Saturday, May 30, 2015

Now That's Cool

A while back we were over in Tahiti.  We were in a small bungalow on the beach.  I always travel with my volleyball net and was looking forward to some beach volleyball.  What I did not know was that because of the reef surrounding the island of Huahine, there was very little beach.  I was undaunted and determined to find a spot.  I got on a rented bike and went down the road and found a beautiful stretch of grass.  I went back to the hotel and announced that there would be a volleyball game the next day at 2pm.  The hotel management heard about the game and the manager came over to my hammock to tell me that we could not do that.  The fact of the matter was that the grass area was owned by the President of French Polynesia and that it would be trespassing.  I was not to be swayed.  I jumped back on the bike and knocked on the front door of this palatial estate.  No one answered.  I went around back and there were some workers there and I explained that we were planning a volleyball game in the front yard the following day.  They said that was fine and I went back and told the manager that we had received permission.  The next day we put up the net.  The manger showed up with a referee chair from the tennis courts and a bunch of beer.  Awesome, game on.  About 2:30, the local villagers showed up with their families.  Little did we know that volleyball is the national sport of Tahiti.  These guys were spiking from the back line!  Even the small kids were amazing.  Needless to say, we had a great day and a wonderful vacation.  That was in 1992!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Witness One of the Fastest Tri's on the Planet

The wind is at 12 kts and the boat speed is 30+ kts. Can you believe it?

Had a nice Saturday sail out towards Alcatraz on a foggy day that turned quickly into a spectacular afternoon.  Arndog, Becca, Val, Tex and Kona joined the crew.  We had a beautiful spin run home at well over 7 knots.  Off to DE this week to help out my Mom and Dad.  Have a great week.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Ripping in the Med

Cloudy cool week here on the bay.  Memorial Day weekend is upon us.  If you are heading to the water, keep a good lookout as there will be some yahoos out there not paying attention on this busy holiday weekend.  One thing I do when sailing.  I may be on a starboard tack and have the right of way, but if someone is challenging me on say a port tack, I always give them the right of way and assume they do not know the rules of the road.  The number one rule is avoid collisions at all costs...even if you have the rights! 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Letters From the Sea

I just received a note from a friend who sailed from SF to French Polynesia and back to SF.  Here is the note:

Aloha Capt. Craig,
Yep made the circle from Mex to Tahiti to Hawaii and back again. I learned a lot - about sailing, about people, about myself. No regrets. It was a great adventure, though I could have picked a better captain. Highlight was definitely diving in the Tumamotus. Fakarava is amazing. When you go plan to spend as much time there as possible, and stock up on fruit and veggies while you're in the Marquesas. One of the best shark dives in the world. And gorgeous fish. Make sure you're at the south pass the first full moon after the summer solstice for the massive grouper spawning. They're so tired you can pet them, and the sharks have a feast. Marquesas are fantastic too, but the water is murky. A few times I saw hammerheads hunting around the boat while sipping my morning coffee. Pretty incredible. Tahiti and the Societies are a little bit of a let down after the Marquesas and the Tumamotus, but I hear it gets better as you keep going West from there. Pay attention to the weather. And take lots of different kinds of glue. Help everyone you can. Got caught in a nasty storm headed back from Tahiti to the Marquesas. A 4 day crossing turned into 9 days beating into 50 knots (at least it was 50 before we lost the wind vane). I had busted my eardrum and was pretty much useless. But it was totally unnecessary misery. Lesson not to push a schedule. But that crossing from Mexico was a piece of cake. Downhill all the way. Going up to Hawaii was a fast broad reach all the way, but we were about 1 day away from a hurricane as we neared the Big Island. Crossing from Hawaii was pretty much misery. We left with a 1 foot tear in the main, without an extra sail, and it was soon shredded. Hit a big high and had no wind for days and days. Lost the transmission. Captain's borderline tendencies in full swing as we tried to sew the sail. I kept a blog for a while but the captain was very concerned about maintaining control of his spin on his decisions, so dropped it.

The electric motor sounds very cool! Don't know much about them. I like the reliability and distance we got out of the diesel. We used it often to charge the batteries in the Marquesas. It rained so much the solar panels were pretty useless.

Good luck on the prep for 2018! Make decisions with your head and not your ego. ;-)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Introducing Lilly - The Camera that Follows You

I just signed up to be a Lily beta tester when they come out in Feb!

