Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Very Cool, Very Strange

Happy New Decade!

Three Things That Make Our Boat Great

We are headed into our 10th year of owning our Newport 30 Addiction. It has been a great 10 years indeed. I estimate that I have sailed over 10,000 miles on our boat in that time. I sail 20 or more miles each time I go out (once a week) x 50 = 1000 x 10 years. As you can tell, I love sailing and all that comes with it. This quote says it all for me:
"Something about sailing a boat brings so many senses and sensations into play that it's very difficult to pinpoint what it is specifically that makes me like it so much: the sight of sails and sheets overhanging the water; the foam and spray flying as the bow cuts the water; the motion of the boat; the physical and mental ballet necessary to handle the boat correctly. A sailboat might just be the most beautiful, sensuous and intelligent blend of man/machine/and elements that exists in the world today. The relationship between the three is the most harmonious I have experienced so far. Besides you can have a beer while you do it". --anonymous
When we bought our boat in 2000, we were looking for a few things: turnkey and ready for sailing, standing headroom (I am 6'6"), 30 feet minimum, diesel engine, legal head, spinnaker, wheel steering, 2000lbs + ballast, and sleeps 4 comfortably for week long trips to the delta. We found all those elements and more in our Gary Mull designed vessel. After sailing her for the last 10 years, there are three things that have made this boat outstanding that I had not considered. Self tailing winches are such a convenient piece of equipment. It just makes sailing that much better. Number 2 is our dodger. The bay is cold and nasty in the summer with lots of blue water coming over the bow and the 35 knots of wind is downright frigid! The dodger keeps the ladies warm, dry and happy which is key. Lastly, the item that has changed our sailing lives the most is our beautiful roller furling jib! We added it about 4 years ago after dealing with a hank on. The conditions on the bay are so variable that this has been one of the best decisions we ever made. Looking at the boats in our marina, I would say 80-90% have this item. Many times, it is so windy out there we just roll out a bit of jib and she handles like a dream. Also nice for the many times I am single handing. So if you are looking to buy a boat in 2010, some of these criteria may help you in your selection process. Or, if you are looking to upgrade your own boat, these items might be worth considering. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you get out on your boat and enjoy your time there. As I like to say, "Sailing is the celebration of life!".

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sailing Reflections of 2009

What a great year of sailing we had. Lots of friends joined us on the boat and all were blown away at how beautiful it is on our wonderful bay. One day in October, I took out an old friend and her boyfriend. The winds were 12-14 as we set sail for Angel Island. I sent her and her beau to the bow for the reach to the island. With a glass of champagne in hand, they could not get over how lovely it was and the amazing scenery. It was a great day indeed. That's the thing about getting friends out for a sail, it makes you appreciate sailing your home waters because they get so excited about how cool this sport is. I look forward to getting more folks out there next year. This last year, I probably took close to 80 folks out on the bay. Like I say, it was a great year.

More highlights:
Night sails - I went out at least a dozen times and these were some of the best. My last night sail was amazing in that the wind was heavy and the waves were huge. Loved it and so did the boat
Sailing to the Giants games and then sailing back late at night about 1.5 hours to our slip
Bocce on Angel Island
Swimming in Paradise Cove
Raft Up in Clipper Cove with 4 other Newports
Kaboom Fireworks Show
Fleetweek Air Show
Napa sail with Tex and biking to local wineries in the Carneros area
Birthday sail with my wife, and our best friends Frank and Leslie
The sails from mid October to December have been amazing!
Sailing the creek in Redwood City with Arnie and friends
One of my favorite sailing jokes is to sail close to another boat and say "Excuse me, do you have any Gray Poupon?". Try it, it always gets a laugh. Except for that one guy who went down below to look and shrugged his shoulders saying no he did not have any. Now that was funny. Hope you had a good one out there too. Happy New Year!!

Christmas Card

Here is the pic we used for our card to friends and family. My son Connor (almost 14) and our pup Kona (almost 18 months). Happy holidays to all!

Great Sailing Quotes

"There is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. In or out of 'em, it doesn't matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that's the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don't; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you're always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you've done it there's always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you'd much better not."

Spoken by Ratty to Mole in Wind in the Willows a children's book by Kenneth Grahame (1859-1932).


A sea captain when he stands upon the bridge, or looks out from his deck-house, thinks much about God and about the world. Away in the valley yonder among the corn and the poppies men may well forget all things except the warmth of the sun upon the face, and the kind shadow under the hedge; but he who journeys through storm and darkness must needs think and think. One July a couple of years ago I took my supper with a Captain Moran on board the s.s. Margaret, that had put into a western river from I know not where. I found him a man of many notions all flavoured with his personality, as is the way with sailors. He talked in his queer sea manner of God and the world, and up through all his words broke the hard energy of his calling.
- William Butler Yeats, The Celtic Twilight

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.

- William Arthur Ward

I just thank God I don’t live in a trailer.

