Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Kiter Sails to World Record

On May 13th world wave champion kitesurfer Kirsty Jones from Wales UK, broke the kitesurfing world record by kitesurfing 140 miles from Lanzarote to Morocco, land to land. It took 9 hours, non stop.

She left from the beach in front of Lanzarote's grandest hotel, hotel Salinas in Costa Teguise, at 10am on May 13th and arrived in Tarfaya, Western Sahara, Morocco at 7pm. Her route took her up towards the Northern Sahara then down wind towards her final destination.

Kirsty had encountered very light wind 4 hours into the challenge which slowed her down and caused her to become sea sick because of the choppy sea and swell then luckily the wind picked up and she hit speeds of 40 kms. She was forced to change tack and angle to the wind on a few occasions to ensure she arrived at her destination making the journey even more tiring and difficult. Read the rest here.

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Frisbee Turns 50!

I have a long and heartfelt relationship with this wonderful piece of plastic. It started on a beach in Delaware in the early 60's. My Dad and I used to toss a little back then. He showed me how to throw it in the air so it would fly into the wind and then back into my hands after 5 or 6 seconds. That was cool. In college at UNLV, we would play for hours on the field or in the street next to our apartment. Then I reconnected a guy named Steve Peterson who changed everything. In 1979, he introduced me to Ultimate Frisbee. It was only a two on two game at Goldey Beacom College on Limestone Road but it changed the direction of my life! I was hooked! I went on to help form a team at UNLV in 1979 called the High Rollers. After I graduated, I formed a team at Stanford called SCUM O' Earth. We played hard and went to many a tournament but rarely did we rise to the top over the next 10 years. We still managed to have the time of our lives and made bonds that still stand today. Ultimate is still in our blood, however only a handful of us still play this young man's game. Many of us still toss and play an occasional round of Frisbee golf. For more history on the last 50 years, fly on over to this page.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Weekend Sail

Looks like we are in for another grand weekend of great weather and excelllent sailing conditions. I plan to do a sunset cruise tonight and sleep on the boat. On Saturday we have a bunch of folks joining us for a day sail out to see the Master Mariners Regatta. This race features all the classic wood boats on the bay. And there are some beauts out there. The lovely boat above, Santana, is a classic that was once owned by Humphry Bogart. She was let to her own devices and sank in her slip until her current owner came along and brought her back up to speed. Should be a great weekend of sun, sail and fun! Hope you have a great one too.

Build Your Own Ferro Boat

You have heard about the cement boats that can sail the world with the best of them. You might wonder how they build these boats. Most are made in the backyard as there are no companies that I have heard of that make these boats. I found a website that describes the building of a very large ferro as well as all the things that go along with getting this 30 ton monster to the sea. I think they named her "Rolling Stone". Check the page here.

Net Radio

As you may know, net radio is fighting the fight of their lives as the music industry is trying to increase royalties that they pay to the artists. This increase will drive most of them out of business. It seems to me that these folks are shooting themseves in the foot. Web radio is a great way for unkown artists to introduce themselves to the world. Without the web, they will only die a slow death. If you would like to help with the fight, please visit

The other day I discovered a new source of great music from all over the world. Please visit filter music for some very interesting music you won't hear anywhere else.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Lost Whales

We have some humpbacks and grey whales that swim into the bay on occasion. Right now we have two whales that have swam 50 miles up the Sacramento River with the locals trying to lure them back to the ocean. However, the most famous whale came into the bay in 1985 and swam into the hearts of thousands of people as he strugggled to get back to the sea. Watch this vintage video of his adventure and how the folks of the bay area pulled together to save Humphrey the Wayward Humpback Whale.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


I have always been intrigued by the thought of flying on a paraglider. The feeling of soaring above the earth with a quiet view of the world below would be a nice rush. However the thought of the hard ground and the fact that I would be several thousand feet above the hard ground, has always dissuaded me from trying the sport. I think I'll stick with windsurfing as water is a bit softer and I am closer to it when I fall. If you are intersted, here is a website with more info here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Day 22

A while back I reported about the couple that plans to circle the globe for the next 1000 days without touching land. After planning this trip for the last 8 years, they were on Day 15 and got hit by a tanker in the wee dawn hours. The captain was on watch and checking the horizon every 15 minutes and still did not see the ship in front of him. The ship bent the bowsprit and really messed up the bow. There was doubt they could continue. Now after 7 days of repair at sea, they have a stronger bowsprit in place and they plan to continue on with their journey. Read more here.

Kite Surfer Tangles with 747

Click Here for more great videos and pictures!

Monday, May 14, 2007

XM Radio for Free!

So you've been thinking about trying the satellite radio thing. Is it worth it? Don't I have enough music in iTunes and on my iPod already? On the other side, you will be discovering new music in many different genres, hearing music you have never heard before. Well here is your chance to try it free on AOL Radio. There are some very hip stations to listen in on. Download the software and crank it up here!

Hawaiian Watermen

Here is a cool video from Hawaii that features some nice rides by some of Hawaii's best chargers. Check it here.

Friday, May 11, 2007

50 Knots

In 1993, an Australian team, with their yacht "Yellow Pages Endeavour", broke the World Sailing Speed Record. The new mark was set at 46.52 knots (86.52 km/h) in only 19 - 20 knots of wind. The World Sailing Speed Record is governed by a body of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). Claiming a world record requires the sailing craft to average the highest speed over a 500m course.

