Monday, February 6, 2012

How the Leech Got its Name

Leech seems like a peculiar word to name a part of a sail but it makes sense if you go back far enough into sailing history.  Going back to the late 1700's and early 1800's is far enough.  That’s when trade and warfare was conducted on square-rigged ships.  These plied the trade winds, which largely meant sailing east or west.  In those days time was measured exclusively in accordance with the sun.  When the sun was at its highest above the horizon, noon was declared and the watch was changed. This is also when the rum rations were given out.  (A lot more drinking was done in those days.)

A little about square-rig terminology:  The spars that hold up the square sails from the top are called yards.  At each end of the yard is the yardarm, the part of the yard that sticks out beyond the edge of the square sail.  While sailing, each yardarm can be defined as either the windward or leeward yardarm depending on the tack being sailed.  Each side of the sail is also described as either windward or leeward.

Sailors who have spent a lot of time in harbor bars may have heard the phrase, "The sun is over the yardarm."  In its modern context this means its time to drink.  Originally it just meant that it was high noon since that's where the sun could be observed if the ship was sailing directly east or west. 

Getting back to square sail terminology, we have the windward edge and the leeward or lee edge of the sail.  Anyway, you can see that after drinking all that rum it wouldn't take much time for the term "lee edge" to be corrupted to "leech".  The luff and leech of a fore-and-aft sail function much the same way as they do in a square sail, which is why we call the leech the leech to this day.  

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

2009 Cheeseburger in Paradise Regatta and BBQ

Winners from L to R:

Steve Castelotti, Pascal Bruyere, (skipper) Jeremy Westerman, Sally Mitchell

Well, we had another successful Cheeseburger in Paradise Regatta and BBQ Saturday August 9th. The race was quick and most were back well before the 5:00pm BBQ start time. Sausages sizzled, burgers broiled, veggies. . . vegged. The crew above won the race in record time and had a few beers before lunch was served. The deck of the conference center was almost at capacity and everyone had a really good time. Check out for more pictures. and anyone who attended is free to comment on this blog and contribute any perspective they wish to ad.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Live Music at First BBQ of the 2009 Season

Rick Glaze was a big hit performing some of his songs off of his latest CD at our first Spinnaker Sailing Club BBQ. Mike was BBQ'ing up a bunch of burgers, sausages and this great little Chipotle black bean veggie burger and his family came out to help set up the festivities which included chips, cookies, potato salad, green salad, all the burger fixins you could ask for as well as all you can drink sodas, water, beer and wine. Rick Glaze plugged in a very nice Bose portable PA system and wowed the crowd with his Jimmy Buffet-like music in a beautiful marina setting. A good time was had by all and we look forward to having just as nice a time at our next BBQ July 18th.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mothers Day Special Sail

This Mothers day we decided to try to do something to share our love of sailing with our love of Moms so we are letting any club member or any paid guest to bring their mother for free on our special Mothers Day Afternoon Sail. So no more excuses, Make your reservations today and bring your Mom out and share a bit of Sailing with her after brunch or before dinner. Better yet, pack a picnic lunch and eat on the boat.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Upcoming Cheeseburger in Paradise Regatta

The annual Cheeseburger in Paradise Regatta and BBQ is August 23. The race will begin around noon Near Marker #21 and will take Marker # to port and then back to Marker #21. However long the race takes, the BBQ will begin when the winners enter the conference center. The awards ceremony will commence approximately 2 hours later when everyone has assembled and eaten. After the awards ceremony Bob will present an iPhoto show on BVI in support of the upcoming BVI trip in December. This annual event is highly anticipated by all. Bragging rights last the whole year and the food is really good. Mike will be cooking up Cheeseburgers (of course) sausages, veggie burgers and a wide range of accompaniments and beverages will be served as well. The cost for club members is FREE. guests will pay a $20 BBQ fee and kids 12 &* under are only $10. Sign up ASAP as the spaces and boats are limited. All RSVP's need to be in by WED 8/20/08. I hope to see you there, & if I don't I'm sure you'll hear about it.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

South Bay Opening Day April 19

South Bay Opening Day is an annual event that is a lot more fun in theory than in practice. This year, even the rowers were not out in force as they had been in the past. There was the usual boat parade and judging and the ceremonial blessing of the fleet by a preacher of some sort. The best part of the day imho was the lunch at the yacht club. This year there was no line and the crew behind the grill was pumping out burgers faster than I could get to them. There looked to be a good sized group inside the club and everyone was busy eating their cheeseburgers, chips, soda and dessert, and talking to old friends and new ones alike. There were several boats from other marinas docking wherever they could and the marina was completely full. My guess is about 60 or 70 people attended the event.
Speaking of events, our first BBQ of the season is happening Saturday May 24. You can rent a boat or use SailMates to get a ride, and go sailing before hand, and then at 5:00pm we will be uncorking the wine and icing the beer and sodas for the early arrivals. We will be Barbecuing burgers, sausages and veggie burgers. The food and beverages are free to club members, and $15 for guests and relatives and only $10 for kids.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Tall Ships are Coming

Every year the Tall ships come to visit Redwood City. They give dockside tours, take passengers out on the bay and they even have "Battle Sails" where they both jockey for position and shoot black powder cannons at each other. These ships are a lot of fun to walk around and sail on. Not many people get the opportunity to sail on one of these treasures from the past, so take a look at their schedule and come on out for some real old fashioned fun!