Sunday, October 30, 2016

Haha Depature!

My friend Chris were not feeling good about our chances of getting on a boat this year.  Then I got a phone call and met up with a couple who have a very nice 40' trimaran.  I speak to them for about 30 mins and I am in!  Chris is on another boat and now he has a boat.  We are going to Cabo.  We depart Monday and arrive in Cabo on the 10th.  Can't wait to get on the Pacific.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

40 Years of the Volvo! A Look Back

Go full screen.

Bad News/Good News

I received an email from my Haha skipper that said he has not received the documentation he needs from the Coast Guard to leave the country and he will not be going on the Haha,  Bummer!  I had turned down 2 other boats due to my commitment with him.  Now I have no boat for the trip.  This is the 3rd time in as many years that the boat I signed up with has not made the starting line.  Once again, I will go to San Diego boatless.  I guess it proves the point that getting ready to depart on a specific date is difficult.

The good news is, since he can't do the Haha, but has the time off, he will head to the Channel Isalnds for a couple weeks and  explore these amazing islands off the coast of Socal.  He has offered me a berth if I donot find a boat for the Haha.  I have always wanted to cruise these islands.

So my new plan is to head to SD on Friday and try to find a boat over the weekend. If I donot find one, I will join his boat in Marina Del Ray and sail the islands.  So it will all work out no matter what. I will update the blog before depature.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Top Sailor Lost at Sea

A top Chinese sailor, who departed San Francisco last week and is attempting to break the world record for a solo voyage across the Pacific Ocean, has lost radio contact with officials monitoring his progress in China, the U.S. Coast Guard said Wednesday.
Guo Chuan, 50, was aiming to arrive in Shanghai in 18 days — which would shatter the current world record of 21 days. He left San Francisco on Oct. 18 and had been in regular contact with his family and the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center in China, but no one has heard from him since late Monday, officials said.
A Coast Guard search plane, launched Tuesday from the Barbers Point military base in Hawaii, found Guo’s boat but did not see any sign of the sailor on deck, said Petty Officer Melissa McKenzie, a Coast Guard spokeswoman.  The boat was moving under main only with the jib dragging in the water.  He may have fallen overboard during a head sail change and is now lost at sea.
His 97-foot trimaran vessel, the Qingdao China, named after his hometown, is positioned roughly 620 miles northwest of Oahu, McKenzie said. The Coast Guard is determining which boat in the area — naval, cargo or civilian — would be best to meet the Qingdao China.
“We’re trying to coordinate the nearest, most capable asset able to rendezvous with the vessel,” she said Wednesday afternoon. “Putting boots on the deck would be ideal.”
Guo holds a world record for solo nonstop sailing around the world in a 40-foot yacht, which he set in 2013 after a 138-day trip, becoming the first person from China to sail around the world by himself. Two years later, he broke another record when he sailed nonstop across the Arctic Ocean’s northeast passage with crew members from France, Germany and Russia.
In an August interview with the No Frills Sailing blog, Guo said he only sleeps in short intervals during his perilous solo voyages.
“You have to be extremely vigilant throughout the journey as you are the only one on the boat. That means even if weather conditions are fairly stable you can only sleep for 20 minutes at most. If conditions worsen, you have to stay awake, however long it may take,” he said in the interview.
And though he admitted that loneliness at sea is the toughest aspect of solo sailing, Guo said his biggest fear was falling into the water, according to Xinhua, China’s state-run news agency.
“I fear being separated from the ship when I am sailing solo,” he told the news agency.
A member of an organization that advocates peace through sports, Guo dedicated the trans-Pacific trip to promoting cultural exchange between the United States and China.
Peter Hogg, a Bay Area sailor who shattered records in 1992 when he sailed from San Francisco to Tokyo in 34 days, came to see Guo off in San Francisco and “wished him fair wind,” according to a statement from Guo’s team.
A short post Wednesday to Guo’s Facebook account from his support team read, “We feel devastated today but we hope he is still safe.”

Update: The Coast Guard has suspended the search for Guo.  Our condolences to his family and sailing team.

via AP

Vids from my inbox and more info on the Baja Haha

Packing it up and heading to San Diego for a sail down the coast of Baja California, Mexico.  The land of California existed as a myth among European explorers before it was discovered. The earliest known mention of the idea  of California was in the 1510 romance novel Las Sergas de Esplandián by Spanish author Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo. The book described the Island of California as being west of the Indies, "very close to the side of the Terrestrial Paradise; and it is peopled by black women, without any man among them, for they live in the manner of Amazons."

