Sunday, April 23, 2006

a good saturday

Yesterday was a good day, mostly. It was the opening day of the IU Sailing center and it was also the 10th annual Taste of Helmsburg Real Ale Festival. I left the house around noon and went to Lake Lemon. It was really windy and the winds were variable. The winds are almost always variable on Lake Lemon and pretty much any other small, inland lake I imagine, but because they were so strong yesterday it made for an interesting time sailing.

I'm not much of a sailer. I certainly still learning. I had several really good "rides" yesterday, where the wind gusts for half a minute or so and you're in the right place at the right time and the boat goes way up on edge and you have to hike your ass out over the other side of the boat and you feel the wind, the water in your face, and all the points on the boat that are under extreme duress. I'm a really big dude, so I can really make the boat work hard for its money, so to speak. There are really 4 forces that operate on a sailboat (at least that I perceive, I'm sure there are more and maybe different ones, but this isn't a sailing lesson goddammit and I really have no idea what I'm talking about anyway).

There is the force of the wind against the sail, and when you're sailing perpindicular to a strong wind this is very strong, particularly on the little Lasers I sail a lot. The sail is very big, and the boat is very small. Anyway, this force is really strong when you're sailing perpindicular to the wind because your sail is almost perpindicular to the wind and therefore the wind wants to push you over.

But you lean out of the boat into the wind to counteract this force. These two forces, in a sense, concentrate the force of the wind into boat and cause it to move.

Now a simple round hulled boat would probably just spin around and not go in one direction very long, but sailboats have keels and rudders, or in the case of a small boat like a laser, they have daggerboards, which are removable keels, they are 4 foot by 1 foot by 1 inch heavy pieces of wood (weighted?) that extend into the water below the hull. This and the rudder ensure that the motion "put into" the boat by the wind and by the leaning back make the boat go in a straight line, and of course, by turning the rudder you can change the direction of the straight line, so to speak.

Anyway, the bottom line is that in very strong wind when you're really up on edge and you're hiked way out over the side of the boat, you really become aware of all the extreme pressure that is in the boat. There needs to be a very fine balance of the forces you manipulate to get a "good ride". And every one of the things you can manipulate fights back.

The rudder wants to be torn out of your hand. It wants to steer you into the wind so that it doesn't have to fight so hard agains the water. It sucks when it is torn out of your hand. It could definitely throw you out of the boat.

The line attached to the boom which holds the mainsail wants to be ripped out of your hand because it doesn't want to fight so hard against the wind. If you let it go it could simply flap in the breeze, translating little of its energy to the boat.

If you don't hike out over the side of the boat the hull will thank you and promptly place the sail in the water so that it cannot drive the hull anymore.

Enough of that nonsense, here are some pictures.

This is two people sailing the Thistle, one of the niceer boats at the sailing center apparently. Also, I probably shouldn't sail it because if you tip it, it swamps, and you have to swim back to shore or get rescued and then get the boat with a motor boat. They are hiked out a good bit. CLICK FOR BIGGER (it's so big it's the man).



These are some of the keel boats that I don't sail. They are pretty much impossible to tip though, at least on Lake Lemon. CLICK FOR BIGGER.



These boats are really cool. They take three people to sail them apparently. I would love to see them sailed some day.





From sailing it was only 10 miles into the woods and Marvin's house for the 10th Annual taste of Helmsburg Real Ale Festival. The other homebrew club in Bloomington (St. Gambrinus Benevolence Society) don't do much except get together and drink beer (lots of good homebrew) and eat food and just hang out with each other. They're all pretty good friends with each other and have been doing the club thing for a long time, at least 10 years. Anyway, once a year they have a "meeting" at Marvin's house where the theme is cask ale.

A guy from Indy brings his beer engine and a keg of cask conditioned beer. Marvin brews all his beer in oak barrels and will often keg them in barrels too. They have a little valve they can use to swtich which beer is being dispensed from the hand pump so about the first pump's worth is a blend which isn't bad or can be quickly poured down the drain.

Marvin made an ordinary bitter (as he called it) which was really good. Just over 4% abv, it had a perfect level of condition, just a whisper of carbonation, a very light body and wonderful English yeast character in the nose and on the palate. It was fruity and bready and just a touch minerally. All EKG hops contributed a light, fresh, earthy tone and a hint of bitterness.

Paul's IPA wasn't quite as good, but it wasn't bad. I think it was young. All C hops and a decent amount of crystal or some other specialty malt. It weighed in at 7.6% abv and had a good bit of carbonation in it and was rather cloudy. It had a rough fermentation character which clashed with the agressive c-hop bitterness. But I had two glasses. I bet if he gave it another month it would be better.

Marvin also had a great stout on regular tap that was really exquisite. It was really light and subtle. Enough of a roasted and chocolate thing to make it a stout but a very light body, clean palate and easy to drink.

There was also a couple bombers of decent homebrewed brown ale and a several varieties of Belgian dubbels and trippels: two bottled dubbels that were awesome, a bottled trippel and a growlered trippel.

There were also several vintage bottles of bought beer. I saw at least a very old bottle of Kasteel's Trippel, a 1996 Gale's Prize Old Ale and the 1998 Fuller's Vintage Ale. The Fullers was awesome. Huge, very smooth malt flavors. One of the smoothest beers I've ever had. I've had the 1996 Gales and have another bottle of it but unfortunately I didn't get to try the old trippel.

Here are some pictures.

The vintage beers.


Marvin presiding over the beer engine.


One of Marvin's barrels. He works for IU Press and is kind of a printer-press-ophile if there is such a thing.


I got home around 8pm from Marvin's. 4 hours there. Lots of beer. I was tired, a little hung over and didn't feel like going to Paco's birthday party so I didn't. But I should have because Brian said it was a great time.

Drink more cask conditioned beer.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

That old guy looks like Dunn 30 years from now.
Grant Fairbairn

Anonymous said...

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Please send me more photos at chunkyloverflyfishingwhiledrinkingbeer@yahoo.com.
Eli Withington

Matthew D Dunn said...

It's getting to the point where this is almost spam.

Anonymous said...

Tough shit siber looser.
Glen Rank
Fourth Grade Science Teacher at East Bardford Elementary School

Anonymous said...

DAMN!!!! Glen Rank tore you're shit up Big Daddy.
Darren Dawkins

Matthew D Dunn said...

Siber or cyber Glen?

Monique Westerlund said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Is Monique a friend of yours?

-Greg Lund

Matthew D Dunn said...

Me and Monique go way back. We love Jesus together.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure that Monique is a good friend of Glen Rank.

Chris