Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bonehead Move of the Week

Via SF Chronical - What appeared to be a harrowing story of survival emerged from Suisun Bay on Monday - that of a wayward rafter who spent five days stranded on a deserted island nibbling on vitamins and native plants and fashioning a crude "SOS" sign until the U.S. Coast Guard rescued him.

But after returning to shore, Brian "Goat Man" Hopper added a twist to the tale. He admitted that he failed to make use of a key piece of equipment during his stay on Roe Island north of Concord: a cellular telephone.

"I was embarrassed to be stranded on an island," Hopper, a 54-year-old artist from Encino (Los Angeles County), told The Chronicle. "I thought I could fix my boat and make it to land. ... I didn't want to spend the taxpayers' money to have the Coast Guard come rescue some stupid guy."

But on Monday morning, the Coast Guard did collect Hopper on a 25-foot boat after receiving a call from one of his friends - a man Hopper had telephoned directly.

Rescuers pieced together clues from Hopper - that he could see Naval vessels and could hear reveille, a military bugle call, every morning - and determined he must be near the Concord Naval Weapons Station. The Coast Guard also worked with Hopper's cell phone provider to triangulate his signal.

After finding him waving a red flag, the Coast Guard learned that the victim had gotten stranded after an unusual adventure.

Hopper, nicknamed Goat Man for his ability to scale mountainsides, said he started out Wednesday morning on the Sacramento River, where he loaded a $300 inflatable raft with camping supplies, two burritos, a bag of vitamins, a Bible and a mannequin of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

"This trip was a campaign," Hopper explained. "I wanted to bring more attention to social diseases."

Hopper hoped to make it to the Golden Gate Bridge, but disaster struck when his raft sprang a leak in Suisun Bay, east of the Benicia Bridge. He said he managed to guide the sinking vessel to shore, then figured he'd make camp on the island until he fixed the raft.

"He was lucky to make it to shore," said Lt. j.g. Laura Williams, a Coast Guard spokeswoman. "In those weather conditions, it's cold, the water is very cold, and it can be really dangerous."

Hopper said he tried to scout the island for life, but high winds pushed him around, making walking difficult. He slept the first night in a tent and spent the next morning gathering chunks of Styrofoam to plug his raft's leak. The Contra Costa County shoreline was about a mile away.

"I couldn't fix it the first day so I just figured I'd spend another night, even though I was out of food," Hopper said, referring to his burritos. "Thought I'd go to work and try it again in the morning."

The next night the island was pounded with driving rain and thunderstorms.

"The weather," Hopper said, "was not working with my needs."

By the fourth day, Hopper said, he began to worry that his energy was decreasing too quickly. He had picked mustard flowers, eaten the last of his vitamins and used duct tape to write "SOS" on a red tablecloth that he hung in a tree.

Still, his cell phone remained idle. He hoped a passing boat would scoop him up, making a 911 call unnecessary.

As he saw white clouds billow from refineries in the distance, he thought to fan his own smoky fire, hoping an overhead plane would take notice.

At night, to calm himself, Hopper read his Bible. In the mornings, there was the bugle call to wake him - a sound he assumed was coming from battleships he could see to the west.

"I did all the things I saw on TV," Hopper said. "I did everything I could to ensure my safety."

On Monday morning, Hopper finally used his cell phone - to call a cousin in Northridge.

Shawn Reeves, 51, said in an interview that Hopper didn't ask him to call authorities but described his worsening situation. Reeves got a sinking feeling that his relative was in real trouble.

"I could hear it in his voice," Reeves said. "This was a guy I grew up with: If he said he was hungry and needed help, he really needed it."

Reeves said Hopper once lived in a cave in Nevada for three months, had walked through Death Valley and had made a Northern California forest his home for an entire year. "When we found him," Reeves said, "he was naked and fishing in a stream ... He's been living off the land for at least 20 years."

After scarfing down a burrito he bought at the Martinez Marina on Monday in a bid to regain his strength, Hopper said was glad his cousin called in the Coast Guard. And, looking back, Hopper said he should have called 911.

