Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Holidays to all Sailors!

I was looking back on my Christmas blog post from 2011 and it listed my sailing goals for 2012.  Here are last years goals with a dollar sign next to the ones I accomplished:

Some of my sailing goals for this year (2012):
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 $

Our boat partnership had some turnover this year as two partners (one on board for 7 years and the other for 6) left.  Sorry to see them go as one was a friend from grade school back east but he only went out a few times per year.  The good news is, we just completed signing our 3rd new partner for a total of 6 partners.  We decided to take on one more to help us pay for a new dodger.  His equity share will cover the cost of the new dodger.

The other item I did not accomplish was a trip to Tomales Bay.  This is an ocean run up the coast about 40 miles.  With no official life raft, no radar for fog and a few other key factors, I decided it would be prudent to continue with our bay sailing and not chance a potentially rough trip on the ocean.  I will wait a few years until I have my New Zealand bound boat that is designed for ocean sailing.

Here are my sailing goals for 2013!!
Add new dodger
New starboard cockpit winch
More night sails
Take a bunch of friends out to see the America's Cup races on the bay
Plan a bare boat trip to Belize with friends
Take a 5 day trip up to Napa with bikes for winery tours and tasting
Organize a partner sail
Organize a Newport 30 overnight raft up in Clipper Cove

Here is a look back at the highlights of 2012:
Baja Haha 19 rally from San Diego to Cabo on Second Sun with John and crew
Delta Trip with Arnie (getting stuck in the mud for almost 3 hours was not a highlight)
Sausalito sojourn with Kona in December and southerly storm winds
America's Cup races in August and October
Giants day games with a sail to and from the game with my buddy John
Sailing to AT&T park for The Wall concert with Frank and spending the night in McCovey Cove
Watching the fastest sailboat in the world sail the bay!
Signing up 3 new partners
Celebrating the GG Bridge's 75th birthday with the crews from Fearless and Willin
Sailing twice in Hawaii on two separate trips
Spending a quiet night on a mooring ball at Ayala Cove with just me and then sailing home w/o engine
Seeing an AC 72 sail the bay

That was a fun look back!  Here's to a great 2013 and all the fun and excitement we are going have sailing on the most beautiful bay in the world!  I hope you will be getting out on the water as well. 

The start of leg 3 off Santa Maria on the Baja Haha

Friday, December 21, 2012

Best of 2012 Extreme Sports

It's that time of year for the best of vids.  Here are three that I know you extremists will enjoy.  I also threw in a best of Youtube as well.  Happy Holidays!

Sojourn to Sausalito

Just back from a 4 day trip to Sausalito.  Kona and I took off on a rainy Monday morning.  By the time we got to the boat around 12noon, the weather was unstable and rain loomed to the north, there was no rain at the marina.  We loaded up and set of for our 6 mile journey.  The wind was about 12 and perfect.  We tacked out to the end of the pier and headed west to Schoonmaker Point Marina.  We pulled in about 4pm and found our spot inside the lagoon.  Took Kona for a walk and he loved romping on the beach at the marina.  Headed back to the boat for dinner and a quiet night.

Tuesday the wind was up early as we generally get clearing winds after a big storm.  My friend John showed about noon and we took off.  The tides were looking good so we headed out the  Golden Gate for an afternoon of 20-30 knot breezes.  It was very wild out there.  Once a big tanker cleared we had the strait to ourselves.  The Addiction was doing great and loving the waves and wind.  The sky was clear and it was a beautiful day to be outside the Gate.  What a great sail!  We headed in about 4pm and hung out on the boat enjoying some nice conversation and wine.  We also got in a qiuck Bocce game on the beach before dark. We had dinner at Le Garage, a restaurant right in the marina.  My nephew Dan joined us from Santa Rosa.

Wednesday was supposed to be a hiking day but John was not doing well after some mussels from last night.  I took a walk down to the store to pick up some provisions and on the way, we stopped at the Bay Model.  Kona waited paitently as I toured a giant 3D model of the bay.  It really is amazing to see all the landmarks as though you were 12,000 feet in the air.  Free too.  Back to the boat and off to a very light afternoon of tacking out near Angel Island.  Winds were less than 10 however it was nice to relax and enjoy the warm sun.  I really hit the weather window between storms!  Had a quiet night in the marina.

Thursday arrived and its time to head home.  The wind is blasting again from the south as another storm is approaching.  It was weird to be sail upwind all the way home as it usually a mellow downwind.  I had to fight the whole way but with just the jib up, I could let the boat steer herself and I could enjoy the sights and the wind on my face.  Great sailing and the boat did an amazing job.  In 4 hours we were back in the marina.  Noticed the bildge was not kicking in so had to replace it.  All in all another great trip to my favorite marina/town.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


I had a dolphin swim up to me on time on the Monterey Bay.  I was standing in ankle deep water when I saw him approaching.  I stood there and he swam right up between my legs.  I turned him around and he swam away.  Not sure why he did that!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

In Case of Pirates

Just before the Haha, I attended a seminar on cruising in Mexico.  The topic of pirates came up and the folks putting on the seminar said piracy was very rare in Mexico.   However, the conversation continued and the subject of guns was discussed briefly.  Everyone agreed that this was not they way to go as there are so many problems with checking in and out of countries and declaring that you have a gun.  Alternatives where discussed and this is where it got interesting.  The lecturer brought up an idea I had never heard of.  He said the best non lethal defense was wasp spray.  What?  Yes, wasp spray.  The cans are highly pressurized and can shoot 20 -30 feet in a long precise spray.  Legal, non lethal and very disabling when you get someone in the face.  Hopefully, you will never need to use this tactic, but I wanted to share this idea and see if there are any other thoughts from other cruisers.  Send me a note!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

2012 Baja Haha Trip was Awesome!

The Baja Haha is in its 19th year and this is my 3rd trip in a row down the coast. Last year the boat I was on ran into bad weather and could not make the starting line. I flew from San Francisco to San Diego anyway and at the last minute found another boat and had an amazing adventure with three other guys on a 57' steel cutter. The year before I joined a catamaran from my marina and joined the boat in SD for an amazing and fast trip down the coast with a skipper who did everything by the book. Learned a lot and had a great trip.

I was looking forward to this years adventure with the crew of Odyssey. Ken and Danita choose me and my friend John to help the bring the boat from San Diego to Cabo. They had some boat issues that delayed their departure and for the second year in a row, the boat did not make it down. I convinced John that we should go anyway and try to jump on a boat. He agreed and off to San Diego we went. We arrived on Friday for our Monday departure. As soon as we arrived, we started knocking on hulls and asking if any crew positions were available. No luck on Friday, so we would start again on Saturday and hit the main marina looking for haha boats.

