Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tomales on Hold Till Next Year

In preparation for our trip to Tomales, I had a rigger come out for an inspection of our 30 year old rig.  We have some issues with the goose neck, corrosion in the bottom front of the mast and a spreader that is loose.  It will take some time to get all these things fixed and he recommends not going out on the ocean until we get the repairs made.  I called my first mate Tex and we decided to go to a favorite spot, Napa!  We will depart on Sunday for the trip and it will be awesome!  And alot easier on our rig.  I wish I had called him a month earlier!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Miss Swiss

A guy can dream can't he?


Sunday Sail in San Francisco

Took the skipper of our Baja Haha cruise out for sail on Sunday.  It was raining on the way to the boat but I had studied the forecasts and knew it was going to clear.  We headed out about noon with a slight drizzle in the air.  We hit a light wind line just outside the channel and started to sail.  After the first tack it picked up to 12 knots.  As we continued towards the end of the pier, it was in the high teens and looking good.  We made it past the end of the pier and we set a course for Angel Island.  It was slowly starting to clear. Near Alcatraz we hove to for a quick lunch.  Then it was a nice run to Sausalito.  The sky was blue and the sun was out.  We threw on the kite for the run home and it was a beautiful downwind race to the barn.  The wind gusted a few times and we rounded up a few times but quickly got her under control and heading in the right direction.  Conor and I both really enjoyed the sail and we are so glad the rain did not deter us from this awesome day on the bay!

The City from WTK Photography on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wind Power

Back in the mid 80's I was living in Delaware for a year and working with my dad.  I had fallen head over heals with windsurfing and decided to start a sailing club.  I put out an ad in the local sports mag and had a bunch of interested folks.  Our plan was to schedule group day trips and over nighters to different locations on the Delmarva Peninsula.  Soon we were well over 20 members and having a ball.  The Chesapeake, Dewey Beach, several lakes in the area and more.  I sent out a monthly schedule and it was a hit!  My fondest memory was a trip to Dewey Beach in DE in the early fall.  We had rented a house for the weekend and had a dozen sailors.  It was after dinner and the wind really came up when the idea struck me that we should go for a night sail on the bay.  We each had a small glow stick on our mast and hit the beach.  The wind was in the 20's and we were flying across the bay.  It was my very first night sail!  We all had a blast and then we headed home.  The wind continued thru the weekend and we sailed the heck out of that bay.  The name of the club was Wind Power (after the Thomas Dolby song that I love).

Sojourn to Tomales Bay

Tex and I are preparing to depart for Tomales Bay next weekend.  This is our first ocean voyage together and we are excited.  We are taking all the precautions as in life raft, GPIRB, etc so we can have a safe trip.  We depart with the ebb on Sunday 10-2, and head to Drake's Bay.  The next morning we will head up to the entrance of Tomales Bay.  This entrance has claimed many lives over the years due to sneaker waves.  I have studied the charts and tides and the best time to enter is towards the end of a flood, which we will have in the afternoon that day.  The sneakers come up during the ebb.  We plan to spend two days in the bay and then head back.  Tomales is loaded with wild life and flat sailing.  It should be a great adventure and one you will be hearing about after our trip.  If you would like to read about another sailors journey to Tomales, go here.
Click the chart for a larger view.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Overnight Sail

My best bud Tex bought a sail boat a few years ago and I never get to sail with him anymore.  That all changed Wednesday as I hooked up with Tex and my other best bud Dave.  We headed out about 10:30 for the ball park to take in an afternoon game against the Padres.  There were no guest berths available, so I decided to anchor in McCovey cove and kayak to the game.  I had dropped the crew off nearby.  I set the anchor well and backed down on it to make sure she would hold steady.  Arrived at the game and saw my friends and we sat down to enjoy a win by the Giants.  We could easily see the boat in the cove so no worries.  We then took off for Angel Island for the night.  The day had been foggy but when we arrived at Ayela Cove, the sun was bright for our game of bocce in the picnic area.  Tex won one and so we headed to the somewhat new mooring field.  We set the bow towards the strait so we would not bounce around.  Had a lovely dinner from the BBQ and enjoyed lots of stories and laughter.  Next morning we were up for pancakes and tea.  We made it home at noon and what a great trip with my best friends!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sunday Sail

Took Murray, Ryan, Oona and Kona out for a memorable sail on Sunday. Ryan provided some great homebrew and the winds were perfect. We headed for Tiburon for lunch and anchored at Paradise Cove. Ryan and Kona went for a swim to the beach. Then we headed up Raccoon Strait toward the Gate. It was a perfect day to stick our nose out the Gate and we did. For the run home, we hoisted our beautiful spinnaker. We got to the dock very tired so Kona and I took a nap for a few hours. It was a glorious day and we all had a ball.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Baja Haha Here I Come!!

I attended the crew party last night for the Haha and it could be compared to
feeding frenzy. There were only about 8 or so skippers looking for
crew and about 50 sailors looking for a ride. I lucked out and met a
couple at the reg desk who arrived late. I introduced myself and we
hit it off. They have invited me to join them in San Diego for the
trip to Cabo!! I have been bummed out this week and I could not
figure out why. When I received their email today at 6pm, all the
weight was lifted and I realized it was because I had not found a boat

What is really cool is they are sailing a ....wait for it... an
Islander 36!! This is the boat that I am considering purchasing for
my trip to NZ in a few years. How cool is that? I am very excited
and can't wait to get underway. Be on the look out for blog entries from the voyage.
We depart on October 24!! Wish me a bon voyage!

Monday, September 05, 2011

Close Call

Went out for a day sail on Friday with a few friends. We had a windy run to the lee of Angel and then the wind dropped and the temps were fine. We had some lunch and then headed back. The wind was just starting to pick up when we heard a bang. I turned the wheel and it kept right on spinning. We lost a steering cable. I went below and grabbed the emergency tiller and attached it. The attachment is aft of the wheel so there is very little room to maneuver it and very little torque to turn the rudder. We reduced sail and stated heading the four miles to the slip. It was gusting over 30 and we had to release the main from time to time to reduce pressure. I was very glad I was not out there on a solo sail. We got to the channel and headed into the marina safely. What a huge relief to be dockside again.

On Saturday I headed up to the boat to attempt to fix the broken cable. I pulled out the remains of the old one and headed to the hardware store looking to replace it. I found the 3/16" wire I needed and Tony helped me put in the loop I needed for the chain connection. Over at the boat, I slipped the wire on the chain and went down under to connect the wire to the quadrant. Having never done this, it turned out to be a great learning experience. I finally got her connected and took her for a 30 minute sail outside the channel in 25+ winds. All is good. In reading about the the steering system, I learned that you should inspect the cables twice a year and replace them every 5 years. In looking at the old cable, this may have been original cable from 30 years ago. Hard to say. Just glad I was able to get her in and fix her quickly. My partners are heading out today!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Too Much Fun!

Holiday Weekend Sailing

(click any pic for a larger view)

The weekend is shaping up nicely for some sailing on our 30' sloop Addiction. One of the guys going out is Dave. Dave went with me on our first big trip on the bay way back in 2001. It was just a two day bay trip, but because it was the first one, memories still linger. I hope to take them out the Gate today. Then on Saturday, I have a full boat going out toward Tiburon. Warm temps and maybe some swimming are in order. Hope to see you out there!