"It was," he said, "the right thing to do."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Beatles Rooftop Concert

The Beatles finally made it to iTunes this week. So why did it take this long for the powers that be in charge to finally say yes to legal digital downloads? Me thinks it was the almighty dollar and that Apple (the computer folks not the record folks) wanted a little too big piece of the pie. The good news is, if your a fan, now is the time to dive back into the music. Just before the band broke up, they recorded their last live performance on a rooftop in central London on their Savile Row Apple headquarters. The date was January 30, 1969. Now let's head to said rooftop for the show!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Awesomeness Abounds!

Clipper Race 2011-2012

The next race starts in August with 450 participants.
Go here if you would like to get more info.

From the Archives: Over the Top!

I woke up on Sunday morning about 5:30 and took a look at the wind online. It was over 30 and gusting to almost 50 at Angel. I headed up to the boat and fixed a nice french toast breakfast. At around 8am, I headed out with all my foulies on after taking a good look at the south wind. It looked like an above average summer day as far as wind speed. As I entered the channel, I put out a little bit of jib to help me out. As I hit the end of the channel it was already at 30 knots. We (me and the boat) blasted straight out and the speedo was hitting 6.5 to 7 with just a sliver of a jib. Gusts were in the 40 range easy. About half way out, I noticed that with the wind direction and the current, we were in a lee shore with the Berkeley Pier. I needed to keep an eye on that. I let out a little more jib to give me a little more power. As I reached the end of the pier, the winds were easily topping 50 in the gusts. The boat was handling it well. It was only getting wilder so it was time to tack. Getting the boat to turn into the wind is no easy task with this much pressure on the boat. I got her around and needed to trim in the sheets and make sure the boat got going back into the wind. No easy task and I was huffing and puffing as I finished the tack. This was the windiest day I have ever been out on!! And I was loving it. Knowing that we had recently refreshed all the standing rigging gave me confidence that the rig could take the pounding. Going back in, I didn't have to worry about the pier as I was headed away from it on this tack. Hey what's this, blue sky to the south and the rain is letting up a little. The wind keep building with each tack and each tack became more difficult. I did about eight tacks out and back to the end of the pier and then to the channel makers. About 1.5 miles each way. At 9:30 I felt as if I had accomplished my mission and headed back to the slip. I was motoring into the wind and just praying our little 14 horse diesel would get me back in. She did of course and I am happy to say it was a great feeling to know our little boat could handle the monster winds of this storm! I would say the winds were 30-40 with gusts to 50 in the area I was sailing. It was an awesome feeling to be out there in that weather!

We are gonna need a crane for that crane!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Icing on the Cake - Our last day in Cabo

We met up with our crew on Friday morn, our last full day in Cabo. At 10 we were picked up by a driver who would take us Cabo's finest resort, Palmilla. My crew mate Dave had some friends who owned a seaside villa and the margs are waiting for us. We head out about 15 miles and arrive at this gated heaven. Once inside we are welcomed with drinks and food on the patio. It's a perfect day as we see the wide expanse of Costa Azul. After a few rounds of drinks and lots of guacamole, we head down to the beach for a dip and some bocce. Then we take a tour of this open air home and it is lovely. Owned by a former DA in SF, we are humbled by the set up and views. Awesome. Soon we are off to a side trip to San Jose del Cabo. Very cute town and we visit the Tropicana Hotel. Classic place with great margs! We stumble thru town and find a fine tequila distributor with some almond flavored anejo. Very fine indeed. At the appointed time we head back to the house. The chef has prepared a fine fresh tuna dinner and the owners have arrived. We sit down to a splendid dinner and enjoy the conversation. It has been a magnificent way to wrap up our journey down the coast of Baja. We head back to the hotel and head to bed as we depart early for the airport and back to the city by the bay.

