Thursday, November 29, 2007

Fast is Fun

Can you imagine going this fast on a sail boat? I estimate these guys are going at 24-28 knots. These boats were used in the last Volvo Ocean Race. It's amazing to me that these boats keep getting faster and more powerful with each year. And more dangerous! If you would like to see some fantastic video from past Ocean Races, they have opened up a treasure trove of video archives right here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Saturn Dr.

I grew up in Delaware in a place called North Star. I lived on Saturn Dr. and had a good friend who lived on Venus Way. Maybe thats why I am into the celestial bodies that fill the night sky. Here is a great pic of Saturn from the Hubble. Click the pic for a much larger view.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Joyon Takes Off to Set New Round the World Record

This Friday morning November 23, 2007, Francis Joyon set out, once again, to break the solo round the world sailing record. A record he took four years ago that Ellen MacArthur improved on in the following year.

The red stem of maxi-trimaran IDEC crossed the starting line at 11h05' 52 this morning in a north easterly wind of 15 knots, which is expected to increase to 25 knots off Brittany, on calm sea and under a mixed sky of large black clouds and lighter patches. Francis Joyon, a 51 year old from La Trinité-sur-Mer, set out under full main and gennaker, to the din of helicopters and accompanying high speed motorboats.

The World Sailing Speed Records Council (WSSRC) validated the departure and calculated that to beat the record, IDEC must finish before Sunday February 3, 2008 at 1h23' 25 '' French time. A few moments before leaving the pontoon of Brest, Francis Joyon confirmed what he had said yesterday: “The weather conditions are favourable enough to not lose too much time compared Castorama on the first part of the course. We should have sufficiently constant and regular carrying winds to remain in a blow for this first week of race. One hopes to make a good time, because it is important not to be too much behind Ellen MacArthur’s time at the equator, since she profited from very favorable conditions in this segment.”

Jean-Yves Bernot, IDEC enlarged: "With winter winds getting established in Western Europe, one must not mess about, one must leave. Passing the Brittany point, the wind will settle to 25 knots of North-East and should make it possible for IDEC to reach speeds of about 23 to 24 knots. Around Finisterre, the wind will go up to 28 to 30 knots. There will undoubtedly be the need for tacking in the Bay of Biscay to follow wind oscillations of about ten degrees. The important thing is that, as for as we can see, there will be no break on the route to get into the trade winds, as there was for competitors in the Transatlantic Jacques Vabre. I’m hoping it won’t take Francis much more than a week, perhaps eight days, to reach the equator. That would be perfect."

4 Year Old is One with the Whales

Got Zorbing?

Top Ten Sailing Videos

According to Marine Blast.

Barcelona World Race

Two crew, 25k miles, nonstop, insane speeds, no sleep, records broken, lives threatened, and exciting racing around the world. The video is in french but this is the basic translation. Hold onto something when you watch the vid!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Pic of the Day - Pigeon Point, CA

Click the pic for a larger view.

Awesome Wingsuit

Ship of Dreams

On April 14th 1912 the most luxurious passenger liner on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York hit icebergs and sank in less than 3 hours later. 1,500 people lost their lives. The Titanic sank in Canadian waters, about 400 miles off the coast of Newfoundland.

Had the icebergs warnings that had been radioed to the ship been forwarded to the Captain, the catastrophe may never have occurred. If just 2 messages that came into the radio room had been transmitted to the Bridge, Captain Smith would have most certainly stopped the ship.

Instead the Titanic hit an underwater Iceberg spur that caused a 300 ft gash along the Starboard side. 2 Hours and 40 minutes later it had completely sunk. 1500 people died in the freezing icy North Atlantic waters. There were not enough lifeboats on board.
Continue reading here.

Cool Pool

Need a new thrill? Dive into one of the planet’s most unusual swimming holes. Tucked away in the sleepy town of Midway, Utah, Homestead Crater is a 55-foot-high dome filled halfway with 96-degree spring waters rich in minerals. It’s the perfect retreat after a chilly day of schussing at one of the four ski areas in nearby Park City.

The crater rises on the grounds of the Homestead Resort near Wasatch Mountain State Park, site of biathlon and cross-country skiing meets during the 2002 Winter Olympics. It won its earliest fans in 1886, when tired silver miners were lowered by rope from a hole at the dome’s top to soothe their sore muscles in the water.

Today, visitors enter through a 110-foot tunnel bored into the dome’s porous rock wall above the water line. You can take a dip in the crystal-clear pool—lighted at night—or grab a snorkel, mask, and fins and gaze down 65 feet at mineral deposits that grace the chamber’s sides. Homestead is the only warm-water scuba diving site in the continental United States.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sailboat Ownership on the Cheap

For those of you considering buying a boat in the near future, there is the big question of: cost of ownership. What will it cost on a monthly basis to own a sailboat? From my experience over the last seven years, it can be a very expensive experience or it can be inexpensive (how does $3 a day for a 30 foot sailboat sound to you?). Let's take for example, our 25 year old sailboat on the San Francisco Bay. Our boat happens to be a 30' Newport designed by Gary Mull for Capital Yachts. We purchased her for $16k about 7 years ago. At the time, we had three partners so a little over $5k each. Not bad. She was in great shape and sail ready. Fast forward to today and we have 5 partners and we each pay $100 per month. Our slip fees are about $280 per month so that leaves us plenty of money that can go towards insurance, bottom cleaning, haulouts, repairs, etc. If you are interested in reading further and learning how to set up a partnership, please see this article I wrote for Latitude 38. Please contact me if you have any questions or would like to see our partnership agreement. If you have ever wanted to own a boat, now is the time to move forward!!

