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The Cult of the Laser

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
This is a blog of a story I wrote 27 years ago, and the published version in the San Diego Reader was totally botched... some functionally-illiterate assistant editor (with no clue about Laser sailing) inserted mistakes, bad grammar, etc. I even saw some chumpish knockoff on the web, with my name under the picture of some total kook with p!ss-poor hiking technique, but that's another story, PFFFFFFT. I already posted a couple pics of myself here at this site, so any fool with the I.Q. of a garden vegetable can note the discrepancy. Meh, no longer my problem, just know that "media" and "editors" NEVER get it right, while independent authors field much of the abuse, LOL. :confused:

No worries, here's a funny story with some historical trivia thrown in for good measure... this is what it was like, growing up while sailing on San Diego Bay & environs. This being a blog version of the original story (which earned $500 despite the botched job by the assistant editor), I have doctored profanity and kept most surnames private in order to protect the criminally insane, LOL. Those same fooliots were my friends & acquaintances, don'tcha know? Ah, yes, we shared many nautical adventures, and to be perfectly honest with y'all, many of these same individuals are now deceased. That's what happens as life goes on over the decades... truth be told, I'm a bit surprised that I'M still here, considering past events. ;)

The Cult Of The Laser

I also noticed another blog that I created, and y'all can actually FEEL the antisocial tendencies which developed over years of my life, LOL. In this story, my original mission was to sail out to Los Coronados, rounding Isla Norte to take primo photos before returning to the mainland, but light airs prevailed on the second day of that voyage, though there were occasional periods of fresh breeze. Anyway, my mission was aborted a number of miles offshore & I sailed back to Dago without bagging any more shots of Isla Norte... my spiritual home if ever there was one, the perfect place for an aspiring Zen master to hang out & commune with nature. Meh, no worries, I have enough memories of the island chain to last a lifetime... :rolleyes:

Small Craft Sailing As A Zen Exercise

TIME FOR ANOTHER BEER, FEEL FREE TO COMMENT UPON EITHER STORY, MAKES NO DIFFERENCE TO ME, REVISIONIST HISTORY DOESN'T FLY HERE... AND IT NEVER WILL, NO BOOKS TO BURN & NO STATUES TO TEAR DOWN EITHER, LOL. :cool:
 
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Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Ya know, I was generally hammered whenever I wrote these stories, so you'll find mistakes here & there, LOL... many of the original stories were written over a quarter-century ago, so that also comes into play, as I never bothered to update them. :confused:

I remember someone here at this site claiming that Laser production numbers began with #101... dunno if that's true or not, but if it is, that would actually make my boat #1969, right? Helluva year, 1969, I was living in Europe at the time and my family was still together... :rolleyes:

Big year for rock & roll too, heaps of good bands making excellent music that year... Pink Floyd, The Mighty Zep, The Who, Jethro Tull, The Guess Who, Janis Joplin, ELP, Procol Harum, Santana, etc., just a boatload of good bands, LOL. ;)

P.S. Can't forget the Rolling Stones, their old material was great, wasn't until the late '70s that the band went downhill, LOL. But their old stuff was excellent, I still listen to their old school tunes now & then, I just can't handle their later junk... :eek:
 
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Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
You're welcome... these small craft never get enough credit, even though they bring so much "quality time" into our lives. :rolleyes:

Search the website for my original "Laser Island Voyages Back In The Day" thread (now closed for whatever reason), and you'll find some classic Laser stories on the first page... that to me was what Laser sailing REALLY meant, heading offshore into the unknown and having a blast upon every voyage. :cool:

And now for something completely different, LOL... one of my "Tales From The Road" randomly pulled from the list of 18 such stories. Trucking was a lot like sailing in centuries past: heading into the unknown on voyages of exploration & discovery, LOL. Having a 90-m.p.h. rig didn't hurt either... ;)

For The Birds
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Haha, I hear ya... though I draw the line at Sabots and the like, they're not comfortable enough for a full-sized adult. Lasers and the 'Fish family, they're not bad, they're easy enough to transport and two people can fit aboard... or one can sail solo and have a blast. :rolleyes:

I always liked scows too, I almost bought an old sailing scow built by Carl Eichenlaub, it was a cool craft and his name alone would've brought bragging rights, LOL. You can Google him, he was one helluva sailor and shipwright, based in San Diego like I was for so many decades. :cool:

To this day I regret not buying that boat, but it was built with marine plywood on a wooden frame and it needed heaps of work... guess I didn't feel like tackling the project at that time. Whoever bought the boat scored a bit of nautical history, and hopefully the buyer restored that scow to its former glory. ;)

Nothing wrong with a boat built by Carl Eichenlaub, he was a real hand when it came to shipwrights... he was one of those guys who could've strolled through a wrecking yard, selected various components, and put together a winning sailboat, LOL. A friggin' nautical genius at boat design... :eek:

Edit: There was actually an old quote uttered in Dago sailing circles, it had variations but it went something like this...