There are 150 boats signed up for this years 750 mile journey from SD to Cabo. There must be an opening somewhere. On Saturday, we rented bikes and headed off to Cabrillo Marina about 2 miles away. We arrived and could see about 25 Baja Haha burgees flying in the marina. This was our chance. We worked the docks and met many of the skippers and crew. No one had any space. If they were not around, we left a note with our contact info. We had hit all the docks and were on our last boat when we met Andy and Kate. They were traveling to Pamama on their 43 Young Sun cutter. They have a 16 month old boy on board as well. They were happy to have us join them and help them get the boat down the coast. They were just getting ready to depart for Seaworld and asked us to join them in the evening to discuss the trip. We did and all looked good at our meeting. I told them John and I would assist them in provisioning the boat, do the cooking, clean the dishes and stand watch. I showed them the menus I had prepared and they were very happy. We would meet Sunday night after dinner and we would help prepare the boat for the next mornings departure. We arrived, stowed our gear and did a few chores. We had provisioned and stored the food earlier in the day. At midnight, we hit the hay and as I have discovered with older boats, the sleeping cushions are very uncomfortable. Luckily I had brought a thermarest and that helped.

Up at 7 for more preparations and we are off the dock at 9:30 for the parade to the starting line. There is a fire boat shooting water, cannons firing and the whole fleet heading into the Pacific. It's a beautiful morning and there is a breeze of 8-10 knots. We hit the starting line and head south. The boat is from 1984 and she is a 20 ton cruiser. Andy and his wife have traveled from Seattle to join the rally. They have been on the water for a month of their six month cruise. After the Panama Canal, they will ship the boat back up north. I am amazed at how well they work together and make this trip work. Kate is awesome and works very hard tending to her boy Nathan and he is amazing as well.

We head past the Coronado Islands and raise the spinnaker, main and stay sail. We are having a wonderful ride with about 2300 square feet of canvas up. I prepare breakfast of eggs and fruit and we are enjoying the breeze and 5.5 knots on the speedo. We set up a watch schedule of 3 hours each so that means 9 hours between watches. Great. Same as last year. I have the 3-6 watch in both the am and the pm. My watch comes up and it is delightful. The self steering is doing the work and I get to watch for other boats and adjust our position from time to time. I do that by pushing the buttons and not the wheel. We have lots of confidence in our skipper as he is a rocket scientist for Boeing. He is also an accomplished sailor and instructor. I hope to learn a few things from him along the way. During my watch, I head down to the galley to prepare dinner of pasta and salad. We have a sunset dinner in the cockpit with a glass of wine. My back is to the sun and we miss the green flash! Hope there will be more. After dinner, I head down to my bunk to rest and get ready for my next watch. At 0245, I am up and preparing for my full moon watch. I take over from Kate and have a very nice time on deck. The boat is moving well and the stars are shinning. The only problem is we are in a bit of a fog bank. We have radar and AIS which shows us where other boats are. I can see the moon but not much ahead. I check the radar every 15 mins. We are looking good. About 0430, the fog clears and we are fine. At 0600, John comes up and I head for the bunk. We have another beautiful day and the wind is building. It's up to about 15 and we are moving. I take a nap after lunch and then up for my watch. We have speakers in the cockpit which is great. My iPod is filled 17500 songs so we have plenty of variety. My watch goes fast and soon I am preparing a nice meal of chicken, veggies and rice. After dinner, I join John during his watch and we are cruising effortlessly at 6 knots with the moon shimmering on the water. It's a beautiful moment. I head to bed shortly after.

Up for my 0300 watch and it is lumpy and rough. We have the jib up and are hand steering. It's a long 3 hours but also fun. Several boats nearby and I am trying to keep the boat on our heading but with the wind direction it is tough. As John comes up at 0600, we prepare to gybe. Success. I head down for more sleep. I awake at 0730 to a bunch of commotion. We have two tuna on the line. I head up on deck but everything is taken care of. I head back down for a bit more sleep as last night was one of the roughest I have ever had on a boat. The boat was rocking so bad in the cross swells that we had to pull up the lee cloths. These stop you from rolling out of your bunk. I wake at 1000 and am bit groggy. The tuna is being prepared and in a short time we have fresh tuna sandwiches. Delicious. After lunch, we all spend time in the cockpit talking about all sorts of subjects. Nathan is active and walking around the boat. He is tethered in and very safe. After a few hours, I head down and take a much needed nap. Up for my watch and we are approaching the finish line of leg one. The skipper prepares a wonderful tuna over pasta dinner and we have a feast listening to Dire Strats. After a cool sunset on Halloween night, I head down to get some more rest. One note on the sunset, as it hit the horizon behind some clouds, it actually looked like a big scarey pumpkin setting over the ocean. We hope to arrive in Turtle Bay at sunrise.

We arrived at Turtle bay at 0530 and promptly went back to bed. Up about 0830 and had an oatmeal breakfast. Lots of chores were accomplished and soon we were on a panga to the fishing village. This is a dirt road town of about 2500 folks. Dusty does not really describe how this town looks. No yards, just dust. We walked down the beach to a restaurant overlooking the bay and had lunch with some fellow cruisers. One of the gentleman at our table was the famous bay area charter skipper known as Captain Kirk. He asked which boat we were from. Second Sun. He said he knew the boat from an incident at Point Conception. A boat had lost her engine and asked for a tow. Second Sun came to the rescue. During the tow, Sun lost her engine as well and Witch Doctor hit her causing damage to Suns stern. He said he had heard that Doctor attempted the rounding two more times and had to be rescued two more times. Boneheads! We headed over to the annual rally softball game. Lots of fun and laughter ensued as the game is just for fun. Then it was off to dinner with some new friends and the crew from Sun. Back to the boat and after two nights of little sleep, we drifted off quickly.

Friday we headed to the beach party with about 400 of our fellow hahaers. It was an overcast day but still very nice. We set up the vball net and got a beer. Slowly the cruisers show and the pot luck lunch begins. Kate had prepared a delicious apple pie. All sorts of food and tons of fresh fish. One boat had caught 48 fish and shared 20 lbs at the party. Saw lots of old friends and made many more, a nice new activity was a talent show. One group did an amazing Maori dance. Another did a song about the haha. All in all, a nice new addition. After the party I joined the Moontide crew and we ended up at the jam session on Exodus. Brand new 40 foot cat with all the amenities. There was about 15 folks and my skipper Andy even showed up. Lots of great tunes and singing. Andy is an excellent musician playing the guitar and fiddle. One of the best nights of all the hahas!!! Up at 0600 to prepare the boat for departure. The winds are light and we have a rolling start. After some tuna sandwiches for lunch, we start to get a 10 knot breeze and the spinnaker and main are up. This leg is about 240 miles to Santa Maria Bay. This my favorite stop on the Haha.

Had a great day with winds near twenty in the afternoon. Beautiful weather and warm all the way till after dinner. We were under spinnaker all day and I saw 7 knots a few times. After a steak and veggie dinner, I hit the hay and watch the sci fi thriller Prometheus. My 0300 watch was sublime. Light winds, no boats around and some blues on the stereo. Saw a great shooting star. Morning is clear and light winds. We are motoring. I am off to prepare breakfast.
Motored a good part of the day. About 4 we raised the chute and we are doing 4.5 right now. Has a nice pasta and Brussels sprout dinner. Also hung my hammock in the boat and took a nice two hour nap. Lovely.