Had a nice 26 hour overnighter with Dan, Kona and Tex.  We took off on Saturday morning around 11am for Angel Island.  The wind was from the south and about 12 when we headed out the channel.  This wind direction allows us to head towards the Gate and not have to tack all the way there.  We got out towards Alcatraz and the wind begins to build and shift to a more westerly direction.  We head towards Sam's around 2:30 but there are no parking spots available so we head back towards the city for a fine run.  Then to Angel for the night.  We snag the moorings at Ayala Cove and settle in for dinner.  The BBQ comes out as does the Coleman for a fine meal for Thai chicken and some brussel sprouts.  Kona needs a run on the beach so we get him over as I paddle and he swims.  We have a nice night and some good times.  Morning comes early and Kona is ready for the beach again.  After breakfast we head to the picnic grounds for a couple games of Bocbee.  We play a round of bocce and Frisbee golf.  Couple of great shots and fun games.  We head back to the boat and for the run home.  Winds are light so we rig the spinnaker.  She goes up easy and soon we are flying towards Emeryville.  As we come out of the lee of Angel the wind starts to build and we are over powered.  I send Tex up to douse the spinnaker.  A few feet down she jams badly.  We are headed into a race and the sock we are using to douse the kite is jammed.  We release the halyard and bring her down.  We throw up the jib again and we are cooking towards the channel.  At the dock it takes an hour to fix our jammed pulley and get the deck cleared.  We clean up and head home after a great night on our favorite Angel Island.  And I am exhausted!

Friday, May 15, 2015

32 Knots on a MOD 70

Did not know CNN has a feature called Mainsail and they have a gal that travels the world reporting on sailing.  This segment covers the amazing MOD 70 trimaran.  There are alot of other cool vids here and each is about 7 mins long.  If you have some time, watch them all.  Check it here.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Set Sail For Summer!

There is something about these videos that captures the essence of sailing and the exuberance of youth.  It takes me back to my house boating days on Shasta and Oroville in the 80's and 90's.  I wish I could have done something like this but alas the lakes were the closest we came.  But we had a blast and even had folks from across the country join us!  Enjoy the vid and maybe relive a bit of your youth!

The Human - Dolphin Connection

I have always felt a direct connection with dolphins and less so with apes (my apologies to Mr. Darwin).  Once I saw a skeleton of a dolphin.  The "hands" of a dolphin were strikingly similar to our hands as well as the feet.   When thinking about dolphins, they are very social creatures with large brains.  They can communicate and they love to fool around and play jokes on each other.  Like humans, they have sex for fun, apes don't. When humans and dolphins have sex, they are face to face, but not apes. Homosexuality is common in dolphins and humans, but not in apes.   In the hair department, we are much closer to dolphins than apes (except for my friend Andy). 

Dolphin brains are very close in size to human brains, however they say that dolphin brains are superior with echolocation and the fact that they sleep by turning off one hemisphere of their brain while the other stays awake as they continue to swim 24/7.

Humans and dolphins have a love of water and apes are scared of water.  Biochemicicaly, dolphins are land mammals living in a marine environment. 

Here is a link to an interesting site that expands on some of the above observations.  Click here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

We Were Promised Jet Packs

Heading out for an overnight on Saturday to one of the nicest spots on the bay: Angel Island.  They have mooring balls in Ayala Cove that we will tie up to for the night.  They say sleeping on a boat is like returning to the womb.  The gentle rocking brings you right back to the start.  But this is a womb with a view!

In August of 1775, Lt. Juan Manuel de Ayala, a Spanish Naval officer, sailed the ship the San Carlos into San Francisco Bay and anchored into what is now know as Ayala Cove. The first Europeans to sail into the San Francisco Bay, Ayala and his crew spent forty days making a chart of the area. Following a practice then common among Catholic explorers naming sites for the religious feast days nearest to the time of discovery, Father Vicente, the chaplain of the San Carlos, christened the little island Isla de Los Angeles.
The next recorded European visitors to the cove were in 1814 when a British 26-gun sloop-of-war, HMS Racoon, anchored in the cove to make repairs. HMS Racoon gave her name to Raccoon Strait (the reason Raccoon Strait was originally spelled with only one “c”) and the cove, then known as “Racoon Cove”.  The ships officers explored the island and named the major points after their sur names.  Hence, Blunt Point was named after one of these officers.  Now you know!  And spread the word!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Sailing to the Giants Game

On Friday, my best bud Tex and sailed over to our first Giants game of the season.  After departure in the late afternoon, we headed north on a long tack away from the stadium.  After a few more tacks we are set up for a straight shot to the park.  We head past the city with only the jib up and she's blowing a good 25.  We arrive with plenty of time and quickly meet up with some friends for some tailgating on the boat.  The great thing about having a slip is that it costs less to park my boat than my car on game day.  We head to the game and grab a beer.  Bases loaded and we witness a grand slam by our 3rd baseman (who is having a terrible start of the year).  We win it 5-0 and head for a nice slumber on the boat.  No traffic, nice and serene on the boat.  What a way to go.

