Friday, July 23, 2010

What is it that makes us love sailing so much?

After having caught the sailing bug back in the early 1980's, I have become more and more addicted to sailing. I think about the things that attract me to the sport. Being on the water is a big part of it. Also where I sail is an attraction. Some say the sailing on our SF bay is some of the best in the world. Not only from a wind standpoint (it blows 20-35 most every day, less in the winter) but from a beauty standpoint as well. The thing that I love about sailing is that there are so many elements in play when you are sailing the bay with friends, the music is on, the wildness of the wind and waves, the sun sparkling on the distant water, this invisible force pushing you and your boat along a watery cloud, and then finally getting to your destination safe and dry. Here is one of my favorite sailing quotes:

"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

So what is it that you like about sailing?? Maybe you have sailed the world, maybe you have been on a boat only once. What was it that you enjoyed and what are the elements that draw you to the water. Please tell us about it and leave a comment. And fair seas to you if you do!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cool Kite Boat

The Kite Sailing Kitano Yacht designed by Stefani Krucke introduces kite sailing technology to the leisure sailing yacht class and benefits from the many advantages that technology has to offer. One of them being the constant and stronger wind speeds found at higher altitudes.

Compared to a normal sail the kite has less surface area but still generates enough force so that even a gentle breeze lifts the hull to a planing speed. Equipped with a hydraulically operated centerboard, even sailing in shallow water and littorals are possible without risk.

The Yacht itself can house and home up to 8 passengers with the latest in luxury any client would love. On top of that, it’s totally green so even treehuggers can step off land once in awhile. For more info, go here.


You may want to mute the sound and put on your favorite surfing tune!

One more:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Heart Pounding Sailing

Be sure to go full screen with this lovely vid from St. Barts, BWI.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Amazing Photo

Saw this on Sailing Anarchy

No one was hurt (including the whale) but the boat suffered some major damage.

Liz Clark Interview

Liz is currently in the South Pacific surfing and sailing her way around the world on a Cal 40. She has spent the last year or so fixing a leak on her boat. To read her interview, click here.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Sailing Movies

Last night I re-watched White Squall and started thinking about some of the other movies that feature sailing. Here are some of my favorites:
Wind - Great Coppola movie.

Captain Ron is a classic!

Water World has an awesome cat with a trick kite.

Dead Calm is a cliff hanger.

And White Squall

And here is the newest one about sailing that will be in multiplex near you at the end of the month.

What are your favs?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Saturday Sail with a Ha Ha Boat

I was lucky enough to join a 36 cat for a sail with a bunch of folks looking to crew on the Baja Ha Ha.We set off for a run out the Gate at 9:00am. Five on board and the wind was 12-14. We tacked out the Gate about 12:30 or so with a flood tide. It was very calm with little swell. We made it out and I was surprised at how nice it was. Winds were about 10-12 with a small swell as we headed up the coast towards Muir Beach. At Muir, we tacked out for the Lightbucket nav marker. There was an announcement on 16 that the Pacific Cup boats would be sailing out the Gate towards Hawaii. The leading boat was Limit and she was cranking by with her 60' waterline. The rest of the fleet was well behind. We set the spinnaker and started our trip back. The wind was still light. We sailed under the bridge and the wind picked up dramatically. Cliff has a great set up with his kite and in no time we were flying down the bay. At this point I was driving and as we got around Treasure, the wind was in the high 20's and we hit 14.5 on the meter and I was at the helm. It was a nice thrill and gave us a glimpse of what this mighty cat could do on a run down the coast. It was a great sail and I hope to join the boat for a trip to the Cape!

Friday, July 09, 2010

The Letter

Dear Sirs,

It is with regret and haste that I write this letter to you; regret that such a small misunderstanding could lead to the following circumstances, and haste in order that you will get this report before you form your own preconceived opinions from reports in the international press, for I am sure that they will tend to over-dramatize the affair.