We arrive in Santa Maria at 1400 with a brilliant full sail into the bay. The mouth of the bay is a good 5 miles wide. We sail across most of it. The winds are at 15 and perfect. Finally a beam reach after all the downwind. The boat performs masterfully. We tack and the fleet is in front of us. This is a beautiful stop with no town or infrastructure. Just a few fisherman on the river. We get the hook down and the swimming begins. I swim over to Exodus to thank them for a grat jam session. They offer me a beer and I decline. I was there only to show my gratitude. I swim back, being on the lookout for any motor boats that might not see me. There is the annual party in the evening on Moontide and Talyon. Moontide did not make it last year so the boat I was on hosted this event. We show up promptly at 1900 and the party is in full swing. Meeting lots of cool folks and some with big cruising plans ahead. The party swells to 80 folks and the cat is full. The wind is blowing 30 but it is very warm. I see some old friends and have a great time. At 2230, we head home for some sleep. We stay dry even though the wind is pumping. In the morning, I jump in for a 0630 dip. I come to the surface and the sun is poping up for my first Haha sunrise of the trip and the water is perfect. Pancakes for breakfast and then I go for a long swim around the anchorage and introduce myself to several boats. They love the fact that I am swimming over to say good morning. I head back after an hour or so and prepare to depart for the party. The weather is blue skies and 80 or so. The fisherman and their wives have prepared a meal for the fleet and the band is warming up. We are on a small bluff overlooking the entire bay with the beach below. I grab a bite to eat and say hello to few of the skippers that I met knocking on hulls. The volleyball net arrives and I set it up with assistance from a young guy named Wilson. I head back to the party and say more hellow's. My skipper from last year is there and I buy him a beer. He is crewing on the Patrica Belle. I meet another skipper who just outfitted a boat and he gives me some advice on my pending sail to New Zealand. It's a fantastic party and everyone is in fine spirits. I make my way down to the volleyball game and we lose a best of 3 but I make some new friends and we have a ball. I donated the net to the fleet two years ago and it is still in great shape. We finish off the party and head back to the boat for a quick dinner. We need to get about up at 0530 for a 0700 departure so I am in bed after dinner. This day is also my 19th wedding anniversary so we toast to that.

Up early and off to the starting line. Before everyone is up, I go for a skinny dip and checkout the bioluminescence. It's beautiful. No wind as we motor south for a 170 mile leg to Cabo San Lucas. We motor till about 1630 and then pull up the spinnaker and hit 6.5 knots. It lasts about 2 hours and then we are back to motoring. We did have a nice curry dinner and some white wine. Resting now for my last watch at 0300.

My last watch on Second Sun was a motor sail with a beautiful star filled night. Venus, Jupitar and Sirius loom large. At the western horizon, I see a line of 26 Haha boats. I head to the bow and let the auto pilot do her thing. As I stare into the darkness ahead, I can almost make out the lights of Cabo San Lucas. I think about the three Haha's I have been on and this one may have been my favorite. Great crew, wonderful weather and the fleet has been very kind to me. I have made some new friends and enjoyed some spectacular sailing. Had a couple midnight watches that were the best of my life. I finished off my watch at 0600 and we arrive in Cabo about 1230. Boat chores complete and we wish our Captain and his wife fair winds. Another Haha under my belt. I am so happy I made the trip and that I brought my friend John along for the ride. Thank you Latitude 38 for another successful rally to the Cape!!!!

Gales, Whales and the Baja Ha-Ha by sail444

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Gettting Ready to Depart for the Baja Haha

We depart on Friday to meet our Cabo bound boat for a 750 mile sail down Baja coast from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas.  This will be my 3rd trip in a row.  We have almost 150 boats going and 500 folks.  The itinerary has sailing for three days to Turtle Bay, a small fishing village.  We stay for 2 days and end with a huge beach party.  Then another 3 days of sailing to Santa Maria Bay.  This beautiful bay is huge and only a few fisherman live on a nearby river.  The families of these fisherman throw us another beach party with a band and great food.  Our last sail is about 24 hours to Cabo where we have a few more events and then my friend John (who is also crewing with me on the same boat) and I will fly back home.  Our boat will continue around the planet on a 5 year lap.  I will be keeping a log and will post upon my return to this blog.  The trip takes 2 weeks so look for it mid November.  I leave you with a few vids that will knock your socks off.  Wish me a bon voyage.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

AC boat floats off, Rescuer wants $200k

The French 45' AC cat broke it's mooring and floated to a nearby island in the SF bay.  A local boater saw it on the rocks and towed it in on his Whaler.  Now he wants lots of money for his salvage rights.  The French say $25k is the reward for their "outdated" cat.  Interesting story.  Read the full account here.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Busiest Weekend of the Year for Bay Area

Just returning from a family trip to France and Spain.  Great weather, fantastic food and drink and fun for all.  Thanks Cyn and Ray!  We will be sailing on the bay today to kick off Fleet Week activities that include the Blue Angels Air Show, bookended by fleet racing with the America's Cup 45's.  The show and racing continue through the weekend.  We also have two play off games between the Giants and Reds, SF 49'ers play Buffalo on Sunday, the hugely popular and free Hardly, Strictly Bluegrass Fest, a Madonna Show in San Jose, Castro Street Fair, and the Italian Heritage Parade in North Beach.  The weather looks seasonable for this time of year and no rain is forecast.  It's going to be crazy...and fun!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Importance of Having a Dream

A while back I was telling a friend about my dream to one day sail to New Zealand.  I am very passionate about my dream and how I am going to go about it.  I then asked my friend if he had any dreams?  He said he had never thought about it.  I was a little taken aback at his response.  I mentioned that dreams and goals are very important and that he should take some time to think about what is important to him and think about what he wants to accomplish in the future.  My sailing dream is so important to me.  It inspires me to learn everything I can about the proper care and feeding of a boat.  It gives me a reason to seek new knowledge about the sailing world which encompasses such a wide spectrum of knowledge and experience.  Have you thought about your dreams lately?  Get crazy and think about the one or two things that will make your life complete.  I have been dreaming about this for about 10 or more years.  It will take another 6 to complete the as I am not departing until 2018.  In the meantime, I am taking baby steps by sailing the Baja Haha, chartering in different locations, reading and planning and lastly, getting out on the Addiction for all sorts of adventures.  I hope I can inspire you to start making a plan to make your dreams come true.  Cowabunga!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sailing is Awesome!