How The Moon Was Formed

One of the more popular theories on the formation of moon goes something like this: During the formation of earth, a huge object (a comet or another planet?) hit earth with a giant impact. This caused a huge amount of debris to scatter into the atmosphere. With gravity and other elements at work, it formed somewhat of a ring of debris around earth. After billions of years, this debris coalesced into the moon. This theory is called the Giant Impact Hypothesis. It works on several levels as much of the composition of the moon, is the same as earth. Does this type of impact and creation of satellites happen often? Less than 20% of the time according to studies of other planets moons in our solar system. This a great story to tell your friends when you gaze up at the sky!

Traffic Will Be Slow Today

Click the pic to read the sign.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Fatima's Hand

Karina Hollekim is a rare bird, indeed. This 30 year old Norwegian beauty is one of the top BASE jumpers in the world. Fearless, crazy, and she loves to fly. About a year ago she traveled to a remote section of West Africa with a film crew. They planned to film her as she climbed her way to the top of Fatima's Hand, a rock outcropping in the middle of the desert. They had no idea what they were getting into. Sand storms, equipment problems, not enough food and more. At one point she had climbed to the top and then a sand storm came in and they had to go down, only to climb back up the next day. Grueling and painful. View the trailer of the movie that has won several awards.

Hella Good!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Kite Cam

This is way cool. An SF sailor rigs a kite cam so he can film himself singlehanding the Pacific on his Dana 24. I would not have thought this could have been done but here is proof!

Crazy, Lucky, or Just Plain Skilled?

Bonehead Move of the Weekend

Watch out for that prop!


About a month ago, I did a feature on the aurora borialis. As I mentioned, in the northern hemisphere, we have aurora borialis. The question was, what do they call the phenomenon in the southern hemisphere? The answer is aurora australis (australis is the latin word for "of the south"). Don't forget to look up at night!

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Silly Boat Names

We've all seen them. Names that don't make sense or puns that just don't work. Here is a nice long list of boat names we hope we never see. Here are a couple to warm you up:

Irritable Bow Movement
Vitamin Sea
Cunning Stunts
A Crewed Interest
Norwegian Woody

To see the complete list, click here.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Waterfall of the Day

Pics of the Day!

Click the pic to enlarge.

Worst Wipeouts of 2007

On a surfing jag today. Here is some excellent video of some of this years worst wipeouts. Check it while it lasts here.

Treats from Teahupoo

Click me!

Teahupoo exploded with some monster lefts about 10 days ago. All the big guns were there along with one of the top surf photo guys, Tim McKenna to put the whole thing on record. Check out all the great shots here.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Absolute Adventure

Francis Joyon is in the wait mode as he attempts to singlehand the globe on his brand new water rocket. His goal is break Ellen MacArthur's record of 71 days. Ironically, she broke his record of 72 days that he set in 2004. You may remember that after his finish in 2004, he declined spending the night at the local marina and continued on to his home port. He was so exhausted, that he fell asleep and destroyed his boat on some rocks. What a heart breaker! This time he has a bigger, lighter, faster tri that should break the 70 day barrier. A unique part of the journey is that he will have no engine on board. He respects the environment too much to harm it. It's going to be fun to watch his progress. Check out the boat and the video section of his website (all in french) and hold onto your hat!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

H2uh0 Radio

Check out my playlistnear the top of the page on the right. All the songs are are from a cool service called Finetune. These are many of my favorites from periods throughout my life. Be sure to go to Finetune and start your own playlist (and embed into your own blog)! Keep this window open and you can continue listening to H2uh0 Radio for up to 3 hours at a time. Enjoy!


So people ask what sailing is all about

Slick Tricks from X-Games

2001 Flashback- iPod Intro by Steve Jobs

Nobody new what a sensation the iPod would be when it was introed. How many do you have in 2007?

Monday, November 05, 2007

Baja Ha Ha

The cruiser rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas is in full swing as I type. The rally started with about 160 boats and 600 folks a week ago. They do three legs down the coast of Mexico with stops at Turtle Bay (330 miles), Bahia Santa Maria (250 miles) and then on to Cabo (120 mies). At the first two stops, the little fishing villages throw a big fiesta for the cruisers. For many, this is the beginning of their cruising dreams and a great way to meet like minded folks on their way south. Many will continue on to far flung destinations and many will return home after the rally. The rally is in it's 14th year and is presided over by the Latitude 38 head honcho Richard Spindler (his daughter organizes the event). So now maybe you wanna try this fun, life altering bonanza but you don't own a boat....well you can join in next year. Go to Lat38's Mexico crew list and start dreaming. Sell yourself and jump on a boat for warm tropical breezes and cold Coronas.

View from the hills of Turtle Bay from this year's Baja Ha Ha. Click to see all the boats!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Thursday, November 01, 2007