Monday, March 30, 2015

The Weather is Here, Wish You Were Beautiful

Oh what a lovely weekend in Norcal.  70's sunny and windy.  Went out to Craig's Cove a couple times for swimming and beach time.  I had been there a week ago and lost a kayak paddle.  Long story but  when I swam up to the beach a week later, there was the paddle.  My lucky day!  The beach is next to a steep cliff on Angel.  No way to get there except a swim or kayak.  The highest wind we saw over the weekend was 22 knots off of Pt. Blunt on Angel.  Did you know that all the points and top of Angel are named after a military ship's officers?  The British ship, called HMS Raccoon, was sinking in the early 1800's and they beached on Angel Island for repairs.  The water way also bears their name: Racoon Strait.  Be sure to share that when someone asks, "Why do they call it Raccoon Strait?"

Have a great week!  We at H2uh0 are gearing up for a big month in April.  We are celebrating 10 years of H2uh0 with a look back at our most popular posts as well as the new stuff.  Hope you will stick around for the party!  We will also be offering a ride on our sweet boat Addiction to a few lucky readers.  So come on, let's party like it's 1999!


Friday, March 27, 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015

Hurricane Marie vs. The Wedge



August 2014

The winds are back on the bay!  We go through a lull in winter as the winds mellow out to 5-10 from December to March.  The spring winds can be some of the biggest of the year.  We are getting close to that time, however Sunday was just perfect with 10-15 knots and some good friends on board.  We hit the channel shortly after 11 and started our cruise to Angel Island.  A bocce challenge would take us to Ayala Cove and the beautiful picnic grounds.  We hit the course and a highly contested game commenced.  On the run home, we hoisted the kite and were off on a 6 knot run to the barn.  What a memorable day.  The boat is in great shape for the big winds of summer!   Thanks to Mike, Ryan, Hannah, John and Summer.

Our two main repairs are complete and the Addiction is in race ready condition.  We had a wire banging inside the mast that was like having a guy with a hammer banging on the mast during a  sail.   Not a very peaceful setting when you are trying to be one with the boat.  Then the traveler car was not in the best of shape.  With a 30 year old boat, sometimes you run into parts that have not been removed in all that time.  In this case, it was the end of the traveler track.  It seemed the screws were cemented to the end piece and would not budge.  We drilled the screws out and removed the car from the track.  From there, Murray took the car home and rebuilt it.  Now its strong again and ready to do it's job.  Halaluya brother.  I am a happy sailor now that the repairs are complete.


This our 30 year old spinnaker still pushing us along at fast speeds.  Mostly used to get us home quick at the end of the day.  And what a great way to end the day.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Promote Our Sport Of Sailing (or let it die a slow death)

Beginning with the transformation from wood to fiberglass boats, our sport of sailing went through a tremendous growth period in the early 70's.  At that time, some 12 million folks went sailing at least once a year in the US.  The building of boats became big business and the west coast was a hot bed for manufactures.  There was a downturn in the 80's when a luxury tax of 10% was included on boats selling for $100k or more.  Hundreds of boat builders had a stake driven into the hull of their business and sank as a result.  Towards the the turn of the century, boating has taken a huge hit due to the computer revolution and the Internet as well as economic realities.  Now only 4 million folks have sailed one time per year and just over a million have sailed more than 7 times per year.  That's a huge drop.  Is sailing dying?  Well, the numbers speak for themselves.  In 2001, a gentleman from Northern California and Latitude 38 started a sailing campaign that has sparked a small resurgence in sailing.  It's called Summer Sailstice and it happens right around the official start of summer.  Marinas, yacht clubs and sailing organizations throw huge events that revolve around getting on the water.   I went to one a few years ago on Treasure Island.   We had a blast walking the grounds, bumping into a few friends and making some new ones.  One of the cool events was the boat building contest.  Teams were given the raw materials and they were charged with building a boat that could go from A to B without sinking.  And they did it in a few hours.  Brilliant!
Check out this years sailstice site here.

Another way to increase participation is to take a friend sailing.  Over the last 14 years since we have owned our 30' sailboat,  I estimate I have taken close to 1000 folks out in those years.  That's about 70 per year.  This weekend I have a crew of 6 heading out into the wild blue yonder.  Another way to get involved is to join a Meetup group in your area.  In the Bay Area, we have Got Wind and Water of which I am a member.  In January, I posted a note on the site on a Wednesday.  On Sunday, I had a crew of 8 happy sailors heading out.  We had a ball.  There are over 1000 folks that want to go sailing in this group.  It's a great way to hit the water and when I sail with this group, there is no charge to the crew.  If you want to sail the bay and donot own a boat, this is a great way to find out if this is the sport for you.
Check it out here.

Next month, and in honor of my 10th year with this blog, I will offer my readers a chance to join me for a sail on the Addiction.  Kona will be joining as well.  So get out there and invite family and friends to join you for a sail.  Or join a local group and hit the high seas.  Let's grow the sport and show folks that getting on the water does not have to break the bank.  We have 6 partners on our humble yacht.  I like to tell people that I sail the worlds most beautiful bay for $3 per day ( that's right, we each pay only $3 per day at $100 per month per partner).

When I ask folks what it is they like about sailing, most tell me it's being on the water that floats their boat.  Some talk about the beauty of the wild life and nature.  For me, I connect to my spiritual side with all the beauty the bay has to offer.  The sun, the wind, the water all dance before my eyes.  The mental ballet of working the boat and the wind.  The freedom of escaping the 7 million people that make up the Bay Area.  Plus, I can have a beer while I am doing it!


The Addiction heading up river to the Delta in 2012.  We had 50 boats and 150 folks join us for the week long Delta Doo Dah.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Super Solar Storm

 We are in the midst of what is being touted as the strongest Geomagnetic Storm of the 11-year solar cycle! Folks from all over the world sent in their pics from a terrific night of northern light watching.  Check the pics here.



My only experience with these light shows was in BC in 85.  It was a life changing experience!