What a great vid.  Now get out there and do some sailing.  We are heading out on Thursday to celebrate a birthday or two.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Two Sails are better than One

Headed up to the boat Thursday night with hope that our fuel delivery issues were over.  She started but died so I tried to bleed the engine and she started right up.  Still having issues I guess.  The previous week I had taken a part the fuel system to figure out the problem.  Thought I had cleared things up but maybe not.  The engine struggled to get me out the channel for a night sail but we made it.  As I headed out the 2 miles to the end of the Berkeley Pier,  the wind continued to build to 25 knots at 10pm.  Got about halfway to Angel and decided not to push my luck as the waves were pretty big.  Got back towards the channel and the wind was dying.  Tried the engine but no go.  Another sail her into the slip.  Hope I can make it.  As I rounded the corner and into the harbor, I had both sails up to give me the horsepower to get back to the slip.  Getting closer I dropped the main so now I can furl the jib from the cockpit.  There is but a whisper of wind pushing me down the fairway to my slip.  I furl the jib at just the right moment and drop into the slip no problem.  That's the second time in a month I have had to sail her in w/o the engine.  Glad I made it and I will attack the problem in the morning.

After a walk with Kona and some breakfast, I decide I need to replace the fuel filter/water separator.  I pull it and head to Sven's for the replacement.  Not an easy job but I get her in there, prime the lines and she starts right up.  Let's go sailing.  We need to test the new system.  We head to Angel again and as I round the corner to head over to Treasure, I see L'Hydroptere mid bay ripping by at 35 knots.  Amazing boat!  Over to Clipper Cove in about 20 knots of wind and a beautiful sail.  Kona and I go for a nice end of the summer swim and he is loving it.  We make it back around 7pm and I drift off into a 3 hour nap in the v-berth.  What a great couple of sails and I think we are good to go with the new filter.

Barely Legal

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cool Vids

The first one is about a seal who falls in love with a lady on the beach.  The second is talking about the universe and how were are all made of stars.  Both are worth a look.

Birthday week next week and I am planning a sail with friends to celebrate.  54 and there is SO much more!

Hunky Dory to a New Home

I purchased this 16 foot dory in January of 1999.  She was my first real sailboat and man could she sail.  Perfect for the lakes and sloughs in the area.  Once I got comfortable, I started taking her on the bay many times.  I would drop her in at San Leandro and had some amazing runs.  My first golden retriever Sierra and I would head out for some great times and fun sailing on this classic dory with a 505 sloop rig.  I had not sailed her in a year as I have been focusing on our 30' Newport and having a ball sailing her.  So I figured, if I did not sail her this past summer I would pass her on to someone else.  I put an ad in the local CL boat section and within an hour had 3-4 bites.  Nick contacted me and said his daughter was really getting into sailing and he wanted to see the boat.  He showed up at my door and I instantly recognized him.  We had met on the 2010 Baja Haha.  He had his family on a small cat and we were in the same division of the rally to Cabo.  What a small world.  We prepared the boat for travel and off he went.  It was sad as Kona and I watched her drive away.  Some of the adventures I had with her include Lake Del Valle (my fav!), Newark sloughs, Quarry Lakes, Tahoe, Shoreline, Redwood Shores, Redwood City sloughs, San Leandro, Lake Elizabeth, Oakland Estuary, and several others.  The last time I took her out, I almost got arrested for naked sailing.  A fisherman called the cops as I was au natural and the cops showed up.  I think they laughed at the guy for calling them out for my major crimes against humanity, cause they drove away as quick as they got there.  I will miss the Hunky and cherish the time that Sierra and I were sailing in the sloughs and a local newspaper took two pics of us that ended up on the cover.  So cool that I had it framed.  Loved that Hunky Dory.  Good news is she is just 20 minutes away and at a friends house!

Friday, September 07, 2012

Baja Haha 19 Here I Come!!!

I attended the crew list party for the Haha on Wednesday.  I spoke to a few skippers and gave out my resume.  I received a call this morning from Ken on Odyssey this morning that I had been selected as crew.  Their boat is a Islander 41 ketch that will take them around the planet over the next 5 years.  I will join them in San Diego for the 750 mile run down the coast to Cabo with 500 like minded individuals on 180 other boats, at the end of October.  My friend John from the 2010 Haha will round out the crew of 4.  This will be my third Haha in a row.  I am looking forward to another exciting adventure down the Baja coast!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

San Francisco: Center of the Sailing Universe

Lately all the cool sailing happenings have been taking place in SF.  Between the America's Cup, L'Hydroptere, the skiff racing and my own amazing sail on Sunday, SF seems to be the center of the sailing universe.  On Friday the St Francis YC hosted the 14th annual Bridge to Bridge run.  All the fastest boats, skiffs,  cats, kites and boarders get together for a 4 mile race from the Golden Gate to the Bay Bridge.  An all out downwind sprint.  L'Hydroptere did the course before everyone else and the crew was disappointed they only hit 37 in 20 knots of wind.  The kiters won the actual race and good on them.  See the race in the vid below.

On Sunday we were hitting 7 knots on our speedo and humming along thru the fog and it was amazing.  We had a nice run up to Tiburon and lunch there.  After, we tore up Raccoon and then headed home.  Another beautiful day on our wonderful bay!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

About Last Week...

Not sure why I have not written this report earlier but here goes: Made it over to pick up John at Sam's in Tiburon.  It was a gorgeous day and the wind was in the 20's.  We sailed to the city front and there were the America's Cup boats racing away.  There were lots of spectator boats so we sailed just outside them and took in what we could of the racing.  As we were heading north along the course I saw something I never thought I would see with my own eyes...cruising by in a cloud of spray was the fastest boat in the world, l’Hydroptère DCNS (check out their site http://hydroptere.com/).  It was a blogger/sailors dream come true.  The boat is waiting for a weather window to break the LA to Honolulu record of 4 days and change.  They got tired of windless LA so they shot up the coast for some good old SF blastings.  It was amazing to watch this boat top out at 35 knots right in front of us.  I heard that with some stronger winds on Saturday, they hit 45 without a problem.  Surely they did not men to upstage the AC but in fact, they blew them out of the water!!!  We sailed back to Sam's for dinner and then I headed to Angel Island for the night.

