Sunday, October 14, 2018

On to Avalon!

Aloha from Santa Barbara!  We have taken 5 trips to Santa Cruz
Island.  What a beautiful place.  4 of those voyages were with my friends
visiting from SF.  One of the highlights was taking folks to Painted Cave.  It’s
a very deep cave that goes into the mountain 600 feet.  Scary but fun to get in there.
We depart today for Avalon and it will take about 17 hours to get there.
From there, a few more stops before we reach San Diego.  Crew and boat are doing great!

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Channel Islands are Impressive.

We have spent about 7 nights anchored at different coves.   The highlight is painted cave.  700 feet deep and 100 feet high.  We paddle in and the darkness is intense.  Rumbling from wave movement is low and scary.  We hit one spot and one other boat is anchored and we challenged them to a bocce tourney.  We won best of three.  It was so fun.

Now we are on the east side of Santa Cruz.  The anchorages are beautiful and peaceful.  We have few more guests coming out to enjoy the islands.  Mid month we head to San Diego.   All is well.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Chilling in Santa Barbara

Greeting from sunny Santa Barbara.  We arrived Monday morning after an exciting sail around Pt Conception.  The breeze was in the low 20's most of the afternoon out of Morro Bay.  We hit the cape about 0100 and the wind and the waves were up.  A few waves hit the boat and I sprang out of bed to the cockpit to check on Mike who was at the helm.  He said he was fine and I went back to bed.  My watch was less eventful and we ended up motoring for a few hours to get into the harbor.  We have been celebrating my 60th birthday this week in fine style.  Dinner with the crew at the Boathouse.  Hanging out poolside at the Ritz where my wife and I are staying to bring in my 60th.  Great day of friends, naps and a fabulous dinner with Bridget at the Angel Oak.  Friday we head out for a sojourn to the Channel Islands.  I have been dreaming of exploring the islands for a longtime and now we head.  I will start adding some pics now that we are in more of a vacation mode.  The boat is doing very well and now we will test our water maker.  I continue my winning ways on the bocce court with 6 victories.  Crew doing well and solving a few plumbing issues.  Onward we go!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Great Ride Thru Big Sur

We headed out of Monterey in hopes of seeing a whale or two.  We hit Big Sur and the wind picked up to 20 and more.  We had a wild ride thru the swells and a round up or two.  We arrived in Morro Bay at 0700 and found a spot at the Yacht Club.  Conditions look very favorable for rounding the Cape of Conception on Sunday.  Will be in Santa Barbara on Monday!  Spending 3 weeks here to explore the Channel Islands and meet some friends.  Gonna be fun!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Off to Monterey

We are currently in Santa Cruz after a 50 mile sail from HMB.  Today we have a quick 18 mile sail to Monterey.  Everything is working fine and we are getting along so well.  We had some 33 kt gusts coming down as well as some pretty big waves.  It was exciting!   More soon.

Saturday, September 08, 2018

A Note to Got Wind and Water Members

Hola to GWAW members,

We depart on Monday for our adventure to Mexico.  We will spend two months heading down the coast with major stops in the Channel Islands and San Diego.  In November, we continue towards Cabo and then up the Sea of Cortez.  January will find us heading toward PV and eventually Ztown.  Our goal is to hangout during the Guitarfest in Ztown in March.  After that, we will head back to the SF Bay for more sailing with you all.  That's 8 months on the water.  Salty dogs we are!  Send us a Bon Voyage and fair winds to Team Aquarius.  We have lots to celebrate with my retirement from the Too Much Fun Club after 26 years of event planning with Silicon Valley companies and I am turning 60 in a few weeks.  It's been an amazing ride and I am so glad I got to take a bunch of you out on the bay over the last 11 months.  See you in May!!

Craig Russell
40' Jeanneau s/v Aquarius
Emeryville


Friday, September 07, 2018

Monday Departure!

All the items on my todo list have been checked!  We provision on Saturday and load the boat on Sunday.  As the tide turns to ebb about 12 noon, we will slide out the Gate on Monday.  Bon Voyage to us!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Down to the wire...two weeks to go.

