Annapolis Maryland, hallowed ground for sailors.
Picture Nova Scotia fishing village meets small town America. Annapolis is off the hook. Cobble stone, historic brick buildings, and it’s all situated on the gorgeous Chesapeake Bay, some of the best sailing waters in the world.
Check this out:
Now take this magical town of just some 40,000 residents and add the biggest in-water sailboat show in the world! Everyone who is in love with sailing has either dreamed of attending, or attended several times. It was personally my third trip to the historic boat show.
For one weekend in October and one in the spring, this place is absolutely packed with sailors from the world over and every major sailboat manufacturer has brand new boats on display and completely open for you to board and explore. Plus vendors from all the major players in sailing from Harken to Helly Hansen. Need a wind vane? No problem. Anchor windlass, yup! Tons of swap shop type stuff too if you are looking for hard to find odds and ends.
We checked out boats from Hanse, Beneteau, Jenneau, and on and on. We even looked at Cats…. sort of. Of particular interest however – Delos was there!
No, that the actual Delos. Sadly.
But rather me in a Delos shirt aboard nothing other than an Amel! This isn’t a Super Maramu 53 like Delos but it is a direct descendant. This is the new 54!
We turned a corner and amidst all the same old same old plumb bow sugar scoop Beneteaus, we saw her. The Amel really set herself apart being center cockpit and bearing the lines of a true world traveler. Call me crazy but I’d take the 54 Amel before I took a 60 Oceanis. She was our fav for sure.
We got to tour the Amel and every other boat we encountered falling in love with everything these new production boats have to offer, except the price tags 😉 After all, our motto is Go Small, Go Simple, Go Now.
We met some super cool sailors who are just looking for the vessel they will be taking south too! I hope they find us on the internet.
We put away a lot of Painkillers with these two I tell ya! Great folks!
Just when we thought we’d had enough, we met Brittany from Windtraveller and our hearts melted. Meeting your idols is always scary cause you never really know what to expect but Brittany is wholeheartedly an amazing person and every bit as awesome as we’d expected. And that Tortola tan! Wow Brit – we can’t wait to be that tan. We bought our #BVISTRONG shirts and continued on exploring all the awesomeness, with a few more painkillers.
We stayed at the show till the lights came on and get that distinct “last call” feeling showed up. Everyone seemed to have left so we made our way toward the front gate when just in the distance we heard it… the sound of Caribbean flavored music and dancing. B-line, go!
We came around the corner and our minds were blown, a full scale sailor party with free beer and live band was happening right in the boat show!
I can’t wait to publish the next episode of Lady K Sailing to show you guys how awesome this place was!
For now however, I’ll leave you with a few pics. Don’t worry, the State Trooper was quite friendly 🙂
Club racing is likely the best way to become a better and safer sailor if you’re new to the sport. I’ll give you my understand which (disclaimer) won’t be to the standards of the lifetime avid racer but more directed at those who, like me, want to get involved at least on some level.
We’re a small club with about fifteen boats that usually race. Racing sailboats is sketchy at best because you have to rely on the weather and you have to arrange races for times where people will actually show up. Trust me, it’s not easy. I’m the race committee chair this year. Yikes!
We tend to race on Thursday nights at around 6:00pm. To be involved in the race, you really just have to show up ahead of time to get a race sheet that the race committee usually has at the ready.
As you likely know if you’ve ever sailed in your life, planning to sail is always a bad idea. Sailboats only work when there’s wind and if you’re trying to get somewhere, there will either be no wind or wind directly in the wrong direction. It’s just how it goes. Sailing life.
Provided the wind and weather cooperate and people show up, the race is on.
As it’s very rare for any two sailboats to be equal unless your one design racing, you have to handicap the faster boats somehow so everyone is somewhat competitive. Our club uses the PHRF system. “Performance Handicap Racing Fleet” measures are published online an easy to find. Without getting too technical, we use this system to try to make every boat finish the race (in theory anyway) at exactly the same time. It makes things exciting!
