Monday, June 28, 2010

Pics of the Week

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Weekend Sailing

The weather here has been awesome. 70's with lots of sun and wind. Got out on Friday around 4pm for a nice sail to SF. Lots of 20's on the bay and a little overpowered in some areas. Kona and I made it to Pier 1.5 in SF for a quick walk. If you don't know, this pier is available for tie ups and gives you access to the city for up to 3 hours at no charge. We cast off to a beautiful sunset behind the clouds. Made it back to the dock around 9:30. On Sunday, I took out the darts team for a sail to see the Giants play the Red Sox. Lots of Boston fans and the park was sold out. Wind was up again on the way home. Mid 20's again and we saw some high 7's on the knot meter. I am heading back east to see my sis on Lake Sunapee for more boating fun for the holiday. Might have some more posts from there. Have a splendid 4th of July!! And be safe!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Weather Helm Explained

During the Americas’ Cup campaign in New Zealand in 2003, I saw one of the best explanations of this on a TV interview with the Greg Butterworth, the Tactician for the Alingi Team, but the concepts are very useful for the cruising sailor.

Most of us sort of understand the concept and we’ve been left with the answer of 'Well – weather helm is better because it’s safer.' But few explanations go into how it gives your boat a sailing advantage.

The definition of weather helm and lee helm is simple and it is easy to remember which is which. If you have a tiller, weather helm is when you have to pull the tiller to weather (toward the wind) in order to keep the boat going in a straight line. Lee helm is when you push the tiller to lee (downwind) in order to keep the boat going in a straight line. We’ve probably all felt this slight pressure required on the tiller when underway.

Your boat can be tuned to give weather helm or lee helm. Rake the mast forward and you move the center of effort of the wind forward which causes your boat to want to turn downwind. Rake the mast back and you move the center of effort of the wind back causing your boat to want to go upwind to weather.

When your boat gets rounded up – you just experienced massive weather helm. No matter how much you pull the tiller to weather, you can’t stop the boat going to weather. Dumping the main sail moves the center of effort forward thus reducing the weather helm.

The basic perception of weather helm being safer comes from this effect: if you let go of the tiller, it will automatically go to center because of the water flowing over the rudder and because the rudder is pivoted at its leading edge. Now there is no rudder force to counter the desire of the boat to turn up wind to weather so the boat does exactly that. It turns to weather and rounds up slowing the boat down and reducing forces on the rig. Conversely, lee helm means that if you let the tiller go the boat will turn away from the wind, heel over more increase forces on the rig.
Continue reading here.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Underwater Freefall

World champion freediver Guillaume Nery special dive at Dean's Blue Hole, the deepest blue hole in the world filmed entirely on breath hold by the french champion Julie Gautier.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Segan - Pale Blue Dot


Here is a quote from a great article about Abby: 'I wonder why the world is in the condition it is in. We sit in our homes and worry about other people trying to do extraordinary things, even though they may be dangerous or a little crazy. Well it's the crazy ones that will be remembered and be the ones to do great things that will have a great impact upon this world and human race.

'We condemn those who wish to risk everything to enjoy their lives no matter what there age or intention. You know why? It is because we are unhappy with our lives, because we do not have the courage or the guts to do extraordinary things. Everyone who makes a case against this girl wishes to prevent disaster, but the one thing they do is to assure mediocrity. Abby don't give up ever, keep fighting until you cannot fight anymore to fulfill your dreams. Good luck with your adventures.'

Read more here.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Summer Sails

It's been a great spring from a sailing standpoint. I have been heading out with lots of friends for day sails, night sails and sails to the ballpark to see the SF Giants play. This weekend, we will be heading to Treasure island for the Sailstice Summer Sailabration. It's the 10th Annual and my first. The idea was born from a desire to sail on the longest day of the year. There will be music, food entertainment and lots of groovy folks hanging on the island. We will stay for a while but will be heading out for a sail on our beautiful bay. The water temp is in the low 60's and I have been swimming in Paradise Cove a few times already. Still cold enough to give me an ice cream headache! Looking forward to another awesome summer of sailing and fun on the bay!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Video of the Week

Make sure you go full screen with this beautiful hi def vid! Click on the link below if the vid does not show up in this window.
Quote of the week:
Fear of danger is ten thousand times more terrifying than danger itself.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Story of Robinson Crusoe

Here is a fascinating look at the story behind Robinson Crusoe. The book is based on the adventures of Alexander Selkirk, who decided to stay behind on an island during a very miserable sailing trip around Cape Horn. He spent four years on an island surviving on his wits and ingenuity. Read the article here.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Concept Boats

Found a cool place where designers can post pics and info on new concept boats, both sail and power. Here is one that will turn some heads. If you had unlimited funds, this might be up your ally!

See more here. If you look near the top of the page, you will see the link to more concept boats. Check it!

Abby Update - Her Rig is Down

The 16-year-old Californian girl attempting to sail solo around the world has been found alive and well following a desperate overnight search in a remote part of the Indian Ocean, her parents said today.

Rescuers contacted Abby Sunderland after she set off two emergency satellite beacons on her 40ft yacht, Wild Eyes.

Laurence Sunderland said rescuers on board a chartered Australian airline made contact with her earlier today and that she was alive.

"She's fine, the boat's afloat and she's on it," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. "It's huge, fantastic, exciting news."

Abbey's parents lost satellite phone contact with her after she had told them she had been repeatedly knocked down in 60-knot winds and 50-foot waves, about 2,000 miles east of Madagascar.

