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Sunday, March 03, 2019

March 3, 2019-Beer Can Racing against Olas Lindas

wingssail videos-lisa diel

The start was fun but the finish was better.

The last two Wednesdays we've pretty much been racing against Olas Lindas and no one else. The other boats have either stayed away or are a lot slower so we don't see them after the start.

But racing against Linda and Patrick Sweet and Mike Danielson on Olas Lindas has been fun. Close starts, good tactics, and photo finishes.

This week we had gotten behind, as we often somehow do, and had to play catch up on the beat to the finish. There was a big wind hole ahead and Olas Lindas was in it stuck a quarter of a mile from the finish. We were another quarter of a mile behind that. Then we spotted some breeze coming off the shore. I hailed Mike on the radio, "Is this the finish? Can we cross anywhere?"

"Yes, the whole line. You still have a chance Fred." I didn't think he believed it but I was determined to try.

We tacked towards the shore in search of that wind. It was there, right on the beach. We had to go close, 15 of water. Caught the wind, great! But need to tack out NOW!

We tacked out. I looked over to where Olas was slowly ghosting towards the finish. We still had some time.

Go out just a little ways then tack back in. At fifteen feet (and about 100 feet from the shore) we caught another puff, but were forced to tack out again.

This is tense: going in looking for wind but when you find it you're almost ashore

Now the breakwater drew near. The water should be deep there but the rocks looked deadly. I decided to chance it.

"I want to go close here", I said.

"There are no rocks", said Richard, "other than the rocks of the breakwater itself."

We tacked again, and we had breeze. We were moving. Quickly. I looked over towards Olas, they were ever closer to the finish line, but at the other end of it, and moving slowly. It would be close.

In 15 feet of water we made one final tack towards the pin then I punched it up and crossed.

TIE! No onw could actually tell who won.

The previous week we caught up with Olas Lindas when they had a problem with their spinnaker. We crossed the line 10 feet ahead.

Every week it is like that.

So now we get ready for Banderas Bay Regatta. That is the last race of the year, three days, and then racing season is over.

We hope to be able to duke it out with Olas Lindas three more times and have close finishes then too.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, La Cruz Huancaxtle

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Sunday, February 24, 2019

Feb 24, 2019-Women Who Sail on Wings, The Fitness Center.

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Going Sailing

The first tack was hilarious!

We had ten women aboard who had never been on a sailboat and they were all lounging around on the port side deck. I got everyone’s attention and then explained to them that when Judy yelled, “Tacking” they all had to move to the other side of the boat.

“Through here” I said, motioning under the boom. There didn’t seem to be any questioning looks so I nodded to Judy.

“Ready About?” she shouted.

“Ready,” answered Kelly and I, manning the winches.

“Tacking!” and she turned the boat.

That’s when it got real for the 10 passengers. Suddenly they realized that the sails were flapping, the winches were spinning, the boat was turning, and the side deck they were on was tipping way over towards the ocean. Like the flock of startled pigeons, they shrieked and flew through under the boom to the other side, laughing, scrambling, and giggling the whole way.

“Well done,” I said, “now next time who wants to help work the boat instead of just being along for the ride.” A few doubtful glances to each other than about 4 hands went up. And we started training.

I don’t know where the idea came from that we should take Norma and the women who run our gym out sailing on Wings but it just occurred to me one day and I mentioned it to Judy.

“That would be fun” she said so the next day I presented Norma with an invitation for a day on the water. I said it was for the whole crowd; Norma, her co-workers, her sisters, and their families, all of whom we know from seeing them at the gym three days a week. Norma quickly accepted but I have to say I don’t think she knew what she was getting into. It would be their first time on a sailboat.

That is how it came to be a week later that 10 gorgeous and excited women trouped down the dock and climbed aboard Wings for what they expected would a fun day lounging around on Wings’ decks in the sunshine with cold beverages in their hands and munching snacks and plates of ceviche (which they brought). Little did they know.

But Wings is not really a pleasure cruiser and anyhow, Judy and I had in mind a different type of sail, the kind we typically do when we have a boat full of guests: full sails, lots of tacking, spinnaker flying, and plenty of action. We brought Kelly and Deborah to help out.

