Wednesday, January 18, 2023
Way back in 1983, I started sailing the SF bay. My friend Jeff would rent boats and invite friends to go sailing. I had no idea back then it would become my passion later in life. In 84, I moved in with my girlfriend into an apartment overlooking a big lagoon. A friend let me borrow his windsurfer for the summer and I was hooked. Eventually I purchased my own board and started sailing the bay and delta. I loved the speed and freedom. In 2000, I purchased my first keel boat. The "Addiction" (what an appropriate name!) was a 30 foot sloop that would take us all over the bay as well as the Napa and Petaluma Rivers. I sailed her hard for 17 years and she was a joy even in the big winds of the bay. My dream was to sail to Australia after retirement. It would take a year to get to Sydney. My best friend Tex was game and we sailed together weekly for many years. I sold the Addiction in August of 2017 and purchased a beautiful 40 foot sloop for the voyage. In the midst of refitting her and upgrading the electronics on "Aquarius", my wife asks that I shorten the trip to 7 months. I agree and we target an adventure deep into Mexico and then back to SF. We take off a few days into retirement in September 2018 and head down the California coast. The Channel Islands, Santa Barbara and San Diego held many highlights for us. We spent several weeks in each location with friends visiting along the way. We arrived in Mexico in November and hit our southern most point in March 2020. Zihuantenejo is a beautiful harbor and all of the locals were friendly and warm the entire trip. We headed north in early March and arrived under the Golden Gate in mid April after a most successful voyage. The boat and crew did an awesome job and I could not have been happier. Fast forward to today and boat lives up near Berekely and she is sailed weekly. I found my passion and my life is full of sunshine and seagulls. The SF Bay is one of the greatest sailing venues in the world. With 25 knot winds all summer and a bit mellower in the winter, I am one happy sailor!! Here is some nice drone footage of the bay. This is not my boat but "Wild Card" is looking good in the vid.
Monday, January 16, 2023
Our local rock station used to honor MLK day with a musical tribute on 10@10. KFOG is long gone but another DJ picked up the 10@10 show and even got the original host, Dave Morey involved. The tag line was "10 great songs from one great year." Here is a show from Soundwaves copying the 10@10 formula and featuring MLK. Listen and learn! There are about 400 other 10@10's on Soundwaves for you to enjoy. https://www.mixcloud.com/soundwavesFM/soundwaves-1010-108-mlk/
Friday, January 13, 2023
Having lived near the ocean in the Bay Area for 40 years, I have seen my share of storms and waves. The storms started rolling in New Year's Eve and have not stopped since. And this is after many years of drought. Our biggest reservoirs have been storing less than 45% of their capacity. Trees and forests are dying due to the drought. Fires are raging in the summer and causing our skies to darken at mid day. California is struggling to say the least. Now with the onslaught of these storms, we struggle more. Yes we need the water but this has been too much. Towns being wiped out by waves, flooding, homes inundated with water, thousands of trees down due to satuated soil, rivers surging over their banks, people found dead in their cars when they drove in water that got too deep, and the list goes on. Today is Friday the 13th and it is still raining with 3 more storms on the way. They say it will be clear in a week or so and that will be none too soon. Lastly, the good news, the snow pack in the Sierra Nevada, which provides our drinking water, is over 200% at the moment. We are expecing another 8 feet in the coming days. Mammouth Mountain ski resort closed earlier this week due to too much snow. 440 inches have fallen, which is twice as much as all season last year. We still have 2.5 more months of snow to go! ve
Wednesday, January 04, 2023
Since 1973, The Ocean Race has provided the ultimate test of a team and a human adventure like no other. Over four decades it has kept an almost mythical hold over some of the greatest sailors and been the proving ground for the legends of our sport. The Ocean Race is often described as the longest and toughest professional sporting event in the world, sailing’s toughest team challenge and one of the sport’s Big Three events, alongside the Olympic Games and America’s Cup. To truly understand the race, though, it’s better to think of it in a way the athletes who take part will recognise immediately. Put simply, The Ocean Race is an obsession, and many of the world's best sailors have dedicated years, even decades of their lives trying to win it. Take Sir Peter Blake, who competed in the first edition of what was then the Whitbread Round the World Race in 1973-74 and came back again and again until he finally conquered his Everest, securing an overwhelming victory with Steinlager 2 in 1989-90. Only then was he able to fully turn his attention to other projects. The race sits, just as it always has, at the intersection of human adventure, and world-class competition. Thanks