After getting situated on the moorings, not easy if you are alone with a front and end tie off, I slipped into a deep slumber.  As I was the only boat in the anchorage, I felt a little bit that the famous explorer Juan de Ayala, he being the first to sail a ship into the SF Bay back in August of 1775.  He spent his first night in this cove.  How cool.  Woke up in the morning to get ready for the event I was hosting for a local company.  I was supplying the drinks and fun for a group of 20.  Lunch was being catered by the cafe on the island.  Another glorious day and the group took the ferry over for the 11am arrival from Palo Alto.  We had a ton of fun playing Frisbee golf and bocce after lunch.  The group went for a hike and my buddy John showed up with a couple ladies and they had a picnic too.  After the hike it was on to volleyball for the group and I departed.  The engine was not receiving fuel so after some trouble shooting I decided to slip the lines and sail her home without the engine.  Off the dock with out a problem, I sailed out the strait and into a huge lee behind Angel.  I got stuck for an hour trying to get to the wind.  Finally it filled in and I took off like a rocket on a perfect reach for the end of the pier.  I was heading in about 7 and the wind was way down in the low teens.  I needed that wind to get me into the slip.  I made it into the harbor and there was just enough to get me down the fairway and into the slip without the engine.  It was a thing of beauty!  Exhausted, I cleaned up and then headed home.  It was an adventure to remember and cherish!  Thank you, Addiction!!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Heading to the America's Cup Today

My buddy John and I are sailing out to the course today.  Winds will be in the mid twenties for the 2:05 start.  Eleven boats will be racing and it should be a great day.  Tonight I plan to moor in Ayala Cove at Angel Island.  On Friday, I have an event I am hosting fora local company on Angel Island.  Lunch, games and fun with about 20 folks.  Should be a great way to start the weekend.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Partnership Available on our Newport 30

Please contact me if you are interested.  Here is the CL ad:

We have owned Addiction for 12 years and are offering an equity share at $3000. We have a total of 5 partners and one is leaving the partnership. We offer low cost sailing on a proven bay boat from 1981. Monthly costs are $100 per person or $3 a day to sail in the most beautiful bay in the world. You should have bay sailing experience and know that when the wind is blowing 30-35 in the slot, you know how to handle it. This is a great opportunity to get out on the bay for all the America's Cup action. The boat features a jib roller furler, spinnaker, legal head, sleeps 3-4, wheel steering, a fin keel and a spade rudder. Good ground tackle, speed and depth meters, and has taken anything the bay has thrown out at her. Please contact me if you are interested in seeing the boat and taking her for a spin. She is an amazing boat. Minimum 1 year commitment. For pictures and more info, please visit: http://addiction30.tripod.com/

You can contact me via email at fungod at gmail.com

Monday, August 13, 2012

Delta was a Blast!

Been back over a week and still thinking about the delta. My boat partner Arnie and a friend sailed up from the bay and had some wild spinnaker runs getting up to Sugar Barge Resort.  I met them there and we had some big fun in the sloughs in and around the San Joaquin  River.

Two sets of friends also joined us.  Mark and Diane for Sunday and most of Monday.  And my Baja Buddy John for Wednesday and Thursday.  The nice thing about joining the Delt Doo Dah Rally is that a good part of the time, you are at the resorts, your food for breakfast and dinner is prepared by the restaurants and you do not have to cook and clean up after every meal.  So we had more time to hang and meet our fellow boaters.  Met another owner of a Newport 30 and he said he bought his boat based on my blog and recommendation on the build quality of these affordable boats.

Highlights - Beach party with the group off of Sugar Barge.  The Malibu Breezes were excellent.  Meeting some of the families that joined the group.  Potato Slough hang time.  Salmon dinner on the slough.  Full moon rise over the delta.  Being on the boat for a good three days.

The low point was getting stuck for 3 hours outside King Island.  Arnie decided to take a side slough and we ended up in 3 feet of water.  We draw 5.  We used the old kedging trick but with all the weeds it was tough to get a good hold on the bottom.  This made us 2 hours late in picking up John.

I departed on Thursday and Arnie sailed her home with some help from another boat partner, Paul.

It was a great couple days in the delta with a big thanks to Latitude 38 for throwing a great rally!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Delta Bound 2012

The Addiction crew is gearing up for a week long trip up to the delta with the 4th Annual Delta Doo Dah.  The event is organized by Latitude 38 Magazine.  50 boats and over 200 folks will head north east up the bay and into the San Joaquin River.  There will be beach parties, themed dinner parties and plenty of free time to explore the area.  This will be our 5th trip to the delta, however it has been 4 years since we have had the boat up in that area.  There are 1000 miles of waterway up there, along with warm fresh water coming down out of the Sierra Nevada mountains.  And there is great wind at times.  We have also had many adventures getting stuck and using the kedging technique to get us out of trouble.  When you get stuck in the shallow mud, we get in the kayak with the anchor and take it back to the deep water and winch ourselves out of trouble.  Hopefully, we will not have to worry about that.  You can check out our itinerary here.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Puma: 70' Sled

World Record Attempt: LA - HI

l’Hydroptère DCNS is looking for a weather window in an attempt the break the 4 day and 19 hour record from LA to Oahu record.  This boat does not sail...it flies!  They will need to average 20 knots per hour to break the record.  The boat can do 40 in the right conditions.  Check out their website and be sure to hit the British flag for the english version.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Olympics Most Memorable Moments

Being a competitive swimmer thru college, I have a strong bond with the summer Olympics.  From Mark Spitz 7 golds in 76 to Phelps 8 golds in 08, my sport has been in the spotlight for many years.  Here is a list of the most iconic moments of the modern era.

Michael Phelps wins eight gold medals (Beijing 2008)
Phelps laid out a program that on paper looked nearly impossible: eight swimming events in nine days. By winning eight gold medals, Phelps became the most decorated athlete at a single Olympic Games. And more than one of his races came down to the last possible instant. Just ask Milorad Cavic.
Kerri Strug vaults with injured ankle (Atlanta 1996)
Believing the U.S. needed her vault to clinch the team gold, Strug limped to the runway on a left ankle she'd injured moments earlier. Running with one good ankle, she completed the vault, stood on one leg, then fell to the ground. Turns out the U.S. didn't need Strug's score, but we all remember the effort much more than the particulars of the score.
Muhammad Ali lights cauldron (Atlanta 1996)

It's always a mystery: Who will light the Olympic cauldron? On July 19, 1996, Janet Evans made the final pass of the flame to a man that will never need an introduction. With his left hand shaking from the effects of Parkinson's disease, Muhammad Ali clutched the torch with his right hand, raised it, then lit a flame that slowly made its way to ignite the cauldron. Unforgettable.
The Dream Team (Barcelona 1992)
For the first time, NBA players were allowed into the Olympic Games. The result: The Dream Team, a roster that included 11 eventual Hall of Famers and a team whose closest game was a 32-point blowout.
Carl Lewis wins four golds (Los Angeles 1984)
Lewis entered the 1984 Games with one thing in mind: becoming the second person ever to win four track and field golds in a single Olympics. Jesse Owens did it in 1938; Lewis matched him 48 years later.
Nadia Comăneci scored perfect 10s (Montreal 1976)
No gymnast had ever earned a perfect score of 10 until Comăneci turned in a performance on the uneven bars at the 1976 Games that left judges with no choice. Comăneci would earn six more perfect scores and the gold medal.
Bruce Jenner wins the decathlon (Montreal 1976)
Jenner dedicated four years to winning gold in the decathlon in Montreal. The work paid off. Not only did he earn the title as the world's greatest athlete, but he parlayed his two-day performance into a lifetime of celebrity that eventually landed him a seat at the head of the Kardashian's dinner table.
Sugar Ray Leonard leads dominating U.S. boxing performance (Montreal 1976) 
Sugar Ray Leonard launched his Hall of Fame boxing career with a spectacular performance at the 1976 Games in Montreal. En route to winning one of five golds for the Americans, Leonard marched through the '76 Olympic tournament, winning each fight 5-0.
USA-Russia basketball controversial final (Munich 1972)
Since basketball became an Olympic sport in 1936, the USA hadn't lost – until the '72 final against Russia, a game that remains steeped in controversy to this day. Forty years later, members of the U.S. team have still not accepted their silver medals, contending they were cheated out of gold.

