Monday, December 31, 2007

50 Top 10's for 2007 - Happy New Year!

Time magazine has put together an amazing list of top 10's for 2007. I love top 10's at the end of the year. And it has been a great year for me! Lots of sailing on the SF bay and a trip to the Delta. Great year in biz with the Too Much Fun Club with a ton of fantastic events in the Silicon Valley. My family is doing great and my mom just celebrated her 80th birthday. A good year health wise with lots of running and swimming. Awesome trips to Costa Rica, Bahamas, Yosemite/Tahoe and Hawaii. This was truly one of the best years of my life!! And 2008 looks to be even better! To see all the top 10's from Time, click here.

Here is the top sports moment of the year!

Friday, December 28, 2007

New Fish Speices Found After Tsunami


Check out these very strange fish that showed up after the Tsunami of 2005 in Thailand. These are never before seen specimans that are baffling the scientific community. See them here.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Bay Days


I am just returning from a beautiful 3 day sail on the bay. It started on Sunday night about 9 with a night sail. The winds were about 15 knots and there was a sprinkle here and there. Your senses turn on in high gear at night and it was amazing on the bay. As soon as I got in, it started raining. Needless to say, I was the only one out. Monday it looked like it might rain but it did not. Went out for a great sail with an old friend Jason. The wind was in the low teens and made for a nice break from the 30's we seemed to have all summer. We made it over to South Beach and dropped into A-6. Two other sailing buddies joined us for a harvest dinner on the boat. What a nice night. I slept in til about 9:30 and it was raining pretty hard. By 2pm, I had cleaned up the boat and it was clear and breezy! I headed out with a destination of Sausalito. The wind was pretty strong until I hit Angel and then it dropped. I added the main to the jib only configuration and took off for a nice run across the bay. Had a quiet night in Sausalito with dinner at my favorite Thai place. Wednesday I got on the water at 9:15 and the breeze was up again! Had a lovely sail back home in light winds and fighting the ebbing tide. The boat was in fine shape as we had spent the last three weekends working on her. What a great way to start the holidays! Hope you have a cool yule!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Friday, December 14, 2007

Try a New Sport!

When was the last time you tried a new sport? Here is a list of the 10 weirdest ones from around the world. One you might want to consider is Chess Boxing. You play a round of chess and then jump in the ring for a round of boxing. I kid you not. If you take too long to move a piece due to unconsciousness, you lose. For more on these unique, er, crazy sports,
click here.

Bonehead Move

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mav's Goes Off

As many of you know, a monster storm up north brought some huge swells to Northern California last week. Mavericks in Half Moon Bay and Ghost Tree in Pebble Beach saw some of the biggest waves ever. 60-70 feet waves pounded the coast on a very foggy day. The video of that day has just surfaced and we are proud to bring it to you. Several people died on this day (one surfer and two crabbers) so it goes without saying that the conditions were very extreme. Be careful out there!
To watch the vid, click here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Pic of the Day

Best Meteor Shower of the Year on the 13th


Here is what astronomers David Levy and Stephen Edberg have written of the annual Geminid Meteor Shower: "If you have not seen a mighty Geminid fireball arcing gracefully across an expanse of sky, then you have not seen a meteor."

The Geminids get their name from the constellation of Gemini, the Twins, because the meteors appear to emanate from a spot in the sky near the bright star Castor in Gemini.

Also in Gemini this month is the planet Mars, nearing a close approach to the Earth later this month, and shining brilliantly with yellow-orange hue. To be sure, Mars is certain to attract the attention of prospective Geminid watchers this upcoming week.

The Geminid Meteors are usually the most satisfying of all the annual showers, even surpassing the famous Perseids of August.

Studies of past find the "Gems" have a reputation for being rich both in slow, bright, graceful meteors and fireballs as well as faint meteors, with relatively fewer objects of medium brightness.

They are of medium speed, encountering Earth at 22 miles per second (35 kps). They are bright and white, but unlike the Perseids, they leave few visible trails or streaks. They are four times denser than most other meteors, and have been observed to form jagged or divided paths.

Geminids also stand apart from the other meteor showers in that they seem to have been spawned not by a comet, but by 3200 Phaethon, an Earth-crossing asteroid. Then again, the Geminids may be comet debris after all, for some astronomers consider Phaethon to really be the dead nucleus of a burned-out comet that somehow got trapped into an unusually tight orbit. Interestingly, on December 10, Phaethon will be passing about 11 million miles (18 million kilometers) from Earth, its closest approach since its discovery in 1983.

