Monday, August 25, 2014

30 Years: Hello Sailor

I had a few sails on the bay prior to 1984-5 but sailing hooked me in early 85 when I moved to the lagoon at Foster City.  I started windsurfing on the lagoon after a friend gave me a windsurfer that he was not using.  The sailing was fast and fun and it was right outside my door.  I would eventually start a windsurfing club and travel north and south to find wind.   Since then I have had a sunfish, a dory sailboat and now my 30' Newport.  I love everything about sailing.  Being outdoors, seeing the beautiful vistas from the water, and sharing it with friends.  Especially the beauty of the SF bay and ocean. 

Last night was a great example.  I took off at 5pm and most folks were already done for the day.  The coast was clear and the wind was in the low 20's.  Kona and I headed towards San Rafael on a nice hour long tack.  On our well balanced boat and a little jib out in these conditions, it is very relaxing to sit behind the dodger out of the wind and let the boat sail herself.  She does a great job once you get the right amount of sail out.  We did a few tacks towards the city and then headed in as darkness fell.  Here is to another 30 years of sailing the bay and well beyond.

Amazing skim board surfing!

Monday, August 18, 2014


Start at the 1:30 mark.  Full screen.

Pics of the Weekend

Kona and I headed out to fog that cleared by noon.  We sailed to Angel but did not see a safe place to anchor.  Continued to Tiburon and it took a couple tries to get the anchor down.  Jumped in the kayak and got Kona over to the beach.  WInd shifting and I am worried about the anchor holding.  We get back to the boat and do a swim and sure enough the boat starts drifting.  Glad we are hanging on!  Had a great sail home and a little hove to near the channel.  Have a busy August so this may be my last sail of the month. 

Got in 5 sails since the new electric engine was installed last weekend.  Here is a note I sent my sailing buddies on our new electric engine: Our 20+ year old diesel engine on the Addiction finally expired in mid May due to corrosion from the salt water that is used to cool her.  My partners and I talked about many options including installing a new or rebuilt engine and even giving her away without a working engine.  It's been a long 10 weeks and now for the best part!

My partners have installed a new electric power plant in the boat.  It is truly awesome.  We now have 8, 70lb AGM batts secured, a charger and a new electric motor.  They pulled out the old diesel and put an ad on CL and it was taken away the very next day by some motor less sailors who plan to rebuild it.  Good luck!  We put the final touches on the install last weekend and she is quiet, no more fuel runs, and no more oil in the bilge.  We just plug her in after a sail and come back to a full charge.  It's called Tesla Sailing!  Very excited and I have to say, our partner Murray did a masterful job on the install.  I put in 3 hours helping with the install and he and the other partners did the rest!!! 

We have up to a 19 nautical mile range at about 3.5 knots.  Truth is, we use the motor in and out of the slip and maybe to a lunch stop at Angel (about 1 nm with each use).  The cool part is that as we sail, we let the prop spin and it regenerates power to the batts.  Today, I got them back up to 100% charged after an almost full throttle run out the channel.

We move our son down to San Diego this week where he will attend San Diego State.  He is very pumped about that.   Then my wife are off to Burning Man with a bunch of friends.  Going to be a great month!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Great Idea for Self Rescue

I was reading the rescue stories on my starboard side bar this morning and there was one where a guy was thrown into the water and his boat sank.  He had his phone in a waterproof case and was able to contact the rescue folks from the water and get help.  I had never thought of that.  We have a portable VHF in a waterproof case down below.  That won't help me if the boom knocks me in the water while I am single handing.  I plan to get a waterproof case for my iPhone, how about you?  Most of us have phones in our pocket when we sail and this makes a ton of sense.  No case, no phone usage once you are overboard! 

Read the story here.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Skiff Sailing 20kts+

Looks a lot like wind surfing...kinda.