Israeli athletes killed by Palestinians (Munich 1972)
On Sept. 5, 1972, a Palestinian terrorist group took members of the Israeli Olympic team hostage in an apartment in the Olympic village. The terrorist group, known as Black September, called for the release of prisoners held in Israeli and German jails. The standoff lasted 21 hours and ended with the death of 10 Israeli athletes and coaches and one German police officer.
Tommie Smith/John Carlos medal stand protest (Mexico City 1968)

Tommie Smith (center) and John Carlos (AP)In arguably the most iconic image ever produced from an Olympic Games, Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos thrust their black-gloved fists in the air while standing on the medal podium after having won gold and bronze, respectively, in the 200-meter dash. The purpose of the salute was to represent black unity and power during the civil rights movement in America.
Jesse Owens wins four golds in front of Hitler (Berlin 1936)
It was a moment when sport and politics collided on the world stage – the great American athlete, who happened to be black, performing in front of a man trying to lead a resurgence of Nazi Germany where the superiority of an Arian race was propagandized. Jesse Owens sprinted through Hitler's house and won.
Usain Bolt shatters world records in 100m and 200m (Beijing 2008)
The sprinter with the name to fit ran into the record books, becoming the first since Carl Lewis in 1984 to win Olympic gold in the 100 and 200. In the process, Bolt established world records at both distances and sparked a curiosity as to how much faster he could really go.
The greatest Opening Ceremony show ever (Beijing 2008)
Lasting more than four hours and at a cost of around $100 million, the Opening Ceremony at the Beijing Games featured light shows, fireworks, dancing and some 15,000 participants. It ended with Li Ning, suspended in the air, "running" horizontally around the cornice of the stadium, where he eventually lit the Olympic cauldron.
Marion Jones wins five medals, then forfeits them all (Sydney 2000)
The darling of the 2000 Games after winning five medals, including three golds, Marion Jones became a symbol of all that was wrong in sport after it was revealed she used performance-enhancing drugs.
Michael Johnson's unprecedented double gold (Atlanta 1996)
Sporting a pair of custom-made gold Nikes, Johnson entered the '96 Games in Atlanta with a goal of becoming the first man to win the 200 and 400 meters in the same Olympics. He won the 400 by more than one second, then shattered his own world record by more than 0.3 to win the 200 and complete the unprecedented double.
Florence Griffith-Joyner's double world records (Seoul 1988)
How good was FloJo in 1988? The world records she set en route to winning gold in the 100 and 200 meters still stand today, 24 years later. In a sport where men tend to get most of the attention, FloJo grabbed the spotlight, becoming a role model for women wanting to compete in track and field.
Mary Lou Retton wins gymnastics gold (Los Angeles 1984)
Before 1984, no female gymnast outside of Eastern Europe had won all-around gold. Mary Lou Retton changed that with a perfect vault. And when she hit it and flashed that million-dollar smile, a star was born.
Mary Decker collides with Zola Budd (Los Angeles 1984)
The 3,000 meters played up to its billing as Mary Decker Slaney vs. barefooted Zola Budd. They were running 1-2 just past the halfway point when Budd appeared to step in front of Slaney, who stumbled, fell to the ground in a heap and lay on the infield in agony as the race went on without her. Who was at fault depended on who you were rooting for.
Mark Spitz wins seven golds (Munich 1972)
Michael Phelps' eight-gold medal effort in 2008 was fathomable only because of what Mark Spitz had done 36 years earlier, when he won seven at the '72 Games. It was a redemptive performance from Spitz, who'd predicted he'd win six in the '68 Mexico City Games and came away with two.

Click on one of the hyperlinks and it will take you to a page with more details and video.  You can even vote for your top three most memorable moments.

Via Yahoo Sports.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

SF Awesomeness

Filmed over 4 days in SF.  They must have had one heck of a time getting the permits for this!  Gives you a primer for when you arrive for the America's Cup one year from now!

The Back Loop

Saturday, July 07, 2012

More Foils

The song is, You Oughta Know by Sunni Stephens.

In Lake Sunapee with the fam for the holiday.  Beautiful water on 4000 acre lake in NH.  My sister's house is awesome with a French Chateau feel in a lovely, quiet bay.  We have had some wonderful food and some epic wines from the cellar.  Last night we had paella cooked over the outdoor fire place by brother Tom.  Then off to a local production of Oklahoma.  Very fun indeed.  We head back to SF Bay on Sunday.  Hopefully we are set as far as repairing the boat this year.  We have fixed dangerous corrosion at the base of the mast, fixed an engine water leak and recently lost our forestay connection with the boat in 20 knots of wind.  Got it fixed quickly.  Don't think we will be going to Tomales Bay which is about 40 miles up the coast.  Ocean sailing can be a challenge on a very strong boat and right now I think sailing the notoriously strong winds of summer is a safer bet and easier to handle if we get in trouble.  At the end of this month, we have a trip to the delta planned.  Should be fun.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mid Week Sailing

Had two days of weekday sailing this week.  On Tuesday, I took out a group from Meetup.com.  I have a meet up group called Too Much Fun Sailing Club.  Do a search on the web and it is easy to find if you would like to join.  We had a group of 5 for a sail to Clipper Cove for lunch.  Took Kona over to the beach for a romp in the sand.  Then it was off to Raccoon Straits for a look around.  Getting late so we headed home.  Next day it was a sail to the Giants game with another group of 5 including John, Andy, Ginny, and Chris.  We had some great wind to get us there on time.  The Giants were playing the LA Dodgers and we wanted a sweep along with three consecutive shut outs.  The Giants went on to win 3-0 and we were very happy.  Another nice and fast sail home just before sunset.  Good times on the Addiction!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Green Room

Almost like returning to the womb.  Only this is a womb with a view!

Broke the tang that connects the forestay to the boat while out sailing.  Getting her repaired and should be back sailing in a day or so.  Our 30 year old boat is starting to show her age.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Another Day in the Salt Mines

5 Peices of Gear You Should Take on a Cruise

Found this tidbit over at Sail World:

1. The New Generation anchor:
We bought a Spade, but there are many other brands on the market – the Manson Superior, the Rocna, the Ultra to name just a few. From the moment we saw the light and changed over, we slept at anchor confidently and peacefully. Not once in all the years since our purchase of that Spade have we ever dragged.
All the weight in the New Generation anchor is concentrated in the point and the clever shape means that the harder it blows the deeper the anchor penetrates. Deep weed is no problem either, because that lethal point keeps heading down and down until it strikes something solid to cling to.
Even though we employed all the other tricks to make sure we anchored securely - heavy gear, good scope (never less than 5:1), snubber, anchor alarm and anchor buddy – the Spade made so much difference it felt as though we were anchored to a two-tonne concrete block.