After that first tack our new crew started to pay more attention. Kelly and I assigned jobs, Deborah translated, and we got everyone into their positions and we had some fun. Up the Punta Mita shoreline we tacked and then we turned down wind. Kelly said, “We need to put up the spinnaker!”

“OK, I’m game,” and up it went and down came the jib with some new forward hands pulling it in.

I showed Ana how to trim the spinnaker and I put myself on the winch to grind it. She soon got into the swing of things, letting it out until it folded and then yelling, “Frederico!” at me to grind. Boy, they all thought that was hilarious too.

We even jibed the spinnaker and that went smoothly too. Norma was interested in everything and did everything as you would expect of a woman who drives a Jeep, rides a Harley, drinks whiskey, and owns a gym. Ana, too, was everywhere. Alize and Adela pitched in, Ariadna and Carolina steered. I think I’ll keep this bunch. We handed out beverages. Well, some of the teenagers, I guess like a lot of teenagers, got bored. Never mind, we all had fun.

wingssail images-deborah webster
Five on the foredeck

Click here for lots more images.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, La Cruz Huancaxtle

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Sunday, February 10, 2019

Febuary 3, 2019-Superbowl Tamale Party

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Making Tamales

Deborah and Kelly invited us to their house for the Super Bowl and everyone pitched in to make Tamales. Well, then Kelly had to go to the USA so he missed it, but never mind we had fun making tamales and eating them at half time, plus, the Super Bowl was fun, even without Kelly.

We always like going to Deborah and Kelly's place, it is almost like being outdoors, the kitchen is open to the outside patio and the colorful walls inside makes everyone as happy as Deborah always is. Maybe her house makes her happy. Plus Kelly always has plenty of good stuff to drink and he even left it for us when he couldn't be there.

But that tamale making! That is a project. Judy and Elinore and Janet and Lynne and Deborah all worked on it making ingredients the day before and then putting them all together on Super Bowl day. We had four kinds of filling but once the tamale is wrapped in the corn husk you can't tell what's inside, so they tied the tamales with different numbers of knots. The we couldn't remember if three was chicken or veggie, well you know, there was some tequila going around.

But it was all good and with two big screens to watch the game on we all had good seats.

Click here for more pictures.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, La Cruz Huancaxtle

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Thursday, January 31, 2019

January 26, 2019-One Great Regatta

wingssail images-nikk white
Wings' Crew

We’re a team, those of us who sail on Wings. Judy thinks of us as a family and she is right, but it’s a family which works together towards a goal. That goal is to sail this boat as well as we can.

January was a busy month for the Wings team. We sailed in 9 races; every Wednesday, every Saturday
Wednesdays were Beer Can Races. Like beer can races everywhere they are supposed to be casual, short races, no formal handicapping or results posted, and people drink beer.

Try telling that to the handful of boats which came out each Wednesday for our races. Truth is our Wednesday Beer Can races were hard fought. Nothing casual. No beer cans to be seen any Wednesday, not until the race was over.

Wednesdays were tough for team Wings. Our competitors were all faster boats. Without a handicap to level the playing field we knew we had little chance to win.

But win we did.

In the five beer can races we got one first, one second, and three thirds. Not bad.

We worked hard for those results. Our crew was still not the fine tuned machine we wanted it to be, and we had our problems. Those problems cost us a couple of first places. There was a lot of noise on the boat, you could call it yelling. Uncharacteristic yelling. Constructive, but yelling none the less.

We hated that. This is not us.

wingssail images-lisa diel

But by the end of the month though we’ve largely put that behind us. We’re working better as a team. The boat is much quieter and fewer problems are tripping us.

And we are happy about the Beer Can races even if we didn’t win every race; we were a factor; we’re the boat they all have to beat.

But this story is not about the Beer Can Wednesdays.

It’s about the Vallarta Cup; the four race series run by the Vallarta Yacht Club on each of the four Saturdays in January. In this series we did pretty good.

In fact we were dominant in the Vallarta Cup. We got three first places and one third place. On cumulative points nobody was close.

A lot of that success was due to preparation. Our Beer Can Races helped. We considered them to be little more than practices (they were). For the Vallarta Cup we also studied the weather forecasts and knew ahead of time what probable conditions we would face on Saturday and we made sail choices based on that analysis.

