Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 - A Look Back from Google

A happy and safe New Year to all!  2014, it's going to be another adventure.

Click and Hold Menu in Firefox

Not sure about you, but I have been having a frustrating issue with Firefox (I am a Mac user) for the last 6 months or so.  Browsing a page, for no reason, a contextual menu would pop up.  For months I thought is was from a fix I had made on the keyboard and did not realize it was only happening in the browser.  Has anyone else had this issue?  I found a fix.  See below:

Thanks to the infinite wisdom of Steve Jobs, many Macs have only one mouse button. Once again, the good people at Mozilla have ignored a fundamental feature of the Mac UI.
Here’s the solution: type in your browser: about:config, and search for ui.click_hold_context_menus. Double click where it says “false” to set it to “true”, and now you’ll get the context menu by holding the mouse button.

It's working for me and I am so happy to find a fix!

The Everest of Ocean Racing

Here is the start of the Sydney-Hobart Race from last week.  They are calling the 69th running the greatest collection of super maxi sailboats ever gathered.  Watch the start and see why!  WO11 takes line honors in an epic race to Tasmania.

69th Rolex Sydney Hobart Race Start Part TWO OF... by solosailor1

Wow...had two great sails on the weekend.  Both days were mid afternoon starts as the wind was just starting to build.  Great sunsets and beautiful winter conditions (60 and sunny and clear).  The boat is sailing fast in flat water with lots of high 6's on the speedo due to the new bottom paint.   Hardly anyone else out there.  Great way to end the year.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Most Popular Post of the Year!

I looked back on the entries I made this year and here was the one that stood far above the rest in popularity.  It was our outstanding bareboat trip to Belize with 6 aboard for a 7 day adventure thru the reefs of this Caribbean nation.  The weather was as grand as the sailing was superb.  And at times, it seemed we were the only ones there!  Some awesome scuba, windy nights in the bow hammock, a great crew and culinary delights from the galley.  Read about our sailing sojourn here.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Whitbread 73 - Remastered

Check out this classic look back at one of the famous races around the world.  Throw in 17 yachts, 167 crew and a couple stops along the way and you have an amazing old school race.  It's interesting to look at the equipment they were using back then as well as the boats they sailed.  All cutting edge at the time.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Got Wall Paper?

Found a cool site that just seraches for the best wallpaper for your screen.  Great for that slick machine that was under your tree!  Check it out here.

I typed in "sailing" and here were a few that I liked.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Boxing Day - Sydney Horbart Race

One of the toughest stretches of ocean racing is getting ready to take off.  The 630 mile race for Sydney to Tasmania starts on 12-26.  Some of the top mono hulls will be trying to break the 1d, 18h record set by Wild Oats last year.  Let's wish them some decent weather and keep the storms at bay. 

To understand the importance of the Hobart race in the Australian national psyche, consider first that sailing is indeed quite popular down there. Stir in the fact that the race is part-and-parcel of the annual Christmas holiday hysteria, and finally that anyone with a boat and the will to get across Bass Strait can participate if they really want to. Bake evenly for over half a century, and what you get is a sporting extravaganza the closest equivalent of which in American terms would be something like a cross between the Rose Bowl game, a Fourth of July picnic, and an ESPN Extreme Games Olympiad.

Here is a look back at last years race.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Bonehead Move of the Year - Team Oracle

After much pondering, h2uho's choice for bonehead move of the year is the sailing team that decided to put five pound weights in the bows of their AC 45's.  This made them a second or two faster in light winds during the World Series races (which they won) that lead up to the America's Cup.  Several members of the team were booted or demoted and it gave NZ a two race lead out the gate for the best of 19 races.  No one ever came forward to say I did it so we have to blame the entire group, top to bottom.  Although as we all know, Oracle made a dramatic comeback and won the whole thing.  The cheating was discovered well after the American team had won the world series earlier in the year.  The officials were going over the boats in advance of the Red Bull races for the youth teams.  The bonehead part happened when the perpetrators failed to cover their tracks and pullout the extra pounds.  Cheating is no good for anyone, but if you are going to cheat...CYA.

Happy New Sailing Year to you!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Kiting Across the Atlantic

6 kiters and a boat sailing 24/7 across the Atlantic.

