EX-The Answer

While You Were Shoveling #Snow We Went Sailing

CaptSteve : December 9, 2014 8:11 pm : TheAnswer

Oh San Diego… If I ever leave you I’m sure I’ll regret it. December 6th, and here we were out sailing in t-shirts and shorts, with plenty of wind to mess around, and the only complaint being that the sun was too low in the sky. What problems eh? I’m sure you’re very, very sad for us.

We got to “shake the cobwebs off” The Answer, or whatever turn of phrase Dan used. I kind of forget exactly, but that dude is a wordsmith. I really need to make you understand that I don’t do what he says justice most times.

Only a few minor problems to rectify that day. I wrecked the fuel line. Whoops. But that was a quick fix, and a quick refill from the extra gas Dan has on board.

There wasn’t a lot of wind to start the day, but it came up around 11am right on schedule. Once we were under sail, we played with the cunninghams to try and get some kind of shape on our blown out main. With one reef in the rear, and none in the front, we could get a fairly workable shape in it. This was our best attempt.

Not great, but alright.

Even got the jib up at one point. Although, not in exactly regulation fashion.

Credit Jayd

The San Juan 7.7 has a track at the fore-stay that the jib goes into. It got stuck. Very lame. But being a nice day, we just hoisted up the halyard, tied down the foot of the sail, and then worked the sheets. It didn’t give us great pointing, but it did pull the boat along nicely.

I wonder if that would damage stuff over time. I wouldn’t want to do it in a much stronger wind. I wouldn’t worry too much about the storm jib though in equal conditions.

These guys came barreling down on us with our jury rig… which didn’t make us too nervous as their boat was clearly nicer than ours. I don’t generally worry about people with nice boats going out of their way to wreck them/kill us.

Then I saw the name….

Yep, that says “CRASH”

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Water water everywhere… so that means a lot of Repairs

CaptSteve : November 29, 2014 12:30 am : HardFin, TheAnswer

Webster’s dictionary defines a boat as a hole in the water into which you throw good money after bad. It is an old piece of fiberglass that sits in salt water with many, many metal parts. Do you know what a marine environment does to wire over time? To plastic? To anything? Salt water and sun… an amazing combination that can destroy anything.


That meant Thanksgiving week was spent doing repairs on the remainder of the fleet. Dan’s boat was up first.

Dan needed a new mast light. Anything involving the mast is going to be a pain in the ass, which is probably why we’ve been putting off this particular repair for years. Especially when you consider Dan’s old anchorage would put the boat on its beam ends when the fishing boats went by. The new one, as you can see above, is pretty serene. That meant I was going up the mast.

Did we have a bosun’s chair? No. (Well, it turns out we did, but it was buried on Jim’s boat… and we didn’t know it existed until today) So a loop of rope, and hanging onto the mast I went up and discovered that the old light had pretty much disintegrated. A mallet was used to knock the old fixture from where it was glued on the mast.

Lo’ and behold… no wires behind it.

Well, that explained why it didn’t work. But it also meant that we’d need wire and a way to snake that wire down the mast. Not the easiest job in the world.

Jim, to his credit, eventually figured out that if we taped the new wire to a halyard, and pulled it up the inside of the mast, we could get it through. Then we just had to reach into the mast with pliers and pull the halyard out on both ends to get the wire out. Easy peasy… you know, after three hours of work.

The light eventually did get installed. Dan thinks it looks like shit. I tend to agree, but it does work.

Its a bit off center, and the 5200 is leaking down the mast… crap. I will take the tape off when the glue has set.

A quick trip over to Bali Hai for lunch, and that project was done.

Oh, we ran into our diver on this drive back to the mooring ball… small world. Nice guy really. Jason Andrews. Look him up if you need a diver in San Diego. Marine 1-Underwater Services.

Today was onto Jim’s boat. Jim needed lights repaired (thankfully on deck), and his crap inventoried and sorted. So we did all that.

A little marine goop… some new wires… and the whole shebang is set up.

The only snag we hit with Jim’s boat today was that the diesel motor wouldn’t start… or turn over…. or anything. So that was lame.

God Dammit.

These guys were out giving charter rides… now that’s living the dream.

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Moving The Answer, Nearly Sinking

CaptSteve : November 16, 2014 12:30 am : TheAnswer

Dan and I moved The Answer today over to a much more sheltered position behind Shelter Island. Go figure.

It went pretty well. We blew up the dingy, took the tackle off the ball, and motored over to the new ball.