The initial design concept was brought to the team by its designer Lindsay Cunningham. The team was between defences of the Little America's Cup in International C Class catamarans (the fastest course racing yachts in the world) and Lindsay's proposal sparked the interest in making an attempt at the World Sailing Speed Record.

After setting the World Record, the Yellow Pages team decided to continue to push the limits of speed sailing. A new craft, "Macquarie Innovation" was designed and constructed in an attempt to be the first ever to break the 50 knot barrier.

Based on the same concept as "Yellow Pages Endeavour", Macquarie Innovation is the culmination of all the design lessons learnt from the Yellow Pages campaign as well as some new ideas. The total concept has been extensively tested both in computer simulations as well as in a flow tank at the Australian Maritime Engineering facility in Tasmania and the design team are confident that the 50 knot target is achievable.

Full scale testing has been performed at Sandy Point with some stunning results with peak speeds recorded in excess of 47 knots. The team believes strongly that it is just a matter of time before the world record is returned to Australian shores and that they will have the very significant honour of being the first sailing craft in the world to surpass 50 knots.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Too Funny

Flying the Ocean

For those adrenaline junkies who need speed, this video is for you. This is a two man boat flying in the Bay of Biscay shortly before a race they eventually capsize in. Could you imagine going this fast in these conditions? 25 -30 knots and the high of your life!

Panama Canal Time Lapse - From a Ship's Perspective

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Jazz Fest 2007 (and the Mardi Gras Indians)

The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival finishes up another historic two weekends of music today. You can hear cajun music, zydeco, blues and lots of today's top artists converge on the fairgrounds and put together one of the greatest shows on the planet. This year featured top artists like Bonnie Raitt, Van Morrison, Norah jones, Cowboy Mouth, Marcia Ball and a ton more. There are about 10 main stages and the artists are all playing at the same time. You end up running from stage to stage because it is all so good. And the food is amazing too. My fav is the Crawfish Bread!! For a little flavor of the show, tune into wwoz radio in NOLA. And next year, be sure to check it out live! and support NOLA and the artists. To listen click here.

Amazing Photos of New Zealand

If you have not been to NZ yet, do yourself a favor and get there. The scenery, the people and the amazing wildlife make this country a paradise. Check the photos here.


Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Wave

Nicknamed "The End of the Road," Teahupoo carries that distinction for more than one reason. The obvious being that the small town is essentially the last stop on the road that partially rings both Tahiti Nui ("big Tahiti") and Tahiti Iti ("small Tahiti"). The less-obvious reason is the one that's become clearly understood by the surf community in the past decade: If you lose your concentration out there, the expression "the end of the road" could be referring to your life.

Located half a kilometer off the coast of the fishing village of Teahupoo, this monster left-hand reef pass has become synonymous with waves of consequence. Surf journalist Gary Taylor wrote about it in 2000: "Teahupoo isn't a wave, it's a war zone. A freak of nature that some bastard decided to call a surf spot." Though it rarely grows taller than Hawaii's marquee spots, the marked feature of the wave is that it seems to have no back, appearing more like a tidal surge. Because Tahiti has neither a continental shelf nor an outer reef to diffuse the power of Southern Hemisphere swells, the backless beasts hit like sledgehammers, and head-high waves at Chopes have the power of double- or even triple-overhead waves elsewhere. Over twelve feet, the wave becomes too hard to paddle into, and that's when the event goes on hold and the tow boards come out.
Read more.

Too Much Fun!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

A Whale of a Tale

It took a fair bit of work to wrap my head around sailing a multihull. After spending a lifetime racing keel boats, from Harmonic 24's to maxiboats, cruising in my own yacht and skippering small ships; Loose Goose, a Newick Val 31, felt awfully flimsy and they turn over, don't they?

I'd been shopping for a boat to win the 2007 Taranaki Daily News Shorthanded Tasman Yacht Race and when Loose Goose, a saucy little Dick Newick designed trimaran came on the market, she seemed like the boat to do the job and teach me how to sail a multihull in the process. I wasn't along to participate in the race, I wanted to win and Loose Goose was the boat to do it.

During the test sail, in 30 knots of nor' easter on Auckland Harbour, Loose Goose put on an exhilarating performance, picking up the Sunday afternoon armada of inbound Gulf cruisers like they were sailing backwards, but she showed the effects of long months of neglect on a mooring and proved very difficult to tack.

Nevertheless I felt Loose Goose was the boat to tackle the Tasman Race and possibly even look at the six days eight hour record for the 1250 nautical mile course set by another trimaran, Bullfrog Sunblock, in 1986. I checked with Loose Goose's builder and was satisfied with her plywood, epoxy and carbon fibre construction. I bought the boat and, over the next six months; hauled her out at Okahu Bay in Auckland, replaced the standing rigging, removed and rebuilt the rudder and steering gear, rewired the interior and completed a myriad of small fitting out jobs.

The more I got to know the boat's construction, the more my confidence grew and I began keeping an eye on weather patterns for the right window to sail Loose Goose on the 520 mile coastal passage home to Port Taranaki. Finally, in early January, the time looked opportune. The sea area Brett forecast predicted a few days of sou' westerlies veering nor' easterly.
The southerlies would get me up the north east coast and, hopefully, the northerlies would kick in for the trip from Cape Reinga to Port Taranaki. Read more.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Check out this cool clip from a french movie called Distrct B13.