We had just picked up the pilot, and the apprentice had returned from changing the 'G' flag for the 'H', and being his first trip was having difficulty in rolling the 'G' flag up. I therefore proceeded to show him how, coming to the last part I told him to 'let go'. The lad, although willing, is not too bright, necessitating my having to repeat the order in a sharper tone.

At this moment the Chief Officer appeared from the chartroom, having been plotting the vessel's progress, and thinking that it was the anchors that were being referred to, repeated the 'let go' to the Third Officer on the forecastle. The port anchor, having been cleared away, but not walked out, was promptly let go. The effect of letting the anchor drop from the 'pipe' while the vessel was proceeding at full harbour speed proved too much for the windlass brake, and the entire length of the port cable was pulled out 'by the roots'. I fear that the damage to the chain locker may be extensive. The braking effect of the port anchor naturally caused the vessel to sheer in that direction, right towards the swing bridge that spans a tributary to the river up which we were proceeding.

The swing bridge operator showed great presence of mind by opening the bridge for my vessel. Unfortunately he did not think to stop the vehicular traffic. The result being that the bridge partly opened and deposited a Volkswagen, two cyclists and a cattle truck on the foredeck. My ship's company are at present rounding up the contents of the latter, which from the noise I would say were pigs. In his efforts to stop the progress of the vessel the Third Officer dropped the starboard anchor, too late to be of practical use for it fell on the swing bridge operator's control cabin.

After the port anchor was let go and the vessel started to sheer I gave a double ring Full Astern on the Engine Room Telegraph, and personally rang the Engine Room to order maximum astern revolutions. I was informed that the temperature was 83 degrees, and was asked if there was a film tonight. My reply would not add constructively to this report.

Up to now I have confined my report to the activities at the forward end of my vessel. Down aft they were having their own problems. At the moment the port anchor was let go, the Second Officer was supervising the making fast of the aft tug, and was lowering the ship's towing spring down into the tug.

The sudden braking effect of the port anchor caused the tug to 'run in under' the stern of my vessel, just at the moment when the propeller was answering my double ring Full Astern. The prompt action of the Second Officer in securing the shipboard end of the towing spring delayed the sinking of the tug by some minutes thereby allowing the safe abandoning of that vessel.

It is strange, but at the very same moment of letting go the port anchor there was a power cut ashore. The fact that we were passing over a 'cable area' at that time may suggest that we may have touched something on the river bed. It is perhaps lucky that the high tension cables brought down by the foremast were not live, possibly being replaced by the underwater cable, but owing to the shore blackout it is impossible to say where the pylon fell.

It never fails to amaze me, the actions and behavior of foreigners during moments of minor crisis. The pilot for instance, is at this moment huddled in the corner of my day cabin, alternately crooning to himself and crying after having consumed a bottle of gin in a time that is worthy of inclusion in the Guinness Book of Records. The tug captain on the other hand reacted violently and had to forcibly be restrained by the Steward, who has him handcuffed in the ship's hospital while he is telling me to do impossible things with my ship and my person.

I enclose the names and addresses of the drivers, and insurance companies of the vehicles on my foredeck, which the Third Officer collected after his somewhat hurried evacuation of the forecastle. These particulars will enable you to claim back the damage that they did to the railings of number one hold.

I am closing this preliminary report for I am finding it difficult to concentrate with the sound of police sirens and the flashing lights.
It is sad to think that had the apprentice realized that there is no need to fly pilot flags after dark, none of this would have happened.

Yours truly,


Bonehead Move of the Day

Thursday, July 08, 2010

SF only US Contender for the A-Cup

If the America's Cup regatta, the world's premier sailing event, returns to this country for its next running, it will be held in San Francisco, sources in the state capital said Wednesday.

The city is expected to get a major boost today in its efforts to host the 34th incarnation of the storied sailing race with software mogul Larry Ellison's BMW Oracle Racing team announcing that San Francisco will be the sole U.S. city under consideration for the next cup race in 2013 or 2014, beating out previous hosts San Diego and Newport, R.I., those sources said.

The move paves the way for San Francisco to try to marshal national support for its effort to hold the series of yacht races whose local economic impact would be topped among sporting events by only the World Cup and the Olympics.

