Friday, August 28, 2009

Bonehead Move of the Week

A sailor pulls his boat out of the water to get it out of the way of a hurricane and then forgets he has a forty foot mast attached. At least he took the sails down!

Napa Cruise

Click the pic to enlarge

On Sunday my friend Tex and I will head up the Napa River for a few days. Tex has been on several trips to the delta with me as well as an earlier trip up to Napa in July of 2005. Its a great 9 mile cruise up river to the Napa Valley Marina and because of the direction of the river in relation to the prevailing north westerly winds, you can sail all the way up the river. We plan to take our bikes as the Carneros wine district is up that way and we can pedal to the wineries on Monday. If we really get ambitious we have a slip even further up the river at the Napa Valley Yacht Club on Monday night. We are both looking forward to the adventure and I plan to report from the water. Yesterday I tried tethering my iPhone to my computer via Bluetooth and it worked flawlessly. That should help keep me connected during our trip. Bon voyage!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sunday Sail

My sail buddy Dave and I went for a rocking sail over the weekend. We headed out about noon and the bay was already boiling. We started out with about 60% of the jib out and that was plenty. Up ahead at the Berkeley Circle the 505 World Championships were taking place. It was one of the colder summer days on the bay and I had to triple layer as the gusts were well over 30 and there was a bite to the air. Those guys on the 505's must have been in pain. We avoided the fleet on the way out. The wind continued to build as we headed out and we reduced sail at one point. By 1:30 we were over near the Richmond entrance and the wind had died. We tacked and even motored to get back to the windline. Once there it really filled in. As we headed back towards the pier we were really fighting it and I thought about heading in. No way. We continued and it was big waves and big fun. Finally turned home about 4 and started riding these three foot wind waves home. One wave really woke us up as it shook the boat and tried to swing the boat into a 180. I stopped the boat from doing that but it was an amazing burst of energy. We had to cut thru the fleet to get home but timed it so they didn't have to worry abut us. Even so, one of the race chase boats came over to make sure we did not interfere. Made it back to the dock and realized I was at the helm for the lat three hours and I was spent. What a day. Here is a short narrative from one of the 505er's out in the thick of it: "For the rest, it was a day of varied results. Conditions were so tough, that if you made it around without swimming, you would almost guarantee yourself a top 10 result. Some of the spectator boats said they recorded 40kn gusts though I am not sure that is true. There is no doubt it was high 20’s with gusts into the 30’s. At times you would be sailing upwind with no main and only the back third of the jib working and you would have to dump even that as a gust hit.

Again the courses were long for two race days. Around 1hr25 and 1hr35 and the conditions were cold. I was dressed with everything I wear in Adelaide through the middle of winter, plus another two layers and a beanie and I was having shivering fits on the sail home, an hour of mindless torture! On the water it was carnage. Rounding the top mark, boats were laid down everywhere; it looked like the aftermath of a squall. There were boats drifting under jib, waiting for a tow, there were boats separated from their crew who were desperately trying to swim back to them, there were shredded sails everywhere, there were boats without rudders, there were boats with snapped 3mm dyform side stays, there were so many boats without masts, it was inconceivable".

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

Tube Rides

Surfing brings you into the moment. It's right here right now. The pinnacle of surfing is getting tubed on a perfect wave (for me it was Zuma Beach - my first tube!). Some describe it as a feeling of returning to the womb. But actually it's much better because this is a womb with a view.

Cruising Family Does the Horn

Here a fantastic story of a cruising family that got tired of the heat in Fiji so they decided to head to the Cape for some cooler weather...Cape Horn that is. They went the Beagle Channel route and had some of the best sailing of their lives. Read about their adventure in a short article here.

Very Cool

Friday Flick

Video on the web has made some major jumps in the past few years. Now we have HD and plethora of vids on every subject available in every style imaginable. And yet we take it all so for granted. We have an amazing tool at our fingertips and so today let's appreciated the technology that has brought the art form into our laps!
Here is a nice time lapse vid set to the tune of "Learning to Fly" by Pink Floyd.