The crew was good. They were solid. Richard, John and Judy (our afterguard) got us to the starting lines on time, and in the right place. I just took their direction. It worked. The trimmers and grinders wailed on the winches; they were tireless. I was amazed at what energy they put out.

The halyards went perfectly, and that is even with Carol doubling as the genoa tailer on every tack. Wow!

The foredeck kept ahead of the game. It wasn’t easy for them, but they never held us back or failed to get the job done. They’ve come a long ways.

We made few mistakes. Each Saturday John gave pre-race briefings and the crew knew what we would face, and they were ready. Tacks? We never missed one. Sail handling? Perfect. That is what we need!

Plus, the boat was fast. On each race we came out of the blocks sailing faster and pointing higher than any of the competition. We usually made it to the first mark in first place, and then, as the faster boats inched past we just had to hang on to get the win at the end.

The last race, the fourth and final race of the Vallarta Cup, will, however, stand out for a long time in all of our memories.

It was a windy race and it had tough upwind and heavy downwind legs, exactly what we needed. We are a tough boat and that is what you need in a race like that. And you have to push yourself hard. It was a serious race. A big wind race.

We were ready for it.

In that race they sent the slow boats ahead first and the fastest boats were started last. Each boat’s start time was determined by its handicap rating. We were right in the middle; five boats ahead of us and five boats behind. Whoever got to the finish first would win. For us to win we had to pass all the slower boats ahead while not letting any of the faster boats, which started behind, pass us.

But that race was our race. It was the course and wind conditions which suited us best. And we knew it. We were excited.

We got a perfect start, which might seem easy since it was just us, but I could hear the beeping of the clock counting down and the start line was right there and there were still seconds to go and I thought it could be close, we might be early, but it was perfect. Thanks John and Richard.

On the first leg, 4.5 miles, we gained on the boats ahead but caught none of them. The speedier boats behind gained ominously but did not catch us. Tension!

Then we got to the La Cruz mark and turned upwind. The breeze was up. We came around the mark and sheeted in; power. This is Wings’ weather. The boat heeled over and we pointed higher. Ten of us climbed to the high side and lined the rail lending our weight to offset the pressure of the wind. We played the beach closely as this was our home ground and we knew the way. We made our tacks crisp and well timed and we started to reel in the boats ahead. By the time we rounded the top mark 2.5 miles later we had passed 4 of the 5 boats which had been in front of us. The fifth one was close ahead.

But the bigger, faster, boats behind were charging too. We looked back and saw them ever closer, gaining.

Now came our ace in the hole. The last leg, 6.5 miles, was directly downwind, and the wind was up: 19 knots. This is what Wings was made for.

We rounded that mark, bore off to downwind, and set the big symmetrical kite. The boat surged. With that sail we could go almost directly to the finish. The boats behind us carried asymmetrical kites. They could not sail as deeply downwind as we could. They needed to reach high to keep the assyms filled.

We watched them round behind us and start charging. But they charged the wrong way! They are sailing high of the course, they had to! A warm feeling started to come over us. This could be good.

Still, it was early. They are sailing high but fast. We didn’t know if they could catch us or not. We trimmed and worked the boat but otherwise the crew all sat there, tensely, quietly; nobody speaking, no small talk going on. We looked behind us. The asymmetrical kites looked bigger. The boats looked faster.

Could we hold them off?

One by one the boats behind jibed over and crossed our wake. They had not gained! We started to think we might be able to do it.

Meanwhile we flew. The pole was back, the main out, the boat heeled to windward by the force of the wind. Every line was bar tight, the rudder hummed. We turned to the stern and watched behind.

This is the part I will remember: The spinnaker is way out there, the boat is straining. The sky is blue, the ocean is blue, the sun is bright, we are flying. But we are going a little by the lee, Kelly has to hold the main from coming across, and the boat was rolling to windward; usually not a good sign. We are on the edge.

Someone on the crew asks, ”Should we try to balance the boat?”

“No”, I answered, “I can hold this, and it is fast this way.” The boat rolled further, but I held it.

We could see that now with just a mile to go that those boats back there would not make it.

“They won’t catch us.” said John.