The water maker has been installed and we plan to sail today!  Mike has arrived from NJ and we are pulling all the last minute items together.  We have a huge sailing weekend coming up.  Friday we will meet friends in Sausalito.  Saturday is a bon voyage sail with a bunch of friends.   Sunday we head to the ball park for a Giants game.  Monday we will sail the bay and then head home.  Next week we put our best foot forward and finish off loading the boat for our almost 8 month trip to Mexico and back.  I can't wait!  We will be blogging here while on the water so stay tuned!

 Our southbound itinerary is below.


Wednesday, August 08, 2018

30 Days!

We depart in 30 days folks!  I have one last project that will be completed next week.  My crewmate Mike will be here for 2 weeks prior to launch so we can begin loading the boat with all our gear.  We will be blogging down the coast so tune in again soon!



Friday, August 03, 2018

Rocks, Reefs and Small Islands, Oh My!

Here is a look at some of the hazards on the SF Bay.  Everytime we sail out of Emeryville, we have to deal with the dilapidated Berkeley Pier.  2.5 mile of a mainer's nightmare!  Here are some others:



"Rockin" in the free Bay


As printed in: Latitude 38 – Sightings
June, 2009
In San Francisco Bay, there are rocks and then there are Rocks.
Alcatraz has long been known as The Rock, even though it’s an island.
Likewise, racers often refer to the Farallon Islands as the Rock Pile, or Southeast Farallon as the Rock. We’ve also heard Red Rock called ‘the Rock’ even though – again – it’s really an island.
Now that that’s out of the way, we can address the interesting query from a reader about where the ‘hazard to navigation’ rocks are in San Francisco Bay, and which ones sailors should be particularly concerned about. Oddly, this is the first time we’ve ever gotten this question and it took a bit of head scratching to come up with a list, since not all of the ‘hittable’ rocks are noted on charts, and not all notable rocks are hittable. Anyway, here’s what we came up with.
The Berkeley Reef – While the entire area from Cesar Chavez Park to Brooks Island is hazardous and off-limits there is a particularly nasty rock located Northwest of the Berkeley Marina, about a third of the way to Brooks Island. Normally just below the surface, it’s exposed only during extreme minus tides. The rock itself sits just East of the green piling marker (FL G 2.5s 13ft 3M “1”). At night, this light can be quite dim and is very easy to miss among all the background city lights. Warning: a strong westerly combined with current and tide can put you into the reef right out of the marina!

The Berkeley Pier – It presently extends 2.5 miles with a very dim and nearly indistinguishable red marker that blends into the cityscape at night. Currently, only the first 3000ft of the pier are maintained.
Beyond that is a 50ft gap for the passage of small boats then broken pilings between the ruins and beneath the surface that could impale your boat.
Blossom Rock – The sailing ship Blossom is hardly the only ship that came to grief on the submerged rock off the northeast ‘corner’ of San Francisco. But her 1826 demise gave the rock its name. Roughly 180 feet long by 100 feet wide, and lurking only a fathom underwater at low tide, Blossom Rock would continue to sink or damage ships for almost another half-century before a bid was awarded to blow the thing up. In a hugely elaborate scheme – and a hugely popular public event – a giant cofferdam was erected around the rock, the water pumped out,
23 tons of blasting powder (in barrels) placed and, on April 22, 1870, the switch thrown. The ensuing blast sent tons of mud and water high into the air, and was followed closely by the cheers, bell ringing and shots fired into the air by the estimated 50,000 to 60,000 people who had gathered on land and water to witness the event. Today, the Blossom Rock buoy still marks the spot, but only deep-draft commercial ships need worry about the 24-ft depth over what remains of the rock itself.