According to the experts, the Geminids are predicted to reach peak activity on Dec. 14 at 16:45 GMT. That means those places from central Asia eastwards across the Pacific Ocean to Alaska are in the best position to catch the very crest of the shower, when the rates conceivably could exceed 120 per hour.

"But," he adds, "maximum rates persist at only marginally reduced levels for some 6 to 10 hours around the biggest ones, so other places (such as North America) should enjoy some fine Geminid activity as well.

Indeed, under normal conditions on the night of maximum activity, with ideal dark-sky conditions, at least 60 to 120 Geminid meteors can be expected to burst across the sky every hour on the average (Light pollution greatly cuts the numbers).

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Insane

Whale Sharks


The engine slowed down and settled in to idle. It was late afternoon and the intense heat of the day had lowered by a few degrees, the sun tingled on my sunburnt face. Our boat bobbed up and down in the waters of the Sea of Cortez; the city of La Paz just off in the distance. My fellow divers and I looked quizzically at our dive guide, mystified as to why we’d suddenly stopped in the middle of nowhere.

The skipper of our boat was staring at our guide, who was in turn standing on the bow, gazing fixedly out towards the waters around us; in curious silence we all followed his gaze trying to find the reason for our sudden cessation. Slowly our guide gestured towards the waters beyond; I turned my gaze but could not see anything interesting, until I noticed faint shadows moving in the water. “Get your gear on,” our guide instructed in his thick Mexican accent, “Whale Sharks!” Evan, my dive buddy, a pool digger from Los Angeles lit up and a wide grin spread across his face. “I’ve been trying to see these things for over ten years!” he shouted excitedly, “This is going to be incredible!” We hurriedly put our wet suits and masks back on as the boat circled back around, and on the guide’s instruction we dropped off the side of the small white boat in to the sea below. Mildly disorientated, it took me a second to gain my bearings, then suddenly I recoiled in horror; I was face to face with a monster. Continue reading here.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Surf Addiction


Hi. My name is Gideon and I am a surf addict.

I have been an addict for 24 years. I can’t go without a very regular fix of surfing. I admit that. I will do almost anything to surf. Lie, cheat, steal. And beg. I’ve quit many jobs, I’ve lost plenty babes and my career is going nowhere. All because of surfing. Yes, it has gotten bad. The addiction has taken over my life to such an extent that I am now living on a boat right next to the lineup. That’s what you call a mainline surf addiction. I am mainlining bro. Every day, all day long.

I did the high school and college thing and kept my addiction under control. There were a few “flare ups”, extended surf trips which almost cost me my degree on more than one occasion. Got lost in the Mexico if you know what I mean. But I got myself back over the border. Back into my suit and tie. Back on track. As a young lawyer I initially kept the addiction under control. In the beginning it was easy to hide the wetsuit rash under my collar. But the post surf sinus drip happens when you least expect it. A dead give away to those who know. Gradually the addiction got worse. I knew I was developing a real problem when I started surfing during my 15 minute morning “tea break”. No time was too short to surf. My surf addiction was a runaway train. Continue reading here.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Can You Say Climate Change?

52 Things You Would Like to Say at Work

1. I can see your point, but I still think you’re full of sh*t.

2. I don’t know what your problem is, but I’ll bet it’s hard to pronounce.

3. How about never? Is never good for you?

4. I see you’ve set aside this special time to humiliate yourself in public.

5. I’m really easy to get along with once you people learn to see it my way.

6. Who lit the fuse on your tampon?

7. I’m out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message.

8. I don’t work here. I’m a consultant.

9. It sounds like English, but I can’t understand a word you’re saying.

10. Ahhhh. I see the f ***-up fairy has visited us again.

11. I like you. You remind me of myself when I was young and stupid.

12. You are validating my inherent mistrust of strangers.

Read the other 40 here.

Pororoca - Amazon River

The pororoca is a tidal bore (a rare tidal phenomenon where the leading edge of the incoming tide forms waves that travel up the river against the direction of the current) that creates waves up to 12 feet high. In this case it occurs at the mouth of the river where it meets the Atlantic Ocean. Since 1999, there has been an annual surfing championship held during the pororoca. Brazilian Picuruta Salazar won the last event with on a wave that took him 12.5 kilometers and gave him a ride of 37 minutes on the same wave. Most surfers are happy with a 5-8 second ride here on the west coast! Check the vid!

Have a Great Day!