But one boat, Mony, was still ahead, barely. I worked the tiller, and edged us forward. We came up to Mony, side by side. They were to weather and that was good for them because we had to get through their lee if we were to pass them.

I told the trimmers, “When we hit their wind shadow I’m going to turn up fast and cut in front of them, you shift the pole forward and sheet the kite in.”

“OK Fred.”

That move worked. In just a few seconds we got through and now had a clear path ahead.

But we’d never really been sailing exactly towards the finish line; just a few degrees above it. On this course we wouldn’t actually make it to the finish line. A jibe was needed.

Now the crew got ready for the jibe towards the line. It would have to be timed right and there was a possibility of a foul-up. The forward hands were on the foredeck practicing the dip pole.

I said, “Hold off on that jibe, I think the wind is going to shift left, in fact I feel it already, it will take us down to the finish. No Jibe!”

The wind did shift and came almost on the beam. We put the pole foreword and swept across the line, first.

We beat the rest of the boats by at least ten minutes except for Mony, who was just a few yards behind us. So they were second. But before the rest of the fleet finished we’d stopped counting. We had already popped the corks on our Champaign.

With this win, this dominating win, we locked up the series.

It felt great.

wingssail images-lisa diel

Click here for a few more images.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Mexico

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Friday, December 21, 2018

December 21, 2018-Good Teamwork Produces Satisfying Wins

wingssail images-elinore craig
Fred & Judy

We started off the racing season with some great performances due to really good teamwork.

It's funny how winning and knowing we all worked well together made for a happy crew.

wingssail images-elinore craig
Hi Jinks on Wings

The boat must have liked it too, we felt fast on all points of sail.

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Going to windward with the new A-3

The competition is good however, and we know that the racing this season will be a challenge. But we also know it will be fun.

Click here for photos of all the crew.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, La Cruz Huacaxtle

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December 19, 2018-Old Friends Show up In La Cruz

wingssail images-fredrick roswold

Sixteen years ago Wings anchored in beautiful anchorage in Vanuatu in the South Pacific. It was called Asenvari, on the island of Maewo.

There we met a beautiful family whose boat Noason was anchored in the Bay, Gene Mim-Mack, Robbie Springs, and their daughter Allison.

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Gene Mim-Mack and Robbie Springs and their daughter Allison, 2002

They were completing a wonderful project on Asenvari and I wrote a story about it, here.

wingssail images-fredrick roswold

This year Gene, Allison and Robbie, on a different Noason, showed up in La Cruz and we were happy to be reunited with them. They are still a beautiful boating family.

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Gene Mim-Mack and Robbie Springs and their daughter Allison, 2018

A lot of water has passed under their keels since 2002, much of it on land, and if you meet them I'm sure they will enthrall you with their story.


Click here to read the original story.

Click here for more images from Asenvari.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, La Cruz Huancaxtle

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December 13, 2018-Is This a Car Repair?

Aire Condicionados Alaska-image
Bomb Went Off?

What happened to our car? Did a bomb go off inside?

No, just an air conditioner repair. When the evaporator had a leak and all the gas came out we took it to the local shop, Aire Condicionados Alaska, where Hugo, Eduardo, and Armando said they could fix it, "Come back Monday, we'll have the part, and pick it up Tuesday".

Then I got these photos on Whats App. OMG!

They said, "It's ready."

When I got there it was all done except for the wash job.

The Bill:
Parts $200
Labor $25
Wash Job, Free

Their father (also Armando) liked our car so much he tried to buy it.

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Eduardo washes up, or was it Hugo?

We love Mexico.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, La Cruz Huanacaxtle

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Friday, December 07, 2018

December 5, 2018-First Practice

wingssail images-lisa diel
Wings Sailing

Racing rolls around each December. The crew, those who summer up north, drift back into town and the rest of us who summered here put away our boat projects and start puttering with rigging and sails and daydreaming about the sleek hulls of the racing boats gliding to windward in Banderas Bay. Our hearts beat with some excitement at those thoughts.

I am one of the latter. I don't leave the bay each summer, and I am here all year, and as the season begins to turn from summer heat to winter coolness each day I spend more time thinking about the sailing; about when we start.