This guy was a stow away… Do you think its big enough to eat?

The slime line was attached to everything. Amazing. We were in and out in two hours, tops.

Dan did lose his keys though… and the dingy started leaking air. So we had to paddle over to the closest dock we could find. Turns out it was a really swanky yacht club… and here we were covered in dirt and water hauling a deflated raft from Target… so yeah, we got some looks.

Dan, looking yacht club swanky

Well, guess what? I don’t care… right up until I needed one of these rich folks to let us out of their marina. Its really swanky when it needs a key to get out. Jim’s doesn’t need a key to get out. I’m just saying.

So Dan will go back to get his car keys at some point. Have fun Dan.

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A Crappy, crappy boat

me@jamesjgriffin.com : October 20, 2014 7:42 pm : TheAnswer

Ah… The Answer. What a great little boat. A San Juan 7.7. She’s normally pretty fast, heels over pretty easily, and is responsive to her tiller. Dan’s been good enough to take us to to Mission Bay in her, and out in a couple of small craft advisories (which we have since decided are a legitimate use of the public sector). The only probably lately is that she’s been kind of shitty. Literally. Like, month’s worth of accumulation from the seagull rookery that laid claim to the boat earlier this year.

Dan cleaned his boat a little bit about six weeks ago when I took Kyle out to practice for the aborted Mexico trip.

However… much still needed to be done.

Looking good Hollywood…

Nest pieces everywhere…

So the plan (and for once it actually mostly went off without a hitch) was to go to the pump-out/fuel dock and pump out and fuel up. So we did that once Dan and Jayd got onboard.

Such a charming dinghy Dan has.

Only snag at the pump out was that Dan hadn’t opened the deck opening in like a year… so that sucker was stuck. He also didn’t have a key for it, or any flat surface that would give us enough torque to open it. Lucky for us, I had my backpack full of boat crap with me, and I happened to have the piece off a ubolt that fit perfectly. So, you know, quit making fun Dan.

Then down to ShortSail to grab some of the trash off of it. The Boat Angel people are still working on selling it, and I figured if it went for more than $20, I ought to pull the empty liquor bottles off of it. Or some anyway. So we did that.

On the way down though the fuel line on Dan’s motor pinched, and stalled the outboard. We then proceeded to flood it while trying to restart it… like we always do… patience sometimes is the better part of virtue. That meant we needed to haul up The Answer’s really crappy main to get some steerage way on the boat because we were only about 100 yards off the Laurel Street mooring. Doesn’t the motor always choke at the worst time?

Eventually we got it restarted, and left it idling the rest of the day. Don’t tempt fate, you know? So we cruised by Short Sail, and then over to the Coast Guard dock for washing duty.

So long sucka… not a lick of water in that bilge too. Also, now minus one empty gin bottle and a champagne bottle that was supposed to be for the new owners when they bought it. I ain’t donating no champ.

Bucket, after bucket, after bucket, of salt water eventually got the deck clean. We scrubbed it pretty well, and now its looking like a new boat.

Looking like a whole new boat

So just a few things left to do before we get into the winter sailing season (yeah, San Diego rules!)

1. Get the boat scraped, and get on a schedule with that.
2. Get a new mainsail, or a used one, or a better cut tarp. I don’t care, but the main is destroyed.
3. Have a bunch of fun….
4. Oh, and probably put some tools onboard.


We also ended up seeing a Potter 19 out there. What a cool little boat. That or a Catalina 22 (which we also saw and the guy was having a blast) seem like the boats for me as we go forward.

3 Adults, No Problems… I like it.

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Another Beautiful Point Loma Shot for #WallpaperWednesday!

me@jamesjgriffin.com : August 20, 2014 7:17 pm : Cool Stuff, exShortSail, HardFin, TheAnswer

Its been a bit slow at the club lately. Dan is busy cleaning The Answer after the summer’s long seagull fiasco. They’ve flown the nest, but now comes the power washing.

Kyle and I took ShortSail out last weekend to run through the basics of sailing. It was one of those San Diego days that can’t be beat. Easy west wind, lots of sun, and a light swell. Kyle even managed to do a bit of fishing in the kelp patties while we practices hoving to.

Who knows what Jim is up to over there on HardFin, but we’re hoping its good. We’re looking to take the boat down to Mexico for a few days in October!

Here’s another shot of someone sailing out of San Diego Bay for #WallPaperWednesday!


Oh, and to whoever stole my brand new trolling motor…. as Doc says, you’re a stone cold thief. Jerk.

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