Start Your Own Sailing Blog

Several people have told me that I inspired them to start their very own blog. They sign up with one of the many free hosting services(like this one at www.blogger.com) and they are ready to go. Then they ask me, "Well, what do I write about?" Good question. Write about what ever your passion is. Mine happens to be sailing, water sports and all things extreme. Figure out what your interests are and go from there. Then they ask, "Where do you find all your content?" I usually do my searching in the morning before the day begins. Many days I don't have any idea where I am headed, but by searching and stumbling thru the web, there is always something to discover. "How do you set up your links so all the reader has to do is click on it?" There is a little HTML code we use that makes it very simple. I can't post it because blogger thinks I am trying to set up a link. Email me at fungod@gmail.com and I will happily send it to you. So that's it! Now you are ready to begin. There are many other aspects like promoting your site, coming up with a great title for your site, getting other bloggers to link to your site, and many others. The key is is get it started and keep finding interesting content that will keep your readers coming back for more! Good luck!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Videoblog - Assault of Kang Yatze


Two strangers meet in an e-mail exchange and decide to climb a 21,000 peak in India. Their plan is to ski down after the climb. This is not your average throw together video travel log. It is a very well designed multimedia prize. Such slick sites like this are few and far between. Check out all the action on 'Lost Bags and Lost Souls" here.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Fast is Fun

Can you imagine going this fast on a sail boat? I estimate these guys are going at 24-28 knots. These boats were used in the last Volvo Ocean Race. It's amazing to me that these boats keep getting faster and more powerful with each year. And more dangerous! If you would like to see some fantastic video from past Ocean Races, they have opened up a treasure trove of video archives right here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Saturn Dr.


I grew up in Delaware in a place called North Star. I lived on Saturn Dr. and had a good friend who lived on Venus Way. Maybe thats why I am into the celestial bodies that fill the night sky. Here is a great pic of Saturn from the Hubble. Click the pic for a much larger view.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Joyon Takes Off to Set New Round the World Record


This Friday morning November 23, 2007, Francis Joyon set out, once again, to break the solo round the world sailing record. A record he took four years ago that Ellen MacArthur improved on in the following year.

The red stem of maxi-trimaran IDEC crossed the starting line at 11h05' 52 this morning in a north easterly wind of 15 knots, which is expected to increase to 25 knots off Brittany, on calm sea and under a mixed sky of large black clouds and lighter patches. Francis Joyon, a 51 year old from La Trinité-sur-Mer, set out under full main and gennaker, to the din of helicopters and accompanying high speed motorboats.

The World Sailing Speed Records Council (WSSRC) validated the departure and calculated that to beat the record, IDEC must finish before Sunday February 3, 2008 at 1h23' 25 '' French time. A few moments before leaving the pontoon of Brest, Francis Joyon confirmed what he had said yesterday: “The weather conditions are favourable enough to not lose too much time compared Castorama on the first part of the course. We should have sufficiently constant and regular carrying winds to remain in a blow for this first week of race. One hopes to make a good time, because it is important not to be too much behind Ellen MacArthur’s time at the equator, since she profited from very favorable conditions in this segment.”

Jean-Yves Bernot, IDEC enlarged: "With winter winds getting established in Western Europe, one must not mess about, one must leave. Passing the Brittany point, the wind will settle to 25 knots of North-East and should make it possible for IDEC to reach speeds of about 23 to 24 knots. Around Finisterre, the wind will go up to 28 to 30 knots. There will undoubtedly be the need for tacking in the Bay of Biscay to follow wind oscillations of about ten degrees. The important thing is that, as for as we can see, there will be no break on the route to get into the trade winds, as there was for competitors in the Transatlantic Jacques Vabre. I’m hoping it won’t take Francis much more than a week, perhaps eight days, to reach the equator. That would be perfect."

4 Year Old is One with the Whales

Got Zorbing?

Top Ten Sailing Videos

According to Marine Blast.

Barcelona World Race

Two crew, 25k miles, nonstop, insane speeds, no sleep, records broken, lives threatened, and exciting racing around the world. The video is in french but this is the basic translation. Hold onto something when you watch the vid!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Pic of the Day - Pigeon Point, CA


Click the pic for a larger view.

Awesome Wingsuit

Ship of Dreams


On April 14th 1912 the most luxurious passenger liner on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York hit icebergs and sank in less than 3 hours later. 1,500 people lost their lives. The Titanic sank in Canadian waters, about 400 miles off the coast of Newfoundland.

Had the icebergs warnings that had been radioed to the ship been forwarded to the Captain, the catastrophe may never have occurred. If just 2 messages that came into the radio room had been transmitted to the Bridge, Captain Smith would have most certainly stopped the ship.