My adventure on the Baja Haha 17 was one of excitement, joy, discovery and happiness. This was my first ocean passage and what an amazing adventure we had. I want to thank the skipper and crew of our boat for the safe, fun, and fast passage we had. And to all the folks on the trip that made it so much fun. Maybe I'll see you on the next Haha??

If you would like to see a nice slide show of the trip, go here.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Santa Maria Beach Party

We spent a very nice night in the anchorage and then about 0800 the crew starts looking for coffee and food. At 1000, I am headed to the beach for the day's festivities. The locals are preparing a feast for us. A band from La Paz (4 hours away) will provide the music. I catch a panga and head to the beach to meet the volleyball folks. It's another beautiful day with a light breeze. We get the net up and play a few rounds. There is some great taunting going on from both sides of the net. We win one and lose one. Soon it's lunch time and we are first in line for the food. Shrimp, fish, rice, beans and fresh tortillas. Very nice. I catch up with a few folks and then spend the rest of the afternoon playing volleyball. Our team did not lose another game the rest of the afternoon. We played until the tide came in and knocked down the net at 5pm. It was one of the funnest afternoons of volleyball I have ever played. I had brought a top of the line beach net and everyone had a great time. At the end of the day, I donated the net so future Hahaers could enjoy this great game. Headed over to some friends boat for some spaghetti and wine. Back to Rainbow at 9 and everyone is asleep or resting. I decide to go for a night swim. I jump in and the water lights up with bioluminescence. My whole body is glowing. I push off the boat and it is amazing. The tiny plankton get excited with movement and light up a bright green. It is so cool! I decide to swim over to boat about 400 yards away. Its a gorgeous, still night and an amazing swim. As far as land based activities, today was the best day of the trip! Can you tell I am having too much fun???

We are up early at 0500 to prepare the boat for Leg 3 and our destination of Cabo San Lucas. It's about 180 miles. There is a bit of a breeze as 170 boats head out for the start. The wind dies and we start motoring. We are near Magdelana Bay and there are lots of whale sightings. We have not seen a whale on this trip. I go off watch at 1100 and take a nice nap. During my nap, one of the boats catches and releases a 180 lbs. Marlin! Grilled pork loin for dinner that featured another green flash and a whale sighting! The wind has died and it looks like we will be motoring thru the night. Up at 0700 and we are nearing the Cape! There are reports of a strange, strong wind in Cabo. It is coming from the south east and is something Cabo never sees. It is causing alot of problems inside the marina. There were plans to have alot of boats raft together inside the marina, but due to the wind and waves, this will not happen. A bunch of boats lose their spots and will have to anchor in the bay. At 10am we approach Cabo Falso. This is about 2 miles from Lands End. The wind is in the low 20's and the waves are huge. We are down to our last couple miles and all hell has broken loose. The boat is rocking and for the first time, water is coming over the bow and into the cockpit. We are soaking but the water is 80 and the sun is warm. We cross the finish line and a cheer goes out. We finally make it around the corner and Cabo San Lucas spreads out before us. My first visit was a surfing safari back in October 1982, almost 30 years ago. Back then it was a sleepy fishing village with one disco. Now the town has grown into a major tourist mecca that sells mostly t-shirts and trinkets...and a ton of hotels, bars and restaurants. We make it in and start the process of refueling the boat and filling up the 5 gallon fuel jugs. I don't have any plans, so I tell the skipper that I will stick around and help him get settled. The other two crew head to the hotel for a nice shower and a marg! We are hoping for a slip but with the winds taking away alot of them, it doesn't look good. We call the organizer once more and it is not good news. He tells us to anchor in the bay. We are about to head out and one of the boats hails us and asks us to bring beer to them in the anchorage. I am sure racking up the karma points! I grab some beer from the store and we head out. The boat is a brand new 57' boat called "Perfect Wave". The crew is waiting for us with a fishing net. The seas are wild and I am not sure we can pull this off without some damage to both boats. We make one approach and nearly take them out! On the next pass, we make a perfect hand off and there is a $20 pinned to the net that I grab as we make the hand off. They thank us for our trouble and we head down the beach. We try to anchor near them but it does not work out so I pull up the 100 feet of chain and we move on. Ground tackle on a big boat is heavy and I am nearly spent after a long trip. I tell the skipper we need to get it right the next time. We head way down the beach and there is the Cal 29 bouncing in the surf. We find a spot and drop the anchor again. She holds and I jump in the water for a nice swim. I have an hour before I need to get off the boat, however the wind is so high, they have closed the harbor so no pangas are running. My only option is to swim. I lay down to rest and recover from the last few hours. We get a call from the docks saying there is a slip available. My eyes roll at the thought of pulling up the anchor for a second time. The skipper says yes to the slip and up to the bow I go. The wind is 18 knots by now and this is going to a nightmare! I start pulling and after a while I switch with the skipper and now he is pulling and I am driving. We had over 200' out and we are both exhausted. Finally we get it back on the roller and pull away. That was difficult!! We head in and there is a question if our 22' beam is going to fit. We are going to need a shoe horn to get in. We tie up and make it by inches. We have to raft up to another boat and they give us a hand. They warn us not to make any sudden moves as they have German Shepards on board. This is the same dog that bit another cruiser at Santa Maria. I can't wait to get off the boat. I grab my backpack and I am off and safe. I head over to meet up with the crew and tell them about our ordeal and then head to the hotel. I need a beer! I head to the pool and there is a restaurant and bar. I order some beer and fish tacos and think about our amazing journey down the coast. Head to the room for a shower and some email. The it's over to Squid Row for some dancing with the fleet members. My crew is there as well as some of the friends I have made. By 9, the place is rocking and we are having a blast on the dance floor. Everybody is buying me beer and shots! What a cool thing to know most of the folks on the dance floor! At about 11pm I head back and hit the hay. What an ending to the trip...but wait, we still have one more highlight that I can't wait to tell you about! Please come back!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Night Time Approach of Bahia Santa Maria