Our first race will be "The Blast", Dec 12 to Dec 14. The crew would be rusty even if we didn't have some new folks. But we do. A few changes, some rotation, and we have a fresh mix-up on the boat. Not the best for a race.

So we scheduled a practice. Weds is good. Everybody has Wednesdays reserved for sailing so even though Mike didn't plan a race we went out.

I pushed the crew a little, we set sail immediately after leaving the harbor and started throwing in tacks. People were startled at the suddenness of it and shook themselves, as if to get the cobwebs out, then they got into it. Judy watched everyone like a hawk and stopped the foul-ups before they could happen. But the sailing went well. Rod and Carol and Pete, the new guy, worked like they'd been together for a decade. Dick had the main flying. The new forward hands, Don and Glenn, scampered around the front and spent time looking aloft so I said, "Set-up the A2 kite, we'll hoist it in 50 meters". I knew it was already set up, I did it before we left the dock. But to them, this was real.

"One boat length!" there was no mark to round but I imagined one, and the kite went up and we turned downwind but it was good that Lynne threw herself on the bag early because that sail almost came out too soon.

Bang, the spinnaker filled and I called for the jib to be dropped. It came down. Minor problem: Judy was caught outside of the spinnaker sheet. I saw her grimace as she yanked her left leg out of the way and she dragged her leg behind her as she regained the foredeck.

"You OK?" She nodded and inspected her leg. A little blood. A rope burn and a scratch. She'll be fine.

"Standby to jibe!".

It happened remarkably smoothly. I thought, that went nice.

"Shift the jib, we have a leeward mark coming up". They dragged the jib to the other side, preparing to re-hoist it.

"Hoist. OK drop the spinnaker." It came down but got wet. If it had been a real race we'd have lost time.

"Let's get that kite packed" and two hands went below deck to deal with a lot of yards of wet spinnaker cloth.

More tacks, again the jib crew was smooth, the tacks fast. We got back to the weather mark and the spinnaker bag came up the bow hatch and flopped on deck. Don hooked it up.

Another set, another jibe. Perfect.

This time we called the finish line and dropped the kite on deck, none of it went into the water.


Rod hauled the beer chest on deck.

"Good job you guys, great practice."

So next week we race. We're ready.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, La Cruz

Wings' track

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Saturday, November 24, 2018

November 24, 2018-Thanksgiving

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Winch-Under Construction

Things are winding down on our 2018 project list. Most tasks are done, a few have been moved to phase II (this is a trick I learned from 20 years of professional project management: How do you always get done on time? As the end date draws near anything which is not yet finished you simply remove from the project and put it into phase two. Phase one is finished, and all is well.)

Here we are servicing the winches. It is a annual task, but I have to say, they didn't need it. I found all the winches were still clean and still had grease in all the parts. But I did it anyhow. Once you have the winch apart enough to know it's OK, you might as well clean it up a little and put in new grease. Six major winches, 10.5 hours. Task complete.

We also this week replaced the stereo amplifier for the outside speakers. That might not sound like a critical task but the old amp was really getting under my skin. It cut out every few seconds. Played for a few bars, then cut out, then came back in. When I was BBQ'ing outside I really wanted nice and steady music, not Off, On, Off, On, etc; The new one cost $63 and had twice the power, and never cut out. I'm happy. Oh, the other reason is that the racing crew wants us to play a fight song when we go out. Well, now we can ROCK IT!

I bought a new MFD sailing display. We have four but one of them is getting weak. I saw one at the swap meet, a brand new unit, and the guy wanted $50 Pesos, which is $2.50 dollars. A USED MFD costs $250 USD so this guy obviously didn't know what he had. I took it and I already have it installed. Beautiful. It's like Christmas.

So today is Saturday. Next Wednesday is the first race. With all of our projects done, and a good crew lined up, we'll be ready.

Unleashed images-cirilo from la cruz inn
Thanksgiving Dinner


With no family around most of the cruisers in Mexico have Thanksgiving dinner with others, like us, who are away from home and family too. Here we are in the quiet street of La Cruz, our village, having a fantastic Thanksgiving at La Cruz Inn with several of our best friends. We had Turkey and dressing, and all the trimmings, and even pumpkin pie. Seconds were included so I over-ate. Isn't that part of Thanksgiving too?

