Week 31 … Vee Jay Wrapped for Summer

The Vee Jay Naples Program wishes to thank the over 100 sailors who participated on Vee Jay this past 30-week sailing program. Well the season is over, and Vee Jay is now hurricane wrapped with 12 lines holding us in the slip … TK went through some of the photos and has set up a Shutterfly page to which we will add a few more photos.

Vee Jay Shutterfly 2012-13 is at: http://veejaynaples201213.shutterfly.com

Thanks for a great winter season.

WK 29 … Program A ended with thunderstorm fireworks.

Thunderstorm fireworks on Vee Jay 40569The season is rapidly winding down. The weather pattern with daily highs in the high 80s is switching into summer mode with beautiful mornings capped with quickly growing thunderstorms around 2 p.m. Our standard Sunday program A had us returning up Gordon River with thunder and lightning about a mile east of us … then as the front passed it was a quick couple of inches of rain just before we made it back to the slip. Although we had a another 2 day regatta on the schedule for our last week, lack of crew still here in Naples wrapped up our active sailing program.

WK 28 … Opti Upgrade Training

Opti Driver Training on Vee Jay 40569One of the Naples Community Sailing Center Opti kids, who also happens to spend summers on Optis at Sail Newport, decided to tag along with his dad … Steve O, who races on Temptress in NPT.

Sunday’s program A was geared to whipping down S [and upwind] to see the Marco SAMI Regatta program. Unfortunately Vee Jay just didn’t have enough crew to handle both days of racing especially with crew bailing north for the great cool weather .. in fact we didn’t have enough crew for Sat. at all.

So OK … Di … as we now call him … races on Optis all year long. Duh. So it was no surprise to us to see him take over with a natural close haul performance. We’re thinking we may see him again next year checking out more foredeck action with TK. This was his first time driving a ‘big’ boat.

WK 27 Team Vee Jay in Dinghy Mode

Vee Jay 40569 in Action.

Two of our crew leave for the summer this week. Jim and Tim took us north for their last spin run of the season last Saturday. Several others left end of March.

Sunday at the Gulf Coast Sailing Club Sugden Regatta, Part 2; Steve played coach on a Precision 15 to a new-to-sailing couple. Amazing how complicated these little boats are with dagger boards to drop and rudders to lower when you are trying to leave a shallow beach and the wind is against you. That’s Don and Vic helping get them away.

Subsequently Captain Vic came in second driving an Opti in a mixed fleet of 10 boats over a slalom course.

WK 25 … Our 6th GCSC Regatta annual regatta

comboIMG_1364Sat. racing was pretty good, but Sunday the wind and waves kicked up a bit. The Race Committee decided it would be fun for Spin B to do two 3-loop races that exhausted TK on foredeck while he was also helping on port trim. [He didn’t have time for a lunch break!] Photo above was on our way home after wind started to calm down.

Week 23 … More Spin, then Fogged Out

Bob and Heater spin work on Vee Jay 40569

Bob and Heater gibing on Vee Jay 40569

As I write this on March 4 we have had another difficult weekend with strong cold NW wind and 6 ft. wave action. During the scheduled long distance Naples Sailing and Yacht Club race Vee Jay elected not to do, one of our key competitors, T-Bone, broke his mast, nearly swept onto a sand bar, and had to be towed into Marco. He’s out for the rest of the season.  Of the 13 boats registered, six did not compete and the remaining seven got half way through with everyone bailing out at Marco
The photos above were taken a week earlier during our Sunday spinnaker camp with Bob and Heather working on spin gibes — until we got FOGGED out.

Wk 20 … 2 too windy/cold — 1 nice

combo2182013Every time the wind comes hard [30+ kts] out of the NW here in Naples we can pretty much forget about our J/30 Spin sailing runs … especially when it is cold … that is in the low 60s.
But President’s Day was nice … wind out of the East, over 15 and gusty above. Keith wanted to run the F31 trimaran and Brian stepped up to help on a photo shoot. The F31 maxed out at 18 kts, Vee Jay was just barely able to hit 8 on gusts. Tim, nearly a 10 year veteran on the Vee Jay/Seven sailing programs, was back at the tiller.