Jimmy Buffet , Son of a son of a sailor

The house was built on the highest part of the narrow tongue of land between the harbor and the open sea. It had lasted through three hurricanes and it was built solid as a ship.

- Ernest Hemingway

Sailing is just the bottom line, like adding up the score in bridge. My real interest is in the tremendous game of life.

- Dennis Conner

There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.

- Old Norwegian Adage

Any fool can carry on, but a wise man knows how to shorten sail in time.

- Joseph Conrad

I cannot not sail.

- E. B. White

The lovely thing about cruising is that planning usually turns out to be of little use.

- Dom Degnon

There is nothing more enticing, disenchanting, and enslaving than the life at sea.

- Joseph Conrad

The days pass happily with me wherever my ship sails.

- Joshua Slocum

At sea, I learned how little a person needs, not how much.

- Robin Lee Graham

The cure for anything is saltwater – sweat, tears, or the sea.

- Isak Dinesen

The sea hates a coward.

- Eugene O’Neill

To young men contemplating a voyage I would say go.

- Joshua Slocum

Boats, like whiskey, are all good.

- R. D. Culler

Wind is to us what money is to life on shore.

- Sterling Hayden

I hate storms, but calms undermine my spirits.

- Bernard Moitessier

Being hove to in a long gale is the most boring way of being terrified I know.

- Donald Hamilton

The wind and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigator.

- Edmund Gibbon

The chance for mistakes is about equal to the number of crew squared.

- Ted Turner

If you are going to do something, do it now. Tomorrow is too late.

- Pete Goss

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Moonbow and Venus imaged by Rob Ratkowski (photography) in May 2004. Moonbows are very rare. The moon must be bright and not too high, the sky must be dark else the faint bow will not be visible and there must be rain in the direction opposite the moon. Orion was setting when Rob took this spectacular image, Venus is the bright object inside the bow. Mars is above it to the left and Saturn is above Mars and outside the primary. Capella is the bright star to the right (north) of Venus. Do not expect to see much colour with the unaided eye because moonbows are usually too faint to excite the colour sensors in our eyes. We therefore mostly see them as a series of grey shades.


Who the hell parked their car under my boat?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Pics of the Week

Bottom Picture: The police had them take this one down as it became a hazzard when folks pulled over and started climbing the ladder to help. It was a little too real!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Shark Bite

As a kid growing up on the outskirts of Chicago, Jonathan Kathrein spent hours and hours at Tower Lakes Beach playing the swimming chase game "sharks and minnows" with his family and friends.

"It's more fun being a minnow, because minnows can swim really fast to get away from the shark," he told his mom Marge one day as he dried off.

A decade later, after the family moved to Lucas Valley, the 16-year-old Kathrein was surfing at Stinson Beach and was unable to outswim a great white shark. It ravaged his right leg and spurred worldwide media attention that would forever change his life. In a new memoir more than a decade in the making, Marge Kathrein chronicles the deep impact the incident had on her, her son and her family and hopes others will learn the values they did in crisis.

"Far From Shore: A Mother's Memoir of a Shark Attack," self-published through a division of, documents in vivid detail the immediate and long-term aftermath of the Aug. 26, 1998 shark attack that left Jonathan Kathrein with wounds that took 200 stitches to close. It also addresses the emotional scarring Marge Kathrein sustained, her family's evolution after the event and Jonathan Kathrein's battles to overcome his fear of the ocean, capped by his participation in the Tiburon Mile ocean race in September. Read on.

Geminids Tonight!

We have a big storm brewing but if it clears about 9pm, they say we could see 50-100 meteors per hour. Look up!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Pics of the Day

Not sure where this is but boy would it be fun to hang at this beach for an afternoon or two!

Take The Sailing Quiz

I found a fun sailing quiz online. Not to difficult and pretty fun to test your sailing knowledge. See how you stack up with your sailing know how. Check it here.
Here is my sailing question of the day: On a sailboat, what is a painter?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Long Wins With Perfect Ride

In last heat yesterday, California's Greg Long, 26, came from behind to win $55,000 and the Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational. Pardon the pun, but Long was a "long shot" to win "The Eddie" considering that this was his first time invited to this event.

Yet, yesterday was special for the San Clemente native and the iconic surf contest. It was exactly 25 years to the date when this big wave event first ran in 1984 as a tribute to legendary waterman Eddie Aikau. Aikau was one of the most prolific Waimea Bay surfers and was the first lifeguard at The Bay. He was lost at sea while attempting to paddle for help when the Hawaiian voyaging canoe, Hokule'a, capsized off of O'ahu. "Riding big waves is my passion and I've been following "The Eddie" since I knew exactly what it was, I was probably 12-years-old just getting into surfing," said Long who lives out of his van in California for greater mobility to chase big swells. "I never would have thought that this being my first year surfing the event, to come away with a victory is really a childhood dream become real."

