Thursday, September 30, 2010

Pic of the Week

Sailing Maniacs!

Hold Fast from Moxie Marlinspike on Vimeo.

The story of a man with a dream. Long but well done! He buys a piece of rotting fiberglass, fixes it up and sails it to the Caribbean. Enjoy!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Full Moon Sails

Had a couple great late afternoon sails over the weekend that segwayed into moon rise sails as I was coming in. Nice sunsets too. The bay area has been hit by a heat wave that has taken temps into triple digits. The good news is that the wind is still blowing on the bay and I was out there to enjoy it. My golden Kona came with and we had some great times. The heat will last one more day and then the fog makes it's way back into the bay and that means even more wind!

Here's a clip from last weekends race on the bay.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Vendee Globe Race

The next race is still 2 years away. This vid shows how extreme it is and the stress the sailors have to deal with. Check it out.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sex with a Whale

Received this note from a fellow Haha'er on his way to San Diego via San Francisco.

"Well after thirty years of sailing I had my first close encounter with a whale and lived to tell the story. We were sailing across Monterey Bay about 30 NM west of Moss Landing.

We started seeing Blue Whales, Ocras and dolphins. The Orcas apparently hunt the Blue Whale Calfs in this areas and there was a lot of activity and we steered to avoid the whales.

I was sitting in the cockpit daydreaming when I saw something on the port side of the boat. It took a second and then I realised that it was a whale. The creature had rolled on its back and I swear was humping my boat.

I yelled to my crewman to turn right and the whale touched or kinda slapped the port quarter. Then whale drifted by the boat and just off the transom lifted it's tail in the air and disappeared. The tail was as wide as my dinghy is long (10.5').

No damage or injuries, but I am wondering if my boat lost her virginity to a whale."

Tom Jeremiason
S/V Camelot
Home Port: San Francisco, CA
Curretly located: Santa Barbara, CA

Friday, September 10, 2010

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

AIS App for the iPhone

Sailors are rejoicing at the number of apps available for mariners. From charts to currents and tides, GPS and now AIS. AIS stands for Automatic Identification System. All large ship are required to have a transponder and broadcast important info about their origin, destination, speed, etc. With Ship Finder, you can have all the vital info about a passing ship at your fingertips. When on the bay during the day, I can use it to determine which course the ship will head when coming thru the Gate. At night, it can keep me informed of ships headed my direction. A detailed map appears on screen with all the ships in the local area. When I touch the ship I want info on, a detailed report comes up instantly. It won't help you with small boats on the bay as most donot yet have this device or if they do, they are only receiving info and not transmitting. There is a free version available as well as a $5 version which I recommend if you plan to use it on the water. It is worth it and can be an amazing tool for the serious mariner.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Way Cool = 20 Knots on a Wally

Overnight Sail

The Baja Ha Ha cruiser rally fleet is headed out of San Diego on October 25th. We are expecting 200 sailboats and 600 sailors for the 17th annual cruise down the 750 mile coast of Baja California. I will be heading to Mexico with the fleet on a boat named Rainbow, a 36' cat. We had a training sail this past weekend that took us 40 miles out onto the ocean for an overnight sail. It was wild and windy as we exited the bay with the wind in the low twenties for the majority of the trip. Four of us are onboard on 4 hour shifts, with two on watch at all times. The waves were 4-8 feet but not breaking. The day was gray and it was doubtful we would see the sun. We held a southwest course out the Gate that did not allow us to spot the Farallones. As the afternoon came to an end, the skies cleared and the sun and blue sky shone our way. I mentioned that I have seen three green flashes in my life (a huge shaft of green light shoots from the sunset, only visible over the ocean) and that we should begin a quest to catch one on the trip. We were having a wild ride with boat speed around 9 knots in large waves but the boat was handling it well with the course we were on. Only 2000 miles to Hawaii if we held course! No, no, let's stay focused. I went below to prepare some Pumpkin Bisque for the crew. All is fine until I start on the main course of Mango Salmon. We had heaved to, slowing the boat down, but not really changing the motion. I ran up on deck to feed the fish for the first time in my boating life. I headed back to the galley not feeling 100%. I was able to complete the meal and then went to the bunk for some rest. My next watch was from 2300-0300. The midnight watch. The boat had remained heaved to and we were in fine shape. Watch out for boats and slowly head towards San Francisco at 2-3 knots. At 30 miles off the coast, we could see a multitude of stars and the Milky Way streamed across the sky. Very impressive. The Skipper Cliff, came on deck at 2pm and we decided to douse the main as the wind was hitting 27 at times. We went down to jib alone and started our journey back to the city. As I went off watch, I could see lots of bioluminesence behind the boat. Almost looking like fireflies on the stern. I went off into a deep sleep as the boat headed west. Morning comes early and I am back on deck at 0700. The Gate is ahead and we head in on a nice flood. Breakfast prep is not a problem as the seas are calm. We finish up with a nice sail on the bay. Cliff has done a masterful job at setting up a strong and capable boat. It going to be a sweet sail to the Cape!

