Thursday, July 20, 2017

Making Your Dreams Come True!

I have had several dreams/goals in my life that I have accomplished and the biggest one is about to happen!

Here are some of the big ones that I have pursued and accomplished.
  1. Get a swimming scholarship and graduate from college. In 1976, my best friend and I received scholarships to UNLV. I had an amazing 4 years there. My swimming/water polo experience was the best. We traveled all over the west coast to meets. We also spent a week in Hawaii. I graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management.
  2. Move to California! I grew up in Delaware and I was an east coaster trapped in a west coast body. I surfed, skateboarded, swam and loved the water. I wanted to live on the west coast. In 1980, I got my chance. I interviewed with Hyatt Hotels and they offered me a job after college. Where would you like to work? Cali! I was offered a position in Monterey, CA. I moved into a bungalow 1 block from the beach in Carmel. I could not believe my luck. I surfed everyday, worked hard, and road my bike up and down that beautiful peninsula. I eventually moved to the Bay Area where I have made my home for 36 years.
  3. Start my own business. I had worked for Hyatt and Marriott for many years and I was going nowhere financially. I met some folks in the event planning business and loved what they did. I joined them for a couple years and then started my own company called: Too Much Fun Club. We work with large companies in the Silicon Valley and plan their celebrations. We are in our 25th year! My wife and I run the biz out of our home. It has been an amazing ride!
  4. Get married, have a kid, buy a home. I met Bridget through some friends. We have had an great life together and she has been awesome. And a great biz partner as well. Our son Connor was a blessing. He is going to be a senior at San Diego St. This fall he will travel to Ireland for a semester abroad. In 1997, we purchased a beautiful, brand new home in the east bay. The street is very quiet as are our neighbors.
  5. Sail across the Pacific! I have been sailing the very windy SF bay for the last 33 years. I have also sailed the coast of Mexico many times. Chartered boats all over the Caribbean as well. In one year, 2 friends and I will depart for a sail to Australia. It will take 12 months to get there! We will sail the west coast of Mexico, Central America and then across the Pacific. Bridget will join us at some of the islands along the way. Bon voyage indeed.
  6. To sum things up: I have been blessed in my life in so many ways. My family growing up was very wonderful and I had a great childhood. I have worked hard all my life to make these dreams happen. I have stumbled several times and doors closed. However, through a positive attitude and being the optimistic person that I am, I have been able to shake it off and make my life better. I have been able to travel the world and enjoy the fruits of my labor. So start your own dreams! If I can do it, anybody can!!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

How to Buy a Boat

Found this on the web...

Most boats can be bought for 1/3 less than their asking price, at the end of negotiations.
Step 1. Every boat on the Market is not worth the asking price. Typically when making an offer bid 1/3 less, that’s right 33% less then the asking price.
Example: if a boat asking price is $100,000. I recommend writing your offer bid price for $67,000.
You may or may not insult the owner, but no worries, its business. I recommend to use a yacht broker, if you are emotionally involved person.
Step 2. THE COUNTER OFFER. The owner will counter offer with a higher price and go from there.
Example: Say they owner counter offers $85,000 on the $100,000 asking price. At least you know where here stands.
Come up half and meet the owner in the middle.
Example: Owner counter offered at $85,000, your offer was $67,000. So raise your offer back to $76,000. He make come back at $80,000, then accept.
Step 4. THE SURVEY (inspection) and SEA TRIAL
All vessel purchases are allowed a Survey and Sea Trial. This is the beauty of buying a boat and the advantage falls in favor of the buyer, not the seller.
I have never seen a boat that is perfect, they always have some issues.
Keep in mind, anything on a boat can be repaired. Just what is the cost? And that is precisely the point in this Art of Boat negotiations.
A. Sea Trial - Make sure you note the amount of fuel. Make sure both tanks are the same level. Many times the boat may list to starboard or Port because the owner added something and the boat is not level.
Take the ride. Notice the speed. You can always say the boat does not go fast enough for your desires. On your Notes knock off $5k. If the boat lists to one side, knock off another $3k.
B. Survey- The boat will be hauled out at the expense of the owner. His cost for this is $2k to $5k. Your cost will be getting the person to survey your boat. A list can be found online. It will cost you $500 to $1,500. Money well spent.
On the Survey Report you will get a list of about 50 items for repairs. They will be prioritized. (1) Sea Worthy required, Bildge alarms/pumps, (2) definitely needing repair, engine-generator etc. (3) recommended repaired, Risers, Impellers and Air conditions and (4) maintenance repairs -oil change and light bulbs and (5)cosmetic repairs cushions upholstery.
This is the big negotiable part and is your advantage in price. This can be anywhere from $10k to $30k survey + $5k Sea Trial (slow engines and uneven list)= $15k to $35k reduction in price more.
Step 5. Final negotiations will give you an advantage of knocking off another $15k to $35k.
You see, once the owner has spent this money on the haul out, by then he is emotionally committed in selling the boat. You might say he has already divorced himself from it.
Example: Counter Offer again based on the Survey and Sea Trial another $15k if you are nice and $20k if you drive a hard bargain.
Final Sales price: $65k. Like I said, most boats can be bought for 1/3 less of the asking price.
When is a boat owner the happiest? The day he buys his boat and the day he sells his boat. Ha!