Instead the Titanic hit an underwater Iceberg spur that caused a 300 ft gash along the Starboard side. 2 Hours and 40 minutes later it had completely sunk. 1500 people died in the freezing icy North Atlantic waters. There were not enough lifeboats on board.
Continue reading here.

Cool Pool


Need a new thrill? Dive into one of the planet’s most unusual swimming holes. Tucked away in the sleepy town of Midway, Utah, Homestead Crater is a 55-foot-high dome filled halfway with 96-degree spring waters rich in minerals. It’s the perfect retreat after a chilly day of schussing at one of the four ski areas in nearby Park City.

The crater rises on the grounds of the Homestead Resort near Wasatch Mountain State Park, site of biathlon and cross-country skiing meets during the 2002 Winter Olympics. It won its earliest fans in 1886, when tired silver miners were lowered by rope from a hole at the dome’s top to soothe their sore muscles in the water.

Today, visitors enter through a 110-foot tunnel bored into the dome’s porous rock wall above the water line. You can take a dip in the crystal-clear pool—lighted at night—or grab a snorkel, mask, and fins and gaze down 65 feet at mineral deposits that grace the chamber’s sides. Homestead is the only warm-water scuba diving site in the continental United States.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sailboat Ownership on the Cheap

For those of you considering buying a boat in the near future, there is the big question of: cost of ownership. What will it cost on a monthly basis to own a sailboat? From my experience over the last seven years, it can be a very expensive experience or it can be inexpensive (how does $3 a day for a 30 foot sailboat sound to you?). Let's take for example, our 25 year old sailboat on the San Francisco Bay. Our boat happens to be a 30' Newport designed by Gary Mull for Capital Yachts. We purchased her for $16k about 7 years ago. At the time, we had three partners so a little over $5k each. Not bad. She was in great shape and sail ready. Fast forward to today and we have 5 partners and we each pay $100 per month. Our slip fees are about $280 per month so that leaves us plenty of money that can go towards insurance, bottom cleaning, haulouts, repairs, etc. If you are interested in reading further and learning how to set up a partnership, please see this article I wrote for Latitude 38. Please contact me if you have any questions or would like to see our partnership agreement. If you have ever wanted to own a boat, now is the time to move forward!!

How The Moon Was Formed


One of the more popular theories on the formation of moon goes something like this: During the formation of earth, a huge object (a comet or another planet?) hit earth with a giant impact. This caused a huge amount of debris to scatter into the atmosphere. With gravity and other elements at work, it formed somewhat of a ring of debris around earth. After billions of years, this debris coalesced into the moon. This theory is called the Giant Impact Hypothesis. It works on several levels as much of the composition of the moon, is the same as earth. Does this type of impact and creation of satellites happen often? Less than 20% of the time according to studies of other planets moons in our solar system. This a great story to tell your friends when you gaze up at the sky!

Traffic Will Be Slow Today

Click the pic to read the sign.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Fatima's Hand

Karina Hollekim is a rare bird, indeed. This 30 year old Norwegian beauty is one of the top BASE jumpers in the world. Fearless, crazy, and she loves to fly. About a year ago she traveled to a remote section of West Africa with a film crew. They planned to film her as she climbed her way to the top of Fatima's Hand, a rock outcropping in the middle of the desert. They had no idea what they were getting into. Sand storms, equipment problems, not enough food and more. At one point she had climbed to the top and then a sand storm came in and they had to go down, only to climb back up the next day. Grueling and painful. View the trailer of the movie that has won several awards.

Hella Good!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Kite Cam

This is way cool. An SF sailor rigs a kite cam so he can film himself singlehanding the Pacific on his Dana 24. I would not have thought this could have been done but here is proof!

Crazy, Lucky, or Just Plain Skilled?

Bonehead Move of the Weekend


Watch out for that prop!

Borialis


About a month ago, I did a feature on the aurora borialis. As I mentioned, in the northern hemisphere, we have aurora borialis. The question was, what do they call the phenomenon in the southern hemisphere? The answer is aurora australis (australis is the latin word for "of the south"). Don't forget to look up at night!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Classic!

Silly Boat Names

We've all seen them. Names that don't make sense or puns that just don't work. Here is a nice long list of boat names we hope we never see. Here are a couple to warm you up:

Irritable Bow Movement
Vitamin Sea
Cunning Stunts
A Crewed Interest
Norwegian Woody

To see the complete list, click here.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Waterfall of the Day

Pics of the Day!