Among other contenders are Valencia, Spain, host of the most recent cup regatta and an undecided locale in Italy.

Mayor Gavin Newsom said early today he was "deeply honored and thrilled."

"We will do whatever it takes to bring this great race to San Francisco," Newsom said. "It is a testament to the unparalleled assets of our city that San Francisco is competing with nations to host the world's most renowned sailing race."The mayor and other city officials have been maneuvering for months to host the 159-year-old race after Ellison's team, sponsored by San Francisco's Golden Gate Yacht Club, captured the cup in February. It was the first time an American team had won the cup in 18 years.

Read more here.

Back from Sunapee

What a great trip to the east coast!! We visited my family in New Hampshire and the first two days had perfect weather. Visited the Lake Sunapee Yacht Club (established in 1902) and they lent me a 420 sailing dingy. These high performance racers can fly. Both times I went out, the wind was pretty decent and the gusts were a blast. On the second sail, my 85 year old father joined in the fun. Sailed for a couple hours each time on this beautiful glacial lake that sits at 1000' near the boarder of Vermont. We also saw two fireworks shows from a boat on consecutive nights to celebrate the 4th. My sis was also celebrating a wedding anniversary so the food was outstanding as was the french wine that my brother in law Ray loves so much. We also made time to golf, swim and hot tub. The last two days were a little hot but heck, we could just jump in the 74 degree water and cool right off.

We returned last night and after a few days of work, I will be sailing an a cat out the Gate with a boat that is going on the Baja Ha Ha. Hopefully, I will impress the skipper and he will invite me for the 750 mile trip down the coast in October. I will keep you posted!

From the Archives - Windsurf Insanity

From August 2007.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Rogers Cancels Swim from Farallones to SF

Sailing to and from the Farallon Islands from San Francisco is a difficult and dangerous endeavor. The Farallons lie about 30 miles of the coast of San Francisco. That 30 miles can be some of the wildest water in the Pacific. And did we mention the great white sharks? Karen Rogers is an ultra swimmer from Lake Tahoe. She is used to the 54 degree water she would encounter during her swim. The thing she didn't count on was the 12 foot waves that prevented her boat from even getting to the islands. Maybe that's a good thing. The swim has been done before, but not for about 40 years. She may try again when the conditions are more favorable. Read the full story here.

Wetass is Back!

After an almost 5 year layoff, Wetass is back! Tim Zimmermann is one of my favorite bloggers/writers. The Wetass got me into the blogging biz way back in 2005. Tim is a professional writer and has an extensive background in politics and adventure writing. Check out his new blog here. We loved you on Twitter, but this is the real deal, welcome back to the blogging world Tim!

Ripping with The Ripper

Cruising New England

The family and I have been out in Boston for the last several days and we have been having a grand old time. Everyone says it's a good idea to start with a Duck Tour during your first visit to Beantown. So we did. Amazing history and great overview of the city on an amphibious bus. The highlight was heading into the water on the Charles River. Lots of sailboats and we almost took one out! The captain of the bus/boat explained that the boats were from the Community Boating Center and that for $1 you can join and learn to sail and sail all summer long. That's amazing! The program started in the 30's and is thriving today. Wish I had access to a program like that when I was a kid. After the tour, we headed to the Museum of Science for some more fun. Yesterday we went on a waterfront Segway tour. What a blast! Technology and history and a tour of the bay. Some awesome boats to behold and it was so cool to breeze around the docks and canals of Boston on a Segway. Then we headed off to Tillerman country. Bristol, RI was our destination. My nephew is a sous chef at a restaurant called Persimmons down near the water on State St. We headed in for a very fine meal and some lovely hospitality from the staff. I even sent the "godfather" a note from the table via email and Tillerman replied! Bristol is a lovely town and the sailing looks fantastic. Today we head off for our annual family reunion at Lake Sunapee in NH. Should be a great 4th of July as we enjoy fireworks on the water. Have a safe and sane July 4th!