"ANY OL' SLOB CAN SAIL AN EICHENLAUB..." :confused:

Or...

"ANY SLOB CAN WIN IN AN EICHENLAUB..." :D
 
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Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Found a few links to ol' Carl, he was really a cool hand... often helping competitors to get their boats right before regattas. I tried to find a web page which had some classic stories in tribute to Carl Eichenlaub, maybe it's buried somewhere in my original "Laser Island Voyages" thread. Anyway, here are some links and at least one video which will give ya an idea just how cool this guy was:

San Diego Sailing Legend Carl Eichenlaub Dies at 83 – The Log

Olympic shipwright, sailor Carl Eichenlaub dies at 83

Eight Bells: Carl Eichenlaub >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News

Okay, time for me to watch a movie on the 65" curved screen... I did manage to fill out more apps with trucking outfits, including one company which is looking for dedicated drivers on a regular run from Nogales, AZ, to Columbia, MO. This wouldn't be a bad run, no CA traffic, not far enough east to get into more traffic, home every weekend... and I've rolled every mile of that route before, as I'm no stranger to Nogales. Meh, we'll see, maybe that county job will come through as well, and nothing beats their retirement plan. Be sure to watch that Eichenlaub video, he's a funny guy... Cheers!!! :cool:

Edit: Wait, I found those tribute pages in one link above, here they are...

Carl's Cadenza - Comments from the day Carl passed away

Carl's Cadenza - More Stories about Carl

Got a few typos in there, but don't sweat the small stuff... Carl Eichenlaub was larger than life, one of my nautical heroes from way back in the day. :rolleyes:
 
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Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
So, y'all have heard me mention "crossing the jetty" in the past, now I'm gonna post a couple of pics to show ya what that means... I'm doing this because I don't really feel like watching a movie, I'd rather trash around on the Interwebs right now, LOL. Anyway, let's get started with a couple pics of the chart for San Diego Bay & Environs... I just photographed North Bay and the harbor entrance, not the entire chart, LOL, and the light wasn't exactly stellar in the dining room at this time of night, but you can see well enough, I reckon. Here we go... :rolleyes:

IMG_0661.JPG
IMG_0667.JPG

Okay, that's Point Loma on the left, rising to roughly 425' elevation. Directly across the main channel or harbor entrance, you can see Zuniga Point, a.k.a. Zuniga Jetty. See the City of Coronado? My birthplace, go figure... but across that burg from beach to bay it's roughly a mile, and the city does NOT include NASNI (Naval Air Station, North Island, large area in center of first shot) or NAB (Naval Amphibious Base to the lower right in first shot, where the Navy SEALs train). That stretch of beach from NASNI clear past Coronado and NAB and down the Silver Strand, that's all PRIME REAL ESTATE, much of it owned by Uncle Sam. In summer, the beach in Coronado is literally PACKED with tourists, locals, et al, I'm talking a FULL-ON CLUSTERF#CK, AYE??? So THAT is where my friends & I would sail... our destination, to eyeball women in the shallows, LOL. :cool:

THAT meant sailing clear down the channel on the bay side, launching from the beach in Glorietta Bay (lower right, first shot, boat ramp right near NAB) and basically circumnavigating the peninsula (folks call it an island, but it's really a peninsula). Oh, yeah, you novices out there in cyberspace, pay attention: you always sail DOWN a channel to the sea, not UP into North Bay as some clueless morons think. Rivers flow DOWN to the sea, and so do tidal bays... you sail back UP the channel when you reenter the harbor, AYE??? Okay, that's your lesson for the day, there will be a quiz later... those who fail will be shot, LOL. No, wait, they will WALK THE PLANK or be HUNG FROM THE YARDARM... good luck finding a yardarm aboard a Laser or 'Fish, that upper boom ain't quite gonna cut it, LOL. Well, it might, but things will get UGLY and there may be some boat damage... ;)

