Thursday, December 07, 2017

The Big Ugly

Went out on a big wind day on Monday and got caught in some 40 knot gusts.  Pretty scary but we survived.  Our jib furler got jammed and we could not get all of the jib down.  After an hour we tore a bit of the jib and she will need repairs.  The boat did just fine in those conditions.

Friday, December 01, 2017

Charter Boat Caught in 70 knot winds

Pics of the Week

Had an amazing solo sail today.  Winds were 8 or so when I hit the bay.  Had a few tacks to get out in the central bay.  Wind was building to 10 and I thought about going out the Gate if things got better.  Wind changed dirction and more westerly so I head north abit.  The wind speed is hitting 14 as we bash back towards Treasure Island.  Once behind the island the waves calm down and we are on a beam reach.  As I head towards the barn, the wind continues to build and almost hits 20.  We tack and head out once more hitting 7.5 knots on the GPS. Very little pressure on the wheel so I lock it and off she goes.  It's truely amazing how good this boat feels.  We tack one last time for a sunset ride to the channel.  The forecast had been 5 and we got 20!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Trying to Save a Sinking boat

This catamaran couple are in the middle of nowhere in OZ and they have hit a reef.  The rudders went up thru the hull and now she is taking on tons of water.  They put together 3 or 4 vids of their ordeal that you can view.  This is a heartbreaker as the boat is slowly going down.

Best of Burning Man

Wow! My 3rd Burning Man was spectacular.  We had an amazing camp with an art car that was out of this world.  There was a managable 30 burners in our camp at Black Rock (about 2 hours north east of Reno).  We had a shady camp with a couch hangout spot and one long table for the meals.  My friend Chris and I went out every afternoon and hit the bars and music venues.  At night, after a wonderful meal, we took out the "slug" and rambled thru the playa.  All 30 of us, plus a few friends could fit on the art car.  One night, we were in deep playa and one of the other large art cars broke down.  There were 20 kids aboard and 12 adults.  We rescued them and somehow fit an additional 32 more people aboard.  Most went on top of our double-decker.  Here is a collection of pics that will illustrate the wonders of BM.

 This 12' bear is made up entirely of pennies!

 For more in-depth look at the art and people, checkout this sublime slideshow

Bonus photo: here is our vehicle of choice when we attend the week-long festival.  The Bioluminescent Slug is a two story mutant.  Downstairs are bar stools and the DJ set up.  Upstairs is an open deck with a stripper pole!  It also gives you a great vantage point above the crowd.  Good times indeed!!

Here is my favorite vid about going to see the Man burn!

Here is an interesting comment from the web:  Decommodification, Community Participation and Self-Reliance are among leading principles of Burning Man. The idea is to live without separation and alienation and to become more openly involved with each other. This is supposed to be much different from today's society. But, Burning Man wouldn't and couldn't exist without today's high-tension, high-tech environment. Efforts to prepare for, arrive at and participate in Burning Man couldn't happen if not for today's frenetic society. In addition, since it began, more and more millionaires/billionaires are attending who bring their high-tech, wealthy and separated world into Burning Man. The organizers have found a way to justify and rationalize this intrusion though their justification goes against the grain of Burning Man principles. Basically, you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Help Us Save The Internet!!

Hey Gang,

We need your help to keep the internet as it is.  Please go to the website at the end of this text and take a look.  At the very least, scroll down to John Oliver's video on the subject.  We cannot let the FCC monopolize the internet.  You will be very unhappy if this plan goes forward.  And it will be very costly to you as well.  The website will make it very easy to call your congressperson and a script to let them know you donot approve.  Take a few minutes to do this today.  We only have a few more weeks to let them know our feelings.  Thanks.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Big Wednesdays

Had a bunch of rain on Thursday for the first big storm in CA.  The ski resorts opened in the Sierras this weekend to 4'-6' of new pow!  Winter is around the corner.  This weekend has been beautiful with mid 60's during the day.  Going sailing today with a few friends and my wife.  I think she likes the new boat as she never sails.  Gonna be fun!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Haha Blog Post

After 6 Haha's I decided not to attend this years Haha.  I just purchased a new boat and I felt like I had learned a bunch from my previous adventures down the coast of Mexico.  I found a blogger on line who is posting updates and here is one of his posts form the Haha:

Two days of excellent sailing — 14 to 20 knots of breeze on the quarter, the spinnaker up from sunrise to dusk — let us cover the 200-plus miles from Turtle Bay to Bahia Santa Maria in 37 hours.
That’s the good news. Running without engines and with the autopilot doing the heavy lifting left Meriweather’s battery bank fatigued. Over night, we turned off the Seawind 1190’s fridge and freezer, and during the day, we kept the solar panels on the bimini as clear of shadows as possible. Any extras — phones, computers, Iridium Off! — were turned off and stowed. The peace and quite was appreciated by kit and crew alike, but still, the battery bank lost steam. What was needed was a good long day of no work and plenty of sun to recoup lost amps, and it turns out our landfall, literally in the middle of nowhere, was the perfect place to do it.
Bahia Santa Maria is a jewel. The entrance is around a bold head formed by Cabo San Lazaro and Punta Hughes, sometimes called Punta Huge because of its oft impressive surf point break. We arrived at 2030, and after motoring the last mile or so into the anchorage, dropped the hook an hour later.
A good number of boats were ahead of us, and their anchor lights made the broad cove look like a small city. We dropped the hook in near shore, where the high bluff and beach meet. Thankfully we were well off the beach and the impressive breaking waves that immediately caught our attention in the morning.
Arrival day in Santa Maria was dedicated to rest and relaxation. Kurt, Randy and I ventured out in the inflatable with strict orders from Skipper Steve not to flip the tender and soak his Honda outboard. Instead of attempting a landing in the surf, we motored just out of the swell along the beach, where Kurt and Randy jumped into play in the waves. I remained with the boat and watched the pelicans dive for fish, a handful of surfers catching waves and the nail-biting gyrations of the few inflatables that did try and land on the sand.
I will miss the 25th running of the Haha next year as well.  We will be in San Diego on my boat that weekend but my wife and I are celebrating 25 years of marriage that falls right in the middle of the Haha.  The good news is, we will be meeting a ton of the folks before and after the Haha on our way to Australia.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Sunday Rendevous!

Well I have been so blessed to be able to enjoy this lovely body of water with my best friends.  A few times a month, I get to take some old friends and enjoy their company on the San Francisco Bay.  To make this happen, every Sunday or Monday, I send an email blast to folks that haven't been out in a while.  Some respond, some are too busy or not interested.  The ones that do come out, have one of their best days of their month!

Yesterday was a fine example!  We are still in the celebration mode of a new boat!  It been a little over a month since the purchase (2001 40' Jeanneau) and we are having a ball!!  I invited out several of my oldest friends, plus a few new ones.  We hit the end of the channel about noon at 5.5 knots and the 56 hp Yanmar is humming softly.  We had 7 on board plus a canine named Kona.  There was no wind so we motored 2 miles to the end of the Berkeley Pier.  It's 7-8 out of the south.  We raise the sails and go on a slow reach towards Angel, about 4 miles away.  It takes a couple hours of drifting and sailing to get close to the island.  Getting lots of compliments on the new to me boat.  Sure enough, about 2pm, the wind picks up to 12 and we are moving.  We take off on a beautiful 5 knot run towards the city.  You just can't beat the dramatic views of Mt. Tam, the Golden Gate Bridge, the city front and the mountains of Napa in the distance.  Soon after, we started our downwind run to the barn.  It takes a good hour but how sweet it is! We got in shortly after 4pm and savor this amazing moment in time.  Does it get any better??

 We are loving life and the boat!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Flying High

Getting ready for a big sail over the weekend with a bunch of friends.  Full report on Monday.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Monday, November 06, 2017

Our Grand Adventure to OZ!

It's getting closer!  Our departure date for Australia is 10 months away!  Here is a quick checklist:

1) Purchase the boat.  Picked up a 2001 40' Jeanneau with 3 cabins last month.  She is as beautiful as she is fast!

2) Crew for the one year journey.  Tex and Mike will be onboard for our adventure.

3) Add cruising gear to the boat. AIS, solar, spinnaker, life raft, etc. will be added in January.

4) Take the boat up and down the Pacific coast for some trial sails.  Plan to do that once all the safety gear is added.

5) Once we arrive in Brisbane, Australia - sell the boat and fly home.  I have a top broker lined up.

Here is our itinerary:

I have been dreaming about this voyage for over 30 years.  And now the dream is becoming a reality.  We hope to have friends and family join us along the way.  At Burning Man this year, I met a chap who has sailed around the world several times.  He will join us for the first month or so and give us insights into a successful/safe cruise.  It will be great to have him on board.

We plan to document our radical sabbatical on these pages and I hope you will follow us as we hit some of the most beautiful landfalls on the planet.  They call the sail from the eastern Pacific to the western Pacific the Coconut Milk Run.  Here are some highlights of our trip:

6 weeks cruising Cali and the islands off Santa Barbara.  The Channel Islands offer amazing anchorages just off the LA Basin.

