Sunday, September 28, 2014

Abandon Ship!

My boat partner and long time friend, Arnie was in the process of bringing a boat back from Hawaii to SF.  They struggled a bit and it was taking a bit longer than expected.  On Friday morning a UFO hit the amas of their tri as well as the cabin of the boat.  Since it was dark, they have no idea what the object was.  They determined that they could no longer sail the boat with out flooding it, so they set off their emergency beacon.  They were abut 700 miles off the coast and less than 7 miles away was a freighter heading from China to Panama.  The ship picked up the 3 crew from the water and everybody is safe and headed for Panama.  They will be at sea a another 12 days or so, but they are safe and resting well.  Bon voyage indeed!

Here is a pic of the boat that rescued them.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Departing for NZ & OZ 2018

Looking forward to my upcoming adventure into the Pacific.  The plan is to depart in the fall of 2018 on a nice cruising boat and sail west for 1.5 years.  Mexico, Central America, Galapagos, South Pacific, New Zealand and finish in Sydney.  Once in OZ, sell the boat and fly home.  Friends will be joining the boat along the way.  We are calling it our radical sabbatical!  Found this cool site with some great pics of OZ.  Click here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Cool Dolphin Rescue

Couple of great birthday sails last week.  Monday with a boatload of gents: Stephan, Ryan, Jason and Jim.  A solo sail Friday with a couple hours on the hook at Craig's Cove.  And lastly a fine sunset sail on the birthday Saturday.  It lasted into the night and another great evening in the harbor.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sheer Terror

I downloaded an app called Cruiser Forum that is a treat to read when you need to escape.  Here is one of the threads about a guy (first time sailor) who bought a 34' used sailboat.  He decided to head out of western FLA and learn as he goes: 

Just a quick update. I left St Marks with Fort Pierce as a destination saturday morning in my seafarer, motored and sailed a little along the way, but the sailing part was only with the jib, as I could easliy take it down if bad weather came up. Saturday day was nice an pleasant, lite winds out of the north east sea at 1 to 2 feet...nicely motoring along.

Saturday night? SHEAR TERROR...winds at 15 to 20 knots, seas 4ft - 7ft, cloudy. There I sailing experience, zero open ocean experience, old boat I knew almost nothing about, being tossed around like a ceasar salad on the waves. All I could do was sit down in the middle of the sole and get religion. This little tempest went on for about 15 hours, and moved my little boat all over the place, sideways, thissaway and thattaway, till I realized, this was my time to die, and it would be here in the open ocean...why I cried...why did i do this stupid faking idiotic thing to get in a boat and go into the ocean, all alone, out in the middle of nowhere. This all night long, and into the morning did I plead, cried, screamed, beg God for mercy. I call the coast guard on the VHS and said...will someone PLEASE help me! Where are you at...and all the normal details, vessel name, long lat, description, name, how many people on board...and all the time I just asked Where is LAND...I need LAND!! I was weak, sleep deprived, in total terror. The CG guy said, "You are 85 miles from Ft Pierce, and 35 miles from Hommasass" I asked where is hommassas, CG says...due east..u gota a compass? yes I do..he said go east. I turned the boat due east....35 miles and 17 hours later...dark again, cold north wind, seas 2 to 4 feet, clear I watched the last rays of the sun sink into the west...crab pot bouys ahead for as far as I could see, i dodged them all...ah a light in the distance..I headed for the light and LAND...depth finder beeping..7 ft.....I got a 5ft draft.....beep beep beep...6ft. Dropped anchor, 10 miles due west of the hommasssa river. I went to bed, CG called me and ask my position, just as I dozed off...I said I was anchored, gave him my lats/longs...he said great, be sure you have ALL your nav lights on, I said ok and went to sleep..or tired to go to sleep...chain locker rattling, squeeks and moans from the boat, fish flopping, and every few seconds it felt like someone was yanking the front of the boat real hard. Tried to sleep, but only short cat naps maybe 5 or 10 minutes long. Thought I heard people talkin on deck...jumped up the stairs and only the wind rattling through the riggins was there. Around 5am this morning, I go to crank up the motor...batteries FLAT...nothing....short end of the story...called tow boat, an 12 hours and $1050.00 later, here i sit in Crystal River at Petes Pier tied to the dock. At least I can get a decent nights sleep.

For ALL you romantics that want to go a-sailing in ships..stay the fak on land! Cause being out there all alone being tossed around, with no place to go is the most terrfying situation you will ever imagine!!!

