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. ...at 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.

Pics of the Week

Click the pic for a better view. Now get out there and have some fun!!

Ski SF 2005

It was a hot September day in the City. 5000 folks called in too well to work. They dumped thousands of pounds of snow on Fillmore St over looking the bay. And then they called some of the top ski jumping talent for a little competition in San Fran. Read the article here. See the vid here.

Time for a Tow

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Mav's Big Wave Surf Contest This Weekend?

The Big Wave Contest may be this weekend. This year, the contestants vote for the go or no go. We should know in a few hours. Here is the forecast:


Here is the official site.

They just announced no go. Stay tuned as the next big swell may be around the corner.

Last Update From the Ha Ha

Via s/v Whatcha Gonna Do

Well, we arrived yesterday afternoon (Tuesday Nov 3rd) in Bahia Santa Maria two thirds of the way down the coast of Baja. It has been an awesome trip! We finally caught up with the rest of the Baja Ha Ha fleet and it was quite an impressive view to turn into this bay in the middle of nowhere and see nearly 200 boats all anchored. We joined up with the party going on at the beach and then came back to the boat for an excellent steak dinner. Today, the fleet planned to depart at 0600 to begin the final leg to Cabo San Lucas. Given that we had just arrived at Bahia Santa Maria only late the prior afternoon, we decided that we would take it easy today, sleep in, have a late breakfast, swim and then go for a late afternoon hike. Once all those other boats had left it was pretty awesome to see ours and just two others anchored in this bay. After two over nights at sea we figured we deserved a little break. Overnight sailing, which requires doing two hour watches, can be tiring after a while. We are doing 2 hour on, 4 hour off shifts with Barb and Caren sharing one of the shifts.

Catamarans are great and here is just on reason why! On Barb and Caren's shift two nights ago all of a sudden the port (left) engine alarm went on and the rpm's went to zero. We could not figure out what was causing the alarm so we turned the engine off and decided to look into the problem the next morning. Well, when we got up that next morning and went to look inside the port engine compartment we discovered that the engine room was over half full with water! We thought maybe there was a leak caused by the rope getting wrapped around the propeller but found that hard to believe. When we looked closer there was a lot of water further aft of the engine room and that was the water that was leaking into the engine room. What the #&$*@! We started pumping all the water out with a hand bilge pump (which took about four hours -- there was a lot of water) and during that time tried to figure out how all that water could have gotten into the boat. Was there a hole in the boat and if so where was it? We had not hit anything. Anyhow, we kept looking and went down onto the sugar scoops (the steps behind the boat) and there they were -- two very little holes on the bottom step. The boat has these nice outdoor carpets that are usually snapped onto the steps but we have taken them off for this passage and stowed them. My guess is that these two tiny little holes were left when the carpets were originally installed and not properly sealed! Only with extended time at sea in a boat heavy with gear and water constantly slapping up on the lower steps could that water have slowly leaked in. Well, we patched the holes with a sealant that we had, finished pumping out all the water and then finally sat back to have lunch. Now the reason catamarans are great is that if this had been a mono hull the whole boat may have been underwater (or worse), but because this was a catamaran, with built-in buoyancy, this was much more of a nuisance than a safety concern. Needless to say, it made for an exciting morning.

Well, after a great day of relaxing in Bahia Santa Maria today with the kids swimming in our outdoor swimming pool all afternoon :) followed by a sunset hike, we have departed on our final leg to Cabo San Lucas. We hope to get there sometime on Friday but as I write this there is not much wind, so we may be motoring for a while.


Found a nice site set up by a local sailor about his Pearson 323. He really goes into a lot of detail and has plenty of info about what to think about when buying a boat. Also check out his cruising pages as there is a ton of great info there if you sail the bay and beyond. Here is the link.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

World Speed Challenge

Sailing begins at the 2 min. mark.

The third annual Luderitz Speed Challenge has begun, where many of the world’s top kitesurfers have descended on the remote Namibian town of Luderitz to compete during the month of November against each other and the clock to prove what is the world’s fastest wind-powered craft.

Last year’s challenge shattered the previously unbeatable 50knot barrier (93kph), setting a string of world and national records in this “Formula One of Sailing”. Kitesurfers took over many of the top slots in the international rankings for speed sailing, contested by sailboats, windsurfers and kitesurfers. Alex Caizergues of France set a new outright world record of 50.57knots (93.6kph) over 500m, with Rob Douglas of the U.S.A. and Sebastien Cattelan of France, also breaking the 50 knot barrier, recording times of 50.54 and 50.52 knots respectively.