Harding Rock – The ubiquitous buoy used as a mark in so many racing courses actually marks the position of an underwater rock. Located roughly halfway between the Golden Gate and Angel Island, Harding is actually one of a trio of three rocks – Shag Rock and Arch Rock to the south being the other two. All three rocks have been blasted down to about 35 feet. Obviously, these pose no danger to yachts, or most ships except the deepest-laden tankers. About once a decade, the idea of lowering the rocks to bottom level – about 80 feet in that area – is discussed, but with a $20 million-price tag (as of 2000) it’s never gotten past the talking stage. Fortunately, the San Francisco Bar Pilots keep deep-draft ships well clear of the ‘three amigo’ rocks.
Incidentally, Harding Rock was named for President Warren Harding, who died in San Francisco in 1923. Also incidentally, the Little Harding buoy is a channel marker. There’s no rock under it.
Anita Rock – Yes, there’s a rock under that ‘permanent buoy’ located off Crissy Field. Its highest nub is inshore of the buoy, so always stay on the Bay side of the marker.
Mile Rock – Not really ‘in the Bay’ and hardly something you could miss, Mile Rock, located three miles outside the Golden Gate (but just one mile off the shipping lane, thus the name), nevertheless has a fascinating history. The lighthouse there traces its roots back to February, 1901, when, at night and in thick fog, the sidewheeler City of Rio de Janeiro hit rocks somewhere on the south side of the channel and sank in just eight minutes. The 128 souls (of 250 aboard) who went down with her make the Rio’s loss the worst peacetime disaster in Bay history. It was thought that if a lighthouse and fog signal had been available on her approach, the tragedy might have been avoided. Three years later, the job was bid out, but when the contractor and his crew were ferried out to the wind- and wave-swept rock, they all quit. So the powers that be went down to the Embarcadero and hired a bunch of sailors. After lots of slipping and sliding, the sailor crew managed to blow the top of the rock off and lay the foundations for what, at the time, was said to be one of the most handsome lighthouses on either coast. After it was automated in the mid-’60s, the pretty top half was cut off to allow for a helicopter pad. All that remains is the squat orange and white structure you see today. And just so you know, inshore of Mile Rock is a minefield of rocks that has claimed many boats and ships over the years. Do not go in there.
Red Rock – Red Rock itself is an island, not a rock. But there are lots of rocks around it that are hittable, and people do it all the time when the island is used for a racing mark. So steer well clear.
Red Rock has a fascinating history that includes manganese mining (that’s why it’s red), a hermit who lived there and claimed the island as his, and an early survey job that ended with three counties abut- ting each other there – Marin, Contra Costa and a long tendril of San Francisco County still intersect at the island’s highest point.
Castro Rocks – Castro Rocks, an outcropping just north of the Richmond Long Wharf, is another boat biter. There’s a buoy marking them, but race boats like to go inside the buoy to avoid the ebb. If you’ve ever been there during a low tide, you’ll know that’s a dicey thing to do.
Cone Rock – Located in Richardson Bay, Cone Rock is actually made up of three points, and the Coast Guard built their light on the highest one. The others are on the south side. The most southerly of the ‘points’ sometimes breaks the surface at very low tide.
Elephant Rock – The only way you could hit Elephant Rock by mistake is if the boat was on autopilot and you were below making lattes. (D’oh!) Located a literal stone’s throw off the Tiburon shoreline, Elephant Rock, attached to land by a small bridge, is a popular fishing spot and great photo-op spot for CYC races.
The Needles – Again, you’d have to really be out of it to hit the Needles, those picturesque rocks tucked close to shore between the North tower of the Golden Gate and Horseshoe Cove. So keep your eyes open and stay well clear.
“Little Alcatraz” – Located a few hundred yards west of the north tip of Alcatraz, this little rock is awash at high tide and well out of the water at low. In other words, you can plainly see the rock or swirl above it during all tidal cycles. Despite that, it probably accounts for more damage to modern boats than any other single rock in the Bay, with sometimes several boats a year (at least that we hear
about) smacking into it.
“Irv’s Rock” – This rock, located near the end of the San Francisco Marina jetty, was named for the late Irv Loube, who hit it during a Big Boat Series in the ’70s in one of his Bravuras. There used to be a buoy there to mark the suspect area, but we haven’t noticed one in awhile, nor have we heard reports of further strikes, so this rock – or whatever it was – may have moved or shoaled over.
“Stormvogel Rock” – Again, an unofficial name for an underwater speed bump located between the South Tower of the Golden Gate and Fort Point. It was named for the beautiful 75-ft South African ketch Stormvogel, which hit it sometime back in the ’60s.
These are the main ‘rocks’ that we could think of that Bay sailors should be aware of. (Did we miss any? Let us know.) Of course, there are many other unnamed rocks or outcroppings in our local waters, but most are off the beaten track or so close inshore that it would be foolish to sail there in the first place. One final caution: don’t sail too close to points of land like Belvedere Point and Point Blunt on Angel Island, as there are rocks well out into the water in those areas. Both these points are marked by buoys for this exact reason. In those areas – and any other point with a buoy close offshore – always pass outside the buoy.