"Wild Eyes is upright but her rigging is down. The weather conditions are abating. Radio communication was made and Abby reports that she is fine!

Read more here.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Song of the Day

I have enjoyed a lot of Al Green songs over the years but I missed this one when it came out in 72. This may be one of his best as the pace is great the the emotion is raw. Take a listen to "Simply Beautiful" and turn it up!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Summer Sailing Adventures on the Bay

It's time to get out the charts and start thinking about some time on the water this summer. We have been sailing our Newport 30 for the last 10 years on the SF Bay and have had some grand adventures. I hope to inspire you to get out there and have some great times on the bay. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Plan a weekend trip to Sausalito. We usually stay at Schoonmaker Marina. Nice spot with a beach and close to town. Take your bikes and head to Tennessee Valley for a beautiful ride to the coast.

Head up the Napa or Petaluma River. Last year we had so much fun cruising up to the Napa Valley Yacht Club for the night and then back the next day to the Napa Valley Marina for tours at the local wineries by bike. We hope to do the Petaluma this summer. Here is the log from our Napa trip last year:

Take a five day (or more) trip up to the Delta. We usually spend the first night at the Antioch Marina and then head out fresh the next day for Potato Slough and beyond. Warm, fresh water for swimming and lots of friendly, helpful folks. We spend three days up in the sloughs and river and then head back to Antioch for the last night. We depart at daylight for the bay and it takes all day to get back. Be sure to go with the flow of the tides or it will be a very long trip! The 4th of July is a popular time with big fireworks shows and lots of boaters on the water. Here is the log from our trip in 2003:

Be sure to have good charts and always stay in the channels, especially in the delta! If you do not know about kedging, look it up as you may need to take your anchor back to deep water should you run up on some mud.

We always try to meet up with friends along the way and that make the trips even more enjoyable. There is something special about a meal on a boat. Many times I have gotten the comment, "this is the best Thai chicken (or whatever we are eating) I have ever tasted". Maybe it is, but being on a boat and having a fine meal makes you appreciate it more than in a nice restaurant. Be sure to share your favorite trip on the bay in the comments section and get out there and have some fun!

Friday, June 04, 2010

Making it just that much harder to get thru your Friday!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Rolling Stone Mag Picks Top Five R&R Songs

Pink Floyd's "back" catalog.

Many claim that Bill Haley's Rock Around the Clock was the first song of rock and roll. Since that time, many songs have been written under the genre of rock and roll. But what are the top five rock and roll songs of all time? There are as many opinions as there are songs. Some might argue for Stairway to Heaven or Comfortably Numb, or what about Satisfaction? According to Rolling Stone Magazine, the top 5 songs are far from what I think the average listener would pick. These are great songs no doubt, but would you pick these as your top 5??

No. 5: "Respect," by Aretha Franklin

Otis Redding wrote "Respect" and recorded it first, for the Volt label in 1965. But Aretha Franklin took possession of the song for all time with her definitive cover, made at Atlantic's New York studio on Valentine's Day in 1967. "Respect" was her first Number One hit and the single that established her as the Queen of Soul. In Redding's reading, a brawny march, he called for equal favor with volcanic force. Franklin wasn't asking for anything. She sang from higher ground: a women calling an end to the exhaustion and sacrifice of a raw deal with scorching sexual authority. In short, if you want some, you will earn it.

No. 4: "What's Going On," by Marvin Gaye

"What's Going On" is an exquisite plea for peace on Earth, sung by a man at the height of crisis. In 1970, Marvin Gaye was Motown's top male vocal star, yet he was frustrated by the assembly-line role he played on his own hits. Devastated by the loss of duet partner Tammi Terrell, who died that March after a three-year battle with a brain tumor, Gaye was also trapped in a turbulent marriage to Anna Gordy, Motown boss Berry Gordy's sister. Gaye was tormented, too, by his relationship with his puritanical father, Marvin Sr. "If I was arguing for peace," Gaye told biographer David Ritz, "I knew I'd have to find peace in my heart."

Not long after Terrell's passing, Renaldo Benson of the Four Tops presented Gaye with a song he had written with Motown staffer Mo Cleveland. But Gaye made the song his own, overseeing the arrangement and investing the topical references to war and racial strife with private anguish. Motown session crew the Funk Brothers cut the stunning, jazz-inflected rhythm track. Then Gaye invoked his own family in moving prayer: singing to his younger brother Frankie, a Vietnam veteran ("Brother, brother, brother/There's far too many of you dying"), and appealing for calm closer to home ("Father, father, father/We don't need to escalate").

Initially rejected as uncommercial, "What's Going On" was Gaye's finest studio achievement, a timeless gift of healing. But for Gaye, the peace he craved never came: On April 1st, 1984, he died in a family dispute - shot by his father.

No. 3: "Imagine," by John Lennon

John Lennon wrote "Imagine," his greatest musical gift to the world, one morning early in 1971 in his bedroom at Tittenhurst Park, his estate in Ascot, England. His wife, Yoko Ono, watched as Lennon sat at the white grand piano now known around the world from films and photographs of the sessions for his Imagine album and virtually completed the song: the serene melody; the pillowy chord progression; that beckoning, four-note figure; and nearly all of the lyrics, 22 lines of graceful, plain-spoken faith in the power of a world, united in purpose, to repair and change itself.

"It's not like he thought, 'Oh, this can be an anthem,'" Ono said, looking back at that morning 30 years later. "Imagine" was "just what John believed: that we are all one country, one world, one people; He wanted to get that idea out."

The top 2 songs are here.