Click the pic to enlarge.

Worst Wipeouts of 2007

On a surfing jag today. Here is some excellent video of some of this years worst wipeouts. Check it while it lasts here.

Treats from Teahupoo

Click me!

Teahupoo exploded with some monster lefts about 10 days ago. All the big guns were there along with one of the top surf photo guys, Tim McKenna to put the whole thing on record. Check out all the great shots here.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Absolute Adventure


Francis Joyon is in the wait mode as he attempts to singlehand the globe on his brand new water rocket. His goal is break Ellen MacArthur's record of 71 days. Ironically, she broke his record of 72 days that he set in 2004. You may remember that after his finish in 2004, he declined spending the night at the local marina and continued on to his home port. He was so exhausted, that he fell asleep and destroyed his boat on some rocks. What a heart breaker! This time he has a bigger, lighter, faster tri that should break the 70 day barrier. A unique part of the journey is that he will have no engine on board. He respects the environment too much to harm it. It's going to be fun to watch his progress. Check out the boat and the video section of his website (all in french) and hold onto your hat!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

H2uh0 Radio


Check out my playlistnear the top of the page on the right. All the songs are are from a cool service called Finetune. These are many of my favorites from periods throughout my life. Be sure to go to Finetune and start your own playlist (and embed into your own blog)! Keep this window open and you can continue listening to H2uh0 Radio for up to 3 hours at a time. Enjoy!

Heavy


So people ask what sailing is all about

Slick Tricks from X-Games

2001 Flashback- iPod Intro by Steve Jobs


Nobody new what a sensation the iPod would be when it was introed. How many do you have in 2007?

Monday, November 05, 2007

Baja Ha Ha

The cruiser rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas is in full swing as I type. The rally started with about 160 boats and 600 folks a week ago. They do three legs down the coast of Mexico with stops at Turtle Bay (330 miles), Bahia Santa Maria (250 miles) and then on to Cabo (120 mies). At the first two stops, the little fishing villages throw a big fiesta for the cruisers. For many, this is the beginning of their cruising dreams and a great way to meet like minded folks on their way south. Many will continue on to far flung destinations and many will return home after the rally. The rally is in it's 14th year and is presided over by the Latitude 38 head honcho Richard Spindler (his daughter organizes the event). So now maybe you wanna try this fun, life altering bonanza but you don't own a boat....well you can join in next year. Go to Lat38's Mexico crew list and start dreaming. Sell yourself and jump on a boat for warm tropical breezes and cold Coronas.

View from the hills of Turtle Bay from this year's Baja Ha Ha. Click to see all the boats!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Night Dive


How many of you have ever done a night dive? The ocean comes alive at night and many of the cool creatures come out at this time. Here is an excellent series of photos from a dive several years ago at Jim's Crack. Check it out.

Freeboard

One of the amazing things about snowboarding is the ability to move sideways over the mountain as well as change the position of your feet very quickly. Now if we could only translate that to a skateboard and create a snowboard feel on asphalt. Well now someone has! It's called Freeboard and it is about to turn the skateboard/snowboard community upside down. Checkout the vids here.

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Walk on Water with Corn Starch

Carina Nebula


(A nebula is an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen gas and plasma. It is the first stage of a star's cycle). A jewel of the southern sky, the Great Carina Nebula, aka NGC 3372, spans over 300 light-years, one of our galaxy's largest star forming regions. Like the smaller, more northerly Orion Nebula, the Carina Nebula is easily visible to the naked eye, though at a distance of 7,500 light-years it is some 5 times farther away. This stunning telescopic view reveals remarkable details of the region's glowing filaments of interstellar gas and dark cosmic dust clouds. The Carina Nebula is home to young, extremely massive stars, including the still enigmatic variable Eta Carinae, a star with well over 100 times the mass of the Sun. Eta Carinae is the bright star left of the central dark notch in this field.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Liz Clark - Sailing Surfer Girl


An atoll is the remains of an ancient volcanic island that has sunk back in to the sea over millions of years, leaving only a rim of the crater and/or part of the coral reef exposed above the ocean's surface. The shocking beauty found 'above the waterline' in the Marquesas had not disappeared in this next island chain--it had only been transformed into the glorious biodiversity and color of coral forests 'below' the sea. I chose to visit the less popular atolls. I dissolved into their remoteness and delighted in realizing how much I can live without as my supplies dwindled to all-time lows. The generosity and warmth from the locals were shocking. They were eager share their culture and to show me how they live. I dove in their fish pens and they taught me to husk coconuts. The kids played marbles in the dusty dirt roads and wove palm fronds instead of playing video games. I wandered along palm-lined beaches and waded into the turquoise lagoons of my dreams. Hermit crabs shuffled by while I studied the amazingly adapted atoll flora.