Don’t say we didn’t warn ya!

Monday, July 09, 2018

Trip Update - 60 Days Until Departure

We set sails September 9th for Mexico from SF!!.  The boat is almost ready!  I have one more big project (water maker) and tons of little ones.  Last week, we finalized the last crew position.  I was back east and met with Mike and he is in for the 7 month adventure.  We added a new radar last week as well.  Went for a sail with Max and Kona yesterday and all is well with Aquarius.  I can't wait to shove off!!



Nature update:  A recent trip to the Farallones (islands off SF) saw 15 humpbacks, five blue whales, and 1 minke whale.  70 Risso's dolphins, and 80 Pacific white sided dolphins.  That's alot!!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Departure in 90 Days!!

We plan to depart September 9 (Sunday).  Our destination is deep into Mexico.  The boat is progressing nicely as far as the prep for our seven month adventure.  I have a few more major items on my to do list plus lots of little items.  The crew is coming together (Tex and Mike) and looking forward to life on the hook.  We plan to blog the trip so stay tuned!



Thursday, March 08, 2018

Taking a Break

Aloha sailing fans,

I am taking a break from the blog.  I will resume as we get closer to our departure date for our cruise to Mexico in September.  After 13 years of blogging on this site, I need to focus my efforts else where.  I will be back and our hope is to blog as we go along on our 7 month adventure.  It's going to be a blast!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Couple with zero sailing experience loose everything!

MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A couple who abandoned their workaday lives to buy a sailboat for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure instead lost almost everything when it sank on day two of their journey off Florida.

News outlets report that Tanner Broadwell, Nikki Walsh and their pet pug escaped injury when the 28-foot boat hit something and capsized Wednesday in the Gulf of Mexico near Madeira Beach. But the couple says just about everything else on the boat floated away.

"How do I have everything," Walsh told the Tampa Bay Times, "and end up in a s----- hotel with nothing?"

The couple had no sailing experience, save for some help from Broadwell's father.

They said they planned to escape modern life on the sailboat after leaving Breckenridge, Colorado, last year. Now Broadwell says they have no jobs, no savings and no place to go

Local boat captains say sandbars often shift in the channel in John's Pass where the sailboat capsized. In an interview with the Tampa Bay Times, the couple said they got confused while sailing at night, when the "red and green buoys seemed out of place, they said, and the shoal wasn't where their 2016-17 navigational charts said it should be."

The boat sank in about nine feet of water and is still in the channel. The Coast Guard has informed the couple they must pay to remove and store the boat, a process that could cost up to $10,000.

"I'm not going to give up now," Broadwell told the Tampa Bay Times. "I'm going to get another boat down the road."

via SFGate

Skiffs in Sydney



Had a nice sail on Saturday with a trip to the city and some 18-20 knot winds.  Boat is almost ready to leave the yard and come home.

Friday, February 09, 2018








Took the boat up to the yard on 12-19 to add some cruising gear and make improvements.  Finally getting her back this weekend.  Solar panels and AIS were the last items.  Winds are forecast for 15-25 on Saturday and away we go!

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Crush of the Week - Tina Louise as Ginger

Way back in the mid 60's, Gilligan's Island premiered on TV.  Seven castaways stranded on a remote island in the Pacific.  I was about 7 at the time and I experienced my first TV crush: Ginger.  She played a Marilyn Monroe/Jane Mansfield role and stole the show.  She actually thought the show was about her as she had been promised a starring role.  Well as a young lad, I was smitten.  She seemed very tall to me, she was curvy and so so sexy.  The show ran from 64 to 67 and I think I saw every one of those shows.  Tina claimed that the show ruined her acting career because she was typecasted into that character.  Did you have a crush on Ginger or was it Mary Ann?