The night kiting is the real challenge (“day time is play time”). Eric wakes me up 45 minutes before it’s my time to do the change with Filippo. I wake up, and it’s dark outside. Knowing that you have to go out kiting in pitch darkness makes you wake up fast. When I look out my small window, I see nothing. I’m standing in the light, and it looks even darker outside. I go to the outside dining table, where I get all of my gear together. First, everything on the kitchen counter, the vest with VHF, dog tracker and wetsuit, and then my helmet. All this while still standing in the light, looking out into the darkness, seeing Filippo riding in front of the boat. The only things I can see are the four lights, the light on his back, one in the middle of the kite on the leading edge, and the two brake lights on the wing tips. I’m always very excited before I have to go. But there are always the doubts: will the wind stay up, are we going to make a good rider change in the dinghy, will I be able to stay up in the sweet spot ahead of the boat (in front of the boat, on the upwind side, so the boat can pick me up without having to turn around if something goes wrong).
Then Eric double checks all my gear: is the VHF working properly (radio check), is the back strobe light, is the dog tracker on with full charge. Then it’s time to start my night time session. Eric informs Filippo that I’m in the dinghy, and I’m released behind our safe haven (the Double A). There is a stern light on the Double A that always blinds me just before I’m doing the rider change. The distance between the catamaran and me is getting bigger. Now I’m getting really excited. Once the dinghy is locked into position, Filippo approaches. This is the moment where everything changes. Filippo shouts my name. This is always the time when all of my doubts fade away. If Filippo can do it, I can! The change is a serious moment and we do it fast. First, I release Filippo’s leash from the safety, and hook mine into it. Then I grab the chicken loop and hook it into my harness, and take the bar into my hands. Filippo puts the board onto my feet and the leash around my ankle, and off I go into the darkness. Filippo shouts: enjoy Ike!  Read more here.

Seventh Winter Trip to Sausalito is a Winner!

Just back from 4 amazing days on the water.  The weather was perfect as were the winds.  Kona joined me for the sojourn.  We departed a day late due to a slow boatyard.  We were getting the bottom painted and the yard was busy.  I picked the boat up in Berkeley at noon on Tuesday.  I had to swing by Emeryville and on the way out the harbor, my best bud Tex had just gotten to his boat.  I told him I was heading to the city and he jumped on board.  We made it over and quickly began preparations for dinner.  Drew and Arnie were joining us for a feast on board.  At about 7pm, the boys showed up and we started the fiesta.  Soup, grilled polenta, brussel sprouts and thai chicken rounded out the menu.  By 11pm we toasted them and then hit the hay.  Up early as I had to meet John in Sausalito, a good 2 hours away.  I made it there with good winds in the slot.  John was waiting and we took off shortly.  The winds were in the high teens so we headed for a circumnavigation of Angel Island.  A nice sail indeed.  Sunny, warm and windy.  Headed to a guest slip at Clipper and John headed home.  I had some fish tacos and hit the v-berth about 8pm for some sound sleep.  Up on Thursday and fixed a few items.  Great scrambled eggs with salsa.  Off about 11 and no wind so I anchor in 25' off of downtown Sausalito.  Warm and nice in the cockpit.  The wind comes up about an hour later and I do a bunch of runs across the Golden Gate to the St Francis YC.  Really nice and not much in the way of ship traffic.  15 knots and building near Crissy.  What a wonderful sail.  We head back around 4 and go for a nice walk.  Spaghetti dinner and watching some movies in the v-berth.  Morning comes and I fix a charging issue.  We head off for Emeryville at 11 with some light winds that propel me towards home.  With the new bottom paint she is moving thru the water at a fast pace.  A hove to when the wind dies a bit.  An hour later the wind comes up and we are moving again.  Head in around 5 and one of my partners wants to load the boat for his day sail on Saturday.  Good to see Rob.  I head home, have dinner and pass out for the night!  Another great trip with Kona, the Addiction and some friends thrown in for fun!

Friday, December 20, 2013

An Amazing Song by Shawn Colvin

I discovered this song on KFOG radio and fell in love as Shawn segues through 18 different songs, staring with the beginning of her song "Polaroids".  Stevie Wonder, Jackie Deshannon, The Temptations as well as the the Red Hot Chili Peppers, oh my!  See how many you can name on this 11 minute or so live version straight from the vaults of my favorite radio station.  Put on your headphones here.

Departing for Emeryville from Sausalito today.  Winds look light.  Has been an incredible four days on the bay with the nights cold but the days of perfect temps and wind!  Happy holidays to all sailors.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sojourn to Sausalito Update

Greetings from Sausalito! Looks like a fantastic day to be sailing on the bay, 15 to 25 knots out of the Northwest.  Hope you have a great day too.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Pics of the Week

Boats been in the yard for over a week.  Hope to pick her up today and take off for a sojourn to SF and Sausalito on a 4 day trip.  More when I return.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Dreaming of the South Pacific?