The greatest battle is between two very different worlds - the skill, strength and sheer bravery of the kitesurfers and windsurfers on their tiny boards, set against well-funded sailboat teams making use of the latest computer and materials technology to design ever more outlandish sailboats. Last year the kitesurfers beat the windsurfers, who had before beaten the sailboats. This year the sailboats have come back roaring, with the Swiss/French sailboat l’Hydroptere setting the world record in September with an astonishing 51.36knots (95kph) at Hyeres off the south coast of France.

Will kitesurfers again achieve high-speed glory on water in this year’s Luderitz Speed Challenge? The refinement of sails, fins, boards and technique continues to take leaps, and the Luderitz speed strip - located in a lagoon on Namibia’s southern coast - provides absolutely ideal conditions for speed sailing. After strong breeze on Monday helped to establish a new Brazilian speed record, light wind is expected for the rest of this first week, so most of the riders are settling back to patiently (but nervously) await the next wind cycle. Via sailing.org

Update from the Ha-Ha

Baja Ha Ha Leg 2: from Turtle Bay to Bahia Santa Maria aboard s/v Hello World

This leg was a *much* easier run than the previous leg. Only two nights at sea and the weather has been great. We left Turtle Bay under spinnaker. No - we hadn't fixed the spinnaker halyard. We tried, unsuccessfully, but left the jib piled in a heap on deck and used the jib halyard to hoist the spinnaker. Hello World really hauls ass under spinnaker. In fact, perhaps a bit too much. We let the wind build a bit too high before dousing and had... let's say an exciting douse. Too much wind to put the jib back up so we sailed under mainsail alone for the rest of the evening before starting the engine.

Day 2's big excitement was landing Hello World's first fish! You may recall Christy caught a couple salmon on the west coast of Vancouver Island but both fish shook off the line before we could land them. This beautiful little dorado was not so lucky. We ate very well that day. Thai satay dorado for lunch and teriyaki dorado steaks for dinner. Burp.

At dawn after the second night out, the sun rose behind Mt. San Lazaro in what had to be the most incredible landfall we've made yet. With the rest of the Baja peninsula hidden behind haze, Cabo San Lorenzo towered up like it's own island. It looked and felt like we were sailing into a south Pacific volcanic island. The terrain here is still green after hurricane Jimena blasted the area with rain a month ago.

No sooner did our anchor hit bottom in Bahia Santa Maria than we were shucking off clothes and hucking ourselves into the 80 degree water. Heaven. We anchored next to the ever kooky gang aboard s/v Stepping Stone so we swam over and invited ourselves onboard their great Maple Leaf 42 (hey Scottie and Kelly - we can't seem to escape the Maple Leaf 42's!). The crew of Stepping Stone are great at catching fish and Sarah has worked in a sushi bar for years so we hung out on their boat while they fed us dorado, big eye tuna, and yellowfin tuna in all sorts of ridonculously great concoctions.

Today, we made a shore landing and hiked perhaps not Mt. San Lorenzo itself but one of it's very high cousins. The three of us sweated and grunted and heaved ourselves to the top along with Sarah from s/v Stepping Stone and Kristin from s/v Allymar. We soaked up incredible views of the 170 boats at anchor below us to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west.

Tomorrow we leave at 0600 (I guess that's AM?) for Cabo San Lucas and what should be our last overnight run. I'm sure you'll hear me say this again but it's been so great having Kim on board. Having someone crew that you trust to run the boat safely is such a luxury. Christy and I would be absolutely ragged without her. Thanks, Kim!!!

24 46.680N 112 15.037W

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Pic of the Day

Love this shot. And so does the Ed at Yachting World. Click the pic for a full size view.

Test Sail - BMWO

Trip Report

Back in October I posted a video of a foursome sailing the world from Cape Town. I ran into them again on the TripSailor site and they have a cool feature on their blog. On the right side there is a map (or slideshow) with their location on it. If you click the link, Google Earth comes up and shows you their track from home. Along their track are numbers. Click on the number and their adventures come to life in video, pictures and text. What a cool way to document your adventure! Check it out here.