The biggest sets of "The Eddie" rolled into Waimea Bay during the final hour ranging from 22-to 25-feet. These mountains of water allowed Long to catch four high scoring rides to overtake 9-Time World Champ Kelly Slater. Furthermore, Long caught a perfect scoring 100-point wave in the final heat.

"There were a couple of big sets that started feathering out the back and you thought they were going to close out, but you had to hold your ground. I was checking my lineups and where I needed to be," said Long of his 100-point ride. "I turned around, put my head down and there was no way I wasn't going to go. And, it was one of the bigger and better paddle-in waves I got in a while. That heat lent itself to coming from behind."

While this event pays homage to Aikau's endearing legacy of aloha, the Quiksilver Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational brings out the best in the sport of surfing according to Long. "It really is about the wave and celebrating the ocean," Long said. "The respect and camaraderie in the lineup you don't find in too many places in the world, and this event really encapsulates everything that's great about surfing: the friendships you make in the water and looking out for one another."

Former Eddie Aikau Champion Kelly Slater had an immense amount of respect for Long's performance and the event yesterday. Despite, finishing runner-up Slater was still psyching on the overall vibe of the contest. "One of the best days of surfing in my life, for sure." said Slater who won this event in 2002 and claimed $10,000 yesterday. "I had a couple of my most memorable rides I've ever had. That last heat was just pulsing with huge sets coming in, it had the biggest sets and Greg won the whole contest with one heat."

Here was a perfect ride from the previous contest in 2004 riden by Bruce Irons.

Ricochet - The Cool Surfing Dog

We are proud owners of a Golden Retriever named Kona. He is 17 months old and a wonderful family dog. Like every dog he is great in so many ways but certainly not perfect. We have done a ton of work with him to try to curb his obsession with food. Our training has paid off but we still have to be very vigalant when there is food around or he will try to get it. This video made me realize you just have to make the best of what you have to work with. I got a little misty at the end and you might too.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Eddie Would Go!

The Quicksilver Surf Contest may happen this week. As you may know, the Maverick's contest is a no go, however the waves in Hawaii are in the 40 foot range and getting bigger each day. The Quicksilver contest has not been held since 2004 as the waves have not been over 40 feet. Yesterday they exploded and the roads were jammed with folks hoping to get a glance at these Pacific monsters rolling into Waimea Bay on the North Shore of Oahu. Check out the site for updates and more info.


Monday, December 07, 2009

Alltop - One Stop for all your Sailing Info Needs

Here is a great site to get all your sailing blogs, news and more at one site. If you sign up you can create your own page with all your favorites. It's a great way to get all the sailing, or whatever your sport or interest is, all at one place. Here is the
sailing page.

Sailor Know How: Transom to Target

So you are out on a bright day and tacking out of your home waters. You want to make it out with the least amount of tacks as possible to get to your destination. However there is an obstruction off your stern and blocking your course once you tack . You are not sure how far you have to go until you can tack and make it around that object. This has been a question that I have asked many a sailor and no one could tell me the answer, until yesterday. I was out with a bunch of friends who have sailed a bunch and Pierre knew the answer: Transom to Target. When you can draw a straight line between the angle of your transom to the object, then it is time to tack. We tried it yesterday around the Berkeley Pier and it worked perfectly. Currents could be a variable to work into the formula as well. Give it a try next time you are out and see if it works for you. And maybe I can save you a few tacks in the future. Here was another sailing know how tip from a while back.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

My Favorite Sea Creature - The Sun Fish

The ocean sunfish, Mola mola, or common mola, is the heaviest known bony fish in the world. It has an average adult weight of 1,000 kg (2,200 lb). The species is native to tropical and temperate waters around the globe. It resembles a fish head with a tail, and its main body is flattened laterally. Sunfish can be as tall as they are long when their dorsal and ventral fins are extended.

Sunfish live on a diet that consists mainly of jellyfish, but because this diet is nutritionally poor, they consume large amounts in order to develop and maintain their great bulk. Females of the species can produce more eggs than any other known vertebrate.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Great Apps for the Sailor/Mariner

A few months ago, I wrote an article about iPhone apps for the sailor. Here is an update with lots more from Paul Oliva of the SF Chronicle newspaper.

When award-winning tech entrepreneur and Santa Cruz sailor Philippe Kahn sails a grueling ocean race, his navigation bag holds something unexpected: an iPhone. A growing number of mobile applications, or "apps," are helping to keep boaters informed, on course and entertained. Plus, they're often free or low cost, making a $25 gift card go a long way.

For the uninitiated, a mobile app is software that downloads just like a ring tone to a Web-enabled phone or other device.

Kahn's iPhone 3GS, packed in a watertight OtterBox case, runs an app his company developed called MotionX-GPS. A thousand miles from California, racing his boat, Pegasus, in this year's Transpac to Honolulu, Kahn used MotionX to navigate, record his course and upload his positions to a Google map, Facebook and Twitter with comments, photos and video. Incidentally, Pegasus set a world double-handed record in that race.