This will be my 6th trip down this amazing coast.  I have seen whales, thousands of dolphins, the green flash, met some very cool sailors and had a flying fish sail in to my crotch as I watched a sunrise north of Cabo.  I will be joining 600 other folks and up to 170 boats on the Baja Haha sailing rally.  This is the 23rd edition of the adventure.   The Grand Poobah, Richard, had been cruising down to Mexico a few times when he realized that when hurricane season ends on November 1, hundreds of boats were departing for the warmer climes of Mexico and beyond, why not get them all together in a group and have some good times along the way.  This is the largest sailing rally on the west coast.  It is run as a fun race with starting lines and finish lines.  You keep your own time and motoring is allowed if the wind is lite.  Prizes are awarded to the division winners but everyone is a winner here.  The rally begins on Monday, October 31 and ends on the 10th of November at the southern tip of Baja at Cabo San Lucas.  Some boats will bash back up to Cali after the race and many more with continue to the South Pacific, as well as the Panama Canal and the Caribbean. Others will complete a lap around the planet. The weather looks good (70's -80's), the last hurricane of the season is starting to dissipate, and the winds should be 12-18 knots most of the afternoons. I am really looking forward to joining my boat, a CT 38 and crew in SD.  See you there!

Some vids from my inbox:

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Vendee Begins on 11-6

The Vendée Globe is still the only non-stop solo round the world race without assistance. The event was created in the spirit of the Golden Globe, which was in 1968 the first non-stop solo round the world race via the three capes (Good Hope, Leeuwin and the Horn). Out of the nine pioneers, who set sail in 1968, only one made it back to Falmouth on 6th April 1969 after 313 days at sea, the British sailor, Robin Knox-Johnston. Sir Robin Knox-Johnston thus became the first sailor to sail alone around the world without stopping…

Twenty years later, the French sailor Philippe Jeantot, following on from his two wins in the BOC Challenge (the solo round the world race with stopovers), came up with the idea of a new solo round the world race, but this time a non-stop race. The Globe Challenge was born, and a few editions later this became the Vendée Globe. On 26th November 1989, thirteen sailors set off in this first edition, which would last more than three months. Only seven made it back to les Sables d’Olonne.
Since then, the first seven editions of what the public refers to as the Everest of the seas, have enabled 138 sailors to line up at the start of the Vendée Globe, while only 71 have managed to cross the finishing line. This figure alone expresses the huge difficulty of this global event, where sailors face icy cold conditions, mountainous waves and leaden skies in the Southern Ocean. The Vendée Globe is above all a voyage to the ends of the sea and deep down into the sailor’s soul. It has been won by some of the greatest names in sailing: Titouan Lamazou, Alain Gautier, Christophe Auguin, Vincent Riou and François Gabart. Only one sailor has won it twice: Michel Desjoyeaux, in 2001 and 2009. The race record is held by François Gabart with a time of 78 days.
The eighth Vendée Globe will set sail from les Sables d’Olonne on Sunday 6th November 2016.

Cool photo of the day!

 The J-Board is used to give the boat lift and faster speeds.  Is that a cool perch or what?? The leeward side is where the action is.  Windward = awesome spot to hang!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Great Vid - Why we sail

Getting ready to Haha!  The event is a 750 mile rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas.  We have two stop overs in small bays along the way with the highlight being the beach parties which are always epic.  More beach parties when we arrive in Cabo.  This year we have a big fleet with over 170 boats and 600 friendly folks.  It's going to be an awesome trip and I will be sharing my log on this blog once the Haha is completed.  Can't wait to get out on the Pacific once more! We depart in 10 days.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Best Wipeouts - Wedge

My buddy Chris will be joining me for the Haha this year.  Last year he could not find a boat.   I told him to head to the dock on the day of departure.  Sure enough, Heidi felt sorry for him and even though her small boat was full, she took him along.  He ended up having a blast!  Should be a great trip.  We depart on Halloween.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

The sea was angry that day, my friend...

Mike, Trevor and I set out in to the storm at 9am on Saturday.  The winds were from the south so as soon as we got out of the harbor, we set sail thru the marked channel.  Once clear of the markers, I headed below to make some pancakes for the crew.  Blackberry and banana.  We were on a course for the north tower of the Golden Gate.  As we rounded Angel, the wind direction changed to a NW wind.  Odd.  Might be the influence of the island?  Anywho, we followed it as we had some time and the winds were nice at about 12-14.  Soon we headed for Clipper Cove.  There was a music fest going on and we hoped to anchor nearby.  As soon as we started heading south, the wind direction went to south again and we were fighting a 20 knot breeze with gusts to 30 knots.  The boat was on her side several times.  I decided we could not make it so we steer away on a broad reach.  I decided to take down the main and try jib only.  We were making headway but noticed a rip in the jib.  We are in the process of replacing our 10 year old jib but it will not arrive for several weeks.  The winds continued to build and so with the rip, we headed back to the slip at about 1:30.  So glad we headed out early to catch some great sailing in the storm.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Great Prank!

I was looking in the archives of H2uh0 and found this gem.  Hope it made you laugh as folks were running away!

Vid Saturday

Trails End from Randy Halverson on Vimeo.