I am taking a week here to piddle around on the boat and practice some, and hopefully get my nerve up to go back out there.

You can also access the Cruiser Forums site online here.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Sailing Songs - The List

You can check out my favorite sailing songs on the starboard side of this blog.  If you would like a more substantial list, click here.

Went out on Monday for a windy day on the bay.  Picked up Tex at Pier 1.5 and we headed out towards Angel Island.  Craig's Cove was windy so we headed to Hospital Cove around the corner. Had a swim to the beach with Kona and it felt great.  Lunch and then a trip up lovely Raccoon Strait.  Really blowing as we hit the top end so we cracked off for Treasure Island.  We hit Clipper Cove and were soon on the beach for a best of three bocce match.  Kona had a blast with two other golden's on the beach.  Tex and I battled but I got hot the last two games and took the title.  Fast run home and exhausted!

Later this week we have the Baja Haha Crewlist party.  I hope to join a boat and head to Cabo on my 4th Haha!  For those that don't know, the Haha is a cruising rally from San Diego to Cabo (750 miles) at the end of October.  150 boats and 500 folks heading south.  We make two stops for fun and beach parties and then some more in Cabo.  Very fun and so many cool folks.  Past highlights include:  1000 dolphins around our boat in a feeding frenzy, dolphins in the bow at night lit up with bioluminescence, me night swimming in Santa Maria Bay lit up with the biolums, two green flashes, and wonderful people.  Think burning man on the water!

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Insurance Fraud - The Titanic

A few months ago I discovered a story about this conspiracy theory and posted it here.  Here is some vid on the subject.  Pretty fascinating!

The Titanic conspiracy by FF911

Solo Sail of the Year

As you know by now, we just replaced our diesel with an electric propulsion power plant.  Its working great.  Kona and I headed out for a sunrise sail around 6:30am on Labor Day.  We motored about 2 miles to the wind line.  Without the noise and smell, its a pleasure to turn on our "always on" engine.  With the boat moving and sailing herself, I was able to get the coffee going and start on the blueberry pancakes in the cockpit.  What a great way to begin and there was nobody but me on the water.  We head to Craig's Cove at Angel Island.  An nice sandy bottom and the anchor is dug in.  Kona and I swim over to a small but lovely beach and play.  He is swimming out for a stick while I laugh and enjoy being naked on the beach.  It's barely 8am and the visitors don't arrive until 10 so no one is around.  Just the way I like it.  Kona does a zoomy dance as he is so excited when ever he goes to the beach.  So cute. We head out to the boat and more swimming.  We pull the anchor as the wind is up.  Head towards SF and then towards the Golden Gate.  We sail out in perfect conditions and the tide is right.  We get to the end of Golden Gate Strait and Point Bonita and head back in.  Not a freighter in sight.  Quick stop back at the cove for a nap and then a run in 25 knots for the barn.  Wow, a nice 12 hour sail!  So nice to be back on the water with our new engine and green power!

Burning Man 2014

I was one of the lucky ones to attend the Back Rock City annual bacchanal.  I have been wanting to go for about 10 years and made it up there with a camp of 30 like minded folks.  Half the group were virgins and the other half burners.  We had a great camp with small groups preparing fine meals each night.  The highlight was our mutant vehicle. The Bioluminesent Slug got us to all the right spots at the right time!  District (daytime dance party with free drinks), deep playa, Thunder Dome, Bar Up, The Temple, and many more.  At the Temple I saw a wedding and a funeral happening at the same time.  We would head out for a few hours each day and a few more each night on the Slug.  Picking up strangers was a treat as there were folks from all over the planet.

How do you describe it to someone who has not been there?  Well, its like trying to explain sex to a virgin (pun intended).  You can talk about it all day and they will still not have a clue.  You just have to do it!  The nights on the playa would be the most difficult to explain.  The lights, art cars, exhibits and the people all come alive at night.

The weather was not too bad, although we did have a major wind storm on Friday for Critical Tits.  If you don't know, don't ask.  Not too hot and not cold at all.  The sunsets were very nice from the second level of the Slug. 

Some of the DJ set ups were outrageous.  The music was thumping trough the night until about 6 or 7am.  We saw a Burning Man only band called Cross Roads that was amazing.  There was a ton more including Thievery Corporation.

If you have never been and are slightly interested, I would say go!  You will have the time of your life.  We decided that this was the party of the year and I hope to see you next time!!