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adventures

2nd annual red bra regatta

Her Royal Highness Karima had requested my participation in the 2nd Annual Red Bra Regatta. I almost did this race last year, but I was unable to make the practices so it didn’t quite work out. Thankfully this time not only have I raced the Midwinters, I’ve crossed an Ocean too! In other words, I’m much more prepared to do a race without much practice with the crew.

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All I knew is that me and three other ladies would be racing an Islander 30′ out of South Beach Harbor in the beginning of October, the only requirements are that you be female and wear a red bra. HA! The only bra I have right now is red (maybe a little more on the “magenta” side). I didn’t even hesitate when asked. I know Karima has been working her booty off getting her boat ready to sail, but I didn’t realize that she hasn’t sailed Las Brisas in five years! What an honor to be a part of her maiden voyage crew.

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We arrived at the South Beach Harbor with more than a few stares. We were in fact wearing red bras and no we weren’t just wearing them on the outside of boring white t-shirts. The air in the uptight yacht club was so stiff you could slice it with a knife. This is supposed to be fun, right?! We got the rules and regulations and got out of there, retreating back to the boat for some adult beverages until the race was due to start.

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Karima has raced but not ever driven or navigated, and recently crossed the Pacific. I’ve also raced but done little more than be rail meat. I was ok with foredeck but the majority of racers weren’t using a spinnaker, so my skills were needed elsewhere. Miri hasn’t raced but has done several ocean crossings, and Linda has done ocean racing and several of her own solo crossings. Basically, we were a crew of bad ass female sailors and we were ready for this race even though we were just winging it.

The race was delayed a couple of hours because of the lack of wind. That actually gave us time to get comfortable with the boat that literally had no winches or tracks or sails the day before. I was happy to hear the race would finally be starting so we could put our skills to the test.

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The Gorilla Hookers, as we named ourselves, did awesome! None of us really had a specific job but we did what needed to be done and piped up when something wasn’t right. I navigated, Karima drove, Linda and Miri helped on tacks and everywhere else in between we all chipped in and worked well together. At the end of the day we came in 6th out of 11 boats. That’s amazing considering that the boat mast and new rigging went on just days before this race. Seriously, its amazing the boat was able to come together so quickly and do better than half the fleet who probably practiced their boring white socks off. And we had fun while doing it! More fun than the others I am sure. It was a lovely day with lovely ladies, what more could a sailor girl ask for?!

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sykes springs, big sur

I’ve been wanting to explore the Bay Area more, so when I had a week with no plans I did just that. I stuffed my military duffel bag to the limit, put more stuff in my backpack and carried that on my front, grabbed the doggies, got some hiking boots, had my new camera slung around my neck, and we went out trekking! Did I try out how hard it was going to be carrying all that weight? No… Did I wear in the hiking boots? Nope… “It’s going to be fiiinne” I told myself. I really just wanted to see some hot springs in the backcountry.

“When we passed you on the trail, we thought, ‘man, she’s got a LOT of stuff she’s carrying!'” said these two Swiss guys I’d passed on the trail and later saw at the campsite. It was too much stuff. Lesson learned. By the third day my back was developing Stockholms syndrome.

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If you’re wondering, Bear and Zita did great! Bear was always ahead of me scoping things out on the trail. He would stop as he got to a bend in the trail so far ahead of me and would turn around and give me the “hey lady, are you coming?” look. Sometimes Zita would look back as well, and if I stopped, both gave me that look.

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Zita had been right behind Bear for the majority of the hike, but for some reason on the hike back she was acting up (barking at everyone we approached). I would apologize and acknowledge her psycho-nature, they’d laugh and say “oh she’s not scary”. Eeeh. Wait until she’s traumatized an innocent 3 year old, or a grown man for that matter. I never know how people are going to react to Zita’s outbursts, so I’d rather just keep her in check in the first place. After her tantrums, she stayed behind me and didn’t make a peep after that. Phew!! She, the one with the little legs, was getting tired easily though. We stopped several times to take breaks, drink water, and eat snacks and she seemed to be putting up with it just fine. By the end of the 20 mile three day trek they were pooped, and really really dirty! That always means happy dogs.

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It really was beautiful though, and it was a good first backpacking trip! I brought the manual for my new camera with me and played around a little bit with the settings and options. Now I can finally say I’ve not only gone backpacking, and that I’ve been to natural hot springs! Check and check. Because I now have a nice camera, I’m kind of thinking I’m some sort of photographer, too… Check.