In the morning, we are motoring out at 0700.  We hit the light wind line as the coffee is poured and we set the sails.  We greet the day with some blueberry pancakes and all is right with the world.  After a 3 hour cruise, we head to the slip and then home.  What a great way to start the weekend!

McCovey Cove on a big weekend series.  Looking for that splash hit home run!

Saturday, May 09, 2015

A Floating Paradise

Cloud 9 is a floating paradise located close to the main island of Fiji, Viti Levu. Situated in the turquoise waters of Vanua Malolo on Ro Ro Reef, Cloud 9 is a 40-45min boat ride from Port Denarau, and a 10 minute speed boat ride from Musket Cove Resort, Lomani Resort and Plantation Resort.
The open concept, two-level, floating lounge bar and restaurant features an Italian wood fire pizzeria, day beds, hanging chairs and 360-degree view of the ocean. The floating bar can accommodate up to 100 people and activities include swimming, parasailing and jet ski rental.
For more information check out the official website at

Friday, May 08, 2015

Wimbledon of Sailing Comming to SF

A former America’s Cup executive is launching an international regatta, the Golden Gate Yacht Racing Challenge, which will be sailed annually on San Francisco Bay beginning in July 2017 in an version of the 12-meter class.

Tom Ehman, who most recently had been with the America’s Cup Event Authority and remains vice commodore of the Golden Gate Yacht Club, said he wants to restore stability and style to yacht racing. The regatta will offer yacht racing’s largest purse, $500,000; have a strict nationality rule; and be contested in the strong, steady breeze that blows through the Golden Gate.

Ehman said he envisions the Golden Gate Challenge as the Wimbledon of yacht racing in that it will be held every year at the same venue. Unlike the America’s Cup, all teams will be challengers, meaning they’ll start on equal footing each year.

“This is an opportunity to do something for the sport and the former Cup community,” Ehman said.

The Golden Gate Yacht Racing Challenge is being planned at a time when the America’s Cup has lost some of its luster and is being criticized by many for abandoning its traditions.

Oracle Team USA, then based in San Francisco, successfully defended the America’s Cup in 2013 in one of the greatest comebacks in sports, in 72-foot catamarans. When San Francisco officials didn’t offer the same terms for the next regatta, Cup officials picked Bermuda. Teams and the event itself are struggling to secure sponsorships.

The star of the regatta could be the 12-meters. They were used in what many consider the golden era of the America’s Cup, from 1958 through ’87, when personalities such as Dennis Conner and Ted Turner dominated.


Thursday, May 07, 2015

Au Naturel

You are out there in the middle of no where and nobody is around.  The boat is sailing by herself and the sun is warm on your skin.  Now is the perfect time to shed your garments and sail naked!  Even though it's not exactly tropical here in San Francisco, there are many days when the wind is lighter and the conditions are perfect for au naturel sailing.  If you have never tried, please be my guest.  One time I headed out for a sunset sail and the weather was nice.  Just out of the channel and off they come.  I see a wind line up ahead and raise the sails.  Getting back to the cockpit its a breeze of about 15 knots.  All the sudden, it shoots up to 30 and I am in trouble.  I can't let go of the wheel, I am stark naked and boats are heading my way.  Usually I just sit down as they pass.  No chance here.  The boat is bucking, water is coming over the bow and I am holding on for dear life as both boats pass.  They must think I am nuts to be out there in those conditions with no clothes on.  OK, I am.  I sail like my life depends on it to the lee of Treasure and get the boat under control and my clothes back on.  Whew. 

Good news, I applied for my Naked Sailing License with the State of California and it has arrived.  See below.  I purchased the Topless and Bottomless rating.

So get out there and be discreet and have some good clean fun!

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Saturday, May 02, 2015

XXL Best Waves of the Year

We have had somewhat of a warm week in Norcal.  However, yesterday the fog came roaring in and our natural air condition and wind generator is back.  Heading up for a sail today with some friends that should be outta sight.

Friday, May 01, 2015

Major Air

Getting ready to take some kite boarding lessons.  My plan is to include a kiteboard on the boat for our trans Pacific sail.  After wind surfing for 15 years, I hope to pick this up quickly.  Imagine that, we are in Tahiti with lagoons that stretch for miles with good winds and flat water.  We pull out the board and start flying!  Cowabunga.