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Brilliant

Here is a trick from the old school.  Imagine you are in an anchorage and the wind and swell are coming from different directions.   A boat will naturally point into the wind and make sleep very comfortable...as long as the swell is from the same direction.   If the boat is pointing into the wind but the swell is more than 45 degrees different,  the swell will rock you out of bed!  Here is a great solution to this issue so you won't lose any sleep.


More here: https://www.jmpeltier.com/2015/05/19/sleep-tight-swell-bridle/

Not many folks know about this little trick so next time you are out there and can't sleep due to a rocking boat, whip this one out!

Puerto Vallarta Stopover

We will be in Puerto Vallarta from January 16-23, 2019 for any family and friends who want to join us for sails and visiting the hot spots on the bay. If we get a big response we can extend for another week.
Playa Caballo

Monday, February 05, 2018

Making your sailing dreams come true!

I written many times how my dream was to sail across the Pacific.  Yes that dream is hold until I retire, but the good news is that dream sprang to life 31 years ago.  It will one day come true.  Currently, we are set to depart in September for a 7 month adventure to Mexico and back.  The bottom line is that we are moving forward with the dream! 

I followed a couple online that was sailing the world on a beautiful boat, some may remember Alex and Taru.  She was stunning and he was a kite surfer.  I was looking for their blog and found that it seems she and he have split and she is now with a small child living a simple life.  She had some cool things to say about achieving your dreams:

What if life was just a dream. There's nothing that can prove that it is not. So potentially, this all may be a very advanced, very realistic and extraordinarily vivid dream that we live within. A lucid dream in which you are awake and conscious. Where you have been given the magic wand to create all the worlds and wishes of your desire. It's just that you have forgotten your power. Forgotten that you are the God and the creator of your life.

Whatever life is, what is stopping you, right now, from doing what you really want? Living the life you dream of?

Are you blocking the perfect flow of life energy with limiting beliefs about yourself? Is there a twisted side to yourself thinking that you are not worth happiness? Or do you let other people or rules of society write the story of your life?

And how do you even come to an understanding of what you really want in life? When there are so many options. When life pulls you this way and that. And aren't there so many things we should do, in order to be respected/loved/acknowledged. And what about fitting in? Moving too wildly outside of the frames that your peers move within just seems way too risky. Or?

If you take a quiet moment to yourself and reflect upon it, you do know that none of that is really important. You do know in your heart that you are here for a purpose, just like everyone else. Looking at the lives of other people, it may seem that everyone's got it all worked out. That they all seem to have found their path to happiness.

Read more here.

Taru on a sailing/beach adventure!

History Lesson: Slocum

Joshua Slocum (February 20, 1844 - November 14, 1909) was the first man to sail single-handedly around the world. He was a Nova Scotian born, naturalised American seaman and adventurer, and a noted writer. In 1900 he wrote a book about his journey Sailing Alone Around the World, which became an international best-seller. He disappeared in November 1909 while aboard his boat, the Spray.
Any sailor worth his salt knows the story of how Slocum spread thumb tacks on his decks at night to keep the bad guys away from his boat. What a great way to keep them at bay!

Back in Action...


Muscle-Up from Robert McIntosh on Vimeo.

Back east last week as my Dad passed away on Friday with his family by his bedside.  He was almost 93 and had a great life.  We will miss him and cherish him always.  He is now riding the big bike in the sky.  Love You, Dad!

Friday, January 26, 2018

RIP Warren Miller - Ski Film Maker

America's Cup for Dirt Bags


I love this race!

Pics!









Have a great weekend and head down to the water (or ice).

Black Pearl - Bigger and Badder



Similar to the Maltese Falcon in that she has a Dynarig (when the boat tacks, the masts rotate to adjust the sail angle).  The sails have solar panels on them and the prop spins to regenerate enrgy to the batts.  Pretty cool.  Only 12 guest berths for this massive beauty so it's quality of friends not quantity.  She was a steal at $150m!