Titanic - The Ship that Never Sank

It amazing to me how many times conspiracy theories pop up in big stories.  The sinking of the Titanic is no different.  Three ships were built for White Star: Olympic, Titanic and Gigantic.  The Olympic had a unfortunate run and hit several boats over the years.  The last accident was so bad that they would need to scrap the boat and take a huge loss that would put them out of biz.  Instead, the boss, J. P. Morgan, decides to make some minor repairs and switch nameplates with the Titanic and such and send the Olympic to a watery grave 2.5 miles below the ocean surface.  Instead of losing the investment, they receive the insurance money and all is well... for them.  Their plan was to have another boat in the vicinity to pick up the the crew and passengers once the ship started sinking.  Due to a bonehead move, the skipper of the rescue boat got the coordinates wrong and was too far away to make the rescue.  I am not making this up folks!  This is a fascinating story and if you would like more detail, click here. 

When the Titanic was built, she had 14 portholes.  On the day she set sail, she had 16, same as the Olympic.

The Perfect Wave

My perfect wave happened at Zuma Beach in Malibu.  I had been surfing for about 14 years and never been tubed.  I dropped in on a nice right and made a clean bottom turn.  Next thing I know, the wave is tubing and I am in a perfect position inside the green room.  What an awesome feeling!  They say it's like returning to the womb...but this is a womb with a view!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

One of My Favorite Vids

If you have ever wondered how a sail boat uses the wind to move forward, this vid is for you.  Check it out! 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Pics of the Week

Couple of great sails coming up on the SF Bay!

Comanche - A Closer Look

The fastest 100 footer on the planet just smashed the Transpac mono hull record.  Here is a look at their campaign to break the prestigious trans Atlantic record.  Jim Clark is the money man and has assembled a team of sailing rock stars to break records.  This boat is capable of speeds over 40 knots.  Take a look at the vid and hold on to your hats!

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Unforgiving Ocean

The Volvo Ocean Race will test even the strongest of sailors.  Eight months of grueling ocean miles in the toughest oceans in the world.  This vid shows some of the extremes these sailors face.  Go full screen on this one.  Enjoy!

Friday, July 07, 2017

Pics of the Week

Just getting back from a cruise in Alaska!  Wow!

America's Cup for Dirtbags!

750 miles of the worst conditions possible with 40 knot to 0 knot winds, 15 knot currents, no motors, and no support.  A race from Victoria, BC to Ketchikan, AK and 710 miles of the most complex waters anywhere and mostly upwind.  First place is $10k, second place: steak knives. One crazy race for similar types of racers.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Pics of the Week

Happy 4th of July to all sailors.

Bigger is Better!

After almost 17 years of owning our 30' sailboat, I am getting ready to buy a bigger boat (42').  In 2018, we are departing for a 7000 mile adventure to Australia.  We purchased the Addiction in October of 2000.  At the time, we had three partners.  We currently have six partners.  This Newport 30 has brought so much joy and fun into my life as well as the folks I have sailed with.  I started out with only a handful of sails on a keel boat.  I had been a windsurfer for 15 years so I knew how to sail.  Initially, we had the boat in the Oakland Estuary which was a good place to start.  We could get used to sailing the boat without getting into too much trouble.  We moved to a very windy marina in Emeryville in 2003.  It was a great move.  Our diesel died about 3 years ago and we installed an electric engine.  That has worked out great. 

