Monday, April 30, 2012

H2uh0 Birthday Pics

The month, H2uh0 celebrates 7 years!  Hope you have enjoyed some of the posts.  It all started with this amazing boat accident near the Golden Gate Bridge.  A Santana 22 had sailed too close to shore with a big swell running and it picked the boat up for a little surfing lesson.  Boat was lost, sailors were rescued by some surfers and a photographer caught it all on film.  Here's to another 7 years!

Click any pic for a bigger view.

Friday, April 27, 2012

April Has Been Busy

Not much sailing this month.  Most likely a record for me.  I made it out once this month on our boat and once on a friends boat.  Our boat has been under going some engine repair and I have been away a couple weekends as well.  We replaced an oil line and have been trying to locate a water leak on the engine.  We finally found it as it is in a tuff location and behind the starter.  Turns out a freeze plug is leaking and we have ordered a replacement.  Working this weekend so more than likely no sailing.  May should be a whole new ballgame although I am out of town the first weekend.  Off to a boys weekend in Hawaii!  The big island.  The good news - I have a sunset sail planned for my friends off the Kohala Coast.  My friends rents a villa on the water and invites 5 buddies to join him in the search for the perfect Mai Tai...and fun!  Most of our boys weekends have been to Cabo or Puerto Vallarta.  This time, I talked Frank into Hawaii.  Cannot wait to get out in some warmer water in the Pacific and maybe catch some waves.  Aloha!

Here are some pics I gathered that I hope you enjoy:

Click on any pic to enlarge.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Get Your Weekend Started Here

Shine on You Crazy Diamond is the Pink Floyd song from the album Wish You Were Here.  An album about Syd Barrett and his departure from the band due to mental illness from a bit too much partying.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Are YOU Ready for Summer??

The Yacht Week - British Virgin Islands 2012 from The Yacht Week on Vimeo.

This might get you in the correct frame of mind!

Hell on High Water - Sydney to Hobart Race 1998

The 1998 fleet comprised 115 starters. Of these, only 44 yachts completed the race, after severe weather conditions struck the fleet off the south-eastern Australian coast. An unusually strong low pressure depression developed which resulted in mid-summer snow across parts of south-east Australia. The weather system built into an exceptionally strong storm with winds reaching up to 70 knots, similar in strength to a lower-category hurricane. The rising storm produced an enormous waterspout perilously close to one yacht, ultimately causing the sinking of five boats and the deaths of six sailors. Additionally a record 66 yachts retired from the race, and 55 other sailors had to be airlifted from their yachts by rescue helicopter. Overall, the rescue efforts involved 35 military and civilian aircraft and 27 Royal Australian Navy vessels, and proved to be Australia's largest ever peacetime rescue operation.

As a result, the crew eligibility rules were tightened, requiring a higher minimum age and experience. G. Bruce Knecht wrote a book about this race called "The Proving Ground" (ISBN 0-316-49955-2), and the Australian yachting expert and commentator Rob Mundle wrote "Fatal Storm". A coronial enquiry into the race was critical of both the race management at the time and the Bureau of Meteorology.[1]

The results of the coroner's inquest were released on 12 December 2000. New South Wales Coroner John Abernethy found that the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia had "abdicated its responsibility to manage the race." "From what I have read and heard, it is clear to me that during this crucial time the race management team played the role of observers rather than managers and that was simply not good enough." But he acknowledged the club's actions to upgrade safety precautions and sailor qualifications.

Abernethy also criticised Australia's Bureau of Meteorology for making no effort to inform race officials of a dramatically upgraded weather forecast about the severe storm developing south of Eden, when it was common public knowledge the race was scheduled to begin. As a remedial measure, he required the Bureau to add maximum wind gust speed and wave height to their forecasts.

The day after the coroner's findings, the club's Race Director Phil Thompson resigned his position. According to the coroner's report, "Mr Thompson's inability to appreciate the problems when they arose and his inability to appreciate them at the time of giving his evidence causes me concern that (he) may not appreciate such problems as they arise in the future." (Via Wikipedia)

There are 5, 10 minute parts to this movie on Youtube if you would like to watch them.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Crashing and Splashing: The VOR Race

Steve Jobs Designs a Yacht

Before his untimely demise, Steve was working with a famous designer to build a futuristic  motor yacht.  One of the features that caught my eye was the 40 foot glass sections on the boat that would give the crew an amazing view.  Steve's wife is rumored to be continuing on the project and the yacht could splash in the next 8-12 months.  Controlling the entire entire boat is a souped up Mac Mini. 

Maybe you read the book, but if you didn't, you can catch an interview with Steve Jobs by Playboy Mag.  The interview was released just before Jobs 30th birthday in 1985.  Check it here.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Bonehead Move?