Headed out for a short sail yesterday in mixed weather.  Lots of clouds and some sun with a 12 knot breeze.  The water turned white as some engery was moving in.  Was not sure what it was.  It hit the boat and turned out to be a dump of hail.  The cockpit was full of hail and I am in bare feet.  I headed for home and put away the boat.  As soon as I got to the car, the skies had cleared and it was amazing out there.  Always happens.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Pics of the Week








Aquarius is back in her slip.  She was in the yard for a month getting some paint and upgrades.  Still have a few more things on my list.  Have some sails coming up between rain storms here in the Bay Area.  The future is so bright, we gotta wear shades.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Be Careful Out There!



Power boater allegedly distracted by his cell phone.  Fisherman are suing for damages.  Gotta be looking!  This could have been a lot worse.

Monday, January 15, 2018

MLK Set to Music

My fav radio program was 10@10 on KFOG radio.  It is no longer on the radio but has been resurrected on the web.  There are some great speeches and songs that reflect on the legacy of this amazing man.  Please listen and enjoy!  If you enjoy this show there are almost 300 other ten great songs from one great year on mixcloud.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Best sail of the year!

Well it is is only the second sail, but this one was fantastic!  The boat has been in the yard getting painted, adding batteries, stereo and 4 speakers, new head, solar, and more.  She has been in the yard for over 3 weeks.  I headed up and first thing I did was fire up the Sony and checked the audio.  Sounds great!  Speakers in the cockpit are mounted on the dodger for excellent sound.  Took off with a forecast of 10-15.  Hit the bay and the wind was up.  I don't sail in this area alot so it was nice to be north of my home waters and near the Richmond Bridge.  The wind was mostly 15 with a couple 18-19's and the boat hitting 8.2 SOG.  Not bad for a 40 footer with a 38' waterline.  Had a marvelous day with Kona (my golden) and relishing some fine sun and nice temps (t-shirt weather!).  I am really enjoying this sexy, beautiful boat.  We depart for Mexico in 7 months!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Only Non Pirates Need Apply

Found this on Craigslist:

“This is a chance of a lifetime! My best girlfriend and I are planning to come into some money soon. We plan on living the dream, buying a large sailboat and just traveling around the world. Although quite adventurous, we are only two small young girls, thus quite defenseless. Well, we could theoretically defend ourselves, but we will most likely be drunk most of the time and thus not in the right state to be on the lookout for pirates or rapists. I’m not sure I would be very good shooting a pirate with double vision. I tried going to the gun range, while hammered, to practice, but for some reason they would not rent me a gun. I tried explaining my fear of pirates, but that just got me physically carried out. Apparently yelling, 'But how will I fight the pirates? They could come at any moment!' caused some sort of distrust between me the gun range man. Personally, I think he must have been on some sort of power trip. Anyway, all we need is one strong, fearless man to kill any pirates we come across. If you have killed a man before, that could be a plus. If you have any pirate-killing experience, you are a definite shoo-in. You may be the luckiest man you know and the envy of all your friends. You will be able to travel the world, lie in the sun all day with two hot girls, and explore a different city every week without a care in the world — except pirates. I cannot stress this enough. We may from time to time ask you to help fish or man the sails, but your main concern and number one enemy is pirates. Also, if you are anything like Kurt Russell in Captain Ron, we encourage you to apply.”


Maverick's Contest May Go Monday?

They have contacted the 10 men and 2 women to let them know the contest may fly next week.  Some of the biggest waves on the planet break at a point just off our beautiful Cali coastline.  But what makes these waves so big and powerful?  Here is an in depth look at the reasons for the gnarly yet beautiful waves.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Bonehead Move of the Week



My boat is still in the yard for a few more days as we add some cruising gear and hope to get her out next weekend. 

Friday, January 05, 2018

Trip Outline - Sail California

Here is a look at our itinerary for our September sail down the coast to Mexico.  I will post the Mexican portion of the trip next week.