Continue reading.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Space Jumping

Forget about bungee jumping and hang gliding. The next adrenaline pumping daredevil stunt will be hurtling back to Earth by "space diving," if entrepreneurs and extreme sports enthusiasts have their way.

They are preparing skydives from the edge of space to beat a record set by Captain Joe Kittinger of the US Air Force in 1960, who jumped from an altitude of 20 miles, reaching a speed of around 700 miles per hour in his 13 minute descent to the ground.

They aim to start with a jump from 22 miles to break Kittinger's record, then build up to 57 miles, which would be the first true space jump. If everything works as planned, paying customers might be able to start their fiery descent from space as early as 2009.

Instead of jumping from the gondola of a helium balloon, as Kittinger did, New Scientist reports today that they will be bailing out from the nose-cone of a rocket ship, one of half dozen or so being developed to loft paying passengers into the heavens for a few minutes of weightlessness and a spectacular view of the Earth.

Armadillo Aerospace of Mesquite, Texas, has been developing a computer controlled vertical take-off, vertical-landing spacecraft for the tourist trade, and the Space Diver team thinks the craft could offer the perfect jumping-off point.

The diver would trigger an airbag, springloaded seat, or a small parachute to move away from the spacecraft as fast as possible, so as to avoid a collision as he tumbled into the abyss. Then it would be up to the spacesuit to make sure the he copes with frigid temperatures and near vacuum to return safely.

At an altitude of 20 miles, the air is so thin that there will be no rushing of air and little impression of falling. Gradually, as the air becomes denser, pressure against the diver's body will increase and air friction will heat the suit, which will contain a circulating liquid cooling system.

One problem under study is how to prevent divers from going into a spin, which could leave them unconscious. The team is still debating whether a head-first posture or the traditional spreadeagled horizontal position is likely to work best. Once within a mile or so of the ground, the main parachute will deploy automatically.

The craft will be commanded from the ground, so after the diver has ejected it will return to Earth automatically. By early next year, Space Diver aims to begin low-altitude tests with dummies, then people, starting at a modest altitude of about two miles. "We need to show that we can leave the vehicle safely," Tumlinson tells New Scientist.

Ultimately, Tumlinson aims to develop technology to allow astronauts to bail out of orbiting craft and return safely to Earth, for instance in small inflatable "lifeboats".

Sunday Sail


Have you ever had one of those perfect days on the boat? It was an amazing day to be on the SF Bay on Sunday. We had a very nice 75 degrees (very unusual), delightful 12- 15 knot winds from the north and deep blue skies all around. I was out with my two best friends and we were drinking it all in. The Addiction (our 30' Newport) was basking in the glow of a special day as well. 6-7 knots on the speedo with one hour tacks between SF and Richmond. I don't think it gets any better than this!

This is Gonna Hurt!

Deer Found Swimming 1.5 Miles Offshore


The catching was slow and they looked back to check their lines. They saw what appeared to be a seal with its snout out of the water, but they didn't think any seals were around their fishing grounds and they kept watching.

Soon they realized it was a deer trying desperately to keep afloat — and obviously losing the battle. Fearing the whitetail would get snagged in their lines they cranked in their rigs. Then the deer headed straight for the boat possibly thinking it was a spit of land.

But as it got closer and saw the two fishermen aboard, it had second thoughts. With its nose barely out of the water, it appeared to have been swimming all night, said Campbell. "Since the fish weren't biting, we thought we'd give it a hand. Bo grew up around cows, was really handy with a bow line and lasooed the deer on the first attempt."

They got it close, Bo grabbed the neck, Chad got a good hold on a flank and "we barreled over backwards to the deck -- and before we knew it, Bo was on top of the buck in velvet and had him hog tied like a calf."

Chad, said they feared the deer was going to "kick the hell out of us in a 22-foot center console boat," but they were lucky, it was too exhausted to resist, "We hit the gas and ran him to the closest beach, Kent Point, where I beached the boat and we carefully unloaded our catch on the sand. We untied him and jumped back.

"Too weak to stand, he just sat there quivering. We picked him up again and put his feet underneath him, but he still couldn't walk or stand. We left him sitting there looking at us. Before we left, I looked him in the eye and said 'See you on opening day; payback time.'