Fairwind Yacht Club
April 2020 - Editor: Murielle Hamilton - Vol. 48, No. 4

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• Commodore's Log   (3 min)
CIH Port Captain's Report  (1 min)
FYC And Covid-19  (2 min)
Stretch-And-Blow Spinnaker Drop  (1 min; video: 2 min)
The Sinking And Rescue Of Green Dragon (4 min)
The View From The Rear: Rear Commodores' Reports  (3 min.)
California Boater Card Deal (2 min)
Guidelines & Links    (1 min.)

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Photo ©2019 Murielle Hamilton
The Commodores' Log

Commodore's Log

By Lenox Grasso, FYC Commodore, FYC Port Captain MdRH


Last week, I was driving south on Vista del Mar to Manhattan Beach and I could see Santa Catalina Island, more than 30 miles away, clear as crystal. I could see features of terrain not normally seen until well across San Pedro Channel. Catalina Island is closed to us now, but there are golden glimmers and a silver lining in the worst of occurrences, in this case a dramatic drop in pollutant emission from cars as Californians abide Governor Newsom’s Executive Order NC-33-20 to Stay at Home to avoid contact with the pandemic outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 and the Coronavirus Disease of 2019, COVID-19.

Another golden glimmer is how gratified the FYC Executive Board is to see that dues are pouring in for the Apr, May, Jun fiscal quarter from FYC Members in both Harbors during these uncertain times. We need these dues. In MdRH, the Floating Fund is depleted after the purchase of Mariah, and the Treasurer has just reimbursed Notes to Members who supported acquisition of the catamaran from the Operating Fund. The timing of the repayment was inopportune, but the Board wanted to fulfill the repayment schedule that was decided upon at the beginning of this Administration and the manner in which it was conducted. All Members in both Harbors have now been reimbursed simultaneously.

I thank all Club Members who supported the acquisition of the catamaran for the MdRH Fleet. Special recognition is due Club Treasurer Adrienne O’Donnell for managing the catamaran’s financial reimbursement policy so quickly, returning borrowed Notes before the end of this fiscal quarter, at a time when Members may most need their money back.

In response to the virus, I have asked the Rear Commodores of both Harbors to dial down all work on all Fleet Boats to just the most basic maintenance until further notice. If necessary, the Board may vote to ask the Membership to suspend Standing Rules Section V (E) to allow moneys from the Floating Funds to supplement the Operating Funds.

For those Members who have contacted me to say that they are considering changing to “LOA” status, please don’t. At a time like this, we should put aside our personal whims to keep the Club viable. Ditto for Members who think that they are owed a dues reduction for “not receiving all services” for which we are paying. FYC dues are not exorbitant. What each of us pays for three months of Membership would not buy a day charter elsewhere. Of course, some of us may now be out of work. If there is true hardship, contact your Harbor’s Membership Secretary for available options.

A request for “LOA” status is not granted automatically. The Executive Board must approve each one as stipulated in Bylaws Article III (2). A Member has to stay on “LOA” status for at least one year or pay a reinstatement fee to come back earlier and this must again be approved by the Board per Bylaws Article IV Para 2, provided an opening exists, as per Standing Rules Section II (F). If a Member elects to move to a lower Boat Level and then wishes to return to a higher Boat Level, the Harbor Committee must approve the return, the Member must pay a reinstatement fee, and if there is no vacancy that Member will be placed at the bottom of the Waiting List as per Standing Rules Section II (K). Finally, “Crew” status is defined in Bylaws Article III (5) and Standing Rules Section II (D) as a Club entry-level class that is not intended as a Membership status to adopt temporarily to dodge Membership obligations without approval of the Harbor Committee with the same conditions as a Member returning from a lower Boat Level to a higher one.

FYC will continue to adhere to Executive Order N-33-20 to Stay at Home until it is relaxed. Some Members think that sailing offshore is one of the best ways to “social distance” from others onshore and they from you. If you own your own boat, I agree. But to the extent that FYC Membership resembles boat ownership, it also resembles a timeshare with no cleaning staff. After N-33-20 is eased, LA County and/or Ventura County Health Officers may have additional restrictions that might be enforced by Schedule Master in a format that would return Members to sea in a somewhat safe manner by enforcing intervals between boat reservations, allowing a set time for some titer of virus onboard to die. We will weather this storm. I call on all Members to remain vigilant and work together to place the Club’s needs foremost, as FYC Membership acts responsibly to mitigate the spread of SARS-CoV-2 across Southern California.