Palm and mobile Windows devices have some apps, but Apple's iTunes store has the most.

There's an impressive array of navigation apps there, in addition to full GPS navigation such as MotionX-GPS ($2.99). For instance, Navionics offers $9.99 interactive marine charts with navigation and a database of tide, current and marine services. Wondering how long it takes to tack toward Alcatraz? SailTimer ($13.99) calculates the answer. Anchor Alarm ($9.99) says your boat is drifting, Ship Finder ($4.99) gives details of that ship about to run you over (California not yet available), and StarPilot is a celestial almanac ($29.99) that could be used with a 99-cent Sextant app.

Mark Wilson of Concord religiously packs his iPhone in an Aquapac dry pack on a lanyard to check conditions before and during a day of fly-fishing.

Surf Report is a free app for coastal conditions. Tide Graph ($1.99) and apps like it deliver tide, current, sun and moon information. RiverGuide for Kayakers ($4.99) gives real-time river flow information. The NOAA Buoy Data Reader ($2.99) and Boating Weather ($1.99) deliver easy access to government weather feeds.

Wilson says such apps are great for potentially dangerous river and ocean conditions: "They tell you real-time information, what the seas are, what the winds are, what the temperatures are."

Mobile apps pack a ton of technical reference in a tiny space for a tiny cost. Boater's Pocket Reference ($4.99) is a mini encyclopedia. Official navigation rules go for $2.99, while $1.99 buys cool apps for identifying the navigation lights of vessels (Ship Shape) and the code flags they fly (Naviflags). A mere 99 cents buys Boat Ramps, which shows exactly where to put your boat in the water.

Some learning tools use animation to teach tricky things such as knot-tying and sail adjustments.

Non-Apple devices won't run these apps. Practical Sailor's December issue reviews three pocket navigation apps for Palm and Windows.

Yet even different versions of the iPhone and iPod touch have different position-tracking, motion-sensing and communications capabilities.

Bottom line: Always check whether the app matches the device, and never let technology distract from safety or enjoying the outdoors.

New Mascot for the Horses Mouth

Come on dawg, you need a new mascot for your site! :~}

Latitude 38

The latest issue of Lat38 is available for free download. For those not familier with this West Coast magazine, she is considered one of the finest sailing rags available. Written by sailors, for sailors. I always enjoys reading the Letters section, as well as the Changes in Latitude section. Plus there is a ton of great info and sometimes interviews with sailors from around the globe. Check it out with a download.

The Yellow Light Is On

Big waves are on their way to the Bay Area, raising the possibility that the Mavericks Surf Contest could be held next week - possibly Tuesday morning.

Organizers, who have had to scrap the contest two out of the past three years because of stubbornly calm seas, are looking for a rare mix of giant swells and clear weather at the Mavericks surfing spot north of Half Moon Bay.

If conditions now predicted for Tuesday hold up, the 24 surfers in the contest field will be asked to vote Sunday morning via e-mail on whether to make "the call" and hit the water in 48 hours.

Contest co-director Katherine Clark said conditions could change. A series of storms is predicted to roll over California next week, and the waves hitting the Bay Area may turn out to be too rough even for champion surfers.

Organizers determined to hold the event this season opened the contest window early. It now runs from November through March.

The 24 invited surfers are voting for the first time this year on when to hold the contest. They were asked to weigh in on a date last month but rejected it.

For pics, vids and more info, go here.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Taming the Sea Monster

Damian Foxall is steering a sailboat through howling wind on a starless, bone-chilling November night on the North Atlantic. The yacht, Foncia, is an ORMA Open 60 trimaran, the fastest and most sophisticated class of sailboat on the water, a flighty thoroughbred born of computers and carbon fiber and capable of sustained speeds even few powerboats can match. There are nine other three-hulled boats like Foncia nearby, along with 19 traditional monohulls. They're racing from Le Havre, France, to Bahia, Brazil, in the Transat Jacques Vabre, one of the world's most prestigious transatlantic sailing races. Foxall, a lanky Irishman with close-cropped hair and an angular face, hasn't slept in 24 hours, but that's OK; Foncia is in the lead.

At 4 am the wind drops and Foncia slows - a good time to refine course and tack. Foxall gives the helm to his sole crewmate, Armel LeCleach, and crawls into the cockpit. He pulls in the sails and drops the canting mast away from the wind. Suddenly there's a gust, and the massive boat, 60 feet long and 60 feet wide, lifts. Foxall dives toward the mainsheet to release the sail and decelerate. But another gust, 49 knots - just short of hurricane force - knocks the yacht on its side. In an instant, Foncia is upside down and Foxall is underwater, pinned between a winch and the boom beneath a 5-ton boat.

Somehow, Foxall wriggles free, gulps air, and pulls himself aft. LeCleach, marooned on the upturned hull, yanks him aboard. But Foxall's chest and right shoulder are in agony, and he's unable to stand. So LeCleach opens one of the watertight hatches in the hull, drags Foxall inside, and sets off Foncia's distress signal. Continue here.

