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Friday, January 30, 2009

Jan 30, 2009-Long Day Down Wind

wingssail image-fredrick roswold
Marco Trims

Phang Nga Bay regatta is over. We think we are third for the week, not fantastic, but we did our best and in the end the conditions got us. Today’s long downwind race to Chalong was great sailing until just about the time the faster boats finished, then the wind died and we struggled on for two more hours in drifting conditions to finish fourth. No possibility to correct our time over them. Well, disappointing but that’s racing.

So now we head off to the party for the wrap up of a great regatta with our terrific crew and best friends.

Click here for photos from day 4.

Click here for all the Phang Nga Bay Photos,

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Phuket

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Jan 29, 2009-Phang Nga Bay 3- as Good as it Gets

UPDATE! First place!

Andy Shannon & Fred

Today was a terrific day of sailing.

We had a great start, sailed well on the first leg with the new asymmetrical did several successful spinnaker changes and the last half of the race in the open water in brilliant sunshine and nice wind was as good as sailing gets and to top it all off we corrected out to first place ahead of Yo!2 and Katsu. Our time over Yo!2 was 16 seconds.

I've got to say that the crew is excellent and we are sailing well together as a team so this win is particularly satisfying.

We didn’t know how we did until Simon James, PRO, tipped us off at the party just before the announcments so it was a bit of a surprise. Now we are tied with Katsu for second in the series and today we go out to see how we do overall. The rivalry should be good with Katsu and they might be gunning for us a little after today's start when I luffed them up sharply and caused them to miss the start and have to go around.

The party tonight at Railay Beach at Krabi was good but Judy and I went home early to recover a little, and tomorrow we’ll be at Ao Chaong, and we’ll write more.

Click here for more photos

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Krabi

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Jan 28, 2009-Chaos at Koh Sum

wingssail image-jenni clark
Light Air Hell

I knew the day wasn’t going to turn out as I’d hoped when they called us over early at the start. We’d had Katsu and Yo!2 buried but we were too close to the line and then Fidgi pushed us up; we were both over and Lawana and Pheonix too. As we fought back against the ebb current I glanced upwind and saw Katsu and Yo!2 smokin’ towards the first mark, Koh Pai, Damn!

But we got back in the hunt from that one and on the next leg, to Koh Sum, there was a big hole to go through and it was anybody’s race. Katsu and Yo!2 went low and got out first, the rest of the fleet went high and died up next to Koh Pai. We went low and found some wind but it never was enough to break away. The wind filled in for the boats who had gone high and then it was a drag race in slow motion to the next island, Koh Sum. About 20 boats got there ahead of us and parked with no wind and a strong ebb tide. We came coasting into the parked boats and had nowhere to go, so we ducked down through a gap and got outside. Then the next pack came coasting in from behind and jammed up everything on both sides of us. Boats were bumping and everyone was fending off, Geez, it was chaos.

The worst was yet to come. Somehow, the crew says it was my insistence on having the boom held over so we were technically on starboard which caused us to go backwards, but anyway we got into some back eddy or other which sucked us right out of the pack, singled us out from amongst everyone else, and pulled us back next to the island. We went backwards for 200 ft. We thought we might hit the island and even started the motor as a caution but didn’t need it. We missed the rocks but it took us forever to get out of there and get around the island. Four tries to get going. Meanwhile every other boat just simply sailed away. It was unbelievable.

After that we had one helluva hole to dig our way out of, and dig we did. We got moving upwind and passed a number of boats tacking to the Koh Ba Tang Turning Mark. Then we had a great downwind leg to the finish and passed seveal others.

We ended up in third again on corrected time, or at least that’s what we guess based on the times we took; we'll see at the party tonight when they announce the results.

It was not a great race today for Wings but one thing we are happy about: the boat speed was very good. Now if only we can keep out of trouble. Tomorrow is another day.

Click here to see the other photos.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Phuket

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

January 27, 2009-Phang Nga Bay Day 1

wingssail image-jenni clark
Day One

Today was the first day of Phang Nga Bay Regatta 2009. We placed third.

So how was the race?

Well, nice wind at the start. We had a safe start in the middle of the fleet (being worried about the tide taking us over the line made us too conservative) then we sailed very well for the first half of the race and we were winning on handicap at the second mark before the wheels came off.

The wind died at the half way point and the first two boats, both faster than us, were far enough out to keep the wind a little longer. They finished and saved their time. We had a frustrating race for an hour or so in the hot hot sun and no wind. It was brutal for a while. When the wind filled in we had a great sail to the finish with the new 1A kite and we got a third place.