Our hearts go out to the sailors who were lost at the Farallones last weekend.  You can read the latest

Monday, April 09, 2012

Out the Gate

On Saturday, I headed up to Sausalito and joined John for a sail on his boat.  He owns a Ranger 33 along with some partners.  John and I were crew mates on the 2010 Baja Haha and have done some cool sails over the last 1.5 years.  The winds were light as we headed out towards the Golden Gate Bridge.  We checked the tides and they looked OK for an adventure out to the Pacific.  You have to be careful here if the ebb current is 4-5 knots, It can be difficult to get back in.  Today the current was at 2 knots.  Let's go.  Around 2pm there was a sudden wind shift.  Now it was a bit more north westerly and picking up fast.  It quickly went from 5 to 15!  We dodged a few tankers and flew out the Gate.  I took over the helm and off she went on a starboard tack down the middle of Golden Gate Strait.  How beautiful was this!  The swells were small and it was unusually flat.  We made it out far enough so we could look north and see Bolinas and Pacifica to the south.  We tacked a few times and enjoyed this amazing view of the coast.  Time to head back.  We did a few long tacks and the wind was a bit less and the ebb was pushing against us.  It was slow going.  Finally near the north tower it picked up and we made back under the bridge and headed towards the slip.  As we headed in it was time to furl the jib.  Stuck!  John heads up to the bow to take a look and he finds that the furling line has wrapped itself around the base of the drum and is stuck tight.  We will have to enter the harbor with the jib luffing in the wind.  We get to the slip and take a look.  It is really jammed in there and we are going to have to work at this.  John is not happy but he gets it fixed and an hour later we are on the road to a nice dinner in town.  That was one of the sweetest sails on that part of the bay I have ever had.  Thanks John and here is a toast to your cool boat!

Renting a Boat

About ten years ago, we were on vacation in Mexico at a nice hotel on the beach.  I was a bit excited as they rented Hobies on the beach and you could take them out on the ocean.  I walked over to inquire about renting one for a few hours and the young guy asked me about my experience level.  I told him I had been sailing for 20 years in San Francisco and that I sailed and owned two boats on the bay.  He pressed on and questioned my ability to handle this boat.  I was sure I had much more experience than most of their customers and finally said to the guy, "I have forgotten more about sailing than you will ever know".  With that, he lead me over to the boats and I sailed away.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

What Sailing is all About

The one comment that you know pretty much everything after a week of sailing cracked me up.  After sailing for almost 30 years, the reality is there is so much to learn in this sport that you can never know it all.  Weather, boat maintenance, navigation, sail repair, communication, safety at sea, passage making, and so much more.  That is the beauty of the our wonderful sport, you are constantly learning.

Pics of the Week

Click on any pic to enlarge.

Classic Spring Break - After spending last weekend on the boat, we headed over to Mammoth Mountain for some skiing with the family and the Nickols.  Had some great and not so great weather but had an awesome time on this amazing hill in the middle of the Sierra Nevada's.  Today I am headed to one of my favorite towns, Sausalito.  My friend and former crewmate on the Haha is taking me out on his Ranger 33.  The designer of my boat (Newport 30), also designed his boat, Gary Mull.  Should be a great day as we head north past the Richmond Bridge towards China Camp.  Easter Sunday we are hosting the Nickols and my wife's family at our house.  Get out have some fun of your own.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Doing the Doo

We are going to the Delta this summer with the 4th annual Delta Doo Dah! We entered into a lottery and got picked out of several hundred entries. Only 50 boats get to go as space is limited up there. We are thrilled to join this fun loving rally of cruisers for a week long chance to explore the San Joaquin River. There will be raft ups, parties, sailing and hanging on the hook. This will be our 5th trip up to these fresh warm waters. Latitude 38 always puts together a fun time with their great organizational skills. If you would like to see the almost finished itinerary, please click here.

Monday, April 02, 2012

April Sail on the SF Bay

Headed up to the boat with Kona on Saturday afternoon.  Thought about going out but the wind was 30 with gusts to 40.  Decided to work on the diesel and tackle a water leak on the engine.  Had a nice night hanging out and getting some sleep.  Up at 07:30 and preparing for crew arrival.  Arnie, Ryan and Caroline were joining me today. Ryan is famous for his home brew and he did not disappoint.  Today he brought a keg of IPA.  Thought about reefing but the wind is much lighter today.  We headed out under jib alone and did a few tacks towards Treasure Island.  Made it past the pier and towards the Gate.  Now under full sail, we made it under the Gate with 15 knots of wind and big swells from the ocean coming in.  Up ahead, one of the Clipper boats is heading in from China.  It's Visit Finland on their way in from China (6000 miles and 28 days across the North Pacific).  They saw 50 knot winds and 60 foot seas along the way.  We gave them a good blast of the horn to welcome them as they sail around the world.  This is unusual race in that it's normal people and one pro skipper manning the yachts.  You sign up for different legs or if you have a year or so, sail the entire 40,000 mile course all the way round.  The link above will give you more info.   We hit some pretty big waves ourselves and the crew loved it.  Had plenty of wind to get us home and what a nice day of sailing it was.  I keep saying it doesn't get much better than this but it always seems to get better!