Monday, February 23, 2015

A Most Ecellent Sail!

Headed out for windy day sail on Sunday.  Sy, Luanne, Ceilia, Jason and John joined me for the sail of the year (so far).  The wind had a very northerly component and we started sailing as soon as we hit the end of the harbor.  It was a straight shot for the Gate which is very unusual.  Winds were in the high teens as we headed into the shadows of the Gate.  I called for a lunch stop at Horseshoe Cove.  Beautiful.  We headed out the gate and we could see some amazing detail in the hills and valleys due to the winds.  We made to the end of Golden Gate Strait for a look up and down the coast.  Always a pretty sight.  There were some small swells from the ocean that were very nice.  We tacked and headed back, blasting across the bay at 7+ knots.  What a day for the record books.  Like I say, after 1000+ sails on this boat, it just keeps getting better!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Ten Years of YouTube!

Happy birthday big guy!  Enjoy this look back at the very best of your favorite tube!

Beautiful, With a Chance of Fog

The fog has returned to the bay area.  This is what generates all the consistent winds we have for 9 months out of the year.  The winds at Angel Island are gusting to 30 as I type.  Predictions for the day were 5 knots of wind.  We have a very cold ocean and a very warm inland valley to the east.  The warm air mixes with the cold water and creates condensation in the form of of fog.  Think of your cold glass of beer in the summer.  The water on the outside of the glass is the same condensation from the mixture of hot and cold.  Then we have a very warm valley that heats up and the air starts rising from the valley floor.  The cool air near the ocean rushes to replace the rising air.  The trifecta happens when all that air gets compressed running in thru the Golden Gate Strait.  Viola, we have twice as much wind because of the pressure.  I have been sailing outside the Gate in winds of 10-to 12.  Once inside, its blowing 25!

Heading out on Sunday with a few Burning Man friends and it should be a spectacular day!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Bonehead Move of the Month

By now you have read about the father/son duo that was rescued in the Atlantic.  The bought a boat on eBay for $10k and fixed it up and loaded the boat for a cruise to Australia.  They decided to depart during a blizzard from the Boston area.  Hours later they had no engine and no sails and called a Mayday.  The Coast Guard steps up in the teeth of the storm and rescues them.   They may have had some visa issues but no one goes to sea in the height of a storm in the middle of winter.  That would be like going to Starbucks in the middle of a tornado.  I am surprised that the folks around them let them take off.  Please folks, we need to use weather windows.  It's not that hard.  What is really upsetting is that they put the resue folks in harms way.  Kudos to the the swimmer on the chopper for jumping in that frigid water to save them.  Stuff like this should not happen with all the weather resources we have.  Or maybe its just them, with no clue what so ever.
Read the story here.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Insane Mt. Bike Rider

I started riding a mt bike in 87, shortly after the revolution started on Mt Tam in Marin.  We have some amazing rides in the bay area.  I have a bunch of friends who love to ride and for 10 years we ht the hills when ever we could.  I still ride in the hills near my house with great regularity.  I'll be coming down a hill a roust a few birds and we fly together down the hill.  I like that part.  Also, getting off the roads and away from distracted drivers in cars is a great thing.

Had a memorable sail on Friday with John and boat partner Rob.  The wind was from the north so we tacked 20 miles north in 10-15 knot winds.  Once we hit the Richmond Bridge, we turned around for a glorious spin run down the channel.  Just before our turn, Artimus racing showed up with their 45' cat foiling all the way.  It was great to see an AC boat cooking across the bay!  We had a ton of laughs and good times.  I was feeling groovy!

Heading out today with some more good friends and one buddy Dan who I have known since 5th grade.  Sunny, warm, mid 70's in SF.  Meanwhile in Boston...

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

JFK AC Speech 1962

ABC archival footage of US president John F Kennedy speaking about Sir Frank Packer's America's Cup challenger Gretel at the 1962 America's Cup dinner given by the Australian Ambassador. Gretel became the first Australian challenger for the America's Cup.

Here is a great article about one man's love for sailing.  Check it here.

Pics of the Week

This April marks my 10th year in the sailing blogoshpere.  That is truly amazing.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Charter Skipper Gets Lucky!

Sometimes it pays to be a charter skipper.  A fellow in SF took out a young gal on charter who wanted to sail the world, they hooked up and are currently cruising in the South Pacific.   On a whim, she contacted Playboy and she graced the cover of their December mag and was the Playmate of the Month.  Check our her amazing sailing skills here.