Tiger's Mistress

No not that one....his yacht silly. Several years ago, Tiger took delivery of a brand new $20M yacht. Too bad he doesn't like sailing. You can get a very nice sailboat for that much coin. The yacht is called Privacy and it looks like an awesome ride.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Moitessier - The Sailor's Sailor

"I have no desire to return to Europe with all its false gods. They eat your liver out and suck your marrow and brutalize you. I am going where you can tie up a boat where you want and the sun is free, and so is the air you breathe and the sea where you swim and you can roast yourself on a coral reef....(1)"

IN EARLY MARCH 1969, THE FRENCH-COLONIAL SINGLE- handed circumnavigator Bernard Moitessier, aboard his unique 39 foot steel ketch Joshua, rounded Cape Horn and stood to the north "outside" the Falkland Islands for the long run uphill to England to finish first and fastest in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race around the world.(2)

Joshua was so far ahead of the other entrants that winning was almost a certainty, barring any unforeseen emergency-and there were few exigencies that the capable and versatile Frenchman could not handle, including Cape Horn, which Moitessier had now doubled twice in his long sailing career. Waiting for Moitessier would be the cash prize of $25,000, the trophy, and the inevitable storm of noto- riety, adulation, and perhaps a million dollars in books, endorse- ments, public appearances, emoluments of all kinds to say nothing of the nationalistic pride of beating the English at their own game, and winning the Legion d'honneur.

Joshua at the moment was a shoo-in. Then something happened. Moitessier changed course, headed eastward along the Roaring Forties (after having already crossed his outbound track) on a second nonstop circumnavigation, automatically dropping out of the Times race.

In his log, and in a long letter composed for his publisher, which he hoped to give to a passing ship, Moitessier's reasons were although he professed to be of sound mind weird in the extreme, incomprehensible at best. He was in a region noted for phenomena and hallucinations, which had affected many lone voyagers such as Captain Slocum (for whom Joshua was named), Al Hansen, and Vito Dumas. Had he succumbed to some strange mental unbalance? Had he just plain gone nuts?

"Why am I doing this? Imagine yourself in the forest of the Amazon. Suddenly you come upon a small temple of an ancient, lost civilization. You are not simply going back and say, "I have found a temple, a civilization no- body knows." You are going to stay there, try to decipher it . . . and then you discover that 100 kilometers on is another temple, only the main temple. Would you return?"(3)

But no. How could anyone understand? It is this thing, this strange cosmic dimension, which time takes. You feel as if you could sail on for a thousand years....

Read more here.


Cool schooner for sale. She's yours for $15M Eruo! Here is a discription of this beauty: During the past 22 years, much of the Schooner FLEURTJE (ex-ARGONAFTIS) has been overhauled, modernised, rebuilt, redecorated, refitted or replaced during 4 major refits and several other maintenance periods. The vessel has always been kept in Lloyd’s class.

She has been a strictly private yacht during this time, having never chartered.

Her present owner increased the number of guest cabins to 6 in 1985 and, more recently, each cabin has been refurbished and all gold plated fittings. In addition to many technical aspects of the refits, we are informed that the decks were replaced, the hull was completely refaired and repainted, sound proof insulation was installed in the engine room and throughout the guest accommodation.

Gerald Dijkstra conducted full inclination tests and re-distributed much of the 100 tons of ballast to further improve Fleurtje’s sailing performance.

FLEURTJE is a unique 3 masted schooner and is, the only one of her type and in her condition available for sale worldwide. More pics and info

Survival Mode

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Pics of the Day

Deep Water

Watch Deep Water in Entertainment  |  View More Free Videos Online at
Just finished watching Deep Water, a film about the first non stop sail race around the world in 1969. One of the competitors, Donald Crowhurst, a 36-year-old English businessman, who went to sea in a leaky boat and committed suicide in the Atlantic 243 days later. Now, splicing harrowing onboard audio and visual footage of Crowhurst with interviews of the sailor's friends and family, a film, Deep Water, tells the story of Crowhurst's last voyage, and his descent into madness.

A former RAF pilot with a small, ailing electronics business called Electron Utilisation, Crowhurst was, at best, an enthusiastic weekend sailor. He was also married and a father of four children. So what convinced him he should go to sea for nine months is anyone's guess. But not only was Crowhurst determined to enter the race, he was determined to win.

To understand Crowhurst's peculiar obsession with competing in this gruelling race, one needs to know that in 1968, Britain was in the grip of sailing fever. The previous year, Sir Francis Chichester had achieved the then monumental feat of sailing around the world, on his own, punctuated only by a stop in Australia. In the era of the space race, when the possibilities of human endeavour seemed limitless, the world lapped up the heroism of Chichester's achievement, and 250,000 people lined the south coast to cheer him home.