Julian, from last year’s crew stopped by earlier to say hello, and show off his new Honda project car. Duh … these guys turn 17, start driving, get jobs … and sailing becomes low priority … except in this case he looks like he has nabbed a scholarship for a week adventure during Easter break. See http://www.collierschools.com/students/docs/OB2013.pdf .
Last June he was part of a motley crew that took J/24 Bang! over to Ft. Jefferson … a straight 110 mile shot ~SSW across the Gulf from Naples.

WK 19 … Crew off between Key West and St. Pete

 This week was pretty busy for the Vee Jay crew … although we only got out for a spin training camp run on Saturday, TK was up in St. Pete for a High School 420 regatta, and Brian spent the week covering ~250 miles on Keith’s F31 … Trip to Key West, Ft. Jefferson and back. Sunday we didn’t have enough crew for a spin run and canceled, but Brian Balboa [name of his boat] resurfaced from last year and we helped him set up his mast on the Balboa 23.

Vee Jay Crew Feb. 9-10 2013 Naples Fl

WK 18 … Two Great Days on Gulf

Crew rotating through for a good-wind, flat Saturday with wind from NE. Sunday was a lumpy 4-6 ft. wave, NNW ~15 kts . Some decent waves, one of which capsized a stonecrab fishing boat 4 miles off Gordon Pass, triggering its EPIRB a couple of miles from us. The County Sheriff’s boat responded to the Coast Guard call and scooped them out before we needed to divert. The guys, not the claws! Today’s paper reported it took about an hour and a half to get out to get them after the capsize.

We had dodged through those crab pots buoys on Saturday, but clung a bit closer to the coast on Sunday.

Brian, Heather and Denise run spin pole practice J30 40569

We elected to not spin on Sunday, but Brian did do pole setup practice on moving foredeck with Heather and Denise as we returned south.

A good day to test seasickness … everyone passed.

This week Brian and Keith of the F31 are scheduled to do a quick F31 run down to KW/Ft. Jefferson. I’m sure they will have stories to tell on their return.

Vee Jay Crew photos 2/2/2013

WK 17 … NSYC Commodore’s Cup, 5 races, 1 day

Week 17 and we are racing the 2012 Naples Sailing and Yacht Club Commodore’s Cup originally postponed during Hurricane Sandy. We be racing the 2013 cup later this year as well. Results good enough to grab a bottle of cranberry vodka; conditions were high 70s, good wind, and sunshine.

Vee Jay was flying it’s Harequin spin … lots of color!  — recorded here by Bonnie D of Naples Avow Hospice.

Vee Jay 40569 Winter Race Crew

And our first Vee Jay Winter Racing Team group photo with TK, Carol, Randy, Steve, Vic, Brian, Robert and Katrin.

Vee Jay helps set up F31 Tri

Vee Jay 40569 setting up F31

Team Vee Jay, with the only available senior work crew during the week … helped Keith, as we have for the last several years, set up Seabird F31 UC #208. That’s Brian, J30 skipper of Hornet driving. They are planning a Key West trip next month.

Can’t say we are F31 set up crew experts yet … but we are getting closer each year. Winching up the mast with a gin pole is quite entertaining. We put the owner at the winch … he’s the youngest.

Starting the year with a new driver

Vee Jay J30 40569 Driving School

Was a slow week after Xmas with low crew levels, but TK’s brother decided he wanted to learn how to drive … on his way to earning another badge for cub scouts … wait … cub scout badge for driving a J30?

Faced with the relatively confusing left is right and right is left tiller training mantra of the past … we decided to use a technique we’ve been experimenting with on visually handicapped drivers.

We have them hold the smooth steel handle and just follow along as we drive the boat … slowly driving less and less as the new driver burns those synapses and neural pathways into his brain. This photo sort of summarizes the program, starting with the “no fear because the skipper has control with two fingers on the stick.”

Interestingly at some point the new driver realizes that he, and he alone, is driving the boat … not in the least concerned that left is right and right is left.

At which point they want to take over. Nice for an 8 year old on a J30 driving for his first day.

4th Year to Fly 40-year-old Xmas Spin

We found this Xmas Spin on Ebay and since there are not many boats sailing around Christmas we were the only bidder … But this video shows how it works. It was designed, we’re sure, from St. Joan’s use of the Cross of Lorraine, subsequently used by the American Lung Association for its Christmas Seals.