We went around the table and each of us told the group what we were thankful for. This is a Judy initiated tradition. Her idea. She tells people they have to stand up and say what they are thankful for. Everyone does.

I said, "Thanksgiving is when families back home get together and share a traditional dinner with their loved ones. But we are here and we can't always join them. Sometimes I feel left out of that family get-together but here we join together with our dear friends and we have hugs all around and we share our own Thanksgiving dinner and though we may be missing all of our family back home, we are thankful for being with friends on this day."

Judy said, "I am thankful that we have the family we have formed with our crew from Wings and our friends from this community and that we can share our meal with them in health and happiness, once again this year."

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, La Cruz Huanacaxtle

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Sunday, November 11, 2018

November 5, 2018-Squeeze Play in the Boat Yard

wingssail images-fredrick roswold

We hauled out this month for bottom paint.

We've hauled Wings, oh, probably 35 times. It never goes totally smooth but this time we thought we'd gotten away with it. Four days into the job and we'd finished about everything planned and a little bit more.

"We're done," we thought, "it's 1:00 pm and the yard is doing to pick us up, we'll do the last bit of painting, and then they'll re-launch us".

But there is a problem:

They've just put a big catamaran next to us, and guess what? They didn't leave enough room to get the travel lift in and pick us up.

But they're trying.

Four hours later and they are still trying to squeeze the travel lift in between the catamaran and the building. They try, they stop. They go back out. They try again, they stop. I think they should have just picked up the cat and moved it a couple of feet and that would be it. But no, now they are invested in this attempt. They have even been disassembling the catamaran's rub rail to make room. I can't believe they are taking that boat apart instead of just moving it.

And there is another boat waiting to be moved after us. They want to be launched today too.

The clock is ticking.

Finally the travel lift is squeezed into position and they are ready to lift us. The patches still need to be painted. Our painters are standing around waiting. It's after 5:00PM.

I hear that the yard wants to lift us, immediately launch us, and then pick up the other boat. That won't work, we need at least an hour after they lift us for the remaining sanding and painting.

I talk to the operator, "You can't. It's too late, it will rush the painters who still have to finish my hull after you lift us. How about you lift us and leave us in the slings overnight, and launch us in the morning?"

What about the other boat which is also waiting?

We go to talk to the other owner but he's not there and the boat captain can't commit without talking to the owner.

We wait.

We all wait.

People are standing around doing nothing.

Meanwhile my painters are getting nervous. They want to finish the painting and go home but I don't want a rush job.

We still wait. I don't know what is going on. The travel lift is still positioned but the straps are not on and the workers have disappeared.

Peter comes up to me, "They won't put you in tonight, you should go home". But I think I will wait until I see the workers either hook up the straps (meaning they will lift us) or they shut off the machine and go home themselves.

Finally the workers return. The other boat owner agreed. They will launch him in the morning. The straps are hooked up on Wings and they lift us. The painters move towards the hull, but Judy sees another problem: the forward strap has shifted and it is bending the speedometer fin.


I show them. Nobody is happy.

The boat comes back down and they move the strap. Maybe it is OK now and the boat goes back up. The painting starts. Meanwhile Oscar and I try to straighten the fin.

The painting is done, the fin is sort of straight and it's late. We will re-launch in the morning.

Everyone else has gone and just as we get ready to head out I notice that during the confusion my phone has been broken; the screen is cracked. The phone does not work.

It's my new phone.

A funk settles over the day.

I shrug my shoulders, maybe next year our haul out will go smoothly.

Click here for more photos.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings

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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

October 30, 2018-Twenty Five Years Ago

bill baum image
Winning PSSC

Wings is sailing home to Shilshole Bay Marina on October 23, 1993, after winning the PSSC regatta. It was tough sailing that year with winds in the 24-30 knot range for the three races on Saturday, then light winds on Sunday and we battled it out with Bill Buchan’s Sachem, in the end beating them by .25 points. It was mostly crew work, including one glorious leeward rounding in the last race where we came into a big traffic jam at the mark in 6th place and did a perfect floater takedown keeping our speed up while the other boats were basically stopped and came out in 3rd then hung on to win the race and the regatta. We have a good crew now but we had a pretty good crew back then too, most of them had sailed with us for several years, some for eight years.