The Sunday Times, which had reaped the rewards of sponsoring Chichester's journey, was looking for a way to continue tapping into the appetite for maritime derring-do. The Sunday Times Golden Globe Race was born. Using the clipper route, from Britain, through the Atlantic and round the Cape of Good Hope; through the Indian and Pacific Oceans; round Cape Horn and back to Britain, the competition was billed as a test for the world's greatest yachtsmen.

But, to encourage entrants, no evidence of sailing experience was required, and competitors were allowed to set off any time before 31 October. A trophy for the first man to complete the course, and a separate prize of £5,000 for the fastest time, would be awarded. Out of the nine men who set off in 1968, only one, Knox-Johnston, finished.

You can rent the video at the iTunes Store for $2.99. Continue reading here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

BMO Now Showing on Youtube

BMW Oracle has built their own site inside Youtube. All the latest vids are there. Click here.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Joke of the Day

An ambitious I.T. Manager finally decided to take a vacation. He booked himself on a Caribbean cruise and proceeded to have the time of his life. least for a while. A hurricane came unexpectedly. The ship went down and was lost instantly. The man found himself swept up on the shore of an island with no other people, no supplies, nothing. Only bananas and coconuts. Used to 4-star hotels, this guy had no idea what to do.
So for the next four months he ate bananas, drank coconut juice, longed for his old life, and fixed his gaze on the sea, hoping to spot a rescue ship. One day, as he was lying on the beach, he spotted movement out of the corner of his eye. It was a rowing boat, and in it was the most gorgeous woman he had ever seen. She rowed up to him. In disbelief, he asked her: "Where did you come from? How did you get here?"
"I rowed from the other side of the island," she said, "I landed here when my cruise ship sank."
"Amazing," he said, "I didn't know anyone else had survived. How many of you are there? You were really lucky to have a rowing boat wash up with you."
"It's only me," she said, "and the rowing boat didn't wash up, nothing did."
He was confused, "Then how did you get the boat?"
"Oh, simple." replied the woman "I made the rowing boat out of raw material that I found on the island, the oars were whittled from Gum tree branches, I wove the bottom from Palm branches, and the sides and stern came from a Eucalyptus tree."
"But-- but, that's impossible," stuttered the man, "you had no tools or hardware, how did you manage?"
"Oh, that was no problem," replied the woman, "on the south side of the island there is a very unusual strata of alluvial rock exposed. I found that if I fired it to a certain temperature in my kiln, it melted into forgeable ductile iron. I used that for tools, and used the tools to make the hardware. But, enough of that," she said. "Where do you live?" Sheepishly he confessed that he had been sleeping on the beach the whole time.
"Well, let's row over to my place, then" she said. After a few minutes of rowing, she docked the boat at a small wharf. As the man looked onto shore he nearly fell out of the boat. Before him was a stone walk leading to an exquisite bungalow painted in blue and white. While the woman tied up the boat with an expertly woven hemp rope, the man could only stare ahead, dumbstruck. As they walked into the house, she said casually "It's not much, but I call it home. Sit down please; would you like to have a drink?"
"No, no thank you" he said, still dazed, "can't take any more coconut juice."
"It's not coconut juice," the woman replied. "I have a still. How about a Pina Colada?"
Trying to hide his continued amazement, the man accepted, and they sat down on her couch to talk. After they had exchanged their stories, the woman announced, "I'm going to slip into something more comfortable. "Would you like to take a shower and shave, there is a razor upstairs in the cabinet in the bathroom."
No longer questioning anything, the man went into the bathroom. There in the cabinet was a razor made from a bone handle. Two shells honed to a hollow ground edge were fastened on to its end inside of a swivel mechanism. "This woman is amazing," he mused, "what next?"
When he returned, she greeted him wearing nothing but vines --strategically positioned-- and smelling faintly of gardenias. She beckoned for him to sit down next to her. "Tell me," she began, suggestively, slithering closer to him, "we've been out here for a very long time. You've been lonely. There's something I'm sure you really feel like doing right now, something you've been longing for all these months? You know... " She stared into his eyes. He couldn't believe what he was hearing: "You mean-- ?", he replied, "I can check my e-mail from here?"

Pumpkin Regatta

In Nova Scotia thay have an annual Pumpkin Regatta. You can see the pics here.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

On The Beach

The Big Sail

We have a big football rivalry in the Bay Area with Cal and Stanford playing the Big Game each fall towards the end of their season. Each year they play for the Axe (trophy) and keep it for the year on proud display. The rivarly goes further this week with competition in water polo and sailing. Both have very enthusiastic sailing teams that race around the country. Their big race is against each other in a match race on the bay. The race was held this week in light conditions on a beautiful day at the venerable St. Francis Yacht Club near Crissy Field. You can read the story here.

Tri This!

Rough Water and Heavy Winds

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

High as a Kite

More Windsurfing >>

17 Mind Blowing Yachts

Here is an amazing collection of some of the most(insert your favorite adjective, examples: beautiful, extraordinary, ugly, ostentatious, fast, ridiculous, etc.) yachts in the world of boating.

