Friday, February 12, 2016

Surf Report for Maverick's Big Wave Contest

Forecast Outlook:
FRIDAY: Large WNW swell builds to it's peak with 3x overhead (15-18' faces) wave heights at most well exposed spots along with larger sets. Deepwater focal points are running 25'+ (faces) on the best sets during the more favorable tides. Many spots are overloaded/washed out with too much swell.

WEATHER/WIND: Calm to light NW winds early with NW flow trending up through the morning, then moderate NW flow in the afternoon. Patchy fog possible in the morning, otherwise, expect a mix of sun and clouds for the day.

Check out the event and stream the waves to your computer here.

Trivia time: Where did the name Maverick's originate?   The name of Jeff Clark's dog.  Clark started surfing at Mav's back in 1974.  No one would join him at the break for another 15 years.

Mav bonus Vid: Laird Hamilton

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Maverick's gets the green light for Friday

After a no go last year, the wind, tides and waves have lined up for the big wave contest in Half Moon Bay.  The contest will take place on Friday and you can stream it on Red Bull TV.  Cowabunga I say!

This is from last Thursday.

Grenadines Bareboat Charter Feb. 2016 Log

And so begins our adventure to the Grenadines.  Chris and I arrived at St Lucia about 2:30 on Saturday.  We took a cab to the base and promptly sat down for the skippers briefing.  We learned more about the area we will be cruising from Alex.  He had some very good suggestions and laid out the course we should take.  We adjourned and headed out to the boat.  Alex pointed out all the cool features of our 43.3 Beneteau.  Our other crew had done the provisioning and were in the last phase of putting everything away.  We have a nice fish dinner and then head to bed.

Up at 7 and get ready to check out of St Lucia at the customs office.  We have a few minor issues on the boat and head out about 10.  Once clear of the harbor we raise the sails and head south for the Pitons.  The wind is glorious and about 17- 20.  After lunch, the Pitons appear in the distance.  What a sight.  As we approach the bay, a boat boy greets us and says he has a mooring for us.  We follow him in and he hooks us up.  He say he has some tours for us if we are interested.  We are and so we jump in his boat and head to an awaiting taxi.  We head off to a nice garden a few miles up the road.  We are over looking the town of Souifre.  Next we head to the volcano that created this island.  It is still smoking and bubbling.  Our last stop was a thermal waterfall.  We go for a short dip and then back to the boat.  Had a great sunset along with some fish tacos.

We were up early for a 50 mile sail to Bequia.  The winds were strong and were we're flying for the first 5 hours.  I decided to give the crew a break and went to the lee of St.Vincent.  Worked great as we were able to have lunch in light winds.  We arrived in Bequia about 4 and promptly headed over to Customs yo check in.  We picked up some needed items and returned to the boat.  The bay is crowded with more than 100 boats.  We had a nice dinner of carne asada and some wine.

Our next stop was a highlight.  We had a nice 10 mile sail to Mustique.  This is a private island and home of many stars from the movies and rock and roll.  We pick a mooring and were promptly charged $80 for the privilege.  We walked around town and stopped by Basils to find out about the bluesfest that night.  The show started at 9 we were told.  After an amazing dinner and some star gazing, we headed for the bar.  It was several different players with an all star band.  They were great. As I walked by one of the tables I introduced myself to several gentleman.  One of them was Joe Louis Walker from the Bay Area.  He would be performing later.  We had a nice chat and my friend Chris came over and it turned out they had many mutual friends.  We danced and laughed the night away and before we could say John Lee Hooker, the night was over.  What fun we had.

Wednesday we were all a little worse for the wear.  We departed about 12 and had a motor of 20 miles to Tabago Cay.  What a nice spot.  We anchor and head to the beach for some Frisbee and snorkeling.  We will be here for 2 nights.

We met some nice kids on the beach and played some Frisbee with them.  Had a great dinner aboard and then some fine rest.  The next morning we headed off to a nice beach nearby and had some fun.  We snorkel and then climbed the hill for a full view of the area.  Awesome.  We hit another beach and had some fine snorkeling.  The best snorkeling so far.  Chris and I really enjoyed it.  We headed back to the boat for lunch and some naps as well as some hammock time for me.  At 5:30, Niel came by and pick us up for an island dinner.  Lobster, great wine and our feet in the sand.  What a great time.  We all slept well.

I had noticed a wind direction change and knew the wind would be back on Friday.  It was in a big way.  We were seeing gusts up to 30 with just a jib up.  We headed to Union Island to check out of St Vincent.  Taking off for Carriacou, we hit the height of the wind as well as a little rain.  After one big gust over 40, we headed for shelter.  We got the anchor down and prepared another fine meal paired with some red wine.  That night we did one hour anchor watches as the wind was between 30-40 knots.  No problems.

