Since our last RANSA Winter Wednesday race a lot has transpired. On the Friday when Elaine and I normally do the Balmain Afternoon series we were driving to Ballina to celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary. We greatly enjoyed the weekend celebration with our Ballina family orchestrating events and Zooming in with the interstate ones.
More of the Pacific Highway has been upgraded and much more is almost complete. The 80km construction zones on the newly completed lanes contributed to a low fuel consumption below 7.5 litres per 100km and I believe we could have arrived home back in Sydney on a single tank of petrol.
Our next scheduled RANSA race was a drift out. Very wisely the committee called it early so we could enjoy a quiet motor home chatting with crew. For the rest of the week there was no breeze so that the Friday Balmain race was a drift out with no one completing the course. it seemed that the only motion available was courtesy of the tide which resulted in us all moving at more or less the same drift speed. We surrendered around 4pm when to even the most optimist among the fleet there was no longer hope of the promised breeze springing up.
The next week started pretty well as the last had finished with very little breeze for the West Harbour Winter Series. A promising light breeze at the start soon faded to leave the water mirror smooth with just the occasional errant wisp of wind teasing the fleet to gybe from one side to the other. Another wise committee decision was to shorten the race to a single circuit of the Spectacle and Snapper Islands and while it seemed too short a distance to rank as a race it was long enough and any longer would have been impossible.
With three races either abandoned or curtailed what would happen to the next but to be abandoned for too much wind. It was the right 10am call at RANSA as at the scheduled 2pm start time it was blowing 26 to 35 knots.
Now I had crew very keen to sail and we have in the past just gone for a harbour blast but the forecast rain was a bit of a dampener so we called the day off.
In our old Passion we did do a 35 knot sail out through the heads with triple reefed main and storm jib and found it a bit tame. In the new Passion X our first trip back from Port Stephens was in 35 knots with a No 3 jib and triple reef. We did find the jib too big for the journey and should have put up the storm jib. Now we also have a No4 jib which is probably the right rig for 35 knots. I mention this because I feel we are not practicing heavy air seamanship quite enough and several windy afternoons on the harbour would be good experience for the fleets before they head offshore.
Now am looking forward to Friday when we are promised good breeze ahead of a Saturday return to drifting conditions.
With the wet weather forecast for Monday through to Wednesday this week I had to find something to do so I upgraded a couple of computers. It does seem pretty insane to have three laptops and three desktops computers in the one house for just the two of us but having replaced two recently I took to upgrading the ones that were replaced. It is amazing what a new SSD drive can do to a ten year old i3 laptop which has gone from an absolute useless dog to quite a usable device. The other upgrade was to a three year old Ryzen 7 1700x where for some reason I had overlooked the M.2 NVMe 3.0 x4 slot and installed a Sata SSD. After much searching for the M.2 slot specifications I found it on the original motherboard box and dashed off the the computer shop for a 500GB Samsung SSD. Migrating the system to the M.2 slot from the Sata SSD took just 4 minutes compared to hours overnight from a mechanical drive to a Sata SSD and the performance comparison are spectacular.
My newer motherboard with a Ryzen 5 3600 chip has the latest M.2 NVMe 4.0 x4 slot which is modestly faster again in sequential read and write but almost twice as fast in random writes as the previous PCI Express 3.0 specification.
For now I have exhausted the possible upgrades to the computers and the green bin is filled a week ahead of schedule so I am hoping for some finer weather to get back to Passion X for a bit of maintenance.

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