Roz Rows - Book Review

After reading the obituary of her extraordinarily adventurous, unconventional life, Roz Savage sat back with a self-satisfied smile. But then she wrote a more truthful one of a life less exuberantly lived and decided that a drastic change in course was needed.

If you were nearing 40, unhappy with the life you thought you were supposed to be living, disenchanted with your job and in possession of a "modest-sized divorce settlement," what would you do? Savage decided she only had one choice. She had to row across the ocean in a small boat by herself.

And so it was that Savage became the only solo female among the 26 crews and 60 competitors entered in the 2005 Atlantic Rowing Race, with a goal of rowing 3,000 miles from the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa to Antigua in the Caribbean.

Assembled for the November start in a small marina, the mastless and engineless boats, Savage writes, "huddle together for mutual support like the oddball branch of a family at a wedding, shunned by their elegant, affluent cousins."

She lay wrestling for sleep in a cabin about the width of two coffins, contemplating her "near total lack of qualifications for this undertaking."

"Rowing the Atlantic" is the story of her physical and, especially, her mental journey. Savage had decided that her trip had to be solo if she had any hope of answering the question, "Who was I when I was not being someone's wife, girlfriend, daughter, sister, colleague, friend?"

Read more here.

Not So Lucky

Monday, November 16, 2009

Got Help?


Went sailing on someone else's boat this weekend and had a fine time. When I spoke with the captain of the 45' cat he was disappointed that there were some last minute cancellations. How many will be coming today? Only 21, he replied. OMG. Sure enough there were plenty of folks and plenty of room as she must be 20' wide as well. This couple bought the boat from a guy in the BVI's and then sailed her thru the canal and up the west coast to SF. You can read about some of their adventures in paradise on their blog.

Leonids Tonight

One of my most memorable stargazing nights was in the mountains of Maui in November of 2001 where I saw hundreds of streaks across the sky in a few hours. We had passed thru a cloud of debris that was created by the comet in 1766, according to NASA. These spectacular meteors are created by the sand size particles left over by the comet.

This year's Leonid meteor shower will peak early Tuesday, forecasters say, producing mild but pretty sparks over the United States and a more intense outburst over Asia.

"We're predicting 20 to 30 meteors per hour over the Americas and as many as 200 to 300 per hour over Asia," said Bill Cooke, of NASA's meteoroid environment office. "Our forecast is in good accord with ... work by other astronomers."

The Leonid shower is made of bits of debris from the Tempel-Tuttle comet, which streaks through Earth's inner solar system every 33 years.

It leaves a stream of debris in its wake. Forecasters, however, say it's hard to know exactly how many of the meteors will be visible.

"We can predict when Earth will cross a debris stream with pretty good accuracy," Cooke said. "The intensity of the display is less certain, though, because we don't know how much debris is in each stream."

The first stream will cross over Earth about 4 a.m. ET. That stream should produce about two or three dozen meteors per hour over North America, NASA said.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Prepare To Be Boarded

Are you one of the lucky ones who has been inspected by the Coast Guard? Well it could happen next week. Here is an account of being boarded and what to expect. And if you read the article, you find out that, "There's an app for that". Read the article.

Create a Sailing Card

They say every sailor should have a card to give to fellow sailors and new friends you meet through sailing. It's easy to make on the web and then give out when you are meeting folks along the way. I used this site and just took a pic of the card and printed it on card stock and I am good to go. Do you need a card?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Pipeline Wipeouts

The Pelican Made Me Do It

LA MARQUE, Texas – A man blamed a low-flying pelican and a dropped cell phone for his veering his million-dollar sports car off a road and into a salt marsh near Galveston. The accident happened about 3 p.m. Wednesday on the frontage road of Interstate 45 northbound in La Marque, about 35 miles southeast of Houston.

The Lufkin, Texas, man told of driving his luxury, French-built Bugatti Veyron when the bird distracted him, said La Marque police Lt. Greg Gilchrist. The motorist dropped his cell phone, reached to pick it up and veered off the road and into the salt marsh. The car was half-submerged in the brine about 20 feet from the road when police arrived.

Gilchrist said he doesn't know if the car was salvageable, but in his words, "Salt water isn't good for anything." He says the man, whose identity hasn't been released, was not injured.

A 2006 Bugatti Veyron was recently offered for sale in Jonesboro, Ark., for $1.25 million.

Speeding to New Heights

In 10 knots of wind, she was screaming along at 27 knots. Amazing!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Beginning of the End? NASA Says No!

Great interview with a Nasa scientist about the world ending, meteors slamming earh, Planet X, polar shifts and much more. Read the interviw here.