We were up early to head to a rendezvous dive in the next bay.  We motored the 2 miles to Tyrell Bay and headed to a dock for fuel.  Our instruments were not showing us our fuel/water/batt levels so we wanted to make sure fuel would not be an issue.  After setting the hook, Colleen and I took off for a two tank dive.  The dive site was less than a mile away so soon we were in 60 feet of water and circling a large pinnacle with great coral and lots of fish.  There was one point when I was in a swarm of Sargent Majors that was very special.  The next dive was similar but not as deep.  Several sting rays and lot of eels and fish.  We even saw a sea snake.  Easy, fun dives that were awesome.  Colleen had a great time taking photos.

Back to the boat and Chris and I took off in the dingy.  There was a racing boat nearby with six women onboard.  We found out they were mostly from the the UK and racing in the Carib for the season.  Most of the ladies ignored us, but Claire was nice and gave us the skinny on the boat and where they were racing.  Then we headed over to the mangrove river nearby for a cruise.  Very quite with a beautiful setting.  I had some hammock time and then a little happy hour on the boat.  After sunset, we headed over to a restaurant for a nice fish dinner.  It was shack like but right on the beach and we walked in with bare feet.  Very nice.

Up at 6am for departure and a 36 mile sail to St George's on Grenada.  We had an excellent 4 hour sail to the lee of Grenada.  Winds were 18-25 and we blasted across in the morning sun and some clouds.  In the lee, we started to get some big gusts and we rounded up a few times.  We were due at the base by noon and we pulled in at 11:45. 

What a great time we had on our adventure.  Our crew was wonderful, the food and beverage was outstanding and the boat was great.  All in all a very memorable cruise and my favorite of the 4 I have done.  The beauty of the islands was stunning and the locals and boat boys took good care of us.
I hope to return to this lovely spot some day!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Bon Voyage to Me!

Departing today for an epic sailing adventure to the Grenadines in the West Indies.  We have chartered a 43' monohull and depart from St. Lucia on Sunday.  We will scuba, snorkel, float, swim and laugh our way to the 140 mile distant Grenada.  I tried to make this trip happen in 2015 but could not get enough folks.  So I am really looking forward to this one!  Weather looks fine with 70-85 degrees, winds in the low 20's and lots of turquoise water.  I will have a full report upon my return.  Time to rock and roll!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Pics for your weekend


Have a great weekend.  If you are back east, you may have some time on your hands so check out the archives on this site!  And bundle up!
I am hosting a tequila tasting at a friends house on Sunday for the NFC Championship.  Weather conditions at both football fields could make things interesting.

Summer Olympics are around the corner!

Being a competitive swimmer thru college, I have a strong bond with the summer Olympics.  From Mark Spitz 7 golds in 72 to Phelps 8 golds in 08, my sport has been in the spotlight for many years.  Here is a list of the most iconic moments of the modern era.

Michael Phelps wins eight gold medals (Beijing 2008)
Phelps laid out a program that on paper looked nearly impossible: eight swimming events in nine days. By winning eight gold medals, Phelps became the most decorated athlete at a single Olympic Games. And more than one of his races came down to the last possible instant. Just ask Milorad Cavic.
Kerri Strug vaults with injured ankle (Atlanta 1996)
Believing the U.S. needed her vault to clinch the team gold, Strug limped to the runway on a left ankle she'd injured moments earlier. Running with one good ankle, she completed the vault, stood on one leg, then fell to the ground. Turns out the U.S. didn't need Strug's score, but we all remember the effort much more than the particulars of the score.
Muhammad Ali lights cauldron (Atlanta 1996)

It's always a mystery: Who will light the Olympic cauldron? On July 19, 1996, Janet Evans made the final pass of the flame to a man that will never need an introduction. With his left hand shaking from the effects of Parkinson's disease, Muhammad Ali clutched the torch with his right hand, raised it, then lit a flame that slowly made its way to ignite the cauldron. Unforgettable.
The Dream Team (Barcelona 1992)
For the first time, NBA players were allowed into the Olympic Games. The result: The Dream Team, a roster that included 11 eventual Hall of Famers and a team whose closest game was a 32-point blowout.
Carl Lewis wins four golds (Los Angeles 1984)
Lewis entered the 1984 Games with one thing in mind: becoming the second person ever to win four track and field golds in a single Olympics. Jesse Owens did it in 1938; Lewis matched him 48 years later.
Nadia Comăneci scored perfect 10s (Montreal 1976)
No gymnast had ever earned a perfect score of 10 until Comăneci turned in a performance on the uneven bars at the 1976 Games that left judges with no choice. Comăneci would earn six more perfect scores and the gold medal.
Bruce Jenner wins the decathlon (Montreal 1976)
Jenner dedicated four years to winning gold in the decathlon in Montreal. The work paid off. Not only did he earn the title as the world's greatest athlete, but he parlayed his two-day performance into a lifetime of celebrity that eventually landed him a seat at the head of the Kardashian's dinner table.
Sugar Ray Leonard leads dominating U.S. boxing performance (Montreal 1976) 
Sugar Ray Leonard launched his Hall of Fame boxing career with a spectacular performance at the 1976 Games in Montreal. En route to winning one of five golds for the Americans, Leonard marched through the '76 Olympic tournament, winning each fight 5-0.
USA-Russia basketball controversial final (Munich 1972)
Since basketball became an Olympic sport in 1936, the USA hadn't lost – until the '72 final against Russia, a game that remains steeped in controversy to this day. Forty years later, members of the U.S. team have still not accepted their silver medals, contending they were cheated out of gold.