Anyway, the best days to sail down the channel and cross Zuniga Jetty on your way to patrol the beach are during spring tides, with a high around 0800... by the time the breeze picks up at 1000, you're riding the ebb down the channel and making heller progress. Y'all can read about this program in more detail by checking out my story 'The Cult of the Laser'---there's a link above, just scroll till you find the passage about sea trials in my newly-restored Laser (#2069), that passage goes into more detail when it comes to "working the tides." If you live near the ocean, or in any tidal bay or estuary, you should be aware of this method of "working the tides"---same method used by ancient mariners and fishermen, as well as ship captains during the Age of Sail. It works, you see, and you can make heller progress, covering ground as never before because all factors are in your favor... well, most factors, ya still gotta beat to windward at times, LOL. :eek:

Alright, now let's look at the jetty up close... some parts of this jetty remain above sea level no matter what, but other sections are submerged or awash at high tide, and for part of the ebb (or flood) bracketing high tide, you understand? What I mean is this: if you lag during the program and fail to "work the tides" effectively, your 'window of opportunity' narrows when it comes to crossing the jetty. As the ebb continues, more and more rocks are exposed, and the gaps through which one can sail also diminish in size... and there are only so many gaps where crossing the jetty is even feasible, AYE? The later ya leave it, the more dangerous the crossing becomes... until you reach a point where it's safer to simply sail all the way around the tip of the jetty (or Zuniga Point). This will tack extra time onto your sailing schedule, that's why ya wanna cross the jetty in good time and save yourself half an hour to 45 minutes on approach to the beach in Coronado. :D

Okay, y'all are still with me, right? Now, there are times during the ebb (or flood) when the crossing is dicey, but one can time the swell to put more water under the boat as the boat glides over the submerged rocks. When I say "swell" I'm referring to each wave rolling directly from the sea toward and over the jetty, particularly when the swell is from the southwest... each wave is generated by the swell, hence the reference, AYE? You TIME your crossing so your boat glides across the jetty right when the wave gives you added depth and safety, LOL. I know this sounds crazy, and it is NOT something any NOVICE should ever attempt, as the potential for disaster is strong... but this is what OLD SCHOOL LOCALS from Coronado do, as it puts them on the beach that much sooner, starting with Officer's Beach on NASNI, which is actually quite nice... I wrote before about huge waves hitting Officer's Beach in '83, pro surfers from around the world flocking to Dago to ride. :)

But I digress... once a sailor patrols the beach to his heart's content, pounding beers & smoking fatties while cruising just outside the impact zone and pissing off the lifeguard kooks by violating the 500' limit, well, it's time to stand out to sea and gain some room so one can tack back up the channel. With a high tide around 0800, the low would usually be around 1400, which gave a skipper plenty of time to make his way back up the channel. Truth be told, there wasn't really much need to recross the jetty on the return voyage, as one had to stand out far enough to get a good "layline" on the harbor entrance... I crossed it a few times on the return voyage, but the real benefit came from the earlier crossing, if you catch my drift. By afternoon, there was usually good breeze to help a skipper on his way, and unnecessarily endangering one's boat didn't make much sense. Besides, the "teeth" of the jetty were still exposed, a good reminder NOT to attempt another crossing, LOL. So that covers the safety issue on the return voyage... the crossing can still be made, but it's even dicier, LOL. :confused:

Okey-dokey, just wanted to share that little bit of old school local wisdom with y'all, in case ya ever find yourselves aboard a rental boat out in Dago, LOL. Next lesson, hmm, let's see... we have "Crossing The Kelp Beds Off Pt. Loma" (which can be done aboard small craft), "Effecting A Landing Through The Surf On The Silver Strand" (and then relaunching BACK through that same surf, LOL), and of course my favorite, "Landing A Laser On All Four Of Los Coronados!!!" These are the things that old school locals born in Coronado DO, you understand? Well, I dunno about the islands nowadays, you'd probably get shot by hostile "Marinos y Marineros de La Armada de Mexico!!!" LOL... and have your boat confiscated, no doubt, never to be seen again (Baja governor's son needs a sail training craft). Ya might even wind up in a Mexican jail, which would make American jails look like resort properties, LOL. Damn, sometimes I slay myself... but take my word for it, you do NOT wanna go to a Mexican jail, it's NO FUN, AYE??? ;)

HMM, GUESS I'LL ADD A FEW LINKS ONCE I POST THIS, Y'ALL BE COOL, CHILLIN' LIKE VILLAINS, BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I NEED ANOTHER BEER ANYWAY, BUT LIKE DOUGLAS MACARTHUR, "I SHALL RETURN!!!" :rolleyes:

WAIT, THIS AIN'T THE PHILIPPINES!!! LOL... "OH, NO, WE'RE IN THE TIJUANA JAIL!!! AND WHERE'S MY GODDAM BOAT?!?" :eek:

