Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Irony is Ironic

About a week ago I wrote about fixing our old boat.  Then a few days later, we had our furler come down due to a failed casting at the top of the mast.  One of my partners hit something and the furler broke off.  More to fix!  It may be a while till we are on the water.  I am off to the Brittney coast of France to explore their maritime heritage and explore the region.  It would be great if a sailing opportunity presents itself.  The Bay of Biscay is a sailors paradise!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Best of Burning Man

The Bioluminesent Slug - our camp's two story art car 2014 sound machine!
I attended last years edition of Burning Man in Black Rock Desert.  My wife and I joined 30 other burners in a camp called High Maintenance.  Each night, part of the group prepared a gourmet dinner with fine wines.  It was amazing.  The highlight was our art car.  Charlie manned the helm each day and night for our pilgrimage to the Playa.  We picked up random strangers and gave them a ride to where ever we were going.  We met all sorts of people that were ecstatic to be at this extravaganza.  We even picked up a wedding party and took them to a make shift chapel and they got married as we blasted the tunes.  If you are on the fence about going...I say go!  It will be the best thing you ever did!

Scott London has been documenting the festival for the last 10 years.  He has done an outstanding job of picking the right lighting, contrast and background.  Check out his photo library here.

Here are a few samples of his fine work.

Friday, June 12, 2015

15 Years of Repairing a 34 Year Old Boat

We purchased Addiction in 2000.  At that time, she was 19 years young (1981, she was built in Long Beach, Ca) and had 3 previous owners.  She was in pretty good shape but there were issues on the horizon.  The folks we bought her from seemed to have let her sit for long periods.  Once we started taking her out for long day sails on the winds of the San Francisco Bay, things started to break and fail.  It seemed every time we went out, some thing happened that would need repair or replacement.  First it was the water pump to say "no mas".  Then the batteries, and eventually the rudder needed a major overhaul.  The big projects (meaning expensive) have been the "butt cut" on the mast (a corroding base needed 4' taken off to be replaced by a hard material), a new dodger, roller furling, and finally a new engine (electric now).  It's been a long process and things continue to break, just on a less frequent basis.  If you add it up, I guesstimate we have spent an average of $9000 per year over the last 15 years for the care and feeding of our 30 foot sailboat.  That's $135k!  And this is a very modest sailboat.  The good news is, we have 6 partners to share the expenses.   We have old sails and we do much of the repairs ourselves (including taking out the old engine and installing our electric power plant).  It's been an amazing journey and we have had the time of our lives with this wonderful vessel.  The bottom line is:  I can not imagine my life without this boat!  I look so forward to my days on the water and the good times and incredible sailing grounds of this unbelievable body of water we live on.  The combination of wind, mountains, bridges, fog, cityscape, and natural beauty are unmatced anywhere on our planet!

I plan to make a video of some of the major repairs and will post it here on Monday.

Addiction on the 2012 Delta Doo Dah Rally 
Sidenote:  This picture almost ended up on the cover of Lat38.  We were trumped by a little race pic taken on the bay called...America's Cup!

The Winsurfing Movie

Found this gem on youtube.  There is also a II movie out there.  Enjoy!

Warriors win game 4 to even the series.  Welcome back home boyz!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Better Than the Movie "Wind"?

Received a note from Rob:

Better than Wind
I recently watched a movie on Youtube called Turning Tide. It was a French film, beautifully captioned into English about the Vendee Globe Race.  It was easily the best ocean race cinematically filmed I have ever watched. It beat the heck out of “Wind” not to mention the Robert Redford disaster that was a joke hardly worth the price of admission.  Turning Tide is about 90 minutes long and it’s a feast for any offshore racer’s eyes.
- Rob Peters; Halifax, Nova Scotia
 Check it out and send a comment. 

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Monster Multi's

Lots excitement and chatter about our home team:  The Golden State Warriors!  The team has been riding a wave of success over the last 8 months.  We have been so mediocre for the last 40 years that this is a momentous occasion.  I watched most of the games this year on TV and this team is exciting to watch.  Because their bench is so deep, Lebron is going to have his hands full.  And check out the defense of the Dubs.  It's going to be a great series.  Warriors in 5!

I am off to San Diego this weekend for a work gig.  99% of our events are in the bay area.  Should be a great trip with a pool party, beach party, food truck bonanza and more.  About a 9 hour drive...but I love road trips.  Fair winds.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Ted's Great Race - 79' Fastnet Race

The 1979 Fastnet race was the twenty-eighth Fastnet race, a yachting race held generally every two years since 1925 on a 605-mile course from Cowes direct to the Fastnet Rock and then to Plymouth via south of the Scillies. In 1979, it was the climax of the five-race Admiral's Cup competition, as it had been since 1957.
A worse-than-expected storm on the third day of the race wreaked havoc on over 306 yachts taking part in the biennial race, resulting in 18 fatalities (15 yachtsmen and 3 rescuers). Emergency services, naval forces, and civilian vessels from around the west side of the English Channel were summoned to aid what became the largest ever rescue operation in peace-time. This involved some 4,000 people including the entire Irish Naval Service's fleet, lifeboats, commercial boats, and helicopters.

Monday, June 01, 2015

AIS on Your Phone

AIS (Automatic Identification System) has been a nice addition to the boating world.  It provides a chart with ship and boat locations as well as info about the vessels.  Many recreational boats have them as well as the big ships, which are required to have them.  You can download Shipfinder for both iPhones and Android.  It has saved me a couple times on the SF Bay.  When I see a ship coming thru the Gate, I fire up SF on my iPhone and it tells me which port the boat is heading to, speed, origin and what type of credit card the Captain uses (kidding about the last one).  Anyway, if the boat is heading my way, I can take evasive maneuvers way before it gets close.  With these monsters moving between 14-16 kts, it's nice not to have to tangle with them.  I also got into a foggy situation in the middle of the night and it was great to be able to "see" what was around me.  Combining that with my nav app, iNavx, we knew where we were in relation to Alcatraz and Angel Island.  Peace of mind is a wonderful thing.  If you sail a bunch or if you get out only a few times a year, this is a great app to have in your back pocket.  You must have cellular reception for this to work on your phone.  I plan to install a real AIS package on my next boat for our sail to New Zealand.  There are two types of systems.  One is just a transponder and the other is a receiver and transponder.  I hope to get the latter.