Surfing on our cat at almost 18 knots! 10-31-10

Had a nice nap during my off watch and upon stepping on deck for my 1500 watch, the crew informs me we had caught a large yellow tail tuna. The filet's were in the cooler and waiting to be marinated. Fresh fish is always a treat. Winds were in the mid teens and we are cruising right along. I took the helm for a good long while as we neared the finish line of leg 2. I calculated our 24 hour run and it was just shy of 200 miles! Our second one of the trip. We had an awesome dinner at sunset and I mentioned to the crew that the conditions were perfect for a green flash. Five minutes later were had a brief green flash over the wave tops. Our VHF is on 24/7 and many of the other boats in the fleet chimed in that they had seen it as well. It can happen at sunset and sunrise and is caused by the refraction of the light over the horizon. I estimate that I see it about once every 100 sunsets that I watch, so it does not happen very often and is very cool so keep an eye out if you are looking at a sunset over the ocean. Dinner was rice pilaf, broccoli and fresh tuna. The skippers wife had put together goodie bags for the crew for Halloween and we got our chocolate fix. Nice. As I type we are sailing into the anchorage and getting ready for three nights on the hook at Santa Maria. There is nothing here but a beautiful bay, a small fishing camp and 600 Haha'ers and their boats. Let's have some fun!

