Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Shredin'


Surfer dude!

Solo Sailor Rolled Near Cape Horn

Glenn Wakefield, Canadian sailing adventurer who was attempting to be the first American to sail 'the wrong way' solo around the world, has rolled his boat and - after several days - made the decision to abandon his attempt in the Southern Ocean on the approach to Cape Horn. Wakefield started his sailing journey in September 2007, and was seven months into his trip, due to finish in July this year. The project had taken four years in the planning. When his Offshore 40ft sloop built by Cheoy Lee in Hong Kong rolled, it sustained major damage, and Glenn suffered concussion in the incident. Glenn recovered, but the boat's damage was severe. While still watertight and the mast still standing, the yacht had lost the dodger and a hatch cover. The boat also has discharged batteries, severely damaged self steering equipment and an inoperable engine. It had also lost its life raft and solar panels. The boat is extremely wet below from the roll, and water is now entering the boat through the missing hatch cover and down the companionway. At the time of the rollover the wind speed was 50 knots, in a 6 meter swell. It took Glenn several days to make the decision, at first maintaining that he could continue.

His intention was to make his way through Drake Passage and round Cape Horn at a distance of about 100 nautical miles. Once around Cape Horn, Glenn was to head out about 1000 miles into the Pacific and then up the coast of Chile recrossing the equator at about 135 degrees. From there he was to sail north to Hawaii and then east to the west coast of British Columbia returning to the Straits of Juan de Fuca and his home port of Victoria in July of 2008

Monday, April 28, 2008

BVI Wrap Up


It's a long way to SF from the BVI. We departed Beef Island at 10:30am and arrived home at 11pm (PDT) (2am BVI time). But we made it without any delays.

I wanted to tell you about my personal highlights of the trip:
1. Having a captain and chef aboard was wonderful. The food was always a treat and always topnotch. Having a captain allowed us to do and see twice as much, as he new where to go and what to skip. I know if I had been doing his job, it could have been more stress than I wanted.
2. Our Red Strip Regatta at Bitter End Yacht Club was a blast and a lot of laughs. A beautiful spot as well.
3. Everyone on the cat got along and had fun. Our whole crew and boat crew were a great match. It may have been the best trip ever taken in the BVI. I am checking the records and will let you know.
4. Sailing to and from Anegada. Both days we started off with low winds in the forecast. Both days we had fabulous sails with great weather.
5. The boat! What an amazing yacht. The sound system was Bose and there was a nice set of speakers under the first spreader. My favorite spot was laying on the hammock in the bow with the remote in my hand. We had a great selection of music and I could control the volume from the hammock. Our state room had a very large bed that allowed me to stretch out (I am 6'6"). We ate in the stern deck area at a table that accommodated us all.
6. The three dives we did were awesome. The highlight of course was the wreck of the Rhone.

We truly had a trip that exceeded all my expectations. Everything came together and we are very thankful for such an epic adventure in the BVI's. We highly recommend Sailingdirections.com for assisting in the planning phase and Voyage Yacht Charters for an outstanding boat and crew. Special thanks goes to Denis an Rita for all their hard work and for all the fun and great days on the azure waters of this very special place. Now go visit, ya'all!!!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Paradise



We spent the night at Salt Island. Early in the morn, we were tied to a mooring ball above the most famous wreck dive in the BVI. The 310' RMS Rhone went down in 1867 after a huge hurricane swept the area. Many died as the SOP of the day was to was to lash the passengers and crew to their beds. She sank quickly in about 30'-80' of water. The bow is still somewhat intact and one of the highlights of the dive. We dropped down to the bow and the vis was amazing at well over 100'. We quickly swam into the hull and thru a very large passageway which was the major corridor of the ship. I love diving caves so this was cool. We continued and saw a plethora of fish and sea life. This was one of the top dives in my life and I have been to many of the top dive spots around the world. We saw all the major sections and it was really beautiful. Next was a nice lunch on Peter Island in a lovely cafe. After, I swam out to the boat and saw my first Caribbean turtle. We headed over to Painted Walls for our last dive. Really neat rock formations, fish, another turtle and an arch to swim thru. Then it was nap time as we motored over to Norman island and the caves. We had a nice anchorage almost to ourselves. Dinner was filet mignon kabobs over rice noodles with our last of the sixty six bottles of wine that we brought for the trip. Yes we have some serious wine drinkers in our group!! Then we had a trip to the famous Willy T's floating pirate bar. We stuck around for a few and then headed back to boat as our group was pretty tired. When we arrived back at the boat, Rita (our gourmet chef) had put together a DVD of our trip set to sailing music. Really nice look back on all the fun we had over the last week. What a fab trip!!! Opps gotta go. The famous caves of Norman Island are calling to me like the sirens and Ulysses. Just got back from the snorkel and it just gets better and better. We are sailing into port as I type so I will wrap up the trip with the highlights upon my return to San Fran. Aloha!

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Deep

The RMS Rhone is where we are diving today. Remember this great movie?

