Sunday, October 14, 2007


Headed out to oil island to tank up

It occurred to me today, while watching pretty good sailors flail around with the Moth, that there are two more or less distinct skill sets at play in this game. First, there is Mothing. This involves somehow getting yourself onto a very skinny boat and keeping it upright long enough to sail it. Mothing would also include figuring out how to do tacks and gybes in lowrider mode, how to carry the boat into the water, etc.

Foiling incorporates Mothing, but then rapidly transcends it. Suddenly there is the possibility of flying too high or too low, auguring in to windward, stacking, capsizing to leeward by heeling ever so slightly in that direction, trimming the rudder, and aerial gybing.

Foiling seems to get people into Mothing, but Mothing keeps them busy for awhile before they can get very serious about foiling. Of course there are the talented exceptions, but these people spend a lot of time sailing small, high performance dinghies for the mostpart.

Today we got out late due to a running marathon in Long Beach that closed half the town down and prevented us from accessing our launch area. So over the fence with the Moth and out to sea. Phil and Greg each took a turn with impressive virgin talent on Phil's part and a big improvement by Greg over last week's effort. I made some cable length adjustments which seemed to smooth things out a bit but I think the gantry needs some fine tuning as I am up and down a bit too much offwind. Conditions were perhaps a bit much for learning at 12-15 earlier in the day, moderating toward sunset. The tiller universal cut my second go short but hung in there long enough to get me back to shore.

Cold enough in the water for a drysuit, though apparenly the seals on wetsuits are so good now that you don't really get wet in them any more, so the difference between wet and dry is becoming a matter of semantics. Greg had a toasty full arm wetsuit on and seemed warm enough, though he was generating a lot of heat through hard work and capsize recovery getting to know the boat.

Breeze moderated toward end of the day but there was enough left after Phil gave up the boat to take him for a brief foil two up. He is 160 and I am about 165 for a total of 325 pounds on the boat. I went out on the rack alone and kept him in the middle for fear of getting a bit too powered up, plus it's kind of hard to coordinate with someone new to the boat. So he got a taste of foiling anyway. Impressive what these foils will lift when they have to.

Ran into fireball twirlers on the beach after dinner and got some video but then they ran out of gas, so you will just have to take my word for the fact that it was a pretty sight while it lasted.

More photos coming whenever the blogging software lets me upload them.

Phil demonstrates Karate Kid moves on the launch pad

If you spent more time mothing and less time standing around looking geeky you'd be able to gybe two up like Bora...

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