Our first morning in Santa Maria was filled with shock and disbelief. A solo cruiser from San Francisco had run his boat up on the beach on the other side of the point. We heard he had fallen asleep at the helm and his auto pilot steered him into the surf. How very sad. Word went out that we needed to help him and volunteers were needed. The crew on Rainbow was up for the adventure and in short order were on our way to the rescue. We jumped into the dingy and headed up the Santa Maria River about a mile or so. From there it was over land and a 5-6 mile hike to the beach. We arrived at the stricken vessel named Tachyon and 30 or so Hahaers were stripping the boat of all the supplies, hardware and equipment. It was a sad sight indeed. The owner was there and had given the word to salvage as much as possible. With so many folks already on the scene, there was not much we could do. We stayed for about an hour and then headed back. There is a small chance that the boat could be pulled out on an extreme high tide on Thursday. We got back to the boat and Sea Chaser was headed in to the bay after the crossing from Turtle Bay. The father/daughter crew had been beat up pretty bad in the tiny Cal 2-27. Even though is was a difficult sail for them, they still had a smile and made us laugh with their stories and insights. We invited them to stay for dinner and we talked about their adventure all the down the the coast from Coos Bay, Oregon. We gave them a special treat of ice cream and carrot cake for dessert and we all enjoyed that a bunch. After dinner, three of the larger boats hosted a party. A great time was had by all and I got to met some more of the fleet. The main boat was 47 foot cat that was sailed by a crew of five. The skipper, Bill, had it down. He had 4 ladies as crew. They sailed the boat and he worked the radio and relaxed while his crew sail the boat. He did not stand one watch during the trip. How cool is that? Will get some rest for the beach party tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Cup Will Come To SF

The SF Board of Supervisors has made a bold move to host the cup on the Bay! Read about the latest developments here..

Extreme is my Middle Name

Down the Line to Bahia Santa Maria

Day 6 - The Rainbow crew was up early for the 8am departure for Santa Maria. There was a bit of wind as we weighed anchor at 0730. The fleet is heading for a rolling start as the wind is light. We are allowed to motor until the predicted 10-15 knot winds fill in. The sky is overcast but the sun is out to the north. We bid a fond ado to Turtle Bay as we head to the mouth of the bay. Lots of spinnakers are already up but there is little wind. The decision is made that the fleet can motor without penalty. The winds donot fill in until about 1545 and at that time it's blowing about 10-12 knots (we have been motoring for 8 hours). The rolling start ends at 1600 and the chute goes up. The wind slowly increases to 15 knots and starts touching 20 before sunset at 1800. Now we are cooking. Lots of boats are catching fish but we only catch some kelp on our line. It was a pretty big piece of kelp, however. Lots of whale sightings too. We have a nice sunset during the end of my watch and it looks to be a very nice night for star gazing as the moon won't be up till after midnight. We are hoping for some good winds to move us down the course towards our next stop.

I have had two amazing watches over the last 12 hours. My night watch starts at 2300 each day. I come on deck and the stars are brilliant . The moon will come up later and in the meantime, the Milky Way is above us. The wind is in the high teens and we are moving along at 7 knots. The seas are pretty flat and the spinnaker is driving us down the course towards Santa Maria Bay. Having a nice chat with Dave and talking about his previous two Haha's. He is a seasoned sailor and this is his first voyage on a cat. He is loving the speed and the down wind capabilities of the boat. And did I mention the speed? He goes off watch and and the skipper comes on deck. He makes a few adjustments and the wheel becomes lite as a feather. We are having a beautiful ride as the red half moon rises slowly in the east. With the moon light shining on the water we are having one of the smoothest runs yet. A dream sail for sure. Off the port stern, I hear the sound of dolphins breathing. Soon they are jumping around the boat and splashing in the moon light. This is the moment I was hoping for. This is magic! Soon I see three shooting stars across the sky. The boat is moving like we are on rails. The skipper agrees that this is a peak moment on the trip. I savor my time on watch and finally at 0300 my watch ends and I go below for a sound sleep. There is a big difference on the sleep side of things on a cat, compared to a mono hull. The cat is flat and you can really get some great sleep. Even at 10-11 knots. On a mono hull you are constantly being pushed from side to side in these conditions. It's easy to become sleep deprived on a mono. I am back on deck at 0700 and the wind is in the low 20's and the seas are lumpy. The sky is clear and it's going to be an awesome watch. The boat is averaging 8 knots with the speedo hitting 10 and 11 on some of the surfs. We are passing mono hulls left and right and the spinnaker has been up for 15 hours. We are flying! I take the helm and it is really getting comfortable for me, even at these speeds. Dave is talking about his perfect boat that he hopes to take around some day. I soak it in as he is the voice of experience. Morning roll call for the fleet is at 0800 and one of the boats has had a wrapped spinnaker for the last 10 hours. Ouch! The skipper mentions that one way to solve the issue is to take a flare and burn the sucker. That will clear up the problem quick! Another boat hit something and is having trouble with vibrations from the prop shaft. All others are fine. We continue on thru a gybe of the chute and the average speed jumps up to 10 knots. What a run. We are about 60 miles from our finish line and on to the next round of beach events!! Need I say we are having a blast as we rumble down the coast of Baja Sur!!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Turtle Bay - First Stop on Baja Haha 17

