Date: Saturday March 03, 2007
Event: Grand Street ramp Alameda, with Mark Erickson. 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (6.00 hrs on the water.)
w/ P-15s skippered by Don Person (with Bruce Hood as crew,) Rich McDevitt, Harry Gordon, and Dave Meredith (Com-Pac 19)
Winds: On-again, off-again light winds all day. It seemed as if the wind was always blowing "over there" as evidenced by flag movement and surface disturbance on the water.
Weather: A beautiful Day! Sunshine, sunshine, sunshine all the way.
  Too many months on the Hard
Due to a string of maintenance related issues, "Lazy Ka" had not been out on the water since September 2nd of last year. First it was my1994 Ford Explorer tow car came up lame. When I pulled Lazy Ka out of Bucks Lake in late August, I encountered some transmission shifting problems that went away when the tranny got warmed up. The first hurdle was whether to repair of replace the venerable beast.
Don Person, Mark Erickson, and I (Jerry Kergan) rigged and ready to launch. (PHOTO: Bruce Hood)After considerable soul-searching, and a close inspection of my pocketbook (this took a couple of months,) I decided I couldn't replace it for the cost of repair; So $3500.00 later, I've got a totally rebuilt transmission, front end and new tires as well. Next the trailer: When I arrived home the evening of September 2nd, I discovered that the inner bearing on the portside of my trailer had dissolved, leaving the outer bearing race riding on the inner race with nothing in between . . . not a good condition. The good news is that this had just happened, likely within a couple of miles of home, and though the heat and friction had damaged the hub beyond salvage, there seemed to be no significant injury to Lazy Ka under sail off Government Island with Mark Erickson enjoying the ride. (PHOTO: Don Person)the Spindale or axle. More good news followed in that the cost of new parts (hubs, bearings, and Bearing Buddies) was only going to be a little over $60.00.

After much procrastination by the first week of March, all the above was completed, I was ready to splash Lazy Ka once more, and find out just how much I had forgotten in my months of inactivity.Don Person and Bruce Hood (Sarah Anne) chasing Dave Meredith (Com-Pac 19, Archimedes) down the Estuary. (PHOTO: Jerry Kergan)

Along for the ride
Early in January I received a phone call from a local friend, Mark Erickson, with whom I've shared a common interest in music by attending a couple of concerts, as well as endless hours of conversation on the subject. Mark was excited that he had completed a first session of the Basic Keel Boat Sailing course and survived. Mark knew that I had taken up sailing the year before, though we had not really discussed it much. So it was, by March Mark had completed the Basic Coastal Cruising course as well, and was ready to take me up on my invitation to join me for a days sailing aboard Lazy Ka. Potters (left to right: Lazy Ka, Sarah Anne, Minnow, and Manatee) at the Pasta Pelican guest dock, Alameda. (PHOTO: Jerry Kergan)

I left the house in Concord allowing sufficient  time to insure that I was at the ramp by 8:00 AM. Considering that it had been a little over five months since I last rigged Lazy Ka for sailing, this would give me liberal time to deal with the unexpected impediments and anticipated memory lapses as to how-to properly rig my little vessel. As readers of this log already know, Last season was really a learning-by-doing period for me. I experimented with various refinements in rigging from what was offered by the former owner of Lazy Ka. This meant that I virtually never set her up the same way twice. By season's end, I had settled on a rigging plan that offers better sail control and fewer problems than my first outing.Mark Erickson and Lazy Ka. (PHOTO: Jerry Kergan)

On the Water
We were launched and away from the dock just after 10:00 AM into less than anticipated winds While finishing our morning coffee in the parking lot, we were seeing constant breezes in the 7-8 knot range by experienced eye of Bruce Hood, but by the time we were underway the blow had t
urned to a knot or two, with brief periods in the 3-4 knot range. Throughout the remainder of the day it alw3ays seemed that the wind was "over there." We'd be sitting with no wind in our sails while looking at wind disturbance on the water's surface a couple of hundred yards away. After way too much sitting, we adopted a plan of motoring to the wind . . . this turned out to be equally unsatisfying. We'd get there--where the wind was, sail a bit, only to have the wind leave us for "over there" again.

WLV 605 (Relief) on display, North of Jack London Square, Oakland, CA. (PHOTO: Jerry Kergan)Lunch was at the Pasta Pelican on the Alameda side of the Estuary, across from Jack London Square. I was delightfully impressed with the menu, reasonable prices and excellent service.

Following lunch, we proceeded a little further down the Estuary for a closer look and photo run on the light ship "Relief" (WLV 605 ) on display just North of Oakland's Jack London Square. Then it was out the estuary another couple of hundred yards before turning back. The afternoon winds were not much better that what we had in the morning. But Mark and I had adapted a different plan . . .  motor to where the wind was blowing. This might have been a good plan if we'd seen a little cooperation form the wind gods. But again, the failed plan in execution. Every time we'd reach wind, douse the motor, trim the sails, only to have the winds die away again.

Sailing close to us was veteran Potter Yachter Harry Gordon, dealing with the windage problem in much the same manner as Mark and I. But Harry had put out without extra gas, figuring that the on-board tank held enough for the day; on the Estuary that's usually a safe bet, but not today. When Harry hailed us for gas, I had to decline. I had plenty of gas, but it was all laced with 2-cycle oil. Instead, I told Harry that we'd stay close by to offer a tow if he felt the need. With Harry to observe, I got a good lesson in light-air sailing. A bit after 4:30 we took a line from Harry and motored back to the ramp.One beautiful boat. I regret not getting any more detail on this yawl than its length of 18.5' (PHOTO: Jerry Kergan)

After retrieving Lazy Ka I met Ashley Trewman making his Montgomery 15 ready for the road. This gave mark a good opportunity to get a close look at a Monty as well as Harry's lateen rig potter. I suspect that we will be seeing much of Ashley and his family at future Potter Yachter gatherings. While I made Lazy Ka road-ready, mark also got a close look at this beautiful yawl that had been sailing around up most of the afternoon.

All in all, it was a delightful first day back sailing. I am looking forward to many more hours of sailing this season.