Blow-Through Jibe

Although this is for Melges 24, I feel that it applies to J/70s. This type of jibe gives you a tactical advantage over your competitors that have chosen their sets at the beginning of the race.

Wet Wednesday Fun Race Oct 20, 21 on j70 Escape

Sail Log


October 20, 2021

Vessel Name/Type/Model

Escape/ J/70

Course/Sea Miles

Sailed dock to dock: 9.8 nm

Course: D5 (shortened.


Good start. Held our own. Learned how to sail fast in heavy wind (at start) with a light crew. Got 2nd!


Sail Trace (Strava)

Few thoughts, blunders, lessons on IT

I started my IT career around 1995 with a C Programming class. I found out that I was good at it. My first real IT job was as a Laboratory Teaching Assistant for Computer Science [1]. Since then, I have been a Network Manager for a local ISP, Senior Systems Administrator [2], Network Specialist, and now an Information Systems Specialist [3]

Some of my favorite blunders (we learn from our mistakes):

  • On my first day on the job that I was all by myself as a Laboratory Teaching Assistant, I crashed the main VMS server. No one could log in. I worked for hours off the clock to get it going. I thought I was optimizing it.

  • I have bricked an Ascend Terminal Server. I had to go on-site thirty miles away and Ascend support got it going through a 9600 baud modem to upload the thin firmware first. Then, I was able to upload the fat firmware to get it going. Thin load only works on the local network.

  • I stopped work at an S&P500 company's design centers. An Engineer asked me not to send a section of Open-Source directory Branch, and I was tired and was at the end of the shift. I made an error in the rsync config. I ended up deleting all directories overnight for the company's open-source libraries. It took three to four days to reupload the libraries to the design centers over the corporate wan.

  • I used to compile my open-source code. Most distributions are way out of date, too many, or not suitable options. I took down a mail server because of cascading issues with MySQL and OpenSSL updates (change in .so files).

Some things that tweaked my mind.

  • Many times my job was to keep old equipment alive. Computers that were ten years old were used to create, test technology that did not come to market for another five to ten years into the future.

  • COBOL, Fortran is still very much alive.

  • Batch processing drives most real-time computing: If you have a background task that is completed very fast, most people cannot tell.

Over the years, I learned a few lessons.

  • Document both in code and in a document system. You will have to remember what you did over six months ago.

  • Do not get enamored with the hottest computer language or software. Use the tool that gets the job done and what the company uses. Use tools that leverage your workmate's knowledge. Next time you go on a vacation or in a middle of an important project, your workmates can help you.

  • Revision control and backups is your friend.

  • Tell some else what you are doing. Don't work in the dark.

  • Sometimes, there are just no points for style. If you take a month to accomplish something, no matter how cool, if the job was needed in a week, for the most part, who cares. You did not get your job done.

  • If you make a mistake, confess your sins immediately. Then explain how you are going to get it fixed.

  • There has to be a balance between performance and stability. A system that is too slow is unusable. At the same point, a system that is very face and not stable is worse.

  • The best computer language is what is used at your workplace. It is fine to learn new stuff at home, but you cannot be the odd man out.

  • Uptime is important.

  • Monitor. You want to know when things go wrong before your users report problems.

The above list is not all-inclusive, and some lessons I learned the hard way.

Heading, Course, and Bearing

Heading, Course, and Bearing

This post is made with the bias of a small sailboat coastal sailor. Its main purpose is a reference for me. Your nautical milage will vary.

I use a Garmin GPSMAP86 for electronic navigation on my J70 Escape. Getting caught in the fog off the coast of Santa Barbara has taught me that it is essential to have a GPS on board that is not dependent on externalities such as downloading maps as you go. Also, having a unit that allows me to set waypoints from a web page and having satellite communications is a big plus.

As a first-time user, Course and Bearing get confusing, so here are some definitions.


Heading is the direction that your bow is pointing and sailing towards. It different than course over ground (COG), which takes into consideration such as current and slippage. It is the actual


Bearing is the direction to your destination. As a sailor, it is the direction to a course mark or destination. This changes if you are not sailing towards your destination. This is important to me because it gives me a line-of-sight direction to where I want to go.


Course is good, but not too useful as a small boat sailor/racer. It is the direction of a vector or line from one waypoint to another. So, if you round a mark, it gives you the direction to your next mark. It is quite easy to get off course in open water sailing.

SBCC Wet Wednesday Spring Series 2021 #6


Vessel Name/Type/Model

Escape/ J/70

Course/Sea Miles

Sailed dock to dock: 13.0 nm

Course: A10 St-Ap-Xs-Dp-Fin 5.63 nm



Start: Partly sunny, 66°F, Feels like 67°F, Humidity 66%, Wind 4mph from SW
End: Mostly cloudy, 61°F, Feels like 65°F, Humidity 75%, Wind 4mph from WSW - by

Sail Trace (Strava)