Lenox Grasso
FYC Commodore 
FYC Port Captain MdRH

Lenox Grasso is the FYC Commodore and MdRH Port Captain. He joined FYC MdRH in 2010 after many years of sailing the Eastern Seaboard, Great Lakes, Bahamas, Caribbean, to Cuba, Panama, Bermuda, and Spain. Educated at Yale and Harvard, Lenox worked in federal defense and in expert systems with IBM, Naval Intelligence, NY Hospital, and at Harvard with RAND. Lenox is a USCG 100-Ton Master and now works at ASA (Certs 107-108, 201-206, 211-218).
CIH Port Captain's Report

CIH Communiqué

By Lynn Erickson, FYC Port Captain CIH


Ahoy sailors!

Although Fairwind sailing activity is out on temporary hold I hope everyone is finding time to enjoy some sort of Socially Distant  outdoor activity. 

The Board has been working hard to come up with answers to your many questions. Please have patience, support your Club and know that Board decisions regarding our fleet activity are being communicated through Fairwind's Commodore, Lenox Grasso. 

Best wishes to all. See you back on the docks as soon as possible. 

Lynn Erickson
Port Captain CIH


Fairwind CIH Harbor Committee and Chair positions:

Lynn Erickson - Port Captain/Interim Fleet Captain
Hal Cohen - Rear Commodore
Oded Barlev- Membership Secretary
Scott Kelly - Cruise Chair
Mike Geer - Race Chair


CIH Port Captain Lynn Erickson grew up racing out of Chicago, sailing on several Chicago to Mackinac Island Races. She joined Fairwind in 2011 and became Vice Commodore in 2012. Lynn moved quickly to Large level and trained FYC members on all boats until 2015 when she bought her own Catalina 42, Crazy Diamond.  Deeply important to her is to raise awareness of the marine environment.
FYC and Covid-19
Pandemic Advice
By Ken Murray, FYC MdRH Fleet Surgeon

Dear Fairwinders,

This is a brief note about the Coronavirus world-wide pandemic. 

Rather than re-creating the wheel, I would direct everybody to the LA County Dept of Health website, which is outstanding and frequently updated. There is a lot of bad information out there, particularly in social media. Here his the link for the website:


As testing becomes more available, expect the numbers to explode. It will be difficult for many of us to escape exposure, but if we can push this off, even just a little, we may be able to avoid overwhelming the medical system, which is likely to be very challenged in the next several weeks.

Our senior members need to be especially mindful, since they are much more susceptible to complications, as are people with weakened immune systems. The current information is that one in five of the members of those groups who contract this illness will die. Don't be that sailor!

As much as possible, stay at home during the next couple of weeks. Do not attend group ANYTHING, by ANYONE. Do not relax your guard until the Health Department says it is safe. This virus has qualities that we've never seen before, and not all of this is well understood. Prevention is where we all want to be.

Regarding the handling of surfaces, many excellent products have become unavailable, but the most effective is a solution of plain bleach, 1 tablespoon in a quart of water. Please use this to spray and wipe every surface that might be touched, both before and after actual use. Wash your hands with soap and water (NOT Bleach solution!) often, and try to avoid touching your face.

We'll get through this together, but we need to be smart.

Ken Murray, MD
MdRH Fleet Surgeon

Ken Murray joined Fairwind in 2005, serving as Secretary, Fleet Captain, Fleet Surgeon, and Commodore.  Until 3 years ago, when an illness knocked him down, he was an instructor for all boats in the fleet, and all the usual ASA levels.

Sailing Techniques
In a past issue, we reviewed the letterbox spinnaker drop. Since FYC MdRH just acquired a spinnaker (to be shared by Tardis and Dreamweaver), this may be a good time to take a look at another way to douse your spin: the stretch and blow, shown here in a video from UK Sails.

This is the way we douse the spin most of the time on the boat I race on - but we add a variation: when releasing the spin halyard, we first release it about a foot, so the foredeck crew has a chance to firmly grab the bottom of the sail, and then we let the halyard drop completely (always keeping an eye on things of course, in case the spin looks like it's going to end up in the water). 

Enjoy the video!