You can see who they were on our log book page for that day here.

That was our last season racing in Seattle and it was a good one; we got trophies in 35 out of the 48 races we did that year, including 14 first places. After this season we stopped racing for two years to completely remodel the boat for long distance cruising.

Those years were glory years of living full time aboard Wings and racing every week, going sailing or cruising whenever we were not racing, and still having time for jobs in the city (we had a 6’ hanging locker full of suits, men’s and women’s). We also loved the community we sailed in with all of our yacht club friends in Seattle, at the Corinthian Yacht Club, the Sloop Tavern Yacht Club and especially all of our crew, and racing 40-50 times a year. Those were the days.

Crew: As best we can remember the crew positions are as follows: Jim Bonnichsen, Foredeck, Jim Watson, Foredeck, Bryan George, Mast, Jennifer Wright, Halyards, Kathy Clotfelter, Halyards, George Harvey, Trimmer and Grinder, Mark Nuss, Trimmer, Robert Schuler, Trimmer, Scott Davidson, Mainsail and tactics, Carol Noel, Runners, Judy Jensen, Runners, Fred Roswold, Helm. They were family to us after eight years and we keep in touch with many of them.

Sails: The mainsail in this picture was one I made on the floor of CYC in 1993. This was its first season and it was a winner. It was Kevlar/Mylar, 52 panels, designed with a home-made Lotus 123 spreadsheet. Each of the panels were shaped before sewing. We used ultra-light graphite battens which had a nasty habit of breaking if we flogged the sail at all. It was last seen in Raffles Marina in Singapore in 2007 serving as an awning for a marine store. The spinnaker was the 1.5 oz runner that came with the boat and it was already old then. A wonderful sail which we used relentlessly for another 11 years, from 1986 to 2007, when it blew up two days in a row while winning the King’s Cup Regatta (with one all night sewing session between races.) We used a variety of headsails in this regatta, primarily the Fracker #1 and the Sobstad #3, both were paneled Kevlar sails, tough but heavy.

The Boat: There is not a lot of difference between Wings in 1993 and Wings today. It would look the same to you if you saw it back then however it was more stripped inside, back then, but Judy and I still lived on it, and we didn’t unload it to go racing back then either. Since 1993 we’ve added a bit of furniture, all of which is made of ultra light weight nomex and carbon fiber honeycomb panels we got from Boeing surplus. Plus we added tankage, ground tackle, wind vane, etc. Not a lot else.

Click here for a few more images (more to come later).

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, La Cruz Huancaxtle

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Sunday, October 14, 2018

October 14, 2018-Back to San Sabastian del Oeste

Friends, Food, and Photos

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San Sebastian del Oeste

I said I would never drive to this place again. Road is too bumpy for my car. But John and Elinore said they were going, would we be interested? OK, I'll give it a go. We'll stay overnight so we can have dinner there. The hotel is very inexpensive. Off we went up the hill.

A couple of hours later (with time out to try a great Mexican breakfast joint on the way, Casuelas), we pulled into San Sebastian del Oeste, booked into our rustic hotel (Los Arcos de Sol) and set off the see if anything had changed since our last visit. Not much had, but the sidewalk café was still pleasant and the beer was still cold, and we found our favorite silver jeweler.

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Artisanal Silver

Then we meandered down to the Jardin Nebulosa to try some of their craft beers. They were good, and afterwards we needed a nap to prepare for dinner.

Everywhere we went I was on the lookout for photo opps. This trip was all about friends, food, and photos.

Dinner was fantastic, and the Raicilla cocktails were fun and entertaining. I am sure Elinore's Facebook page has a review of the restaurant, buT damned if I can make FB cough up the link to it. Good Luck if you try to find it. I hate FB.

wingssail images-fredrick roswold

The next day, more photographs, and then the drive down, which was better, and once we got to the black top we swept through the curves with eyes on the road and a foot on the brake peddle, on the lookout for pot holes.

We loved the trip with John and Elinore, but now I am sure I'm never going to drive that road again, until next time.