Each boat has a PHRF rating, typically well above zero. The “zero rating” is a theoretical boat and describes how fast that boat would take to get around the race course. A boat that is slower than the zero boat would have a higher rating. Let’s say your boat has a rating of 100. This means it *should* take your boat 100 seconds MORE THAN the zero boat to go each mile. In a one mile race, you would start exactly 100 seconds before the zero boat. Someone with a rating of 200 would start 200 seconds before the zero boat. This way you and the 200 boat should finish at the same time.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to actually know any of this. The race committee finds your boats PHRF and bases your race start time on it. My boat for example is a 147. This means if the zero boat started at 7:00pm and the race were one mile, I’d get to start 147 seconds before him. If the race were ten miles, I’d get to start 24 and a half minutes before him.
We start the slowest boat at 7:00pm, followed by each faster boat. A few boats start very close together, and the very fast boats start as late as 7:30pm. The races are usually less than ten miles.
The timing is adjusted as the season goes on to try to get all of the boats to the finish line at exactly the same time. May the best sailor win!
This works for the most part and once you understand the PHRF system it makes a lot of sense. The problem is, boats that are the same are often not the same. My Hughes 35 for example has no problem placing in the top five or six boats at the finish line. Another member however, also on a Hughes 35 sailboat usually wins by a huge margin.
The difference is in the unmeasurable. Does his sailboat have a smoother bottom, a folding propeller, better sails? Or does his 60 years of experience just trump my five years? Everything comes into play in PHRF racing because the boat has no advantage. It’s like drag racing a Corvette and a Prius. If you mathematically figure out how far ahead to let the Prius get before the Corvette can leave the line to make them finish at exactly the same time, the race is very hard to win in either car. That’s what PHRF does. It comes down to the driver.
Racing in PHRF is also very unforgiving. If you make a mistake, typically the only way to make a comeback is if everyone ahead of you also makes a mistake. The learning curve is very steep.
I can say that despite to competitive stress and my long list of mistakes in almost every race, I am still learning tremendously fast.
Races in PHRF are definitely not for the faint of heart either. Boats under full sail and heavy heel are often very close together. Tactics are everything. Passing someone on the high side will steal their wind so even if you can’t make it past without hitting them, when you get into their wind they will fall off and you won’t hit them anyway. It’s very tricky to master the close quarters combat but an extremely good time if you like that sort of thing, which I certainly do.
Our racecourses are marked by buoys and typically have three legs headed in three different directions, always with an upwind leg to keep things interesting.
Anyway, that’s all on PHRF racing for now. If you have questions please post in the comments.
Frustration doesn’t do it justice.
We’ve moved back into the house and with that came the inevitable – we miss Lady K. We miss the water, the people, the lifestyle that is #boatlife.
I scour my brain for ways to leave sooner. Wouldn’t it be amazing to just go now? It’s the right time of year to miss the hurricanes and get to the Caribbean just on time. I actually started making a list:
Answer, without a moments hesitation: A warm anchorage.
What’s in my way?
It’s so frustrating living the day to day praying we find some way to expedite our plans. We’re ready to go now in many ways: boat, plans, emotions, energy. But we aren’t ready in one super important way: money. The great barrier.
We love making videos and we hope in time to get a good patronage going on Patreon but alas, it takes time. We have a financial plan that has us in a very good place to go in two years. But two years!
We have most of our stuff for sale to expedite the process as much as humanly possible, and I am scouring the online atmosphere for any odd jobs I can pick up in my down time.
Does anyone need any writing done? Hehe.
Our motivation is pure, or resolve is uncompromising.
We will find a way.
We will go small, go simple, go now…ish.
Check out Episode 3! We have a sailing adventure, a race, and welcome some new sailors to the sport!
As Tim previously mentioned, we’ve moved back to the house after living aboard for a better portion of our summer. School things and broken car things have led us back to the city and I can honestly say that “happy” isn’t the word we’d use to describe how we feel about it.
So, in light of our Top 10 Things We Love and Hate About Boat Life, I’ve decided to share how we feel about moving back to the house.
The LOVE List:
The NOT SO LOVE List:
There we have it. The loves and the hates. The love list was a struggle because they’re all things that we can do without. We’re not happy at the house. Not now. Not after we’ve had a taste of what our future holds. But we’ll manage. We’ll get through it and we’ll work our asses off to get where we need to be. “Go small, go simple, go now.” It may not be in this very minute of this very hour on this very day, but it’s sure as hell going to be a lot sooner than we first planned.
Candice <3 xo.