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Monday, August 29, 2005

August 30, 2005-DBYC Man Overboard Race


Neal & Andrea Nowosad's Vagabond 47, after winning the DBYC MOB Race.

Why Are These People Laughing?


Well, why wouldn’t we be?

Andy: Yeah, Why?


When you are on the way home to Discovery Bay after another super day on the water what else can you do but smile?

On Sunday our local yacht club had one of their unique races, an 18 mile team event around several of the local islands; with man-overboard training thrown in for good measure, followed up by one heck of great beach party, and it couldn’t have come off better. We had a sunny day, blue sky, perfect wind, and plenty of beer and BBQ delights.

No, WINGS didn’t win, the boat at the top of the page, EPIC, sailed by Neal and Andrea, her son Drew, and John Barnes, took the top trophy, but we got second, along with our team mate Wizard, the other half of team “W”.


Fred, wearing the Toilet Seat

And we had wonderful sailing. There were just four of us, sweet Judy (helm), Kiwi’s Andy (forward hand and main trimmer, now there is a combination of jobs!) and Nita, (jib trim, runners, etc) and Captain Fred, (primary grunt). But it was enough to hold off all comers for most all of the day. And the last beat up and around Kau Yi Chau was one to remember: Wings never pointed higher or sailed faster. (Oops, there goes our rating.) We even hit the lay line perfectly (Judy called it) and tacked when an anchored ship hid us from view so our competition didn’t see us go. Hah! Then there was the max hull speed broad reach under kite to the finish. Perfect, what a way to sail your house!

I’ll be the first to admit I wasn’t keen on the format; all the entries were formed into two boat teams and each team had to return to the starting area twice during the race and complete a man-overboard drill each time before continuing the race. I thought this was going to be a drag, but I couldn’t have been more wrong: it was fun and educational too. In fact every participant thought it was a great event, and the people on the beach had fun watching the sailboats spinning around like America’s Cup yachts as we tried to get back to pick up our MOB dummies as quick as possible so we could race off towards the next mark.

Of course the 15-18 knots of breeze and flat water didn’t hurt.

After Wings led the fleet back to the finish, we anchored off the beach where our dingy was waiting, packed our eskies and beach chairs to shore and got on with some serious beer drinking and sausage eating. Between mouthfuls and swigs we traded sea stories with the other contestants, or cooled off with a little swim.

Sunshine Beach

Prize Giving

Oh, the toilet seat? Well, that was awarded to Captain Fred for the goof up of the day. I left the club’s power dive setup sitting out in Wizard’s cockpit and for a while we thought it had gotten stolen.

Click Here for all the Hong Kong photos

Fred & Judy, SV WINGS, Hong Kong

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Saturday, August 13, 2005

August 2005-Marina Life, Discovery Bay Marina

This is a picture of our marina in better weather, but tonight, outside of our snug boat, there is the onslaught of Typhoon Sanvu, with thunderstorms, lightning, and pouring rain.

Rainy Day in DBMC

Sanvu did not hit Hong Kong, a near miss, but we got some bad weather anyhow.

The staff at the marina were tense for a day or so as we all watched the track of the Typhoon. They took down the tent where special events like birthday parties are held. They closed the swimming pool. There was even a warning notice on the bulletin board: “Typhoon Warning #1, Check your tie-up lines”. We did.

Although the cyclone missed us, tonight we are snugged down, hearing the sounds outside, seeing the flashes of lighting, and listening to music from an internet website while we eat Chinese food; black pepper stir-fry pork and rice. We feel safe, we can ignore the storm outside.

Other than nights like tonight, when there is a storm brewing, the marina is a bit quieter this time of year, not because it is Typhoon Season, but because school’s out and a lot of the families go “back home” during school holiday to England, Europe, Australia, South Africa, wherever home is. Our home is here, and we’ve stayed.

It is also hotter and really humid this time of year. That is another reason people leave.

Just as life doesn’t stop in Seattle when it rains, life doesn’t stop here because of the heat. I went hiking on one of the hottest days, up the mountain. Fred, enjoying the view. Judy was at work and I was tired of the gym so I went up the hill in the 90’s temp and 100% humidity. It was a good work out. The view was also good so I snapped the picture I’ve included with this newsletter. You can see our marina, Victoria Harbor, and Hong Kong Island in the background.

This is an interesting marina, different from any other we’ve been in. Mostly it is a place where people live, not where people park boats that they use once in a while.

The docks here are full of liveaboard boats known locally as “junks”. Out of 125 boats in this marina there are 105 with people living on them. It sort of shoots down the stance taken by many marina’s around the world (in the US in particular) that you can’t have a whole marina full of liveaboards. We do, and it is fine.

In fact, it makes this marina into a true “community”. There are moms and pops and lots of kids around. The swimming pool and clubhouse lounge are full most of the time.

More kids

Being an “expat” community in the Far East where most of the white people have lots of disposable income, there are also lots of servants (maids, nannys & boat boys) in this marina. This is the fact of life here: the rich white folks have paid help from the Philippines and Bangladesh.

But we don’t; we don’t have any kids and we wash our own boat.

Even though it is a bit quieter now, the marina is still a busy place, even during the holiday season when many people are gone. However, it is not busy from a boating point of view. The few sailboats here are used frequently, but there are less than a dozen of us. The junks rarely move, the people living on them don’t take them out much. Actually they don’t take them out at all. These junks aren’t made for cruising. They don’t do well away from the dock and away from their umbilical cords of power and water. When they do leave for their annual maintenance haul out, there is a Chinese captain hired to drive them because most of the owners are not experienced enough to drive a boat as big and cumbersome as these junks. It is a bit strange I have to admit, but in a way they still are “boating people”. This is because the marina is laid out in such a way that most of the people living here have very long walks just to get to and from their boats. So they all have dingys which they use to get from their houseboat junks to the head of the dock. The dingy traffic here is quite heavy, and everyone who lives here quickly gets good at driving a small boat powered by an outboard motor. I like this aspect of the marina life here. I like seeing teenagers, little kids, adults or housemaids driving the dingy around. Boating is a part of life here.

So is the bilge bar, restaurant, pool, and clubhouse. They are the nice hangouts where we know most of the people. The staff is great, and the company is nice too.

We like it – it’s a nice place to call home for awhile.

Click Here for all the Hong Kong photos

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Hong Kong

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Monday, August 01, 2005

Subscribing to Wingssail via RSS

This posting has instructions for subscribing to the wingssail newsletter using RSS/Atom, which is a syndication method (a way of publishing).

Frankly, I don't see the advantage of this sype of subscription over just simply adding wingssail to your favorites and checking the web site when you are online, but if you want to do it this way, here are the instructions, as far as I can figure them out.

(PS, This is an experiment, if I decide I don't like it, I am going to drop it, so let me know if you are using it and think it should be retained)

Setting up to read our newsletters as a RSS/Atom News Feed

(You can also click here Subscribe to wingssail)

1. Download a reader program, this is like a browser. I used FeedReader, which is a simple, small, completely free newsreader.

Go to

click "Download latest version"

Select a version, you can click on "Download FeedreaderxxxxxxxSetup.exe" (the first one on the list, or any one you choose)

Run, or save on your computer (and run later) and follow Setup Wizard steps

2. Set up your reader program to show wingssail

-Start feedreeder

-Create a new feed, (click on the "new feed" icon on the top left of the page)

-Put blogspot/wingssail in the "Add New Feed" window that comes up, (location of feed)

Type wingssail where it asks for the name, and pick a folder, or leave the blank folder highlighted.

Now you can run your FeedReader program and see the list of our web log postings, and see which ones you have read, etc.

Hope this helps

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