Edit: Here are the island links, in sequence for the first three voyages... awesome adventures, some of the best in my life. That night I spent at the summit of Isla Norte during that meteor shower, hell, that STILL stands as the best solo night of my life, LOL. It don't get any bettah... :D

sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/tales-adventure/2011/mar/04/laserium

sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/tales-adventure/2011/may/01/isla-norte/

sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/tales-adventure/2011/aug/15/laser-island-voyager/
 
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Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Holy Cr@p!!! Somebody actually posted a video of 'The Kingston Trio' doing that "Tijuana Jail" tune, for those who missed the reference, LOL... ;)

"So here we are... in the Tijuana Jail..." :rolleyes:


Damn, those white boys look TOO CLEAN for being in the Tijuana Jail... I'm gonna write my congressman, or maybe the Tijuana mayor, LOL. :cool:
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Hmm, I just realized that the original shots taken on those initial voyages aren't readily available in this thread... so I'll add this link to an old site I don't use anymore, think I got banned years ago, LOL. But my pics are still there, a few of 'em anyway... two sets of pics per page in this thread, just scroll past the text between to see the pics pronto. I'm thinking I should send these pics to the Mexican gubmint, but then I might wind up in the Tijuana Jail, LOL... :eek:

HERE'S THE OLD THREAD WITH SOME CLASSIC ISLAND PHOTOS... :rolleyes:

forums.oausa.net/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=3072

Okay, now I'm done, time to think about that big ol' carne asada burrito... I hear it calling my name, don'tcha know??? ;)

Y'ALL BE GOOD, I'M OFF TO SEE THE WIZARD... THAT CHUMP STILL OWES ME A HUNDRED BUCKS, BUT EVERY TIME I GET NEAR THE B@STARD, HE VANISHES LIKE A DEMOCRAT WHEN THE BILL IS DUE, LOL. :cool:
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Yeah, I hear ya... I draw the line at Sabots & Optis, those are a bit too small for me. Minifish & Laser were great for nautical adventures! :cool:

Damn, the trash man arrived early today, I guess our regular driver is on vacay... good thing I put the can out early, made it with five minutes to spare, LOL. :)

Gotta do laundry this morning, and there's a pretty good stack of dishes in the kitchen sink... dual stainless steel sinks, actually, so I have my work cut out for me, couldn't be bothered to do dishes last night after making that excellent batch of burrito mix. :rolleyes:

The multiple beers I drank yesterday may have had something to do with it... :confused:

Yesiree, the 'Bachelor Life'---it's a $h!tty job, but SOMEBODY has to do it, LOL. ;)
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
"YO NO SOY MARINERO... YO NO SOY MARINERO, SOY CAPITAN, SOY CAPITAN, SOY CAPITAN..." :rolleyes:


Damn right... okay, I'm good, just had to get my ethnic-flavored tunage on for Friday afternoon, LOL. :eek:

Later, after a few more beers, we break out the hardcore Nazi punk tunes, BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! :)

But I'm STILL the captain... "SOY CAPITAN, PINCHE JOTOS!!!" :confused:

Hmm, might as well throw down some punk tunes now, it's already past 1500 hours here so the sun is long over the yardarm... ;)






Okay, that Clash cover tune would not really be classified as hardcore punk rock, but I always liked that version of the song, LOL... the intro and the drums & guitar have always been good to go in my life, 10-4? CHEERS, YOUSE FOOLIOTS... ER, I MEAN YOUSE NAUTICAL HEE-ROES!!! :cool:
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
"BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!!!" ;)

Gotta toss in this Black Flag tune, and I'm even throwin' in the Glen Campbell number for FREE, LOL... :confused:



Damn, Glen Campbell, the "Rhinestone Cowboy" himself... but he never had ANYTHING on Marty Robbins out of Arizona, here's a classic Marty Robbins tune y'all may NOT have heard lately, LOL. :rolleyes:


ALRIGHT, I'M DONE HERE, TIME TO CATCH THE LATE AFTERNOON SUN ON THE CRAGS... BEST 'REVERSE SUNSETS' EVER, LOL. :)

CHEERS, YOUSE NAUTICAL HEE-ROES!!! HASTA LUEGO!!! :cool:

Edit: Pretty sure that orchestral footage with Glen Campbell is sped up, or the entire orchestra is high on meth or crack... maybe ol' Glen himself, ya never know about these things, LOL. Meh, it's all entertainment, and that's all it is. :D
 
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