Sleeping great on our cat as I have my own stateroom. My berth is 6'5' in length which is perfect for me as that is also my height. After we finish straightening up the boat, we head off for shore. We jump onto the pier and waiting just off the beach is an ambulance. One of our fleet members has dislocated his hip and is being ferried into the beach for transport to the hospital. We head up to the beach side bar overlooking the harbor and order Pacificos all around. We are joined by two other cruisers and we introduce ourselves. These guys are not having fun. They joined a boat in Santa Cruz, CA and the skipper has not been the peach they were hoping for. He has a C & C 34 and they have had to trouble shoot the boat all they way down the coast. The owner/skipper thinks he has a grasp on how to sail his boat but according to them, he would not have made it much past Monterey if not for them. They are about to jump ship. They vented and told many stories about his incompetence. Many were very funny. We thanked our lucky stars we have a great skipper and a rock solid boat. Let's hope it continues. After a few cold cervezes, we headed into town for a shower. Then over to the baseball game that Latitude 38 had put together. The teens from Turtle Bay played an inning and then the Cabo Pee Wee team and then all the cruisers. It was a great turn out and every one had a blast. Then it was off to the real deal and the World Series in a local bar. We met up with a father/ daughter crew on a Cal 29 and they barley made it down the coast. Big winds and big seas had unnerved them and they were not in very good spirits. We bought them a beer and tried to give them some moral support. Then it was onto the game and a 7 run 8th inning by the Giants finished of the Rangers and the Giants are up 2-0 as the series moves on to Texas. Finished up the night talking with a new friend from Vancouver, Doug and then headed back to the boat. Really looking forward to the beach party on Friday.

The sun comes up bright in Mexico. The day looks perfect and the 12noon start for the beach party is looking good. I cook up some eggs and toast for the crew and we are off to the the beach. It is about a 10 minute ride by panga and it's way down past the anchorage. We arrive an hour early to set up the volleyball and clean the beach. There is lots of plastic and garbage so we take our time and do the right thing. The net goes up, the beers are chilled and the reggae music is playing by the 12 noon start. Some of the locals are supplying the musica and the cervezas. The cruisers are supplying the potluck. It is a blue sky, bright sun day and the temps are in the mid seventies. Soon, lots of folks have arrived and the party is in full swing. We figure a good 300 folks showed up for a grand old time. The food was amazing and I was lucky enough to try some yellow tail that was caught the day before. Along with samples of many more yummy foods. The volleyball game was hot and there was some real talent on the court. We played about 8 games and had some great times. I was the last to leave and what a great day at the beach it was. Back to the boat for some rest and an 0600 wake up for a 0800 departure to Bahia Santa Maria. Can't wait!!

Blue Angels Sail

Just received a vid of a sail we did a month ago with some great friends to see the Blue Angels fly the bay. We did it all that day and had way too much fun!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Leg 1 of the Baja Haha - We Anchor in Turtle Bay

Here is a little compilation vid of the dolphins.