Here are some of the highlights on board our lovely sloop:
3 trips to downtown Napa with wine tasting by bike
5 trips to the Delta with fresh, warm water to swim in
1 trip up the Petaluma River
Many trips to the ballpark to see the Giants
KABOOM! fireworks shows
Many 3 day stays in Sausalito
Boat in the Delta for a month
Taking out over 500 folks for day sails on the bay
Amazing sails out the Gate
Sailing to the America's Cup with a boatload of friends!
Overnights at Clipper and Ayala Cove
A thousand day sails on the bay!
Having my Golden's join me for sails and swimming to the beaches for a romp in the sand

It has been an amazing journey.  One of our favorite saying, "It just keeps getting better!".

I have a dozen or more sails left aboard our beloved little boat.   I am looking forward to my next adventure!

Monday, June 26, 2017

New Zealand Dominates AC to Win the Cup

Hamilton, Bermuda (June 26, 2017) – Another dominant race win today for Peter Burling and Emirates Team New Zealand in race nine of the America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton, gave the Kiwi team victory on the Great Sound in Bermuda.

Burling now adds the 35th America’s Cup to the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup trophy he won in San Francisco, 2013.

The Kiwi team dominated the final stage of the 35th America’s Cup, winning eight races to ORACLE TEAM USA’s one race win, giving the New Zealanders a final winning scoreline of 7-1.

The America’s Cup was last won by a team representing New Zealand in 2000 and they are now the Defenders of the America’s Cup for the 36th installment of the competition for the oldest trophy in international sport.

In the final press conference of the 35th America’s Cup, Grant Dalton, CEO of Emirates Team New Zealand, also announced that the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron has accepted the challenge of Circolo della Vela Sicilia, who will be the Challenger of Record for the 36th America’s Cup and will be represented by Luna Rossa.

We’re just blown away,” said Peter Burling, helmsman, Emirates Team New Zealand. “We came here to win the America’s Cup and right now we’re taking the America’s Cup back home to New Zealand.

“To be able to win eight races in beautiful Bermuda in front of a big crowd of our own fans is overwhelming, we’re just happy to be able to share this moment with them, we’re just blown away.

“I’ve grown up watching this competition as a fan and to be a Kiwi and taking this Cup home is a dream come true.

“To be able to win this event at such a young age is an unreal feeling. However, I’m just a tiny part of a massive team and it is incredible to be able to reward the hard work of those hundreds of people who have supported us, not only here but back home in New Zealand as well.

“We’ve had to go through some incredibly tough times to get to this point. It has been an incredibly tough path to get past the rest of the challengers and then ORACLE TEAM USA and it’s credit to every team that competed.

“It’s so unique to get to sail these boats, every day they can be different. Our incredible shore team gave us that edge and to be able to reward their hard work and bring this Cup home with us is an amazing feeling.

“It’s just sinking in really and I think that will be the same feeling for all of those Kiwi fans watching us win the America’s Cup back home.

“For me I think the reason we won was because of what happened four years ago. This team has gone through some really tough spots from San Francisco and to be able to reward this team with the America’s Cup is the best feeling, because they are such an incredible team.

“I’d like to say thank you to Bermuda. It has been an amazing venue for a sailing event and I’ve absolutely loved this place, I’d love to come back at some stage.

Glenn Ashby, Skipper, Emirates Team New Zealand, and the only sailing member who was part of the team’s 2013 defeat, was pleased to get the job done this time.

“It has been an incredibly tough journey to get here,” notes Ashby. “We came across late to Bermuda from New Zealand and to be able to get the boat into good shape in such short time is all credit to our amazing team.

“I’m just so proud to be a part of this team and to be able to bring the Cup home and I want to thank the support of the whole country.

“What happened in 2013 was a brutal experience for everyone involved, to be so close was extremely disappointing and is something that will live with all of us for the rest of our lives.

“So to be able to come here a few years later and pull off an unbelievable victory has really redeemed that situation for New Zealand and it feels like justice has prevailed.

