Gusty winds

April 12, 2010

I was kicking myself that we hadn’t gone sailing on Saturday, when the wind was blowing pretty good in Bellingham Bay. When we left the dock on Sunday afternoon with Dale and Nancy Button, the water was pretty calm, and I thought we were going to be motoring in the sunshine. Nancy even brought some soup that we were going to heat up on the stovetop.

iWindsurf wind chart

iWindsurf wind chart

We were cruising along at a respectable 4 or 5 knots out toward Lummi Island when we decided to head over to Chuckanut Bay to drift while we had lunch. But that was not to be as the wind shifted and picked up pretty good around 2 pm.

We were heeling over pretty hard as we sailed into Chuckanut Bay between the little island and the rocks. We guessed the gusts were about 15 or 20, but the windchart I looked up today shows it gusting at more than 20 knots.

Woohoo! It was chilly, but we all bundled up and sailed right back out of Chuckanut Bay into Bellingham Bay. We reefed the jib and had a grand old time doing about 6 knots in an unexpectedly beautiful sailing afternoon.

Nancy took the helm and liked it so much she made us fight her off to regain control. (She and her husband have a power boat, which she says is boring to drive. Hee hee.)

I made us some PB&J on bagels while standing at a 45-degree angle in the galley. And we had the soup and a home-made rhubarb pie for dinner when we got back to the dock.

Just another beautiful day in Paradise.


HoriZen Places 2nd in 09 Races

April 3, 2010

By the miracle of a mysterious and suspect handicapping system, our Catalina 36, HoriZen, finished 2nd in its class during the 2009 Corinthian Yacht Club Sailing Races in Bellingham.

The boat was raced by Capt. Kathy Sheehan, Peter Hallett, Jennifer Lynch and a rotating group of other sailors (Gabe Hallett, Carolyn Dale, Chuck Dingee, Courtney Pineau, David Wallin, Steve Wagoner, etc.) during the summer of 2009.

The handicapping system, which will be used again in 2010, makes adjustments for all kinds of silly things, including adding time if you often place first so that other sailors can enjoy the winner’s circle.

That’s why Sapphire, the fastest boat in our class, didn’t even place in the final standings!! Go figure!

HoriZen sailed against other cruising sailboats without spinnakers. In that category, Nordic Flyer placed first for 2009, and Natural High was third.

The other winners for the 2009 Corinthian Yacht Club races were:

Cruising with spinnakers

  1. Tapocketa Too
  2. Dreamtime
  3. Islander


  1. Hravn
  2. Shockwave
  3. Flamenca


  1. Merlin
  2. Blackfoot
  3. Ol’ Yeller

See some photos from the 2009 racing season.

Thriller of Michael Jackson Proportions

June 26, 2009

Chuck and HoriZen’s horizon

Originally uploaded by PhotoSynergy

Last night’s Corinthian Yacht Club race on Bellingham Bay featured the most weather that we’ve had on Thursday night all season, with wind gusts clocked at 24 knots.

We also had onboard the most crew for the series, six adults. Thank goodness for Courtney, Chuck and David for grinding, giving Jennifer’s and my knees and arms a break.

It was a thrilling race of Michael Jackson (RIP) proportions, with a near collision of three sailboats — us included — at the Post Point buoy, the windward mark. And with Chuck and Peter using all their strength to steer HoriZen while the boat heeled at a 45-degree angle. We were so far over that dribbles of water drained out of the bilge onto the cabin floor. Peter, who was mostly at the helm, said he doesn’t worry about how far over we are unless and until the top of the winches are in the water.

This picture of Chuck, with HoriZen’s horizon, was NOT PhotoShopped!

We think we came over the finish line first, even without corrected time based on our rating. But we haven’t seen any race results in some weeks.

Star Charter

June 4, 2009

Life is good

Originally uploaded by PhotoSynergy

Today, Capt. Kathy celebrates her 15th wedding anniversary with First Mate/Cabin Boy Chuck Dingee.

Chuck will mark the date at the Open Mic in Ferndale where he will play one or both of the songs that he wrote for me: Star Charter and Heart-Shaped Moon.

I will be aboard Horizen at the Thursday night races … sending Chuck messages by the moon. …

The joy of sailing ….

June 2, 2009

Originally uploaded by Mark Malijan


Little Sophia’s face as she takes the helm of Horizen tells it all.