Sublime


Yesterday we had a visit to The Baths. We arrived at 9am with a breakfast of Eggs Benedict and Bloody Mary's. Not too shabby. We swam in and this is an impressive display of granite. Apparently, a volcano deposited the non-native rocks to this location many ions ago. The lava has eroded away leaving house size boulders strewn about. The beach was pretty crowded as this is the most popular attraction in the BVI. We hiked through the rocks to Devil's Bay and then had a swim. Very cool hike but not very comfortable for a guy who is 6'6". In one instance you have to squat down to get into the small passage ways. I made it and it was worth it. The highlight for me was the snorkeling amongst the rocks. Beautiful fish, a ray and incredible formations of both coral and rock. We did the entire length of The Baths and it was fantastic. Very surgey but worth it. For dinner, the chef prepared a curry shrimp with snow peas that was scrumptious. Along with mojitos made with Panamanian rum. After a game of liars dice we hit the tramp in front of the boat for a peek at the Southern Cross and some shooting stars. If you haven't noticed we are having a fabulous time. Our crew is really making sure we are happy and having the time of our lives!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Epic


We departed Anegada with little wind in the forecast. It looked as though we had a long motor ahead of us. We cleared the reefs and guess what? Wind! It started at about 15 and peaked at 21!! We were flying at over 10kts. Our destination was Bitter End Yacht Club where we would pick up a mooring ball. We had to make a few tacks to get there and I helped with the sheets. Our boat is over 42 tons so it takes a good breeze to get us going. Don't even think about flying a hull. We arrived about 1pm and this is one beautiful part of Virgin Gorda. After a fine lunch of fish tacos (mahi mahi) we headed to the beach to rent a Hobie. We were told that we could have the 16' for a half our but that it had to be back by 4:30 for the beer can race. We did a tack across the bay and back and hit over 10kts. My brother in law Tom was taking us into the beach and your editor pulled a bonehead move! We were almost at the beach and I had given Tom instructions on how to slow the boat down before hitting the beach. We didn't slow down and we headed for a collision with another boat on the beach. I jumped off the bow and a line wrapped around my foot and I did a face plant on the beach and we hit the other boat. Oh boy. My pride was wounded but I was OK as was the other boat. We wanted to continue sailing but to do that we had to enter the race. I convinced Tom we should and we did. We had a small Hobie Wave that is cat rigged. We hit the starting line and had to sail to the upwind to the mark. There were four kinds of boats racing and we were the slowest. We hit the first mark in a tight rounding with 7 year old Jimmy in an Optimist. We had the angle and were closest to the mark, but Jimmy was right there and he hit us. I told him I would be protesting! :~} We rounded the down wind mark and as you passed the committee boat they handed you a beer! We headed up to the upwind mark clearly in last pace so I decided on a crew change. We headed to the Mothership and picked up two more crew. We joined in the second race midway through and now we are winning! Not for long as a Laser passed us on the down wind leg. We picked up three more beers and got ready for the last race. We hit the first mark and then sailed back by Secret Oasis. Dropped off one crew and then headed to the beach. As we were headed in, the last boat passed and the guy yelled "DFL". What does that mean? We got in to the beach and I asked him and he said "dead f**king last". And that we were. What a blast. Dinner was braised lamb and some Silver Oak Cab to finish the day. What a great day! Thursday we head to The Baths!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Gorgeous


We had our longest sail of the trip yesterday with 12-14 knot winds and SOG of 7-8kts. It was a fabulous sail to Anegada. The coral atoll is very low lying and has produced some very major wrecks (300) over the years. We got in no problem about 2:30, had lunch and sprint off to Loblolly Bay for some wonderful snorkeling. So many neat coral formations and amazing fish. Our best snorkel yet. Then it was back to the boat for hors d's and some margaritas. We had reservations at Potter's at 7:30. Fresh lobster is their specialty and we feasted. For desert they brought out a cool birthday cake with candles. Bridget and I are celebrating our 50th birthdays and hence this great trip with family and friends. Today we head back to Virgin Gorda and set ourselves up for a trip to the Baths. Can't wait!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

More Cow Bell!



My next boat name!

Nirvana


Click the map for a larger version.

Yesterday was a great day! We set out from Trellis Bay for some diving. Heading towards Virgin Gorda we could see the Baths in the distance. We arrived at a little bay and went off the The Chimney for a snorkel. Very nice rock formations and a good amount of fish. After lunch we did our first dive at the Invisables. 25-35 feet of depth and a nice pinnacle to circumnavigate. I didn't have enough weight on my belt so it was tuff staying down. I'll put more on for the next dive on the Rhone (wreck dive). For dinner we headed to Lee Bay on Great Camanoe Island. A delicious swordfish along with some wild rice for dinner and then a spirited conversation about 9-11 and more. Today we are off to Anegada for some snorkel and lobster dinner. Ciao for now.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Stunning


We woke up in a quiet anchorage with a perfect round deserted island just off the bow. We paddled over to explore and swim. The water is so blue and so warm. After breakfast we were hoping for wind. And we got some! About 15 knots off the beam. What a great sail. The captain said it was one of his best on this boat. We snorkeled at Monkey Cove and then had a nice lunch on board. Our destination for the night is the full moon party in Trellis Bay. After a nice dinner, we headed to the party. A steel drum band was banging it out. I requested Hot, Hot , Hot and they dove right in. The party went nuts with me leading the congo line and going right into a limbo contest. Yes we are having too much fun. Stilt walkers, fires on the water, and great folks having fun. What a great night. We finished up with a nice moonlight ride around the area.