Not Good

Blown Away

At almost 200 feet tall this rocket just turned into hyperspeed space ship.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Clipper Race MOB

Arthur Bowers is a crewman taking part in all seven stages of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. The incident happened during daylight hours. He was apparently off watch and had the intention of going below into the saloon. He then unclipped his harness before going below.

In unruly seas (and maybe always as a habit), one should clip on before going on deck, using a strong point adjacent to the companionway. When going below, the process should be reversed, ie., go below, then unclip the harness.

At that moment a rogue wave struck the yacht, sending Arthur hurling down the deck, through protective guard wires and into the icy water. He was wearing a life jacket, which inflated on contact with the water, but he was not wearing an immersion suit. Being in the Southern Ocean, this meant that, apart from the difficulty of finding him, there was only a limited time available to retrieve him because of the temperature of the water. At the time that he went overboard, the wind was blowing 25-30 knots, the waves were six to eight metres high. Hull and Humber was sailing with the a Yankee headsail, a stay sail and three reefs in the main. Read more here.

Swell Times with Liz Clark

Liz Clark has been having the adventure of a lifetime aboard her Cal 40 as she circles the globe on a radical surf safari. She has had several setbacks with her boat and had to spend weeks on the hard making repairs and modifications to her boat. But those hard times slip away when she heads to remote surf session with nobody out but her. Catch up with Liz and her adventures in the South Pacific here.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Daring Stories of Women United By The Sea - Movie Trailer

Sunday Sail

It was a great day to be sailing the bay yesterday. I headed out with two old high school friends from the east coast, Dan and Rich. My golden Kona was along with us for the ride. We headed out with a light breeze that completely died around noon. But wait, we could see some ripples on the water ahead. I decided it was time to throw up the kite and see what happens. We rigged her up and off we went at an amazing pace of less than one knot. With the tide flooding we slowly made our way to the city front of San Francisco. Just as the wind began to pick up, (5 knots maybe) we ran out of water and had to tack. We took down the spinnaker and raised the white sails for the ride home. And what a great ride it was! The wind peaked at 10 knots and we were striding across the bay at 6.5 knots. It was almost tropical out there! We had a fab time talking about old friends and just enjoying the vibe of good friends and cold beer! By the way Dan, what was the name of that lovely rum we were sipping?? Another awesome day to be playing on the bay!

Riding Giants - Watch It Now!

Growing up surfing on the east coast gave me a taste of the what surfing is all about. After college in Vegas, I moved to the gorgeous coast side village of Carmel, on the famed Monterey peninsula. The surf in Carmel, Santa Cruz and Big Sur was so much bigger and gnarly than anything I had ever dreamed of. Dropping down a 10 foot wave would take my breath away. The ride that followed was pure magic. I was living the dream in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Those days of chasing waves are etched in my memory banks forever. If you enjoy the water and/or getting on a board and riding the breaks, you will really enjoy one of my favorite surf films called, "Riding Giants". This documentary film by Stacey Peralta, traces the origins of big wave riding in Hawaii all the way to today's tow-in surfing by Laird Hamilton and crew at Teahupoo. My second favorite surf flick is, "Step Into Liquid", followed by the iconic, "Endless Summer". You can watch all three for free at a site I discovered last night. Get a nice comfy spot with your laptop and go full screen with these great films. Cowabunga!

Friday, November 06, 2009

John Lennon: The Sailor

The sail from Newport, R.I., to Hamilton, Bermuda, was an epic voyage for Lennon. On day three, the Megan Jaye ran into rough weather and, one by one, the crew fell ill from pitching seas. Lennon, after 15 minutes at the wheel in his foul-weather gear, began to get his sea legs. He said the feeling was just like going on stage. “At first you panic and then you’re ready to throw up your guts,” Lennon recalled in a Playboy interview after his trip. “But once you got out there and start doing all the stuff, you forget your fears and you got high on your performance.

“So there I was at the wheel with the wind and sea lashing out at me. At first I was terrified, but Captain Hank was at my side so I felt relatively safe because I knew he wouldn’t let me do anything stupid. After a while Captain Hank wasn’t feeling too well so he went to the cabin below.

“Once I accepted the reality of the situation, something greater than me took over and all of a sudden I lost my fear. I actually began to enjoy the experience and I started to shout out old sea shanties in the face of the storm, screaming at the thundering sky.” Lennon also compared the experience to when The Beatles were at their peak, saying he felt “centered” and “in tune with the cosmos.”

Tyler Coneys was a member of the crew, which included his cousins Kevin and Ellen and Captain Hank. Earlier that spring, Lennon, 39 at the time, had purchased a 14-foot sailboat from Coneys Marine in Huntington, N.Y. (“It was a ‘wet-ass’ boat,” says Coneys. “Not the kind you buy when you just start sailing at 40.”)

Coneys says the Atlantic crossing was Lennon’s longtime dream. “When guys turn 40 some buy a sports car or a motorcycle. Well, Lennon wanted this experience. They say life begins at 40. And this is what he wanted.”
Read the whole story here.
Found it on Proper Course.