“I think we’ve seen some unbelievable advancements here with the boats and the type of races we’ve seen and it’s great for our sport. From a sailing perspective it’s going to be hard to sail anything else after what we’ve seen in these boats, the technology is just absolutely amazing.”

Grant Dalton, CEO, Emirates Team New Zealand, was equally pleased to have completed the task. “We’ve done it, finally!

“We probably don’t realise how big a deal this is back in New Zealand,” reported Dalton. “I’ve been told that there was traffic jams at 4am with people trying to get to work just to see the races, which is utterly incredible.

“We’ve had a phenomenal group of guys, we’ve battled some serious adversity but as a group we’ve overcome everything. There have been a lot of people behind that and none more so than Matteo De Nora, who has stuck with the team through thick and thin and believed in everything that we have done. New Zealand owes a lifetime of gratitude to him for what we have achieved.

“We thought outside of the square and we did it our way. After San Francisco we knew we couldn’t out-spend other teams here so we had to out-think everyone. One of the things to come out of San Francisco is that we were out-designed and we knew this time round that we had to push that area.

“This time round we had no restrictions on design. We just wanted to see what we could come up with and we have achieved some truly amazing things that have been revolutionary in this sport.

“After San Francisco we had a pretty tough debrief and came up with 20 points that we had to change. One of those was that we had to invest in technology and the people that provide it. We also had to get our arms around the next generation of yachtsmen that were coming through and Peter (Burling) was one of those.

“He told me he wanted to be helmsman, so it was all about investing in the right people and giving them the responsibility to go out and achieve what we knew we could.

“It is important that we make the next America’s Cup affordable but we also need to remember that it is the America’s Cup and it is one of the top sports and not a little beach regatta. It is never going to be cheap.

“It is a fine balance between not making it prohibitively expensive, but not being so cheap that it devalues the competition.

“At the core of what we believe, we have to create an event that takes a lot of the good that has happened here, because there been a lot of good here. Just because we didn’t sign the Framework Agreement, that doesn’t mean to say there weren’t elements we didn’t agree with, it was just we didn’t agree with every element.

“To me it is a privilege to host the America’s Cup. It is not a right and we will put in place rules and an organisation of our own that will do everything to be good enough.”

Jimmy Spithill, Skipper, ORACLE TEAM USA, was humble in defeat

“On behalf of the whole of ORACLE TEAM USA, congratulations to Emirates Team New Zealand,” said Spithill. “What an incredible team. They’ve been a class above everyone in the 35th America’s Cup and we take our hats off to you. Well done.

“They sailed better than anyone else out here and so, rightly so, they are the 35th America’s Cup champions.

“The defeat hasn’t really sunk in yet and it is definitely weird looking at the trophy and knowing we won’t be taking it home.

“With hindsight there are a lot of things you would like to change but I think it’s far too early to say what might have gone wrong.

As to the future of the team, Spithill had not spoken to team owner Larry Ellison on the topic.

Sir Russell Coutts, CEO, America’s Cup Event Authority, was quick to acknowledge the first New Zealand victory in the America’s Cup since 2000, saying, “I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations and praise to everyone in Emirates Team New Zealand for winning the 35th America’s Cup.

“Helmed brilliantly by Peter Burling, with the guiding influence of skipper Glenn Ashby, supported by a world class sailing, design and shore team, they performed magnificently here in Bermuda, winning in dominant fashion.

“I know just how much this victory means to the team and to the people of New Zealand. This is a remarkable achievement, one that will be rightly celebrated in Bermuda and across New Zealand and I hope those celebrations live long in the memory, much as the team’s victory in Bermuda has now written a new chapter in the history of the America’s Cup.”

Race Nine
Emirates Team New Zealand and ORACLE TEAM USA enjoying clean starts, but the defender to windward accelerated better off the line to lead at mark one.

However, with the defender sporting bigger daggerfoils than yesterday, anticipating less wind than there actually was, the impact was immediately seen on the next leg. With the superior kiwi downwind speed, the challenger rolled the defender after the first gybe and leading at the second mark.

Burling was serene at the helm of the Kiwi boat, displaying no nerves as he steered his team towards glory, but Spithill and the ORACLE TEAM USA crew were not giving up, constantly splitting to gain leverage, but the kiwi team never gave them an opening from which to benefit.