Murielle Hamilton
When Things Go Wrong

The Sinking And Rescue Of Green Dragon 2

By Lon Cohen, FYC Member
Note from the Ed.: Lon Cohen, a member of FYC MdRH, was kind enough to send me the link to these riveting blog entries by Jessica Lockfeld. She and her husband Jim were sailing their Tartan 38 Hajime in the Sea of Cortez in early January when they got the Mayday call from the Greens, the owners of Green Dragon 2. Hajime was the only boat nearby. Jessica Lockfeld describes in vivid detail the Greens' rescue and the subsequent sinking of Green Dragon 2.

The blog is in three parts, and here are the links:

Pt I: https://www.latitude38.com/lectronic/2020/01/10/#rescue-green-dragon-off-mexico-part-1
Pt II: https://www.latitude38.com/lectronic/2020/01/13/#rescue-green-dragon-off-mexico-part-2
Pt III: https://www.latitude38.com/lectronic/2020/01/13/#rescue-green-dragon-off-mexico-part-2

Thank you so much Lon Cohen for contributing this article.

Lon Cohen grew up sailing small sailboats on the Jersey shore and later moved to Los Angeles, settling in Marina Del Rey where he began to crew with friends on larger boats and eventually joined FYC in 2014. He has attained his ASA 101-103, 104, 105, 114 and 118 and is currently the Assistant Boat Chief on “Dreamweaver” (the club's newest Catalina 36).

The View From The Rear

Rear Commodore's Report, CIH

By Hal Cohen, CIH Rear Commodore

1) CIH Maintenance Actions

Here are the major CIH maintenance achievements for February:

  • Angelsea: New transmission and single-lever gear/throttle controller installed; Transmission damper plate replaced; Refrigerator fans replaced

  • Mistral: Damaged engine removed from boat and sent to vendor for rebuild

  • Wojo: New AIS transceiver installed; engine battery and one of two house

    batteries replaced; Wind instrument recalibrated

  • Mk III: New bottom paint applied; Bubbles in gelcoat repaired; Keel bolt repaired

  • Island Side: Cabin sole refinished; Spreader boots installed; Port lifeline gate

    stanchion repaired

  • Zephyr: Engine hour meter repaired; Companionway steps refinished
  • Freedom Too: Coach roof at mast step repaired
  • Driftwood: Mainsail track gate replaced
  • Companionship: Tiller replaced; Genoa leech fray repaired
  • Desert Wind: Tiller replaced

1) CIH Observations

When hooking up the shore power cord from the dock box electrical panel to the boat, please be aware of the orientation of the connectors at the receptacles. If the connectors are not properly oriented, you can cause a reversed polarity condition. Reversed polarity on an electrical outlet is dangerous. A device you plug into a receptacle may "work" but it is unsafe and risks a short circuit, shock, or fire. The electrical panel on the large and medium boats have a reversed polarity warning light in the “120V AC Service” section that will alert you of this improper condition.
During the past month, I have found several boats left secured with shore power in a reversed polarity condition. Since the female connectors on the dock boxes and shore power cords can become worn, it is possible to jam the three prongs of a male plug into a receptacle without regard to keying. Please be aware of the orientation of the plug and receptacle, only connect the keyed prong into the keyed slot, and always verify that the reversed polarity warning light is out.

That’s the scoop for this month. See you around the harbor, 

Hal Cohen
CIH Rear Commodore
Hal Cohen joined Fairwind in 2016 and has served as the CIH Rear Commodore over the past 3 years. His background as a retired aerospace engineer with a 40-year career contributing to the design, manufacture, operation, and program management of complex electro-optical and aerospace systems has given him the tools he uses to lead the great maintenance team that keeps the CIH fleet up and running. He has been a boat owner/maintainer over most of his life.

Rear Commodore's Report, MdRH

By Steven Fenster, MdRH Rear Commodore

We didn't have a lot of maintenance in MDR this month, but this was done:

- The coach boat engine got a new carburetor;

- Calypso got a new alternator and its tachometer repaired;

- Osprey has a new bimini (made by John Howell, a member of MdRH);

- We got a new portable battery-operated bilge pump for use on small boats and dinghies;

- Mariah has new lifelines ordered and the rear seat has been repaired. She also has a new main halyard.

- Tardis and Dreamweaver share a new spinnaker, which members are having fun playing with;

- We are currently dealing with the Sheriff Dept. and the Girls and Boys Club to bring another Capri 22 to MdRH, to add to our small boat fleet. This may take a few months.