Timescapes Timelapse: Learning to Fly from Tom @ Timescapes on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Me = Local Hero?

I was out windsurfing at a local spot on the bay. I had two hours to play before getting to a wedding that I was the event planner at said wedding. Had a great session on the bay then sailed in and three boys were down by the dock asking me questions about sailing and my board. I didn't pay much attention to them as the hour was late and I had to go. I pack up and am starting the car when one of the boys runs up screaming for help. His two friends had fallen in the bay and were drifting away in the flooding tide. I run down to the dock, throw my glasses to the side and dive in for a rescue. I lifeguarded for about 6 years in my youth but had never put my skills to use. It was obvious that neither boy knew how to swim. I took a few strokes and grabbed the closest one. He was so exhausted he just kind of laid there while I gave him a cross chest carry back to the dock. Another sailor pulled him up. I looked back and yet another sailor was trying to rescue the other boy. He was not a swimmer and now he needs help and is yelling for it. I quickly swim out and grab the other boy and bring him in. Two rescues in one day! The other sailor makes it back to the dock and we both check out the boys. They are both breathing and sitting up so they are going to be OK. I look for my glasses and in the confusion someone had stepped on them and they are toast. I call the bride and tell her I am going to be late and she says no problem. As I am leaving, here comes the fire truck/EMT and the calvary as well. I drive off and head to the wedding. Still waiting for the mayor to call and offer the keys to the city!

AC Bonehead Move

According to the Italian news agency ANSA, the tender pictured in the photo below is related to BMW Oracle and its mission is to follow the daily sea trials and tests of Alinghi 5, as close as possible, and gather all the necessary intelligence that could help the American team's designers learn as much as they can about the Defender's yacht.

As our friends at ZeroGradiNord report, it appears that the same tender was involved in an incident with a local fisherman yesterday, when in their eagerness to follow the Swiss catamaran they ignored all basic safety rules and rammed into him, cutting his boulter, as the ANSA agency reports.

According to the the fisherman, he was 600 meters from the coast, on his own tender, trying to recover his boulter when he saw Alinghi 5 and the rest of the Swiss tenders coming towards him. While the entire Swiss "fleet" maneuvered and passed him safely, the female driver of the BMW Oracle-related spy tender kept her course, ignored his horn signals and rammed into his boulter while he had to swiftly maneuver his own tender in order to avoid a collision. Always according to his statement, the alleged spy tender sped away while one of Alinghi's tenders got back to check whether he needed any help.

Finally, the BMW Oracle-related tender returned half an hour later and one Italian man aboard tried to apologize for what had happened. The fisherman wanted to "stress the incivility and impropriety of certain behaviors in the sea".

This is getting funny...

Bonehead Race Moves

This race is sponsored by the local boat repair yard. Doh!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Love this Vid!

via Sailing Anarchy

Solo Sail to the Cove

Had a nice couple of sails the other day I wanted to share with you. I had Kona and we are puppy sitting his sister Carmen for a month. She had never sailed before and it turned out she loved it out there. We took off about 10am and the wind was already at 15k. We headed towards Tiburon and had a splendid sail across the bay with only a handful of other boats out. We anchored for lunch in Paradise Cove and highly recommend this spot as it is glassy and warm over there. This on the east side of Tiburon and lovely. Did a swim on the hull to check the bottom. Looking good. We had a problem a few years ago when the guy that cleans the bottom sent me a bill for his services and he did not scrub. After an irate call from me, he does not do that anymore! You should check your bottoms as well after a scrub (pun intended). Then it was over to Sam's for a beer. Had to wait about 15 minutes for a spot to open up. A large yacht passed right by me just as the folks were pulling out and he takes my spot. I let him know I was waiting and he was nice enough to pull forward. Had a beer and then took off for home. Winds were a strong 25 and the windsurfers were all around me near Treasure. Got back in around 5pm and took a good long time to clean and put the boat to bed. Another great day on the bay!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Jerry & Bob on Letterman from 1982

It has been 14 years since Jerry passed on to the great blue yonder. Found this cool clip of these two doing Deep Elem on Letterman. Very few bands were playing this type of music in the 80's and making a go of it. As Bill Graham once said, "They are not the best at what they do, but they are the only ones doing it". Enjoy the tune!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

It's All Good!