We have a very deep low approaching today that will bring rain and windy weather.  Rain this afternoon, when is the question.  We are heading out early to hopefully miss the wet stuff.  Here is the report from my weather/wind guru:
A powerful Pacific Low Pressure center tracks toward the Northern California border overnight then lifts northward. As it does it deepens and intensifies. The main energy of this storm heads quickly toward Washington State while the tail end works it way more slowly down the California coastline tomorrow. Another round of rainfall with areas of potentially heavy rain is brought in with the system. Morning winds will be light but will ramp up by midmorning for Bodega and by noon for the Central and East Bay. The jet stream winds will be over 100 knots by tomorrow afternoon and 80 knots at 18,000 feet, so there is lots of energy to work with. So though we won't see anywhere near the strength of what this storm will do for Washington there will be the potential for gusts into the 30s. So Craig, head out early to avoid the heavy winds and rain. Stay safe!

Central Bay: Crissy and TI rising to the low 20s by early afternoon with gusty mid 20s possible before sundown.

We are also hoping to stop by the Treasure Island Music Fest and anchor near the Bridge Stage and check out a band or two.  

Man Over Board - Practice your rescue!

This is from SAIL magazine:
There are several ways to get a person back on board. While they differ in their steps and approach, they all have a few things in common. The first thing that should happen is that the crew is made aware of the situation by someone hailing, "Man overboard." Immediately after that at least one person on the boat should take over as the spotter. This person does nothing else during the recovery other than point at the crewmember in the water. Other crewmembers on the boat should immediately throw any available flotation at the victim as well as activate a Man-Overboard Module, if the boat is equipped with one, and activate the crewmember overboard button on the GPS. A calm, level-headed approach to recovery is always better than something that resembles a fire drill, and the more you practice, the better you will get.

The figure eight method

1. Regardless of which point of sail you are on when a crewmember falls overboard, the figure eight method starts with yelling "Man overboard," throwing flotation devices and appointing a spotter.
2. The helmsman should immediately either head up or bear away (depending on which point of sail the boat is on) to a beam reach.
3. Sail six to eight boatlengths on a beam reach.
4. Tack and immediately bear away from the wind to a broad reach, but only briefly until you cross your wake.
5. Head up to a close reach, ease the sheets and pick the victim up on the leeward side with speed between 1 and 2 knots and sails luffing.
Pros: The figure eight method is a classic approach often taught to beginning sailors on smaller vessels. Since it does not require a jibe, this method eliminates the potential danger of an uncontrolled boom flying across the cockpit and banging somebody in the head or damaging the rigging.
Cons: The biggest concern is the requirement of heading six to eight boatlengths away from the victim before returning. Considering the only thing the spotter might see is the victim's head in the water, unless the victim is waving, it would be easy to lose sight of them at such distances, especially in rougher conditions or when sailing offshore.

There are other things that can go wrong with the execution of the figure eight method. Often the helmsperson will not immediately head up or bear away to a beam reach or won't remain on the beam reach long enough, either of which will throw the whole thing off. They might otherwise stay on a broad reach for too long, wind up too far downwind of the victim, and then have to tack once or more to get back. Even when accomplished flawlessly, retrieving the victim from the water at the prescribed speed of between one and two knots is a challenge. Practicing with a buoy is one thing; a real person is quite another. If the victim in the water is unconscious, this drawback alone could be fatal.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Pics You Like

First rains of the season heading our way from Alaska.  Couple inches in the mountains.  Less in the valley.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Baja Haha Here I Come!

On a lark, I emailed a few skippers that will be joining the Haha.  Jeff emailed me back and I will be joining his boat along with one or two others.  Great news.  My original plan was to head to San Diego and knock on hulls until I found a boat.  Have done that for the last 4 years and it always worked.  So happy not to have run around and do that again.  We depart for the 750 mile adventure on Halloween.  As per usual, I will be blogging down the coast and will upload the trip report when we land in Cabo, 10 days later.  Bon voyage to us!  This will be my 6th Haha!!  Almost 200 boats and 600 friendly folks.  This sailing rally is the largest on the west coast!

Monday, October 10, 2016

When you have a pan pan on your hands! VHF stuff

Ever wondered how to say the non emergency call, pan pan?  I did for a long time.  It is pronounced pahn pahn.  Here is a guide to all you need to know to operate your VHF.  A great refresher too.  Click here for the doc.

Not your average surf spot

Society Unseen from Rick Rifici on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Weekend Pics

In Cancun for a few days of relaxing, great food and some delicious Mexican wine.  They have come along way in the 20 years of wine making!

Monday, October 03, 2016

Indoor Skydive Championship

Living large in SF.  Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival on Friday with Boz Scaggs and Mavis Staples being the highlights.  Beach bash with some good friends on Saturday.  Finished it with a sunset sail with Tex on Sunday.  Not too shabby!  Hope you had too much fun as well!