Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Ultimate Sailing Race - A look Back at 40 Years of Extreme

I present you with an awesome sailing video of the history of the Whitbread/Volvo Ocean race.  It's a 50 minute video, however you would be hard pressed to find another that would present more dramatic story lines or footage.  "If you want to be in the sailing game, this is the ultimate race". Enjoy and go full screen!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas from Lake Sunapee

We are in New Hampshire for the holidays with my family.  My sister has a beautiful home on Lake Sunapee and we had a lovely sunrise over the lake this morning.  I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and all the best in 2012.  Here's to many sailing adventures in the New Year!

Some of my sailing goals for this year:
Fix the base of our corroded mast
Take more friends out on the bay for a day sail
Sail to Tomales Bay
Enjoy the next round of promo races on the bay in preparation for the Americas Cup
Partner Sail
More spinnaker runs
Sail on other friends boats
Baja Haha 19
Delta Trip
Looking forward to another fantastic year on the water!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What Can Siri Do For You?

Siri plays a Yamaha Disklavier wirelessly via Wi-Fi and Airplay, complete with moving keys in full expression and moving pedals.  Maybe with the next iPhone, Siri will sail your boat!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

2011 - A Look Back (according to Google)

Looking back on my 2011, I have been extremely blessed in so many ways.  My family is healthy, our event planning company is doing very well and heading into it's 20th year and I have some great friends to enjoy life with.  There are so many highlights and here are a few:  Lots of skiing this year including a week in Mammoth and Lake Tahoe with one of the biggest snow years ever (800"), one week charter out of La Paz to the islands with the boat partners, boys trip to Puerto Vallarta with Frank and company, a visit from Steve and family from Delaware, floating down the rivers of France for a week with my extended family, amazing day sails with lots of spinnaker action on the bay, several sails on friends boats (Olivier, Pete and John), Sailing with Ryan and his famous kegs on the boat, a darts party at the house, a week long trip up the Napa river with Tex and Julie, Baja Haha 18 to Cabo, Cancun and the Mayan Riviera with the family and Mo and Dan, awesome December events at the deYoung and Bimbo's, and a trip back east to spend the holidays with my family.  What an awesome year of my life!  I am really looking forward to 2012 and getting closer to the America's Cup!

One of the most exciting sails was a night sail coming back to Sausalito after a ballgame.  We were not expecting much wind, however when we got to the other side of the bay bridge, it was blowing 30 and very thick fog.  John was at the wheel and I had the chart plotter and AIS going to make sure we were clear of the islands and no boats were headed our way.  We made it and the adrenaline was a rush!  Hope you all had a great year as well, cheers.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

What I Love About Sailing

I started sailing a windsurfer in 1984 when I was living on a lagoon in Foster City, CA.  I thought it was so cool that I could move across the water with this amazing invisible force (wind!).  When I started to sail on the bay, I felt the freedom of skipping across the water at 20-25 knots that I had always yearned for.  Now that I have been taken by the sport of sailing a 30 foot boat across the bay, I realize the true meaning of what sailing brings into my life.  Yes it's still that invisible force, but in many ways, it's about bringing me back to our natural surroundings.  The sun heats the earths surface which creates the high and low pressure areas and gets the air molecules moving in the form of wind.  The blue sky with its ball of fire burning brightly. The waves that help move the boat if you are sailing in the right direction.  The thousands of dolphins and porpoises that I have seen on the ocean and in the bay.  I really enjoy watching the sunsets and sunrises from the boat and the different light that it brings into the cockpit of the boat.  I have seen the Green Flash several times from the deck of the boat and those were all highlights.  Out at the Farallons, we had a humpback whale cross our bow and we have had a gray whale cuddle up to the boat inside the bay way back when.  One of the other reasons I enjoy sailing so much is that it also has brought many of my friends out on to the bay to share an afternoon sailing in these beautiful waters.  With some music, food, and a little wine, we have shared some magical moments on the San Francisco Bay.  Our Newport 30 has done a wonderful job of keeping us safe as well as being very forgiving when we make mistakes.  As we enter our 11th year of ownership, we could not have picked a better boat for our purposes of day sailing and the 5-6 day sojourns on the bay and beyond.  Even though I sail once a week, as soon as I get off the boat to start heading home, I am already thinking about the next time I will feel that invisible force pushing us across our beautiful waters.  If you have any interest in exploring the world of sailing, I encourage you to start talking to people in the sport and getting involved in this amazing endeavour.  It may change your life and bring you the joy that I have found in getting out on the water.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cool Vids

Pics Of the Week

Click the pic to see a larger view.