After the upwind let, the Challenge’s lead was up to 26 seconds at the third mark, increasing further downwind to 34 seconds at the fourth mark, and from that point, barring mistakes by Burling and his all-conquering Emirates Team New Zealand crew, the die was cast.

Emirates Team New Zealand never allowed the lead to get too big, at times spending some to stay in the same winds as ORACLE TEAM USA, thus minimizing the random winds on the Great Sound.

New Zealand sealed their win in impressive style, crossing the finish line for the final time in the 35th America’s Cup 55 seconds ahead of the US team.

via Pressure Drop

Friday, June 23, 2017

J Cup in Bermuda

Some of the biggest spinnakers in world.  These yachts are as beautiful as they are expensive!

Full screen only, please! 

Competing J Boats:
Lion Heart - Winner!

What do you love about sailing?

From some boating rock stars.

For me it is being one with nature.  The light in and around the boat. The nights under the stars and moon.  The creatures that you share the moment with ( including the people!).  And finally the sunrises and sunsets...and maybe a green flash!  And how good does that glass of wine taste with a fine meal to end the day?  The sailing life is a great life!


Nostalgia is in my blood.  I love recalling the past and looking back over the 58 years that I have swum, sailed, water skied, kayaked, rafted, surfed, windsurfed, water poloed, boogie boarded, SCUBAed, skim boarded, catamaraned, and trimaraned this planet.   I do have some land based interests of course.  One includes the cinema and some TV.  I ran across a site that was looking back at movies and such and wanted to share some great pics with you.

 Jimmy the day before he left us for a higher calling.
 This is how they used to shop in London.

 Robert and Sarah
 I like the blond Lisa better.
 Mr. T
Oh, that's me?

One thing that really brings me back is music.  I used to listen to this great radio show called 10 at 10.  Ten great songs from one great year.  For example, they would play 1976, the year I graduated from high school.  They would play songs like, Love is Alive: Gary Wright, Bohemian Rhapsody: Queen, Golden Years: David Bowie, Lines on my Face: Peter Frampton, Slow Ride: Foghat, Evil Woman: ELO, Let's Do It Again: Staple Singers, Dream On: Areosmith and finally Sweet Thing: Rufus.  These songs take me right back to hanging out with my friends in the basement that year.  Think: That 70's Show.  I think back to some of the highlights of that year and it really makes me happy.  It's important to have memories and I believe the only way to have those memories is to keep thinking about them.  Dream on, Stevie!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Pics of the Week

Bora Bora in Tahiti - This is what is left of an ancient volcano.

That is so cute!

I polled my buddies for some concerts this summer.  Turns out they all picked concerts in June.  Dead & Company (Dave), Roger Waters (Geoff), The Specials (Hilary) and Ziggy Marley (Marc).  Ziggy was very good as he did a few Bob songs that were magical.  All were great and I hope to catch a few more in July and August.  Have my first trip to Alaska planned.  It's going to be one hell of a fantastic month!

J Class at the AC

The last J boat race is today.  Looking for some footage and hope to post.  In the actual Cup races this weekend, TNZ could finish up the racing and win the Cup.  Will USA make a bid?  We shall see.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Bermuda Super Yacht Cup

Here is some footage of the largest collection of J yachts put together in a race.  It's amazing.  All part of the lead up to the finals of the AC which start on Saturday.  USA and NZ will be duking it out over the next few weeks.  Hopefully you have access to NBC or the app to enjoy the racing.  The racing is this weekend and next with the finish on 6-27.  Can USA make it a 3-peat?

Had one of the most beautiful sails of the year yesterday.  Took off in some light winds to start the day.  Kept building as we approached Angel.  Finally over 20 and we reef the genoa.  Head into Craig's Cove for a little magic.  I pull out the hammock and John heads up to enjoy this lovely cove.  Kona and I swim to the beach in our birthday suits.  Why not, no one around.  We have an amazing sail home in about 12-15 knots on an unusually warm day on the bay.  Fantastic!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

MOB - Don't Let This Be You!

Pics of the Week

Heading out today for a fine sail with my buddy John.  Winds are forecast to be in the mid 20's and warm.  Should be a great day to enjoy the bay.  Kona will be there too.  Today is the Warrior's celebration parade in downtown Oakland.  Congrats on winning the championship!  Go Dubs!