We hope tomorrow is a bit better and a little more wind would help but the forcast is for lighter wind.

Oh well.

Click here for more photos from Wings

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Phang Nga Bay

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Monday, January 19, 2009

January 20, 2009-Yacht Haven Marina in the Morning

wingssail image-fredrick roswold

The sun rises at 7:00 and I fill my Starbuck's mug and go for a walk on the docks at Yacht Haven. It is quiet at that time.

On C-Dock where Wing's is berthed nobody seems to be up on any of the boats, or at least they are not on deck yet. I walk a few paces then stop for a sip of coffee, feel the soft breeze just starting at this time of day, and look around: every thing seems right on C-Dock. The sun is starting to warm things and little waves in the marina are sparkling. Flags are just starting their day of flapping. Every thing is waking up at 7:00.

I walk over to the super yacht pier. Here some of the boat boys are up and as I walk past the towering yachts I hear the sound of decks being washed and pots and pans clattering in the crew's quarters. A prospective worker waiting for a job says, "Morning boss" to me as I pass.

"Sawasadee", I answer in Thai.

On Bristolian a crew member washes off the BBQ cover. I say "hello" and she returns the greeting with a smile. By the time I get to the work dock at the end of the line my coffee cup is drained. One last look around and I turn back.

Í'm starting to think about food; maybe I can get some chow on Wings if the cook is out of bed.

I stroll back towards Wings, swinging my empty coffee cup at my side and I am thinking that this is a good life and walking the docks is a great way to start the day.

Click here for more shots of Yacht Haven

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Phuket

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January 19, 2009-Getting Ready to Race

wingssail image-fredrick roswold
Polishing the Mast

We are going racing next week and this time we want to be serious about our preparation. We've taken all the cruising gear off and stripped out the inside of everything heavy which we think we can do without.

We estimate that this will be about 4000 lbs of stuff removed when we finish. We've been working on this for a while and most of it is off already, however Wings still looks full inside. It's amazing how much stuff we normally have on this boat. Our new storage locker at Yacht Haven is filled and our boat still looks full.

But the waterline shows the difference: Wings is about 4 inches higher now, and it feels lighter.

We've also done some cleaning and polishing. As you see above we even had Hasan, our favorite boat worker, go up the mast to wax that. This doesn't make us any faster but it makes us feel better.

And Wings still looks pretty good when it gets down to basics and it's all cleaned up.

Click here for a photo.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Phuket

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

January 17, 2009-Dibuk Street Lunch

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Boat Builder in Phuket

A typical day for us when we go to Phuket is to rent a car and do some shopping. Driving around Phuket is a nice way to spend a day, and between stops at the supermarket or the boat store we usually have lunch somewhere in Phuket town. On Saturday we did this.

On the way to town we stopped at Ao Por to check out the marina there and on the beach we saw this man working on a local boat. Maybe someday I will have a boat made on this beach. We don't need another boat but I'd just like to see if we can craft an interesting vessel.

Then, since it was a late start to the day and it was time to eat already we went to Dibuk street and had lunch at our favorite Phuket restaurant, the Dibuk Restaurant.

Dibuk Restaurant

It is always cool and quiet at this little place in Phuket's old town and the food is good, the wine cheap. You could spend an afternoon here and some folks do.

But we have shopping to do and a long drive back to Wings, so we only stay after lunch for one glass of wine and then we are off.

Click here to see the inside of Dibuk Restaurant

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Phuket

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Sunday, January 04, 2009

January 1, 2009-Surf's up at Kata Beach

Surf is Up

Click here To see how it lands.

Phuket's east side beaches are known as excellent anchorages during the NE Monsoon. From December to March the winds are consistently out of the NE and the bays, such as Kata Beach, seen here, are in the lee of the island and calm. The sky is generally blue and the sun shines every day. But this year we were at Kata Beach on New Year's Eve and for a couple of days after and we had a different view: the clouds were heavy, there was rain, and though the winds stayed in the NE the surf was big.

We got our dingy in during a lull but as we ate lunch we wondered if we could get back out through this surf.

Luckily there was a small area at the other end of the beach, where we left the dingy, which was not too bad and we got safely back to Wings without being flipped.

After two days at Kata and another at Nai Harn, just to the south, we sailed back around Phuket Island on Saturday January 3 and we had a very nice sail: 30 miles to windward in moderate seas and 15 knots of wind. It took us 6 hours, which is very good time, and we arrived at our favorite anchorage just near the north east end of the island at 4:00 PM. On Sunday morning we will go into Yacht Haven Marina, 7 miles away.


Click here for more photos from our New Year's cruise.

Fred & Judy, S/V Wings, Phuket

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