to the work of the Onboard Reporters embedded with every team, fans are given a unique insight into just what it takes to win a race that is relentless in its demands – as teams give everything they have, 24 hours a day, in pursuit of the tiny advantages that can make all the difference. The race’s concept is simple: it’s a round-the-clock pursuit of competitive edge and the ultimate ocean marathon, pitting the sport’s best sailors against each other across the world’s toughest waters. It’s relentless: the importance of winning, the adventure of life on board, the transformative effect on the sailors — all of these combine to give the race its power and depth. The last edition of the race was the closest in history, with three teams virtually tied, approaching the finish line. After 126 days of racing spread across 11 legs, the winning margin for Charles Caudrelier’s Dongfeng Race Team was only 16 minutes. The top three teams were separated by just four points. A total of 2.5 million people visited the Race Villages during the 2017-18 event, getting a first-hand taste of the action. Millions more followed the action on our digital platforms, television and via the news as the race set new high-marks for international coverage. Now we enter a new era as the event continues to evolve. Two classes will compete in the 2022-23 edition of the race with the addition of the high-tech, foiling IMOCA 60 class adding a design and technical element. The one-design VO65 fleet will race on its third lap of the planet in 2022, with an emphasis on competition, youth and crew diversity. Following the success of our ground-breaking and award-winning sustainability efforts in the last race, sustainability will continue to be a core value of the race as we go forward, as we redouble our efforts to restore ocean health and lead, inspire and engage on this critical issue. The next edition of The Ocean Race will start from Alicante, Spain on 15 January 2023.
Welcome to 2023! New Year’s Day turned out to be a spectacular sailing day! Winds were forecasted to be 10-15 with gusts to 30. We got the 10-15 but otherwise sunny and mild. The winds move to the north in the winter and make some very long tacks towards Red Rock. We had a huge rainstorm the day before and so I was on the lookout for debris but found little in my way. Hana and I set out at 11:30 just as the wind was coming up. No ferries, tankers or barges all day! We had a fabulous run up to Paradise Cove and Scott’s House. Hana was itching for the beach so I threw a stick overboard, she fetched it and was on the beach in no time. I soon followed in the kayak. After a nice lunch in the cockpit we headed back under motor. As we got to the Berkeley Pier, the wind picked up and we sailed her in as the sun set. What a way to begin another fine sailing season on the SF Bay. 2023 will mark my 40th year of sailing the Bay!!!!
2022 was off the hook! We had a bunch of travel that had been postponed due to restrictions and it all came to fruition this year. Also, in my 4th year of retirement, my sailing days increased as did the pleasure of being out there both solo and with friends. It may have been the best year of my life! New motto: At 64...there is so much more! My family is doing great and my wife is happy too. Here are some of the highlights: Finished up 2021 with a trip to the Galapagos. We took 8 friends with us for a voyage to the islands of Darwin. Our ship was an old whaling vessel that had been converted into a luxury cruiser. 30 guests and 20 crew made the trip memorable. The guides that took out exploring each day were awesome. They loved showing off their islands and passing on their intimate knowledge of the flora and fauna. The weather was great as was the food and drink. Next up was a sailboat charter out of La Paz, MX. 5 guy friends and a 40 foot cat took us to some incredible islands for snorkeling and kayaking. We had a breath taking first night with an amazing sunset and conversation. More fun ensued until we were ready to depart. Three of us tested positive for Covid and had to quarantine at a Cabo hotel for 5 days. Next it was on to the BVI's for a 60' cat charter with 3 other couples. These are friends of 35 years and we let the good times roll. With a chef and captain, the only orders I was giving was for more boat drinks! The Baths and Soggy Dollar were the highlights. Our last big adventure was 12 days of safari in the Serengeti of Africa. I must say the animals seem to be thriving and we saw it all. 4 camps with great guides to show us the best that Africa has to offer. Beside the two sail charters, I had lots of time to hit the SF Bay for some rip roaring good times. Our 40' Jeanneau is doing well and sailing like a champ. I took out loads of friends and dogs as well as lots of solo sails on the Bay. We also sailed to a few Giants games where we park the boat in a slip next to the ballpark and head in for some fun. Most sails include a stop at the beach for a swim with our golden Hana. She loves to swim to the beach and romp around. Our Bluetooth anchoring system is a dream and makes it very easy to anchor from the cockpit. I am loving retirement and keeping very busy. Here is to another fantastic year in 2023! Cheers.