Listen up! The best way to get all the sailing news all the time is with this handy link below. Don't know who put the reader list together but it brings some of sailings best blogs together on one page, with all the latest posts. Yes some items are from Italy and France but the pics and vids are great. No matter, it's all about sailing. Click the link and then bookmark it and put it on your menu bar of your favorite browser. It's a great way to catch all the great posts with just one click! And now for the link!

From the Archives - Sailing the SF Bay

Someone asked me what its like to sail on the bay. In the summer, its cold and very windy. Remember that famous Twain quote? "The coldest winter I ever spent was the summer in San Fran". It's very true. The wind blows 20-35 most of the time. When we sail in the summer, long pants and layers are the norm. With a backdrop of mountains, the Golden Gate Bridge, the city skyline and throw in some famous islands (Alcatraz and Angel) and you have got one of the most beautiful sailing venues in the world. The fog thundering down the hills above Sausalito is fantastic. Sailing thru the "slot" as the winds approach 40 knots. Having lunch and resting peacefully at anchor in the lee of Angel Island (and swimming in 64 degree water). Many people don't realize that before this area was covered with ocean and bay, the mighty Sacramento River flowed out the gate and created this majestic topography. With a very cold ocean and a very hot inland valley, the wind sucks thru the gate with amazing force. If you don't know what you are doing, you can get in trouble quickly. And just outside the gate, it can get tricky with areas like the Potato Patch and currents running at 6 knots in very large seas. The Pacific in our area has been known for it's treacherous waters since the first Spanish explorers discovered the bay in 1775. Juan de Ayala was the first known sailor to find the bay. Apparently, explorers sailed right by the entrance for 100 years before Juan took a turn inside the bay. If you have never sailed the bay, do yourself a favor and try it!! But be sure to have a good boat and someone who knows what they are doing!

Pale Blue Dot

Pics of the Day

Click the pic to make it bigger.

Bora Bora Hit and Done

It's often been said that sailors are safer in mid-ocean than near shore. That was certainly the case Tuesday night, when an out-of-control speedboat slammed into two Pacific Puddle Jump boats which were moored at the Bora Bora YC — normally, one of the most tranquil places imaginable.

The first boat hit was the Cape Mendocino-based Nor’Sea 31 Eva, sailed by skipper Michael Traum and his dad, Gerald. "We were below, sitting at the settee," recalls Michael. "I heard the launch coming fast through the anchorage. I could tell he was going to come close to us, and I thought, 'Another crazy pangero planing through a crowded anchorage at night.'" (The Traums had been in the La Cruz, Mexico, anchorage in February of '07 when a pangero slammed into an anchored sailboat and was killed.) "Then wham! The impact was intense; it heeled us over and spun us around a bit. Some items fell off shelves that had stayed in place for all our ocean passages." The sturdy cruiser was holed near the rub rail, but is certainly repairable.

By the time Mike and his dad scrambled up on deck, the driver had restarted his powerful outboard. He then tore off into the night. Seconds later, however, the lightweight speedboat T-boned the Seattle-based Baba 40 Yohelah, notching its bow over the heavily laid-up cruiser's caprail. The driver, who is suspected to have been drunk, was launched into the small boat's windshield, badly lacerating his arm.

At this writing, the process of repairing both boats has begun, and the French gendarmes are completing their investigation. Rob and Teresa have been impressed by the professionalism of the local authorities and want to stress that, "The Bora Bora Yacht Club is not a dangerous place to moor. This was hopefully a very isolated incident by a single person using exceptionally bad judgement."

