Thursday, March 23, 2017

Sailing Tip of the Month

When I first started sailing our new to us boat on the bay...way back in 2000, I was very concerned about determining whether or not I was on a collision course with another boat.  It's a busy bay out there and without proper knowledge, it can get scary.  Then a friend gave me one of the best sailing tips ever.  It's called the Nichols Effect (named after him!).  When you see a boat coming your way, look at the land behind the boat.  If it is not moving. you are on a collision course.  If the land is disappearing behind the bow, the boat will pass in front of you.  How cool is that?  If you are on the ocean, a hand bearing compass will show you the same.  Or you could use a stanchion to determine movement or not.  Try it next time you go out.  This has saved me a lot of gray hair.  I believe the proper name is ranging. Yes?

Pics of the Week

Monday, March 20, 2017

Weekend on the Water!

My swimming buddy Joe from college drove out from Vegas to meet me for a weekend of sailing.  We headed up to the boat Friday morning and departed in light winds.  Our destination was South Beach in SF.  About 2pm we had 8-10 knots and it looked like we would not make it.  I even made plans with Tex when we returned to the dock.  About 2:30 the winds started picking up.  By 3pm, we had 15 knots and we are headed for SF.  We made it there shortly after 5pm and missed getting a key to the gates.  We could not go in or out without someone randomly coming by with a key.  It worked out OK and we headed to a restaurant for dinner.  Great meal and we headed back to the boat for some rest.  Up early for an egg scramble and a walk.  Another swim buddy Dave from UNLV was joining us, along with another friend, Neil.   We took off in light winds and hoped for the best.  We were next to the city front for several hours fighting the tide and light winds.  After lunch, the winds started to pick up and we were moving.  We had about 3 hours of good winds and great sailing.  About 4pm, we started heading back to Emeryville.  We slept on the boat that night and then cleaned up the boat and headed out for the beach.  So glad I got my friends together and we had some wind to enjoy!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Tesla Sailing - A Review of our Electric Engine

We lost our 35 year old diesel engine about 3 years ago (we have owned our Newport 30 for over 16 years).  We decided to replace it with an electric engine.  We purchased a kit from Electric Yachts of Socal and installed it ourselves over a few weekends.  In our first set up, we had all 8 AGM batteries set up in a daisy chain.  There was too much resistance and the batteries only lasted about a year.  They should last 4-5 years or more.  We replaced them last year at this time.  We also changed our set up to 2 four battery sets and put a battery selector between them.  Since then we have had no issues and the batteries are strong.  We sail the SF Bay so windless days are few and far between.  We don't use our engine that much because it is usually blowing 15-30 knots.  This arrangement might not be a good idea if you are on the Chesapeake where winds can be very light for days!  Our range is about 12 miles at 4 knots when motoring.  We usually use the engine for less than a mile on a normal day.  In and out of the harbor and to a lunch spot for instance.  As we sail at hull speed, we also recharge the batts with our spinning propeller.  How cool is that?  It is also very quiet when motoring with no diesel smells.  We are super happy with this setup!  Cost was about $9k and we pay about $11 per month in electricity to recharge our house bank and engine bank.  If you are interested in converting, hit me up with any questions.  In certain areas with lots of wind, this is a great way to go!
Is that a pristine engine room or what?

Monday, March 13, 2017

Two for One

Had two great sails over the weekend.  Took out a group of friends on Saturday and a solo sail on Sunday.  Saturday we had wind all day with about 15 knots.  Beautiful for sure.  Made a lunch stop at Clipper and it felt like summer out there.  The Bomba's loved it.  Kona got to go the beach with John.
On Sunday, Kona and I made it to Craig's Cove for some swimming.  I kayaked, Kona swam (water is about 56 right now).  Had a very nice run home.  Winds were a bit lighter, but pleasant.
Next weekend, my friend Joe heads out from Vegas for a weekend on the bay.  Should be a hoot.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Bertish Conquers The Atlantic - with a Paddleboard

In the span of 93 days, Chris Bertish crossed more than 4,050 nautical miles of Atlantic Ocean — and he conquered this lonely crossing standing up. When the South African surfer entered English Harbour on the island of Antigua on Thursday, he was riding the same massive stand-up paddleboard that bore him from Morocco's Agadir Marina roughly three months ago.

Still, if Bertish's equipment wasn't much different from when he started, his place in the record books now certainly is: On Thursday, Bertish became the first person in history to make a solo trans-Atlantic journey on a stand-up paddleboard.

"Across the entire Atlantic Ocean and I am finally here," Bertish wrote Thursday on Facebook. "I don't need to be strong and keep it together any longer; it's been 93 days and it's done and I let it all go... I am home!"

By the time he made it to the West Indies, battling fittingly windy and rough conditions," SUP Magazine reports he had already faced down "shark encounters, equipment failures, unfavorable trade winds, loneliness and huge swells."
Continue reading here.

Friday, March 10, 2017

For Your Weekend

I started surfing in the late 60's in lower Delaware (Indian River Inlet).  Moved up to the big time in Cali in 1981 and living in Carmel, CA.  I was 22 and surf was my middle name.  Big Sur, Santa Cruz, Ocean Beach, Hawaii and more.  Got my first tube ride at Zuma.  What a rush.  They say it can feel like you are returning to the womb while inside the tube.  However, this is a womb with a view!  Happy weekend!

Back in the Saddle

Just returning from a few days up in the mountains of Lake Tahoe.   The beautiful lake is full to the brim!  There is a ton of snow and our water worries are in the rear view mirror (for now).  Skied in some poor conditions on Tuesday.  Vis was not good and I took a spill and messed up my shoulder pretty good.  Missed the next day with soreness and a very stiff arm.  Starting to loosen up, but it will take a while to heal.  Good news, I can still sail.  Heading out this weekend.  Weather looks good and 70ish.  Should be delightful out on the water!