When in Drought

Before this weeks huricane, the north east had almost 30 days of light winds. The windsurfers were jones'in! If you love windsurfing, check out the Puffman.

Flat water is fast water.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Crazy Boat Crashes

Here is a link to a site that has put some of the top boat crashes all in one place. Over the years I have featured many of these but there are some that I have never seen. Check it out here.

Going on a Baja Ha Ha training sail this weekend. It an overnight sail on the ocean. Should be a blast and a half. Full report on Monday. Enjoy your holiday weekend!
Here is a kite crash, one of my favs!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

You Want Sex?!

On July 20, 1969, commander of the Apollo 11 Lunar Module, Neil Armstrong was the first person to set foot on the moon. His first words after stepping on the moon, "That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind", were televised to Earth and heard by millions. But just before he re-entered the lander, he made the enigmatic remark:

"Good luck, Mr. Gorsky." Many people at NASA thought it was a casual remark concerning some rival Soviet Cosmonaut. However, upon checking, there was no Gorsky in either the Russian or American space programs. Over the years many people questioned Armstrong as to what the "Good luck Mr. Gorsky" statement meant, but Armstrong always just smiled. On July 5, 1995, in Tampa Bay, Florida, while answering questions following a speech, a reporter brought up the 26 year old question to Armstrong. This time he finally responded. Mr. Gorsky had died and so Neil Armstrong felt he could answer the question.

In 1938 when he was a kid in a small Midwest town, he was playing baseball with a friend in the backyard. His friend hit a fly ball, which landed in his neighbor’s yard by the bedroom windows. His neighbors were Mr. and Mrs. Gorsky.

As he leaned down to pick up the ball, young Armstrong heard Mrs. Gorsky shouting at Mr. Gorsky. "Sex! You want sex?! You’ll get sex when the kid next door walks on the moon!"

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

We Loved Petaluma!

My best bud Tex and I headed up the Petaluma River on Sunday for a three day sojourn. We had an very nice early morning sail up the central bay in about 12 knots of wind. I prepared some coffee and scrambled eggs as we went under the Richmond Bridge and Tex took the helm. We pass the two small islands called The Sisters and decided to stop for a swim at McNears Beach. Found a rocky beach and took Kona in for a rest stop. Back onboard we headed for the river entrance. There is a long string of nav markers that guide you into the river mouth. At this point we are motor sailing with just the main up. We enter the river and have a nice cruise with the wind mostly on our nose. Once on the river, its a 10 mile ride through vineyards and farms. There is plenty of depth all the way up and we had no problems. We arrived at the draw bridge at the appointed time of 4:30. You must call Public Works 4 days in advance to have the draw bridge raised on a weekend. It leads right into the turning basin in the heart of downtown. We tied up and almost had the dock to ourselves. We had a fun dinner with a friends sister and her family at Dempsey's which is right on the basin. 6 year old Emma loved the boat. The next morning we took a walking tour of the town. We found a nice book store and the market to restock our ice supply. After lunch, we headed off on our bikes to Lagunitas Brewery for a tour and tasting. About a 3 mile ride, the day was perfect. We arrived and were told the next tour was in an hour. Contemplating our next move, I noticed something on my tires. 30-40 white thorns were in my front tire and it was flat. Same with my back tire. I look at the other bike and the same thing! 4 flat tires. We tried to get somebody to take us back to the basin but no luck. Finally we decided on a cab. Back at the boat, we get the tube repair kit out and start fixing the tubes. We soon run out of patches and decide to buy 4 new tubes. Bummer. Once we are cleaned up and the bikes are back in order, we prepare the boat and food for the arrival of our old friend Denise. She brings another friend and we sit down for stories and a Chinese chicken salad. I had put on a red check table cloth and candles and the boat had a nice glow to it. Some folks from another boat came over and we had some more stories below. Fun night! We are up early the next morning to meet the bridge tender at 8am. Without a hitch, the bridge goes up and we head back down river to the bay. We realize quickly that our water tank is empty. There are a bunch of dishes from last nights party that need to be cleaned. I get creative and rig up the sun shower above the sink. Works like a charm. More eggs and coffee and it's another beautiful day with temps in the low 70's. The river is empty as we make our way down. Back on the bay, we head over to the sandy side of McNear's. Kona and I swim in for a romp in the sand. Warm and lovely! Back at the boat, I dive down to see how close the keel is to the bay bottom. The depth gauge says 6'6". I dive down and its more like 6' or less. Time to recalibrate the depth meter. We have a most excellent sail in the San Pablo Bay with winds in the 12 knot range. Finally make it under the Richmond and soon we are flying in 25 knot winds across the slot. Small jib and main up we are doing 8 knots to finish the trip to Emeryville. What a nice welcome home. We clean up the boat and by 8:30pm we are headed home. It was another outstanding adventure up another storied waterway on the bay!!