From Latitude 38

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Back in 86' I was on the east coast for a year working with my dad in the plastics biz. I had been surfing for 15 years at that point and windsurfing for a couple. I was so into sailing, I decided to start a windsurfing club called Windpower. Windsurfing was really taking off at that point and with a little marketing and word of mouth, I had 25 members and counting by the time May rolled around. I sent out a newsletter each month and announced the upcoming trips as well as rehashed the past trips. We hit sailing hot spots in PA, DE, MD and more. We were all 20 somethings looking for wind! The highlight of the summer was a September trip to Dewey Beach in southern Delaware. We stayed at a members house and the group arrived Friday night. We were out on the deck and the wind was blowing over 20. I mentioned a night sail and the group loved the idea. We hadn't unpacked our gear so it was get in the car and go. Someone had some glow sticks which was a great way to see the other sailors so we attached them to the masts. We took off into the darkness on Rehobeth Bay and soon we were flying in the dark. I was loving it and stayed out much longer than anyone else. This was to be my first of many night sails as I love being out there in the dark. My senses come alive and so do I. Shortly after midnight I came in and the rest of the group applauded me as I approached the bar of the Rusty Rudder. What a great night and what a great idea in starting this club. After the year was over, I moved back to Cali and my windsurfing really took off on the SF bay. This year marks my 25 year of sailing!! And I am still very passionate about this sport that allows me to fly over the water, whether it be on a board or a boat.

A Little Too Windy

Here's to the Crazies

Human powered watercraft have been around since the beginning. With technology in the forefront, thing have taken off...literally. Here is a site for all things on the water powered by people. Check it here.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Have a Great Weekend!

Welcome Aboard!

Sailors crossing any ocean in the world are accustomed to finding flying fish on the deck in the morning, but how surprised was a Florida family the other day when a 6ft long 120 pound bottlenosed dolphin leapt into their boat.

Groups of frolicking dolphins are a familiar sight in the waters of Big Marco Pass to the east of Marco Island in Florida. Last week, one of the dolphins apparently didn't notice the boat in the vicinity, and after leaping into the air and doing a complicated turn, he landed directly on the boat’s deck.

The dolphin was stunned and no doubt very surprised at his new surroundings, but unhurt, and the crew of the boat couldn't believe their eyes.

“It was unbelievable,” said 66 year old Dee Boge. “We were like ‘Oh my god, oh my god, how are we going to get this dolphin off my boat.”’

Unable to move the dolphin themselves, Dee called for help from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, who advised them to keep the dolphin wet and calm.

She then took the boat quickly to a nearby boat ramp, where the authorities arrived to take over.

Rookery Bay officials treated the dolphin, weighed it, then used a stretcher to return the heavy dolphin, by then nicknamed “Lucky”, back into the water. The dolphin seemed to be unfazed by the experience, and swam away unhurt.

Captain Jayson Horadam with Florida Fish & Wildlife says told NBC that calling this a rarity would be an understatement.

'I have never, ever heard of a bottle-nosed dolphin landing in a boat like this in 20 years,' he said.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Dramatic Rescue on the Hudson

The director of the "Bourne Identity" helped in a Hollywood-style rescue on the Hudson, plucking three people from the river after a cargo ship slammed their speedboat.

Doug Liman and four movie-making pals were on his sailboat celebrating the wrap of a new film early Wednesday when they spotted the ship speeding toward a tiny vessel.

"We were like, 'That ship is heading right toward it,'" Liman, 43, told the Daily News. "It must see that boat."

On the 40-foot motorboat, Manhattan salon owner Daniel Rechelbacher was enjoying a serene meal with three pals just before 1 a.m.

The night descended into chaos when he spotted the black cargo ship - 250 feet long, 50 feet tall, with no lights - rushing toward them.

"It was pretty ... scary," Rechelbacher said. "It was coming up on us so fast."

Rechelbacher and two of his friends jumped into the Hudson and narrowly avoided getting run over by the ship.

It smashed into and crushed the side of the motorboat - and kept going.