Hoping for sunny days and good winds and a return to sailing soon,

Stephen Fenster

Stephen Fenster is the Rear Commodore for FYC MDR. He holds a BA in Education and has spent his professional life in the marine and automotive aftermarket. He serves on the Fairwind Board, the Harbor Committee and the Boat Selection Committee, and is responsible for all outboards. He has been married for 39 years and has one child.
California Boater Card

Get Your California Boater Card

By Tim Ford, FYC Member


Note from Ed.: Since you probably have more time on your hands than usual, this may be a good opportunity to take care of some boating license business. We touched on this some months ago, but Fairwind member Tim Ford has found the cheapest way to do it, and sent the following information to share with you. As Tim puts it:

First of all, here’s how to take the test at home:


This is the key part of that webpage: 

Basically, you download the PDF. (Here’s the link: https://cld.bz/1NixEGo). If you’ve passed the 101 and 103, you really only need to skim the PDF paying special attention to the section on PWC (Jet Skis) as it seems like 20% of the test was dedicated to how unsafe jet skis are… 

Then you click that little “e-mail” hyperlink to send an e-mail to Pubinfo@parks.ca.gov. You just ask for a an exam packet and give them your address. A state worker replied to my e-mail a few days later saying they had sent the packet, then a few days after that I received said packet. 

The test was 60 multiple choice questions, and frankly it took more time for me to fill out my name/address/ and other info than to take the test. That was because you need to fill in a circle for each digit in your name/address/etc and it is a bit tedious.

This is the schedule for when people need to qualify:


     35 years of age or younger


     40 years of age or younger


     45 years of age or younger


     50 years of age or younger


     60 years of age or younger


     All persons regardless of age

After I completed the test I mailed it back to the CA Division of Boating and Waterways. Once they receive it they’ll grade it and send me back a certificate of completion. Once I have that I can apply for the license at this address: 


I’ll fill in my info, attache a photo of my certificate, give em $10 and there you go. 

It’s certainly not the fastest way to go about things, but definitely the cheapest!

If you look at this link:


you can see the other places you can take the test. The prices range from about $20 to $50. I figure many of our members would likely not want to pay anything on principle, even if it takes longer. 


It should also be noted that if you click on the BoatUS link:


you can also take an online course for free with them. It looks like they’re doing it for free in order to promote their other online learning services, in fact they also offer 1 year basic membership for free! Obviously their rather brilliant plan is they are hoping people will renew with them after a year for free. Sadly I just purchased a year from them a few months ago to get an MMSI number… too bad I didn’t see this promotion first. So if you don’t mind giving your info to BoatUS so they can advertise to you, then this is probably the most convenient free option. And if you haven’t gotten a BoatUS membership yet, then even better. 

Hope this helps,

Tim Ford
FYC Member
Tim Ford grew up in San Diego sailing with family & friends. As a teenager, he taught children the art of waves and wind in Mission Bay. In college, he was lucky to crew on Chicago’s Tall Ship “Windy” in the summers. His on-the-water passion is to nerd out on sail trim. When he files for unemployment he marks Production Designer as his primary job, and Sailor as his secondary job. He’s ready to accept work in either field.
Useful Links & Credits

Hello Fairwinders,

1) The basic Newsletter Submission Guidelines are as follows. Articles are meant to inform, to teach, to keep the membership abreast of current goings-on, to share something unusual done by one of our members which may be of interest to a segment of our membership, to cover a Club activity, or to amuse.

Each article should be 500 words or less. The deadline for submission is the 15th of the month for the next month's issue. Whenever possible, please send photos or illustrations to go with your article, as well as a portrait photo of yourself and a 60-word mini-bio.

2) Cruise season: see January issue or this link:
Please note that all cruises are suspended until further notice due to Covid-19.

If you have any questions or want to discuss an item directly with me, you can email me at fyceditor2019@gmail.com. Thank you! 

Murielle Hamilton
FYC Editor
Murielle Hamilton grew up in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, where she graduated in Dead Languages and Poli Sci. She has spent most of her life in music (working for Prince, the Rolling Stones and others, later composing film scores and ballet music); and in fashion, with her own line sold at Barney's, Nordstrom's, Anthropologie, etc.. She joined FYC in 2018, has ASAs 101-103-105 and loves to race.
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Fairwind Yacht Club · P O Box 12684 · Marina Del Rey, California 90295 · USA

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