I estimate I have set sail over 1000 times over the last 30 years. Sunday was the best sail of my life! There was danger, pure speed, elation, beauty, and gratitude. Here is a recap: I made it up to the boat with my trusty golden Kona about 10am. Went to start the engine and after three tries it's a no go. I pull the cover and begin the bleeding process. Try again and she starts right up! We head to the channel and the wind is from the south east and 6-8. I rig the spinnaker and as we hit the last maker I pop the chute. Perfect. Now I just need to head up enough to miss the 2 mile long Berkeley Pier. I clear it and now it's a nice run to Angel. The sun is bright and the temps are in the 50's. The Golden Gate beckons me! I got around the south side of Angel and the wind direction changes. It's blowing into the island and pushing me towards the beach. I head towards the island knowing I have to get the spinnaker down. She comes down quickly and I bag her and turn the boat away from the island. That was only the second time in 10 years I have raised the spinnaker on a solo run. Awesome! I raise the main and jib and reef the jib as it is 15 knots at this point. I hove to for a few as I need a break to reduce the adrenaline rush. After a few, I head towards SF to give Kona a break. We head over to Gas House Cove, empty the holding tank and take K for walk. Back on the water the wind contunies to build. So much for the forecasted 5-10. I head towards the Gate and I can see my first big fog bank of the year. That's why the wind is so strong! I get under the bridge and it is always special to sail out towards the Pacific. The waves build, the view is stunning and its only 2ooo miles to Hawaii! Opps, not enough wine on board to make it that far! I tack a few times and realize that I have not seen any ships moving today. Not a one! That's unusual. I head to the west side of Baker Beach enjoying the sea motion. It's getting late so I head back. Once under the Gate, I throw up the chute once more. It wasn't a perfect hoist and had a wrap or two but she goes up. By now it's almost 5pm and there are very few boats on the water. I am blasting across the water at 7.5 knots and it's a perfect run to the barn. I drop the chute as I approach our channel and I am exhausted with a huge smile on my face. The sun is getting ready to set just as I head in. Two spinnaker runs, 20 knots of breeze and the most amazing sail of my life! Our Newport 30 has been such an amazing platform for fun and good times on the bay. I love this boat and sailing my home waters of the San Francisco Bay!!!
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
So you have been sailing the bay a few years and 2011 looks like the year to spread your wings and plan a trip on the bay. The big trip inside the bay is to the delta and up the San Joaquin River. You need a minimum of 5 days to do any type of exploring. It's worth it and I have had some wonderful days up there swimming, hanging on the hook and exploring. If you have a long weekend of three days, you could head up the Petaluma or my favorite, the Napa River. If you do it right you can sail all the way up to downtown Napa. Past the Napa Valley Yacht Club, you will need a tender, however if you bring your bikes, you can ride there. On day 2, the bikes will come in handy again as you can ride to the local wineries. Stop at the Napa Valley Marina and start from there. Most of the wineries near the marina require appointments and it is worth it. Our fav was Adastra. If you do a search on this blog, you can read about all our trips to these locations. You will have a blast! If that seems too much like work, head over to Schoonmaker Marina in Sausalito for a weekend. Head to Angel Island and camp out on the boat. Or for those that don't like to hand out the green backs, head over to Clipper Cove off Treasure Island and drop the hook. Our plan this year is to head up to Tomales Bay with an overnight at Drakes Bay. I'll be renting an EPIRB (Electronic Position-Indicating Radio Beacon) from Boat US for that one. Start thinking about some sailing trips for the summer and fall and get out there and enjoy your boat. Be sure the tides are in your favor when doing these trips up the rivers and delta. Bon voyage!
I have had a few scary wipeouts in my life. I recall one in Todos Santos, MX where I caught a big wave during a famous surf safari. My leash snapped and I had to go in and get it over a reef filled with sea urchins. Needless to say my feet and hands were filled with tiny spikes from these creatures. Got the board back but did not go out again that day. Enjoy these wipeouts!
Monday, February 21, 2011
A fantastic guide has been published by the Single Handed Sailing Society. It outlines the procedures as well as the mental preparation needed when sailing alone in the middle of nowhere. I also hope that those of you who have never sailed solo will take the necessary steps to skipper your own vessel under sail...alone! Download this gem here.
Get out your check books and get in line! You'll love the interior as much as the covered deck space for all those lobster dinners. You'll be cruising in comfort as the speedo hits 20!. Ladies and Gents, I give you the yacht of your dreams:
$4.5m will get you in the door!!!
$4.5m will get you in the door!!!
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Last October I spent 12 days cruising the Pacific side of the Baja Peninsula as a participant in the Baja Haha. In about a month we will head down to Baja again for a 7 day cruise. This time we will be on the east side of the peninsula in the Sea of Cortez near La Paz. There will be 5 guys on the trip (three of them are partners on our boat). There are several large islands to visit in the area. We plan to do lots of exploring, kayaking, relaxing and who knows, maybe a wild party will break out. We have chartered a 41' Morgan from these folks. It's very affordable and a great way to escape. It will be a another oppourtunity to blog from the boat and send in some reports to H2uh0. Look for it towards the end of March. For more info on the sailing area, click here.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Friday, February 11, 2011
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
"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
Monday, February 07, 2011
It was a beautiful weekend in Norcal with temps in the mid 70's. A little too warm for this time of year. Had some old chums out for a sail on Saturday with winds in the 10-12 range, it was perfect spinnaker weather. We had a great run from Sausalito to Emeryville with the speedo hitting 7. Sunday was even nicer and I did a nice long bike ride in the hills and then we celebrated my son's 15th birthday. Great weekend!