2. The Code 0 sail:
We thought that a multiple purpose sail (MPS) would be just perfect for downwind sailing, to complement our twin-winged yankee and staysail. We were wrong. Most long-range cruisers are, like us, sailing short-handed, which means that, in order to keep the crew fresh to deal with any emergency at all times, each crew sails single handed, allowing the other to sleep.
Moreover the longer you cruise the less important it seems to sail fast - maybe for avoiding an impending storm, or getting in before dark. An MPS may give you a knot or two extra in speed, but it took two of us to put it up and down – and, particularly when used as a spinnaker, demands attentiveness most of the time.
On the other hand a Code 0 is a spinnaker-weight sail on a light furler hoisted on the spinnaker halyard. It can be unfurled in light winds and furled again quickly when conditions threaten – without involving the other crew.

3. The DIY watermaker:
We left home with a watermaker. It took up a huge amount of storage space on the yacht, had cost the previous owner a lot of money, but had only a modest output of water. With all the other expensive gear we were putting on the boat, spending around another $10,000 on a better watermaker was something we thought we could do without.
It was months later when we discovered, courtesy of a roving sailor, that we could have, for a mere $2000 or thereabouts, made our own watermaker with an output of 100 litres an hour.
An added advantage of this was that this DIY watermaker did not have to be constructed in one unit, but its parts could be apportioned around the boat in convenient small locations. Follow the diagram shown or Google for other versions.

4. The salt water tap:
What a boon this little beauty was when added to our boat.

Best operated with a foot pump (don't forget to carry a spare), it gives an unlimited supply of water to either swab the decks (eliminating the need to pull buckets up from the ocean), cook vegetables, rinse the plates or a wide range of other minor tasks where it doesn't matter if the water is salty or not.

Don't leave home without one!

5. The 'Med Hook':
This natty little hook is named after the place were it was invented, the Mediterranean, but it is useful anywhere at all where you are likely to have your anchor tangled with another boat's. The first time our anchor became tangled with another it was a comedy of errors that amused everyone in the anchorage – if only we'd had a Med Hook!
Two lines are attached to the hook, one for lowering it in the hook position, and another for tripping it so that it releases the chain it has been carrying. It is particularly handy in crowded anchorages where another boat has laid over your boat and then gone touring for a few days.
When you want to leave, you simply slip the Med Hook down the other boat's chain, lift the chain while you retrieve your own anchor, and then use the trip line to release the chain. You'll never have to wake the crew of another boat again when you want to leave early in the morning! 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Super Yachts in St. Barts

Had a very nice sail out to Angel Island with my friend Kiwoba.  Winds in the low 20's on the way over along with a gorgeous day.  Anchored in Craig's Cove again to get Kona over to the beach.  As I stood on the beach, the boat was in a different position and Kiwoba was up at the anchor.  A motor boat offered to take me back to my boat so I took them up on their offer and we made it out to the boat.  The anchor had picked up and Kiwoba had reset it with a hard yank on the rode.  We reanchored closer to the beach and I swam back in to get Kona.  He had been playing on the beach with two girls from the motor boat.  They were about 5 or so and wanted to get back to the boat.  One of the girls said she couldn't swim and needed help.  I had her grab Kona's tail and he swam her back to the boat.  It was a sweet moment.  The sail home was fast as the wind was up.  We returned shortly after 5 and Kiwoba was on her way.  I had some time so I returned for a sunset sail and came in after dark.  Had a short night onboard as I was tired.  Hit the hay and then took care of some painting projects in the morning.  Almost thought about going out again but the wind was gusting to over 30 and it looked pretty nasty out there.  Got some work done and headed home.

Here is the vid of our sail from Kiwoba:

Monday, June 11, 2012

Great Day on the SF Bay

With our water leak down to a few drops, I took out a crew of 5 (geoff, elsa, julia, brian and kathy) for a spectacular day of sailing.  The wind was perfect, the crew was in good spirits and the sky a brilliant blue.  We tacked our way out to the end of the Berkeley Pier and made our way to Angel Island.  The wind was in the low 20's and we had a reefed jib up along with the main sail.  We were trucking along at 6 knots under blue skies and no fog in sight.  We stopped at Craig's Cove on Angel for a very nice lunch and swim into the beach with Kona.  It was my first swim of the year in the bay.  64 degrees water temp.  After lunch we headed up Raccoon Strait for a beautiful couple tacks.  Everyone was digging the sights and the tunes.  We zipped back to Emeryville and were back in the dock shortly after 6pm.  What a great day with friends old and new!

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Leaking Engine is Fixed

We have been dealing with a leak in our diesel for the last several months.  It has kept our boat from being out on the water on the weekends.  We had one mechanic tell us we needed to pull the engine to get to the leaks.  $2000 and most likely more.  I wanted a second opinion.  I contacted another mechanic and he suggested JB Weld epoxy could help us.  The area we need to work on is a small space and hard to get to.  I covered the leaking freeze plugs and then went looking for more leaks.  It took a couple times to find the areas that were leaking.  Went up to the boat this am and started her up and no leaks!  What a great feeling. I spent about $20 on JB Weld.  Beats the heck out of $2000 and possibly more headaches.  Very happy at the moment and looking forward to a sail on Sunday!!

Monday, June 04, 2012

Best Sail Mag on the West Coast...and Free!

For the last 30 years or so, Latiude 38 has been putting together a wonderful free monthly mag that is a must read for all sailors.  The insights, content and pictures from around our sailing world are superb.  If you have never downloaded and read an issue on your computer or tablet, today is your day.  The Letters section is always interesting, I really enjoy Changes in Latitudes, and hey, if you are looking for a boat to buy, you have a ton of options.  We purchased our boat from these pages almost 13 years ago!  You can download this months issue (or any issue of the last 10 years) right here. Reading this mag for the last 15 years has sparked my dream of sailing across the Pacific to New Zealand and Australia in 2018!!  Maybe it can spark your big dream!  Read it and find out.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Awesome Song

Not a big fan of the original but this is an amazing version of "Sexy and I Know It".  Just a young guy with a mic and guitar...and 8 million hits on youtube.  Enjoy!

"Sexy And I Know It"

Yeah, yeah
When I walk on by, girls be looking like damn he fly
I pimp to the beat, walking on the street in my new lafreak, yeah
This is how I roll, animal print, pants outta control,
It's Redfoo with the big afro
And like Bruce Leroy I got the glow
[a reference to the 80's martial arts classic "The Last Dragon", where martial artists, having attained master status, start to glow when practicing their moves, and also get some special powers.]