10 Affordable Used Yachts for Cruising

Did you know that Beneteau sailboats have crossed more oceans than any other boat?  I bring this up only because I plan to sail one across the Pacific in a few years.  However, there are many other ocean tested cruisers for you to consider.  With a little love and hard work, you can find a great deal and cross that ocean you have been thinking about.  Check out some great cruisers here.

 Hans Christian 43
Norseman 447

Constructing a 60' Yacht in Less Than 5 Mins.

The boat costs a bit less than $1.5M out the door.  Pretty cool how the 2 halves come together.  When you think about all that goes into a production boat, it's amazing.  And I bet she sails as fast as she is beautiful.  Meaning: very!

Monday, February 09, 2015

Tales From the Dark Side (of the Moon)

Over the years, I have studied the moon.  How it was formed, it's orbit, and many more interesting tidbits.  Because of it rotation, we never see the dark side from earth.  Not many folks talk about the dark side ( except for the album).  I found a cool article in the Washington Post about new pictures from the dark side.  Here is a portion of the article:

Although it doesn't appear to spin from Earth's perspective, the moon does rotate, once about every 27 days. That's also approximately the same amount of time it takes the moon to orbit the Earth, once. The phenomenon is called synchronous rotation. In all, about 59 percent of the moon is visible from Earth over the course of an orbit. We never ever see 41 percent of the moon - the side that many call "dark."

But the "dark" side of the moon has always, from its perspective, gotten plenty of light. When Earth sees a waning crescent, the far side is nearing fullness. And it's light in another sense, too: the dark side has few of the distinctive dark spots that mark the Earth-facing side of the moon. Those spots are called maria, from the Latin word for sea, because early astronomers mistakenly thought they were lunar seas (they're actually volcanic plains). The smooth and dark maria cover 17 percent of the surface of the moon. Almost all of them are visible from Earth.

The mystery of the "dark" side's lighter surface has long been a difficult question for scientists. Although the going theory has been that the maria were the result of a huge asteroid impact, recent research suggests that the dark surface of the Earth-side moon is the result of ancient magma flooding.

Here is a great photo of the dark side.

Had some great storm sails over the weekend.  Thursday night it was blowing 20 and I took off for a solo night sail.  When storms are approaching, the wind shifts from a north west flow to a from the south flow.  Its nice because normally we have to tack several times to make it to the central bay.  With a south wind, we shoot out the harbor and start sailing towards Alcatraz on a port tack.  With just about 50% of the jib out, I took an hour long tack out towards the Gate.  Awesome sailing.

Sunday we had rain in the morning and then about noon it started to clear.  I headed up and was in the south wind about 2pm.  It was about 18-20 and I had a few nice reaches towards the City.  Only a handful of boats out and no ship traffic.  Then it really picked up and was 25+.  Made it in and thanked my lucky stars for this wonderful boat we have owned for 14+ years (average boat ownership is 2.5 years before selling).

Here is a look at the wind speeds at the Gate during my sail.  Gusts are on the right.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Top 10 Super Bowl Commercials

What a great game to end the season with.  I missed most of the commercials as we were having too much fun.  Here is a look back.  I really liked the "Blue Pill" Fiat spot.  Not featured here.  Enjoy.

My Life is a Disaster!!

Sunday, February 01, 2015

This Hawaiian is No Longer Flyin'

ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Coast Guard rescued five people from a sinking 65-foot sailing vessel approximately 120 miles off the Monterey coast, Saturday.
At approximately 8 a.m. Saturday, the 11th Coast Guard District Command Center received a distress signal from a personal locator beacon. A C17 transport aircraft under Oakland Center Control, flying at approximately 5,000 feet, visually identified the sailing vessel in the vicinity of the alert location and confirmed that the sailing vessel Flyin’ Hawaiian was taking on water.
The Coast Guard responded with one Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento HC-130H Hercules aircrew. The crew was able to contact and divert the Aqualeader, a tank ship that was 24 miles from the sailing vessel's location. Though unable to remove anyone off the vessel, the Aqualeader assisted by blocking seas and wind for the Flyin’ Hawaiian.
The Coast Guard launched one Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco MH-65 helicopter rescue crew and one MH-65 helicopter rescue crew from Coast Guard Air Station Los Angeles.
Both helicopter crews successfully rescued the five people from the sinking sailing vessel.
All five people were transported to shore with no reported injuries.
The parking lot built, 65 catamaran made of Home Depot lumber and connectors was ridiculed from the start and the actions of owner,
"Hot Rod" drew a lot of attention world wide, for all the wrong reasons.

The dream, to build his own boat and sail to Hawaii and live off the sea has sadly failed miserably, but thankfully with no lives lost.

The saga of the Flyin Hawaiian has mercifully come to an end. 

via Pressure Drop