Day 3, Midnight watch was uneventful except for a broken boat. A Corsair 31 tri had lost their bowsprit, their headsail was in the water and they needed tools. One of the bigger cats, Moon Tide went out 40 or so miles to get them the tools they needed. It would be 20 hour diversion for Moon Tide. But that's what we do as mariners. The winds had built to the low twenties and the seas were huge when I went out on deck. We were loving it! We hit a bunch of 12's and a few 13's on the knot meter. The wind was 12-15 most of the night. On the 0700-1100 watch we had 500-600 hundred dolphins feeding all around us. We did a sail change and you could see a dozen under the boat. This was one of the highlights I was looking forward to. I fetched my video cam and went to the bow. What an amazing treat as this was my first time seeing them on a bow wave. That was so cool. Tex, you would have loved it!! I hope to post the vid on h2uh0. We should reach Turtle bay late this evening. That first beer is going to taste great.

The day continues to get nicer and nice. We throw up the chute and we can see Cedros Island in the distance. We are getting close to the finish line of leg 1 and our destination of Turtle bay. After my watch, I head to the trampoline and read and nap in the warm sun. It's starting to feel like Mexico! We are staring to see lots of boats in the area as we head to the finish line. At about 1300 we cross it and celebrate with some Juice Squeeze. I come back on for my last watch at 3 and we are in 10 knots of wind and 3-4 knots of boat speed. It's still 20 miles to the anchorage and we are determined to get there by sail. During the watch I cook up some Thai Chicken, veggie salad and cous cous. I finish my watch at 1900 and head down for a nap. The motor wakes me as we head in to Bahia de Tourtugas! We anchor about 2230 and head for bed. We will have some boat chores in the morning and then a day to explore. But first I will prepare some blueberry/banana pancakes for the crew!

Friday, November 05, 2010

We Have Arrived At The Cape

We have just sailed in from an extraordinary trip! I kept a daily log on board and it will blow you out of the water!! I am in the process of some wrap up events in Cabo (huge parties). I will be posting the logs a day at a time and let the story unfold. Our boat, crew and fleet were all amazing. There was also a bit of bad news as a boat ran up on the beach. Owner is OK. All in all the trip exceeded all my expectations and they were huge. I can't wait to share this amazing journey down the Baja coast with you all.

Here is the log from Day One:

Rally Start -The day started out dreary and wet. There was was lots of activity around the dock as boats were preparing for a parade and a 1100 rally start. We got off the dock 0945. The parade was just off our bow and the wind was in the low teens with partly cloudy skies. We joined the 170-180 or so boats and headed towards the sea and the starting line. The line is between Pt. Loma Lighthouse and the good ship Profligate. We are just about over the line and we tack with 2 minutes to go before the start. We don't make the tack and have to reset and get some speed. The gun sounds and we are headed north instead of with the fleet heading south. Once we have boat speed again, we tack and are off with the fleet. It's amazing to see this many boats going south. The sun is out and we are making 7 knots over the ground and the wind is holding steady at 14. We head offshore about 5 miles and the wind slowly goes down to about 10 later in the day. We decide to throw on the chute around 4pm and try to increase our speed. Once set, we are doing fine when a herd of dolphins surfaces around the boat. In 5 minutes, I see 150 dolphins. What a thrill! As the sun sets, we hear a report of whales ahead. It's dark now, so we just have to hope we don't encounter any. Just in case we do hit a whale, we sleep feet forward. I am now getting ready to get some rest before my next watch at 2300. More soon....

I was on the midnight watch on my first night time ocean passage. What a thrill it was to come out to the cockpit and have the moon and Jupiter shinning bright in the clear sky. The wind was 15 - 20 on a perfect run down the coast. We have the chute up all night and we were on auto pilot. There are always two of us on deck and my watch mate was Dave on this fine evening. We talked a bit and I spent time starring at Jupiter and thinking about the 63 moons that surround this huge planet. I went off watch at 0300 and went right to sleep for 4 hours. Up at 0700 and the wind is up to 20-22 and we are surfing to almost 13 knots. We are about 15 miles off the coast and not many other boats. After some oatmeal and coffee, we get a huge wrap with the chute on the forestay. We finally sort it out and 45 minutes later we throw her up again. I look behind the boat and a tuna is on the fishing line. We are in the middle of sorting some things out and buy the time I get to the line, he is off the hook. I head down below for some reading and relaxing on day 2!