One of Rechelbacher's pals, a woman, remained aboard and was tossed off the boat during the collision, but miraculously sustained only a deep cut on her foot.

From the vantage point of his sailboat, Liman saw the motorboat's light go out as the cargo ship closed in.

He was about to dock at Pier 40 near Houston St. but instead gunned the engine and headed back out into the water.

The sailboat's owner, producer Avram Ludwig, went out on the bow and scoured the dark, choppy waters.

"I didn't think we'd find anyone," Liman said.

As Liman started stripping off his clothes, he and his fellow boaters heard the cries of four people flailing in the water, clinging to the capsized speedboat.

They radioed for help and Ludwig leaped to action, grabbing a life ring and helping Rechelbacher and two women into the sailboat.

Rechelbacher's other pal, the speedboat's captain, refused to swim away from his crushed vessel and remained there until Fire Department boats arrived.

Liman and Ludwig took the shaken boaters to the shore. They spent five hours at St. Vincent's Hospital Manhattan, but were released in good condition.

As he left the emergency room, shirtless and disheveled, Rechelbacher thanked his saviors.

"They're guardian angels," he said.

Liman called the experience surreal.

"I make action movies for a living," said the director, who also helmed "Swingers" and "Mr. & Mrs. Smith."

"If I had Jason Bourne survive that, people would start throwing popcorn at the screen .... These people were extremely lucky."

Cops said the cargo ship's operator likely never saw the speedboat. No criminality was suspected, a spokesman said.

Officials said cargo ships have the right of way.

Seamaster Series

Watch Seamaster Sailing Episode Oct04.test in Sports  |  View More Free Videos Online at

Slip and Fly!

Bonehead Move of the Month

Pics of the Day

A New Tender for your Sailboat?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

New Record for Atlantic Crossing

Both maxi-trimarans, Banque Populaire V and Groupama 3 have crossed the Atlantic in under 4 days, shattering the previous record that had been held by Franck Cammas on Groupama 3.

Pascal Bidegorry, on Banque Populaire V crossed in 3 days 15 hours 25 minutes 48 seconds to become the new record holder.

Cammas crossed in 3 days 18 hours 12 minutes and 56 seconds, bettering his previous fastest time by 9 hours 44 minutes.

Way to go guys!

Bike Could Be Great For Cruisers

Monday, August 03, 2009

Morning Light For Rent on iTunes

I watched ML on Friday night thru my Apple TV on the big screen and really enjoyed it. It's a bit reality show but comes off great in the end as they race to the finish. To film the movie on the water, the took Steve Fossett's old boat Playstation and took off the mast and used the cat to follow the action across the pond. Some of the scenes of the ocean were beautiful and there was enough action to keep you watching. If you love sailing, you will enjoy this film. Rent it through iTunes today!

24 hour Sailing Record Set

If you think you've had a good day when you cover 200 miles, it's hard to get your head around the numbers. French skipper Pascal Bidegorry and his Banque Populaire V trimaran on Saturday covered 880 nautical miles in 24 hours, to set a new record...then they set another and another

The 12-man crew covered the 880 nautical miles at an average speed of 36.66 knots by 06:00GMT Saturday morning to beat the previous mark of 843.7 achieved just three hours earlier by compatriot Franck Cammas.

Then, incredibly, in the space of 10 hours they beat the record eight times! With 907 miles covered in 24 hours, Maximum Banque Populaire V is the new holder of the record with an average of 37.79

It must have been disappointing for Cammas, who with his Groupama 3 crew at 03:00GMT set a new record which beat the previous mark of 784.4 nautical miles which they had achieved in July 2007.

The two yachts had been attempting to break the record for crossing the north Atlantic, a distance of 2,925 nautical miles (5,417 km) between Ambrose Channel, off New York, and Lizard Point in south-west England.

Cammas and Groupama 3 have held that record - of 4 days, 03 hours, 57 minutes and 54 seconds (average: 29.26 knots) - since July 24, 2007.