Had two great sails over the weekend.  The new electric power system has been awesome getting us in and out of the channel.  I hit the water Saturday evening about 5:30 and the wind was UP!  By the time I had tacked out to the end of the Berkeley Pier (took over 5 tacks as the wind was to the south), it was well over 20kts. Reefed jib only run and cloudy with fog but clearing up ahead.  As the sun set, the almost full moon came up.  What a beautiful thing.  I came roaring home with the full jib out as I hit the channel.  As I made the turn in towards the marina, (the wind was blowing over 25+) the boat caught a gust and rounded up toward the channel marker.  I screamed "No!" and turned the wheel as fast as I could. I grazed the marker sign and broke a couple starboard stanchions.  I was furious I made such an error .  It is the nature of sail boats to round into the wind and I learned my lesson to furl the jib in high winds.  Plus, the sea was angry that day, my friend.

Sunday was a bit of the same but less wind and sunny (I kept thinking this is deja vu all over again!) I took the cut in the pier this time which gives me an hour long reach towards Angel.  Great sail and on my way back, the fog was heading in and covering the sun.  A few shafts of light around peeking thru.  The highlight came when a huge shaft came down and focused on a schooner out for a sunset sail near Sausalito.

My partners and I are all very happy with our new power plant and are so grateful Murray took the lead and made this transition happen.  Excellent work my friend!

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Pics You Like

Live to Surf and Surf to Live. Artic Circle Extreme

One more...

Head to the 6 minute mark for the heaviest waves on the planet...Teahupoo.

Americas Cup Location Update:
We are down to the wire for location selection and neither of the options are that great from a wind perspective.  San Diego is notorious for light winds and the current 62' foilers need a steady 15 to really start flying.  Remember the 40 knots of boat speed last summer?  You may have to visit YouTube to see that kind of sailing again.

The other is Bermuda.  I have not heard many positive things about this location and the teams are saying it would be too expensive to get the infastructure up and running.  I know nothing of the wind conditions but have read that they are variable.

Breaking news...
We can report that Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts managed to convene a secret late-Wednesday night meeting with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and members of the Board of Supervisors to plead, hat in hands, to let the Cup come back to San Francisco. "I'll pick up the tab for everything," said the fifth richest man in the world.

Sorry, stole that one from L38.  Just kidding about that last paragraph. When I read that bit on Lectronic, I jumped out of my chair!

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Pacific Rowers Will See Trouble X's 2

Iselle and Julio are bearing down on the rowers as they approach the Hawaiian island chain.  They are in day 57 from Monterey and some teams are speeding up to miss the fury while others are slowing down and deploying sea anchors.  It's going to be tough going as 25-30 knot winds hit the fleet as well as very large swells.  This pair of storms in this part of the Pacific are very rare.  With the water warming in many areas due to El Nino, the flood gates have opened.  The next few days will be intense for all involved.  Read the latest reports here.

Breaking the 60 Knot Barrier

The new electric motor is working great.  Charging is going fine.  We have one more programming hurdle that will give us a bit more power and I think we will be golden.  Pretty amazing transition and so happy to be sailing again.

Out the other day and I was thinking that the Newport 30 is just the perfect bay boat.  If you are looking for a big bang for the buck boat, this is it.  Ours is going on 33 years young and she is awesome.  If you find a good one, buy it and sail her hard.  You will not be disappointed.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Gettin' Blown Away

Here is some cool Led Zeppelin trivia:
THE BACKSTORY: Many fans think the title of the Houses of the Holy tune is
pronounced "Dire Maker"; in fact, you're supposed to say it more like the name of the Caribbean country, Jamaica.
THE TRUTH: Robert Plant has confirmed that the title "D'yer Mak'er" does, in fact, come from a rusty bit of Cockney humor, which usually goes something like this:
Cockney Man 1: My wife is going on holiday.
Cockney Man 2: D'yer make 'er? ["Jamaica," but pronounced quickly so that it sounds just like "Did you make her?"]
Cockney Man 1: No, she's going on her own accord.
The sly allusion to Jamaica made sense for the song: "D'yer Mak'er" is Zeppelin's reggae move.

We finished up most of the install on our new electric engine.  Murray and our other partners have done a masterful job with securing the 8 batteries, installing the charger and solenoid as well as installing the engine.  We finished up today with shaft coupler, shaft alignment and the display unit.

We took her out for a spin in the marina and half way up the channel.  The engine was moderatly quiet  and pushed us smartly.  In the channel with the wind at about 15, she struggled abit and slowed to about 3 knots.  We are heading out Sunday for a day sail and will know more then.