Israeli athletes killed by Palestinians (Munich 1972)
On Sept. 5, 1972, a Palestinian terrorist group took members of the Israeli Olympic team hostage in an apartment in the Olympic village. The terrorist group, known as Black September, called for the release of prisoners held in Israeli and German jails. The standoff lasted 21 hours and ended with the death of 10 Israeli athletes and coaches and one German police officer.
Tommie Smith/John Carlos medal stand protest (Mexico City 1968)

Tommie Smith (center) and John Carlos (AP)In arguably the most iconic image ever produced from an Olympic Games, Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos thrust their black-gloved fists in the air while standing on the medal podium after having won gold and bronze, respectively, in the 200-meter dash. The purpose of the salute was to represent black unity and power during the civil rights movement in America.
Jesse Owens wins four golds in front of Hitler (Berlin 1936)
It was a moment when sport and politics collided on the world stage – the great American athlete, who happened to be black, performing in front of a man trying to lead a resurgence of Nazi Germany where the superiority of an Arian race was propagandized. Jesse Owens sprinted through Hitler's house and won.
Usain Bolt shatters world records in 100m and 200m (Beijing 2008)
The sprinter with the name to fit ran into the record books, becoming the first since Carl Lewis in 1984 to win Olympic gold in the 100 and 200. In the process, Bolt established world records at both distances and sparked a curiosity as to how much faster he could really go.
The greatest Opening Ceremony show ever (Beijing 2008)
Lasting more than four hours and at a cost of around $100 million, the Opening Ceremony at the Beijing Games featured light shows, fireworks, dancing and some 15,000 participants. It ended with Li Ning, suspended in the air, "running" horizontally around the cornice of the stadium, where he eventually lit the Olympic cauldron.
Marion Jones wins five medals, then forfeits them all (Sydney 2000)
The darling of the 2000 Games after winning five medals, including three golds, Marion Jones became a symbol of all that was wrong in sport after it was revealed she used performance-enhancing drugs.
Michael Johnson's unprecedented double gold (Atlanta 1996)
Sporting a pair of custom-made gold Nikes, Johnson entered the '96 Games in Atlanta with a goal of becoming the first man to win the 200 and 400 meters in the same Olympics. He won the 400 by more than one second, then shattered his own world record by more than 0.3 to win the 200 and complete the unprecedented double.
Florence Griffith-Joyner's double world records (Seoul 1988)
How good was FloJo in 1988? The world records she set en route to winning gold in the 100 and 200 meters still stand today, 24 years later. In a sport where men tend to get most of the attention, FloJo grabbed the spotlight, becoming a role model for women wanting to compete in track and field.
Mary Lou Retton wins gymnastics gold (Los Angeles 1984)
Before 1984, no female gymnast outside of Eastern Europe had won all-around gold. Mary Lou Retton changed that with a perfect vault. And when she hit it and flashed that million-dollar smile, a star was born.
Mary Decker collides with Zola Budd (Los Angeles 1984)
The 3,000 meters played up to its billing as Mary Decker Slaney vs. barefooted Zola Budd. They were running 1-2 just past the halfway point when Budd appeared to step in front of Slaney, who stumbled, fell to the ground in a heap and lay on the infield in agony as the race went on without her. Who was at fault depended on who you were rooting for.
Mark Spitz wins seven golds (Munich 1972)
Michael Phelps' eight-gold medal effort in 2008 was fathomable only because of what Mark Spitz had done 36 years earlier, when he won seven at the '72 Games. It was a redemptive performance from Spitz, who'd predicted he'd win six in the '68 Mexico City Games and came away with two.

Click on one of the hyperlinks and it will take you to a page with more details and video.  You can even vote for your top three most memorable moments.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Never Seen This Many Before

Have you?

It's been cloudy and rainy for about the last 3 weeks here in the Bay Area.  Not sailing weather.  All the wet weather is coming from the west and is a sign of El Nino weather.  Hopefully we will get some nice weather in February for sailing.  We still need lots more rain.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Kitesurf + Jaws = Wipeout

Getting excited about our trip to the Grenadines at the end of the month.  I received the digital and paper charts this week along with a cruising guidebook for the Windward Islands.  We will be sailing about 130 miles in 7 days from St. Lucia to Grenada.  Some of the anchorages look spectacular.  The pic below is our first stop: Grand Pitons.  We have chartered a 43' sloop for the adventure (thru Mooring).  I will be doing a blog write up of our trip which ends on 2-7.  Cowabunga!