Sailing is pure joy, and we were excited to see Peter Hallett take out our boat for the Bellingham Bay Community Boating Center‘s free boating day last weekend.

Sophia had never been sailing before. This is all she needed to get bitten and smitten. She’s now signed up for a summer camp at the boating center where she’ll learn how to sail the small boats they have there.

Thanks to photographer Mark Malijan who uploaded the pictures that are on the Bellingham Herald site to his Flickr account.

Novice Sailors on Horizen

June 1, 2009

Over the weekend, Horizen co-owner Peter Hallett took a bunch of sailing newbies out for a sail on our Catalina 36 as part of the Bellingham Bay Community Boating Center’s “Free Boating Day.”

Among the new sailors was a small crew from SPIE who took turns at the helm while a Bellingham Herald photographer took pictures.

It was a gorgeous day. See the Herald article and the sailing photos from aboard Horizen.

Later in the day, Chuck and I went out for a daysail on the bay with Carolyn Dale, Janis Carr, and members of the Corinthian Yacht Club. I’ve posted one of the photos on our Flickr Feed.

Horizen Upgrades

April 27, 2009

Horizen will have heat soon.

Originally uploaded by PhotoSynergy

The cleaning, repairing and upgrades to our sailboat continue as the sailing season begins in Bellingham.

Over the weekend, Dr. Wallin cut off part of the starboard side handrail so he could cut a hole in the cabin top for the new Dickinson cabin heater. Yessireee. Horizen will have heat for those chilly mornings in the San Juan Islands.

The heater will be vented near the mast, and a propane hose has been routed aft to where the propane tank will be mounted on the stern rail.

We’ve also installed a new propane stove and purchased a water heater.

Just like home!

The real pink boat

April 2, 2009

Sailors who want to see the real pink boat better take a quick look on the Yachting World Web site to see Tara.

She’s a 1984 Catalina with a “sale pending” sign on her in New Jersey.

I came across this shocking interior scene while searching online for a boat similar to ours.

I have, indeed, done some minor sewing and major cleaning of the cabin cushions on Horizen. And when I was to the point of putting the upholstery buttons back on, I was short a couple of buttons.  I figured I would eliminate a couple of buttons on the aft-cabin cushions where the missing buttons wouldn’t be noticed.

But I couldn’t remember which cushion was which. So I went looking online for pictures.

It was shocking what I found. Absolutely shocking. We thought our palm-tree cushions were bad! But Tara takes the cake! Pink icing and all!

Happy April’s Fools Day!

Sloof Lirpa Boat Cushions

April 1, 2009

I’m pleasantly surprised that my boat partners approve of the new, Sloof Lirpa boat cushions. David says he loves the color. And Peter, … well, Peter would take any color, as long as the cushions were new and mildew-free.

New settee cushionsPink and gray do go pretty well together.

The extra pink fabric I have remaining could be used for cockpit cushions, a sail cover, or even some sailing jackets. The fabric has the “Sloof Lirpa” label on it, but I was thinking I could stitch our boat name, “Horizen,” over it. Too bad it’s too heavy to make a spinnaker out of it.

It’s fitting that I completed the cushion job today. I got into work this morning and immediately got a pink slip. The economy is so bad, it has hit everyone!

Oh, well. Perhaps I can use the boat for a shop selling Avon or Mary Kay Cosmetics? Or maybe those pink items that raise funds for the American Cancer Society? Read the rest of this entry »

New Boat Cushions

April 1, 2009

I just finished taking an upholstery class at Bellingham Technical College and we are the proud new owners of all new cushions for the interior of the boat cabin.

New settee cushionsThe teacher was really great, helping all of the students — and even giving away fabric. Upholstery fabric isn’t cheap, and when I saw this expensive Sloof Lirpa fabric he was giving away, I just had to have it for our sailboat. It really brightens up the cabin where we previously had dirty tan and green cushions with a palm-tree motif.The game table and seat cushions with Sloof Lirpa fabric.

I worked hard at cleaning the old boat cushions, but the mildew smell and some rust stains just wouldn’t come out. Thankfully, our teacher had a lot of this fabric so I was able to do the entire cabin with the new fabric.

aft cabin cushionsCovering some 20 pieces of custom-cut, marine-grade foam wasn’t easy, let me tell you, but I’m really pleased with the results and hope my boat partners like it as well.

We have the main cabin, with two tables and seating for about 6 or more, the V-berth at the bow and the aft cabin, which has a single and a double bunk.