3 months in Mexico.  It's a huge country with many beautiful places to anchor.  We will be in Puerto Vallarta for 3 weeks to meet friends for sails, fun and parties.

An 18 -22 day passage from Central America to the Marquesas and over 3000 miles.

3 months in the South Pacific including a 3 week stop in Bora Bora to meet more friends in paradise.

Cook Islands, Niue, Fiji, Tonga and many of the amazing islands on the route.

An October arrival in Australia.

Wish us a bon voyage!!!

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Captain Bonehead!

Who comes into a crowded anchorage with both sails up?  Oh yeah, this guy?

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Pics of the Week

Great Weekend of Sails

My friend Andy was in town and needed to get on the water for the weekend.  We headed up to the boat and hit the water about 3pm.  It was 18-20 out there and we were excited to take Aquarius out for a spin.  We spent a few hours getting out into the best part of the bay.  It was a great sail and one we did not want to end.  We came in as the sun set with big grins on our faces. 

Saturday, we had a crew of Mike, Mike, Andy and Tex.  It was light to start but built into the 20's.  The winds built into the mid 20's and we took lunch at Clipper Cove.  Kona needed a break and we paddled over to the beach.  Kona just loves romping around and fetching the stick.  Back at the boat, we head out once more.  Back at 5 for some Halloween activities and our first BBQ on the boat. 

Sunday was the best day.  Winds were a little lighter but in the mid teens.  Andy, Tex and I headed towards the city front for a long tack to Angel Island.  The music was just right as was the convo.  We found a slip and also found some water in the v-berth.  I cleaned that up and found the issue.   We headed to the picnic grounds for some Bocbee.  That's a game where we play Frisbee Golf and Bocce at the same time.  Very fun.  We hit the water once last time for the run home.  Out of the lee of Angel and we take off for a nice run home.  What a great weekend of sails.  I am loving the new boat!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Duran Duran Rio Yacht Back in Action

Panerai CEO Angelo Bonati first spotted the ketch Eilean in Antigua in 2006, poking out of the mangroves in the island’s English Harbour.
The 72-foot boat was rotting, rusted and worm-ridden; termites had polished off its two masts. The ship had, he admits, “clearly seen better days.”
A keen sailor, Bonati noticed an unusual emblem carved onto the Eilean’s hull: a dragon. He immediately recognized it as the crest of William Fife Jr., the Scottish luxury yacht builder who is legendary among sailing connoisseurs for the caliber of his vessels.
“When I saw the well-defined dragon, I realized this was a Fife,” Bonati tells Alexa. “It was still recognizable, despite the boat’s poor general condition.”
Smitten, Bonati grew even more intrigued as he began negotiating to buy the foundering craft. He learned it was built in 1936 — the same year Panerai undertook its first oceangoing endeavors, creating special prototype watches for the Italian navy on the eve of WWII.
The boat was also featured in Duran Duran’s video for “Rio,” which was shot in Antigua in 1982.
Yet after a ferry collision in 1984 and a string of bad luck, the Eilean barely resembled the slick craft from the “Rio” shoot. Rehabilitating it, Bonati knew, would be an arduous, expensive task.
“The vessel was undoubtedly in poor condition,” he recalls. “But [I realized] it would be possible to restore her while preserving a substantial part of the original materials.”

He entrusted the project to one of the world’s foremost shipyards, in Viareggio, Italy, on the coast of Tuscany. There, master craftsmen at the Francesco del Carlo boatyard worked painstakingly on the ship’s composite Burmese teak planking and zinc-plated metal skeleton, using a single tree from Alaska to bolster the bowsprit, boom and mizzenmast.
It took 40,000 hours, but they were able to return the Eilean to its former glory as a handsome ketch that had easily made 36 Atlantic crossings.
After an official rededication ceremony and relaunch at the Italian navy’s facility at La Spezia — Fife’s descendants were on hand to cheer it on — the ship miraculously returned to the racing circuit in 2009.
These days, the Eilean serves as the anchor of Panerai’s 12-year-old Classic Yachts Challenge and is sometimes used by nonprofit groups for sea-related therapeutic initiatives. Bonati most recently raced it last month, in the Régates Royales, once again putting wind in its sails.

via NYPost

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

More Pics

Had some light wind sails over the weekend with a boatload of friends.  Swimming with Kona to two different islands.  And more Champagne aboard our new to us yacht!  She is a beauty!