winters, who would be sailing
with us for the day as well.
We were launched and away from the dock promptly at 10:00 AM. As has
been my experience out of Richmond in the past, we had to motor out
past the jetty to get beyond the effects of unfavorable winds and
tides. But once we made open water, it was a great day of sailing.
An hour and a half out of Richmond, after we’d past under the Richmond-San
Rafael Bridge, Dave Meredith joined up in his Com-Pac C-19 and sailed
on with us into Loch Lomond.
From the effects of the incoming current, Pat and I found ourselves
north-east of East Marin Island and unable to point high enough on the
wind to make it to the channel by way of the east end of the island.
Rather than tack, we decided to sail north of East Marin and chance
the shallow waters in the vicinity, and make the channel on a course
between East and
Marin Islands. The plan worked, and we enjoyed the hundreds of Egrets
and Herons nesting on the leeward side (North) of East Marin.
At Loch Lomond a delight full lunch of fish & chips was enjoyed; the
reason the the Potter community chooses this as a destination so
Back on the water, Don and Brian set a course north of the Marin
islands to catch a view of the birds. Pat and I beat it to the north
side. It was a roller coaster ride with afternoon winds of 20+ knots
(gusting to 25) pushing swells of 2-3 feet. With Pat Brennan at the
tiller of Lazy Ka, I managed to attend to my camera and got a few
pictures of Don Person riding the waves. Pat even lost his hat to
gust; a situation that we took advantage of to execute a man overboard
drill to recover his hat. It's sailing in conditions like this that
further confirm my decision to Potter.
Mid-bay on our homeward leg, Pat and I are sailing along enjoying good
conversation, the vistas, and other boats around us; we realize that
we’re the only boat not yet reefed—is there something we don’t know?
We briefly considered reefing, only to reject the thought as there was
no feeling of discomfort or lack of control of Lazy ka. We sailed on.
All during our adventure yesterday, Pet Brennan kept repeating
himself, saying; "The Potter is a dry boat". "The Potter is a dry
boat". I've got to tell you we got soaked!
At one point Pat dips the leeward rail of Lazy Ka below the water just
long enough to pour about a half gallon of 55 degree bay water into
the cockpit. I dump the main, and Lazy Ka pops upright. The water then
runs forward, across the bridge-deck, and onto the windward side of
the boat where we are sitting .
. we got more soaked! Nothing like cooling your buns in ice water.
Once inside the protected waters of the Jetty and the Point Richmond
hills, the wind and wave action were greatly reduced, making for a
most enjoyable sail back to the Richmond dock without the assist of
our outboard motor.