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Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Mexico

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October 14, 2018-Bright Bags

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Bag Art

I call it "Bag Art". Oh, it's not all that much art, just something which I think is kind'a fun; making an attractive and colorful sail bag. You see, I got a couple of spinnaker bags from China, one more than I needed. (I guess ordering in Cantonese is not my strong point). Both were black. Boring. What is worse is that I knew it would cause my forw'd hands some confusion: "Go get the A3". If there are five to choose from, maybe you get the right one, maybe not. But if I gave the bags some distinctive colors and distinctive markings, well then it would be easier: "Get the A3, (black bag)" or "Get the black and yellow bag with the A2 in it".

So I bought some yellow sunbrella scraps from Mike and my white insignia cloth and we got out the sewing machine, and off we went, making new bags.

On top of that, we took some time to re-measure the spinnakers, just in case we needed to prove that they were legal size, and we put the sails into the bags with a nice fold, to make them pack smaller.

All in all it was a nice project for a couple of days.

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Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Mexico

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

October 2, 2018, Sailing Again

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John Trims the New Kite

We’ve been heads down working, not sailing, for three months. The boat has been laid up.

Now the boat is back together and though the work is not finished it is to a point that we can sail and we have some new sails to try so we will go out tomorrow.

Sitting on my settee, the Chicken Tikka and red wine still warm in my belly, I felt the cool bundle of battens for the carbon mainsail lying on the pilot berth next to me where I placed them earlier which must be mated with the sail and set for the first time along with a new jib fresh out of the bag and a new spinnaker, still unseen.

Oh Heaven, new sails, a refreshed boat, and a good breeze forecast. I trembled with anticipation.

The crew shows up on time and we strike the awning and single up the lines and then we head out.

Out of the marina, out to the Pacific Ocean, out into the breeze.

The mainsail unfolds from the deck and snakes skyward. It fills, we heel. Next the jib; it is stiff and hard to handle; the price we pay for a racing sail.

But when these awkward sails are aloft and their shapes reveal the power designed into them the boat starts climbing to windward. We love it.

The new mainsheet winches make sheeting the main seem effortless. We are happy that change worked. The new runner leads are good. The secondary winches are fine, and other sheeting revisions don’t even seem worthy of note.

It’s all good.

But this is a test run, to look things over, to find stuff which needs to be fixed. We see that the jib needs a strop because the shackles can’t fit into the small ring. That goes onto the list. Then the kite is set. What a foul-up! We hooked it up backwards, my fault, I’d told Kelly, “Red is the tack.” But it was green. So we took it down and reversed it, then there was a twist we had to undo.

But when the new spinnaker filled, finally, we had had some fun. It was flat and we sheeted it in and sailed high onto the wind. Up we went. The crew was amazed but I nodded, this is what I ordered and this is what I designed.

We jibed and some more items went on the list, a prod for the lazy guy, some chafe patches, new rings on the kite. The bags need some labeling; plenty of time for all of this, racing does not start until December.

And then we were back. We folded sails and sent the crew home; too hot to ask them to hang around any longer. Judy and I finished it off; we folded the kite after dinner.

Now we can focus on the smaller projects. We know the main things are done and the boat can still sail.

In December we will be ready.

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Fred & Judy, SV Wings, La Cruz Huancaxtle

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Thursday, September 27, 2018

September 27, 2018-Project Update

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Fresh Paint

Since our last project update we’ve been working hard on Wings. We had a long list of things to get done and by now many of them, all of the major ones, are completed or nearly so: inside the aft cabin repairs and repainting has been completed, the workshop and vanity areas have been repaired and repainted, the deck has been repaired, sanded, and repainted, the bow hatch has been completely refurbished, the toilet has been rebuilt and the toilet plumbing has been refurbished, the leaking water tank has been fixed, two new stanchion bases have been custom welded and the broken one was installed, four winches are refurbished and two additional secondary winches have been purchased (but not installed), and changes to the mainsheet system are completed.

Whew, it has been a bit of a drudge. Working on a boat in La Cruz in the summer is difficult. Humidity and heat wear you down if you are working outside, but we have persisted. We drink a lot of water.

A lot of work remains, lots of smaller projects, mostly ones we could delay if needed, but we’ll keep at it, and with where we are now, we know we’ll be sailing again soon.

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Fred & Judy, SV Wings, La Cruz

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