Check out this great tune by JD McPherson

Sailors Are The Lucky Few

Found this cool article over at Sailing Anarchy:

Childhood experiences almost always have Americans avoiding the water for most, if not all of our lives. We worry about undertows, or sudden storms, or bacteria, or sharks, or the sure disaster caused by swimming too soon after eating. So the idea of sailing seems so risky and foreign that most, indeed 99% of Americans, will never seriously try.
But a few of us, about 1%, do end up going out in sailboats, as often as we can. Given a myriad of seemingly safer, more productive and comfortable options, 2.6 million of us band together knowing that every hour sailing is another hour of full and privileged living. Some sailors are wealthy, some just getting along. Some are old, some are young. No matter our wealth or age, sailors are alike in the feeling of richness that comes from a large commitment of time to sailing and to the tiny sailing social circle that does what we do and knows what we know.
The numbers suggest distinct haves and have-nots. But the chasm in sailing isn’t between the material or the financial haves and have-nots, it’s between the experiential haves and have-nots. When you ask the 1% who sail, you find out that the experiential haves have enough to share and generally want to do it. And among the 99%, it’s easy to find as many who are willing to see through the thick fog of school field trip perceptions as there are sailing in the first place. So the chasm need not be there at all. It just takes a commitment of time and experience to bridge it.
If you’re on Facebook, search for and befriend one Werner Meybaum of Sailing Lake Calhoun, and you’ll see what I mean. I doubt that Werner is a billionaire, at least in the monetary sense. Yet Werner is among the most generous sailors I’ve ever found. Inspired by childhood memories of sailing on small lakes in Germany, Werner docks an old boat to a city pier in the Twin Cities, and offers free rides to anyone passing by. First come first serve. Only payment: tell your friends. The scale of Werner’s generosity is matched only by a continuous flow of willing and eager newcomers.
Behind nearly every new sailor there is always a bold contrarian like Werner; a teacher, parent, mentor or a leader who provides the time, the access and the assurances; a trustworthy and caring soul who shows, unequivocally, that to be wet, cold and scared is also to be invigorated, refreshed and inspired.
And around every one of these contrarians is a network of friends eager to share their new contagious, authentic enthusiasm for sailing.
Now let’s be clear. All of these contrarians come from the 1% -- they have to, because they have a monopoly on experience -- but their reach is into the 99% and their impact is to the 100% and beyond. It’s a kind of grassroots movement with its tap roots in a tiny minority, precisely where you would think such a thing couldn’t exist.
Every week or so Werner posts another dozen images to Facebook of big-grinning newbies, dragging bare feet from transoms or toasting a golden sundown, and every week Werner's list of friends multiplies. Moms and daughters, old and young, college couples, teenagers, retirees, African-Americans, Indians, Asians, sometimes even infants and pets. Every week I count at least another 50 or 100 people no longer in the 99% and I press “Like”.
This has me wondering what it would take to send the Milwaukee second graders to Werner’s dock for the 2012 spring field-trip.
Happy Holidays, Werner. Thank you for reminding us how lucky we are to be in the 1% and for brightly lighting the path to becoming the 2%.
-- Award-winning author, Nicholas Hayes, has teamed up with renowned illustrator, Renee Graef, to create children's books using intergenerational sailing as an inspirational backdrop.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Top Ten Art Installations at Burning Man

Attended by 20 people on a San Francisco beach in 1986, the “Burning Man” festival has mushroomed into a desert pilgrimage for 40,000 people annually. For one week, Burning Man qualifies as Nevada's fifth-largest city, and climaxes on Labor Day weekend with the burning of four-story tall wooden “man.”  Click here.

Here is a gallery of photos from the last 10 years of BM.  Click here.

More Awesomeness

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Sailor Forced off Boat by Coast Guard

A legally blind sailor who was preparing to sail around the world on his 20' boat, was forced off his boat in a terrible storm, is now suing the Coast Guard.  His boat was in trouble after he had broken his boom, lost his engine and a big storm was approaching.  Read the full article here.and leave a comment below.

Beautiful, Amazing Planet

Earth | Time Lapse View from Space, Fly Over | NASA, ISS from Michael K├Ânig on Vimeo.

This super fast motion fly by of the Space Station is amazing!  Auroras, lightning, storms and more.  We live on a very special planet that needs our help.  When we were visiting Cancun a few weeks ago, my nephew Dan and I would go for a long jogs along the beach.  Dan is picking up trash as we jog and depositing it in trash cans along the beach and I join him in this endeavor.  Only one person acknowledged our work after passing 50-75 beach goers.  One morning we came upon a shelf of sand above the waves.  It was littered with tons of seaweed.  The seaweed had trapped a bunch of plastic and trash and our job was to pick it all up and clean this area of the beach.  It took us over 30 minutes to accomplish the task.  But we attacked it with gusto.  Dan found a huge half jug that we could pile alot of trash into and use it to carry the items to the trash cans.  It was mind blowing how much trash there was.  We made at least 6 trips to the closest hotel trash cans.  No one on the beach said a word or attempted to help us.  We finished that and continued picking up trash as we headed back to the hotel.  My nephew Dan (26?) is an inspiration as far as trying to make where ever he is a little more beautiful.  I hope to continue along this path and hope that if you see trash on the street or on a beautiful beach, you will make the effort to take care of it.  It's never too late to start! 

This next clip might inspire you...or at least make you smile.  Click here.

Land Ho!

Have a great Wednesday!