Ah... Girl look at that body [x3]
Ah... I work out
Ah... Girl look at that body [x3]
Ah... I work out

When I walk in the spot (yeah), this is what I see (ok)
Everybody stops and they staring at me
I got passion in my pants and I ain't afraid to show it, show it, show it, show it

I'm sexy and I know it [x2]

When I'm at the mall, security just can't fight them off
And when I'm at the beach, I'm in a Speedo trying to tan my cheeks (what)
This is how I roll, come on ladies it's time to go
We headed to the bar, baby don't be nervous
No shoes, no shirt, and I still get serviced (watch)

Ah... Girl look at that body [x3]
Ah... I work out
Ah... Girl look at that body [x3]
I work out

When I walk in the spot (yeah), this is what I see (ok)
Everybody stops and they staring at me
I got passion in my pants and I ain't afraid to show it, show it, show it, show it

I'm sexy and I know it [x2]

I'm sexy and I know it...

Check it out [x2]
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle yeah [x3]
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle yeah, yeah
Do the wiggle man
I do the wiggle man
I'm sexy and I know it

Ah... Girl look at that body [x3]
Ah... I work out
Ah... Girl look at that body [x3]
Ah... I work out

Yeah I'm sexy and I know it!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Bridge turns 75!

With our boat out of commission due to a water leak, I signed up with the crew of Fearless for a celebratory sail around the bay. The setting was spectacular as we were just below the north tower of the bridge for our send off. The boat was located at the Cavallo Pt. Marina in Fort Baker. You could not have asked for a better spot to begin our adventure. I arrived with plenty of time before we depart so I went for a bike ride across the bridge before the sail. I had also been to the 50th celebration in 87'. My girlfriend and I walked across with our bikes in tow back in the day. They had been expecting 40k walkers that day and ended up with 400k. It was a mess and one of the biggest cases of gridlock the bridge has ever seen...and not a car in sight. We made it, barely. This time there was no chaos. The ride was great and I made it back to car right on time. I joined the crew and Captain Steve was ready to go. We sailed with the bridge on our starboard side over to the city front. With a nice view of the shore side activities, we sailed down past Aquatic Park and then tacked towards Angel Island. We met up with Willin and Ohana at Ayella Cove and rafted up. A party broke out and we lingered for 30 minutes or so. Then it was a great sail back towards the bridge with the music cranking. Back at the dock, we opened some champagne for the fireworks. Amazing and beautiful. What a great way to say happy birthday to our iconic friend.

The video and music are from our friends at the local rock station, KFOG.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Physics of Sailing

One of the best vids I have seen on the subject.  Please go to full screen.

Astounding Fact about our Universe

Golden Gate Bridge Turns 75

Big weekend in SF this weekend with lots of celebrations for our famous land mark.  The bridge opened in 1937 and has become synonymous with our fair city by the bay.  The highlight of the the day is a fireworks display off the of the bridge at 9:30pm.  We plan to sail out mid day on a friends boat and raft up for a while with some other boats and then head over for the show.  Hope you all have a great holiday weekend.  Be safe out there!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday, Monday

Been a rough week with a flu and a cold.  Finally broke the fever and feeling much better.  Meeting my friend John today for a sail out of Sausalito.  Our diesel has a water leak so our boat is out of commission for another week or so.  Man it sucks being sick as I have not been this sick in 30 years.  On of the things I read during my down time is how red wine can help with your immune system.  No wonder I never get sick!  Here are some pics I collected for your viewing pleasure.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sailing to "The Wall"

Friday was a special day.  Roger Waters was performing The Wall at AT&T Park.  The Wall was released over 30 years ago and is considered a rock and roll masterpiece.  I have listened to many of the songs hundreds of times yet never understood the meaning of the album.  I searched the web and found a site that breaks down each song.  If you enjoy Pink Floyd, you should check it out.  The album is about Roger's life: the loss of his father in WW2, teachers bullying him, rock and roll super stardom, a cheating spouse and much more.  All these aspects lead him to build a wall around himself and then he finally breaks the wall down.

I had invited my best bud Frank to join me for the show.  Since the show was at the ball park, I decided the only way to do this was to sail to the show and use the boat as our celebration platform.  I had planned a leisurely sail to the park with a departure around 1pm but fate would have none of it.  I was at an appointment when my wife called to say their was a rattle snake in the house.  She discovered it when Kona started barking at it in the kitchen.  Animal control was called and they came and took it away.  The problem was, had Kona been bit?  A call to the vet told us that he would need to be under supervision for the next 12 hours.  My wife had an appointment that could not be missed so I was pressed into action to watch him while she went to the appointment.  That delayed me by 3 hours, but you do what you gotta do!  Kona was fine and I made it to the boat by 4pm.  I had planned to meet Frank about 5:45 so off I went.  The wind was blowing 25 as I exited the channel.  Our little 13 horse Yanmar barely got me out to the end of the channel and then a bit of jib went out and I was off to the races.  I had to tack a few times to line myself up to get under the Bay Bridge.  Once under, the wind and waves calmed down and I had a nice sail to the park.  I tied off the boat to look up and see Frank walking down the pier.  Perfect timing.  We motor over to McCovey Cove and set the hook.  I had hoped to get a slip at South Beach but this is a popular thing to do and there were no slips available.  I broke out some nice French Champagne and we chatted as the boat swung in the wind.  The stadium is off to starboard.  After a nice hour or so, I pull out the double kayak and off we go to the show.  We arrive, find our seats and admire the WALL!  It is gigantic!  We are facing the out field and the wall stretches from outfield foul pole to outfield foul poll.  This is also the length of the stage.  Amazing.  It's 2/3's built with the middle of it not yet finished.  The show begins and the sold out stadium erupts with thunderous applause and fireworks from the stage.  The wild part is that the wall is the largest video screen ever made.  It comes alive with images, movies, the band, everything.  I really cannot do justice in describing this part because it is so awesome.  As the concert goes along, so does the building of the wall.  During the second half the wall explodes into many pieces and is gone.  This is done thru video images and the wall is still there and the amazing images continue.  This was the best concert of my life.  And I am a true concert fan having attended over 500 shows over the years.  State of the art masterpiece!!!  If this show comes to your town, don't miss it.

Frank heads home and I head to the boat.  By this time, there are a dozen boats in the cove.  They are hanging out getting the echoes of the music from afar.  I get back on board, put some music on and settle in for a night on the hook.  In the morning, I am up early and the wind is still in the 20's.  Don't you love these wind patterns of the bay area?  I head out with jib again and in a short while we are sailing towards the fog shrouded Angel Island.  My boat partners are heading out today for a sail, so I don't have all day to get back.  We are on a nice beam reach and I pullout the Coleman for some tea and blue berry pancakes in the cockpit.  I am mostly in the lee of Angel so the wind is light and the food is great.  Just as I hit the wind line to head back, I take everything below and sail home.  Back in the sun, I have a perfect reach to the harbor.  What an amazing experience.  Even though sailing there is alot of work and time, it is always worth it.  Wish you were here! ; ~}