I have been lucky enough to have visited Tahiti and Fiji with our travel group:  Too Much Fun Club.  In the early 90's, we started a social/travel club and took our members all over the world on group trips.  We did alot of scuba and touring.  Great fun.  Our best trip was Bali/Thailand in 92.

Here is a look at some atolls in the South Pacific.  This is a great film by a cruising couple.

Fast and Humid - TJV Wrap Up

The Proper Tie Off (I did it wrong for years!)

Monday, December 09, 2013

Sailing Goals 2014

2013 coming to a close and I thought I would see where we are headed for 2014.

Here is a look at my goals from this year, 2013: (The % indicates that item was accomplished!)

Add new dodger to the cockpit %
New starboard cockpit winch %
More night sails %%  (had some of the best this year)
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

We also added three new partners in 2012/2013 (not an easy feat!) for a total of 6 in our partnership.

Some additional highlights:
Scuba in Belize
35 knot night sail to Sausalito and back
Clipper Cove Raft with Rich and Tex
Beautiful sunset sail with John and Tex
Darts Team sail to the ballgame
Getting hit by another boat while at anchor in McCovy Cove (not fun)
Overnight with Andy at Ayala Cove
Sailing out the Gate a couple times with John on his boat
Moderate winds on the bay all summer long
Seeing those AC boats sailing close to 50 mph!
Sailing with my son to SF and attending a private concert on Alcatraz w/ Neon Trees
Swimming to the beaches with Kona
Having so many friends and family out on the boat this year (over 80 folks!)

Here are my goals for 2014:

Start looking at boats for the radical sabbatical to New Zealand and Australia departing 2018 for a 1.5 year adventure
A 5 day trip to the Delta
Plan a trip for 2015 to the Grenadines
More spinnaker sails
Sail in the 21st annual Baja Haha and the 2nd annual Socal Tata via Latitude 38
Six nights at anchor on the bay
Sail with John on his new to him 41' Islander
Raft up in Clipper Cove
Sails to Giants day games
Be safe!

Our boat is on the hard this week getting bottom paint and a few minor repairs.  Looking forward to a fantastic 2014!


Sunday, December 08, 2013

The College Application

This is an actual essay written by a college applicant to NYU in response to this question:
I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice. I have been known to remodel train stations on my lunch breaks, making them more efficient in the area of heat retention. I translate ethnic slurs for Cuban refugees, I write award-winning operas, I manage time efficiently.
Occasionally, I tread water for three days in a row.
I woo women with my sensuous and godlike trombone playing, I can pilot bicycles up severe inclines with unflagging speed, and I cook Thirty-Minute Brownies in twenty minutes. I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love, and an outlaw in Peru.
Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon Basin from a horde of ferocious army ants. I play bluegrass cello, I was scouted by the Mets, I am the subject of numerous documentaries. When I’m bored, I build large suspension bridges in my yard. I enjoy urban hang gliding. On Wednesdays, after school, I repair electrical appliances free of charge.
I am an abrstract artist, a concrete analyst, and a ruthless bookie. Critics worldwide swoon over my original line of corduroy evening wear. I don’t perspire. I am a private citizen, yet I receive fan mail. I have been caller number nine and have won weekend passes. Last summer I toured New Jersey with a traveling centrifugal-force demonstration. I bat 400.
My deft floral arrangements have earned me fame in international botany circles. Children trust me.
I can hurl tennis rackets at small moving objects with deadly accuracy. I once read Paradise Lost, Moby Dick, and David Copperfield in one day and still had time to refurbish an entire dining room that evening. I know the exact location of every food item in the supermarket. I have performed several covert operations with the CIA. I sleep once a week: when I do sleep, I sleep in a chair. While on vacation in Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of terrorists who had seized a small bakery. The laws of physics do not apply to me.
I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and my bills are all paid. On weekends, to let off steam, I participate in full-contact origami. Years ago I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it down. I have made extraordinary four course meals using only a mouli and a toaster oven.
I breed prizewinning clams. I have won bullfights in San Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees at the Kremlin.
I have played Hamlet, I have performed open-heart surgery, and I have spoken with Elvis.
But I have not yet gone to college.
(The author was accepted to NYU.)

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Amazing Ride - Don't try this at home!

46k Miles Alone at Sea - Joshua Slocum

Slocum was the first solo sailor to circle the planet in the late 1890's.  He rebuilt a 100 year old boat and set sail on an incredible journey that has been recreated many times in replicas of his boat.  One of his most famous incidents was near the Straits of Magellan.  In order to ward off the local pirates he was given a box of sharp tacks.  At night, he would sprinkle them around his deck so if a local came aboard, he would step on the tacks and then jump off the boat.  It worked!  Here is a nice look back at his life from penniless mariner to toasting with presidents.