View Full Version : Domino bound for sea

05-14-2014, 05:37 AM
Domino and I are heading out on the afternoon ebb for the qualifier today.

The plan is to head west until sometime tomorrow, then use the lighter breeze and sea state to try and leg up to the NE.
Then likely another leg west before turning for home sometime Friday.
hopefully that will set me up for an easier fetch home as the breeze builds in Friday + Saturday.

I'll be checking in [hopefully] with Brian tomorrow on VHF, you can track me on the DeLorme here:

with a little luck [and some wind today] I hope to be back sometime Saturday.


05-14-2014, 10:21 AM
Is that boat symbol in the Berkeley marine center Domino? I'll be following you for sure. Best wishes to you.

05-14-2014, 12:19 PM
Good winds Dave.

I will attempt to raise you on VHF when you are out a 100 miles or so.

05-14-2014, 01:37 PM
Looks like he departed right around 1:20PM from Alameda Marina.

Good luck!


05-14-2014, 03:21 PM
Thanks, David. Now I see. Pretty exciting, I think. 30+ winds on Saturday, huh? My understanding is that Domino requires attention most of the time. Not a diva but not a slug either.

05-14-2014, 11:15 PM
Dave's progress as of 11 pm - well past the rocks. See post at http://sfbaysss.org/shtp/updates/

05-15-2014, 04:12 PM
The third leg of that triangle is going to be a doozie.

05-15-2014, 07:49 PM
The third leg of that triangle is going to be a doozie.

It looks like David is doing this qualifier the way he intended. The wind at Bolinas Bay is 18 knots as I type. Going north in pleasant conditions is better than going south and then beating poor Domino up all the way home, isn't it? Plus the two of them might run into friends from the SSS farallones on the way home. It looks like he thought this out very carefully (Full moon,too!) And now he is executing his plan as intended. Go, Domino! Go David!

05-15-2014, 10:08 PM
I spoke to Dave this evening (1630) via VHF, he was 120 miles offshore and on a course of 35Deg. Winds were from 340 at 17. He reported pleasant sailing with a moderate NW swell. He is working north so as to ride the filling NW winds back into the Bay. It appears for the latest course data that he has seen a wind shift from WNW to NE.

05-18-2014, 01:56 PM
Well - that pretty much went according to plan!
Even got to watch the fleet heading out the gate as I was heading in at 0915 yesterday.

With the weather window I had, it was really all about setting up the last leg for home.
Domino and I had been ready for a week, but there was no real way to get offshore.

What developed was a lane of pleasant sailing between high pressure cells off shore and inshore running from about 50-100 miles offshore on Wednesday.
I got a little wider, out to 150 miles on Thursday and Friday.
So once I was out there, things were quite nice. Mostly NW to NNW from 13-16.

Wednesday was a light reach out with the #1.
started in 5-8 from the NNW, and shifted N and built to 12-13 once I got out about 50 miles.

On Thursday AM the winds built in to 15-17, still from 340-355.
Swapped the 1 for the #3 jib and tacked North.

About sunset on Thursday I tacked back out and went West until the odometer said I would have about a 10 mile cushion at the end.
I guess I got that calc right, as it said 414 when I came through the Gate.

From there it was all about setting up for Friday night.
I practiced downloading a grib through the sat phone on Thursday to see if anything had changed since I left... nope.
I also napped as much as I could on Friday, as I was not likely to get much sleep that night.

About sunset on Friday the wind built to 17 to 19 and the seas started to build to 4-6 feet.
Knowing what was ahead, I made sure I got some warm soup in me, and put a fresh change of clothes and dry foulies on.

About 10PM the wind went to 20-22 and and the seas built to 4-6feet.
This is when Domino really began to shine.
I happily found that speed was our friend... the faster we went the more the bow came up, things unloaded, and the AP power consumption went down.

By midnight we were crossing Cordell Bank and the wind and seas built dramatically in the course of an hour to 6-8 foot swells with a 12 second period and wind speeds from 25-28, gusting 30.
I kicked myself for not reefing sooner, but again the faster we went, the more the boat unloaded and the easier the ride.
Twisted both sails off a bit more and carried on.

Truly spectacular sailing with full moon, stars and small mountains of water!
At one point we passed through a school of phosphorous, with the wake and all the surrounding white caps aglow...

about 3am I realized the 10 degree set for waves I had used 150 miles out was close, but generous by a degree or 2 and I would need to jibe to avoid shaving Pt Reyes uncomfortably close.
I held off until I could see the light, and the seas started to get more confused from the shore reflection.

I also decided to throw 2 reefs in the main, and more or less combined them into one maneuver.
I considered a chicken jibe, but really did not want to lose speed turning into the wind and seas, and then wallow through one or two steep troughs with no boat speed.
So, I jibed on the back side of a crest, and popped the main sheet as the boom came across. Finished the jibe with the jib, and trimmed out the AP for that course.
then tucked in the 2 reefs in the main and we were off on a course pointing at the Farrallons.
I found that with the reefs in, I could drive about 15-20 degrees deeper as the top of the jib had enough clean air to keep it filled.

Put in one more jibe when I had a 120 TWA to Bonita.
at that point winds were still 25-28, and a 10-12 foot sea state as the wind had more time to build the sea up.

In the last hour to Bonita I sailed into light westerly's... enough time to shake the reefs out and get the pole rigged and the kite sock up and ready.
At which point the wind caught back up to me.
so much for that. sock and pole down, jib back up and home.

All in all I learned a tremendous amount about the boat and myself.
I still have some systems to tweak and improve, but that is I think one of the points of doing this...
I would have liked more time with the kite in the ocean, but given the weather window and time frame this was the best plan.
I didn't break anything major, and the boat is back here instead of SC or Monterey.

And I had a helluva ride through the night!


05-18-2014, 03:06 PM
Thank you for that write up, David. You make it sound easy. Did you come back through Bonita channel? It seems so from the track. That wasn't scarey? Congratulations. What a great boat.

05-18-2014, 05:35 PM
Nicely done David, the trip and the write up.

05-18-2014, 09:08 PM
Hi Jackie -
yeah, it weighed in on my thinking. particularly where to time the last jibe in, though that mostly came down to wind angle.
Ultimately I had the choice of the channel or the potato patch.
since it was flooding in the channel and the swell was mostly wind driven, I bet on the channel depth affecting the waves less than the Potato patch shallows.

I was fortunate to arrive at the Bonita Buoy around slack water and with new wind, so not so much washing machine. Like to say I planned that, but it just worked out that way timing wise.

05-19-2014, 07:22 AM
Most excellent! Congratulations, David!