OK- here are some more pics!

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BEFORE + AFTER progressions

my dear coconut

One thing I wasn’t crazy about on Coconut  is that someone thought it would be funny to remove the “C’s” on one side of the boat… leaving behind the name of “-O-ONUT”. It was like this when I bought the boat.

SAM_4400HA. Ha…. ha. When my best friend mentioned that she wanted to paint more, I thought, HEY wanna paint the name on the side of my boat?!?! She did! She came all the way down from Seattle to spend a weekend with me. We hung out and painted, hiked, played with the doggies, and chilled. It was so nice to spend some quality time with her! I wanted her to do whatever she pleased as far as the font and artistry went, I wanted her personal touch on my dear Coconut.

IMG_0065I didn’t realize this at the time, but the paint on the hull has stripped away so much on my boat that when we removed the stickers, there was another layer there that we couldn’t get off. Not with Goo-Gone, not with acetone, nothing. Turns out, it’s a thick layer of paint that the sticker was protecting from being blown away. You can see there are two layers of stickers that have been removed, creating a funky surface to paint on. I’ve been advised to sand it down with an orbital with 220 grit sand paper. I’ve got the supplies, just need to find the time to do it. Then Thyda can paint the city on next time she’s here.

IMG_0272For now only Coconut has been painted on, but I love how it came out!! Even Zita approves 😉

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IMG_0326He has a rough life, be easy on him..

In other news, I looked through the blog and realized that I don’t have any photos of the interior on here. The photos I do have are from when I first moved board. That’s code for “it’s a mess”. It’s still messy, but I guess a little more of an organized mess. SAM_4419This is the walkway through the head to the aft cabin. This is just off the stairs from the companionway.

SAM_4431This is the lovely aft cabin! This area suffered the most water damage of all, as you can see the “wall” is completely torn out and needs to be redone.

SAM_4435Walking back out of the aft cabin you head to the galley.

SAM_4423The galley!

SAM_4424This is one of my favorites. On the other side of the galley is the “Nav Satation”. Look at all that old stuff! The countertop has three refrigeration compartments beneath it. SO MUCH SPACE TO KEEP FOOD AND BEER COOL! AAh. It’s so beautiful!

SAM_4422Here is the settee, across from the galley.

SAM_4444 This is unique, it’s a shop! To store tools! There was a lot of stuff left behind by the previous owner as you can see.

SAM_4428Zita for scale, all the beautiful beautiful drawers in the forward v-berth. There are two spaces for people to sleep up forward.

I’ve got my work cut out for me in bringing Coconut back up to par, but I’ve made a lot of progress already and I haven’t even had her six months yet. I really have so much more respect for people who rebuild things. It’s a lot of work! Especially on a boat, it’s not like you can just go to Home Depot and get this stuff. A lot of it isn’t even made anymore, leaving you scrounging around online trying to find stuff. It’s quite the scavenger hunt, but I think I like the fact that it’s not easy. If it were, it would be boring.

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transit of venus

Mentioned in my previous post, I almost went to Transit of Venus for the ride back to the Bay. While I was out at Sea, they had to turn around because they were having issues. I never knew what those issues were, but I was glad I had gotten on a different boat for my first passage.

Within hours of posting my log of the ocean crossing, Ed (who was onboard with me on Knopkierrie) texted me to let me know something happened to Transit of Venus. I checked out the Latitude 38 article he pointed me to. They had to abandon ship in the 625 miles away from the Bay because they hit something! I wonder if it was the same floating dock that Humdinger hit? Who knows. I am glad everyone is safe, as it sounds the TofV crew is on quite the detour.

I remember one evening at the yacht club, sitting down with the crew of Blue Crush and Rapture, an older gentleman came over to the table to ask if anyone was looking for a ride back to the bay. This was when I knew there were problems with Blue Crush but didn’t have the heart to say anything about wanting to jump ship right in front of the crew. Something in my gut just told me that it wasn’t the right boat for me. The crew on Knopkierrie had asked why I didn’t go for Transit of Venus. Everyone at the yacht club in Kaneohe knew they needed crew, but for some reason I pursued other options before going to that boat. I don’t know why I felt that way, I just did. Something in my gut was right, it turns out.