Today we are off for some scuba in the area of the Dogs. More updates soon!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Bliss


This place is what a sailors dreams are made of. Warm, clear water, nice blue sky, and the landscape is stunning! We arrived at Voyage Yachts in Sopers Hole on Tortola without a hitch at 12noon. Our catamaran is amazing. Almost new, she has a great layout and is very comfy for the 10 of us. My two sisters and their husbands, Mark and Mary, Bridget (my wife) as well as the captain and chef are on board. Our first stop was a lovely beach on Jost Van Dyke. It's so nice to have a captain to take care of the details. After many bay and delta trips, I can appreciate the work that goes into a sailing adventure. It great to kick back and have another Painkiller while the captain sets the hook. We hit the beach and the Soggy Dollar was our first stop. Famous for their libations, we got a round and immediately commenced a spirited game Jungle Bocce. Shortly thereafter we headed back to the boat for a lovely dinner of pecan encrusted salmon over angel hair pasta. The evening flew by and we finished with a jam session on the trampoline up front. With Dennis on the guitar, and my sis Cyn on the flute, we sang and listened under an almost full moon. A perfect evening! Today we will head to Trellis Bay and get situated for the famous full moon party there. Throw in some sailing and snorkeling and we are looking pretty. TTFN!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Bon Voyage!


We depart for the BVI' on Friday for 10 days of epic sailing, scuba, fine foods and maybe a pain killer or three. This will be my first trip and very first sailing vacation. I have been dreaming about it for a very long time. Our 58' cat, Secret Oasis, is awaiting our arrival and she is pulling on her mooring lines ready to go!

Since our boat has onboard WIFI, I will be blogging about the trip right here on H2uh0. Look for updates and hopefully some cool pics from paradise. So check back in as we board the yacht on Saturday with a full moon party on Sunday.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Sailing Channel

By chance, I found a cool site for sailors that features videos covering a wide range of subjects. The vid i watched was about a very unique sailing couple you may already know about: Lin and Larry Pardey. They have sailed over 200,000 miles together on an engine less, home made boat. The video is about storm tactics. Sail on over to The Sailing Channel and check out more vids.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Voyage of Swell


Liz Clark is a 20 something sailor that is currently sailing the world in search of the perfect wave. She has found it many places already with no one out except her. What do you expect when you have a sailboat to get you to the most remote parts of the world? She left Santa Barbara two years ago and is now in the South Pacific. She is sailing solo at the moment but continues to meet cool folks who help her and ride the swell with her. Catch up with this great writer and surfer in her latest adventure.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

2008 Billabong Global Wave Challenge

On Friday they will announce the winners from this year. The categories are, Ride of the Year, Tube of the Year, Monster Paddle, and Monster Tube. The top riders will be in LA for the ceremony. The vid below is for the nominees for Ride of the Year ($50k to the winner!). Go to the Billabong XXL site to see all of the nominees from all the categories. Cowabunga!!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Wind - The Movie

Some call it the best sailing movie ever.

Audi Tri

Roots

The stand up paddle board is huge in Hawaii right now. Our boy Laird Hamilton gave it exposure and now it's the cool way to go. This was an early Hawaiian invention that is making a big comeback. Give it a try!

Monday, April 07, 2008

My First Mate - A Tribute


Click the pic.

Sierra Nevada passed into the sunset on Friday surrounded by his family. My 16 year old golden retriever was the best sailing buddy a guy could ask for. We have been sailing together since he was 4 months old. He was always eager to jump on board and go on another adventure. If it was a sun set sail or a 5 day trip on the Delta, Sierra loved to feel the wind and saying hello to the seals that swam by. He was a gentle, loving and very intelligent dog that will live in my heart forever. I will miss you boy!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Fool'em All


Click on the image to get full size.

Here's a quick and fun prank to play on your co-workers or friends for Fool's Day. When they go off to lunch, download this desktop photo and install it on their computer. When they return, apologize for the accident and say you have ordered them another. Let me know if it works!

Faster is Funner

Pool Slips and Falls

Free Diving with the Mammals

Gitana 13 to Japan


Click for a larger view.

The 110 foot cat has departed the bay and is off on an another record breaking run across the Pacific. Having just broken the old clipper route from New York to SF, the weather gods are smiling on the crew as they reel off mile after mile at speeds peaking in the 30 knot range. The boys at Lat38 had the ride of their life when they went out for a spin on this amazing record breaker. With wind speeds in the 15's, they went under the Gate and the boat explodes to 30 knots as they cracked off the main. Could you imagine? Wish I had an invite! Read the full report here.
Also, while you are there, sign up for 'Lectronic Laitude. The thrice weekly west coast sailing info email that will keep you up to date on the sailing world as it happens. It's free and fun!