Thursday, January 26, 2017


LairdTowFoil2017 from Joel Guy on Vimeo.

Had an amazing and difficult sail today.  No wind upon exiting the channel.  Turned off the motor and had lunch under a bright, sunny day in the high 50's.  After about 45 minutes, I see wind ahead.  I am sure you have noticed those darker patches of water when the wind is coming.  Why are they darker you ask?  As wind blows across the surface of the water, it creates waves.  These waves reflect less light than the flat water.  Faster winds mean steeper waves and darker water.  Back to the bay, the wind was so nice and steady at about 14, that I decided to take one more tack towards Sausalito.  I went too far and the strong ebb started to pull my boat towards the GG Bridge and out to the Pacific.  The ebb was 3.5 knots and pulling hard.  With the wind a bit lighter, I would need to get some additional horse power from the spinnaker to get out of the situation.  I hoisted the kite and I slowly started making my way past Alcatraz.  I was heading away from home on this tack, but I was also getting away from the intense tide.  It's a bit tricky, because we have an electric engine, we have to be careful not to use up all the juice and get stranded.  We have a range of about 12-14 miles so you have to be prudent with motor use.  I got to the east edge of Treasure and motor sailed at about 4 knots and was able to make it home.  Big sigh of relief.  I need to be more careful with the tides and not get sucked into "one more tack" when I am near the bridge on an ebb.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Pics of the Week

Out for the next week as I explore the deeps in Belize and Cozumel!  Bon Voyage to me.

Where did the name Bluetooth come from?

Now you know!  It's so cool that his initials are the symbol that represents the technology. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

How Did Team USA Comeback From 8-1 in the AC?

I recently read a book called "The Comeback" (Amazon).  The writer had unprecedented access to the sailors and team during and after the Cup in SF.  The change that killed the Kiwi's was in the amazing wings they used during these races.  Unbeknownst to the officials, the USA started pumping their wing slightly all through the last 7 races.  It was ever so slightly, but this increased the horse power of the boat and allowed them to comeback from an almost insurmountable lead.  For me, seeing these boats racing in the bay at 36-38 knots (40+ mph) was a magical experience.  Watching Team Oracle comeback from 8-1 was unbelievable.

The next Cup begins May 26 in Bermuda.  The 35th edition will not have the winds we had in SF.  The boats are smaller (62' not the monster 72' we had in SF).  The cost of a 72' campaign was over $100m.  By shortening the boats, they have decreased the cost.  With the 62', we will see 6 teams competing.  I hope that it will be a great Cup.  TV coverage should be amazing.  Get ready!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Remember this one?

Cool song that no one plays anymore.  Robert Plant is one in a million as far as vocalists go.  All those amazing Zeppelin tunes.  He recently married another singer/song writer, Patti Griffin.

I really like her too.  Enjoy.

Had a great weekend!  Head up to SF for the Lucina Williams concert with a group of friends.  Solo sail with a fine rainbow over the bay on Saturday.  Nap.  Then off to the Sharks game in SJ.  Frank has second row seats and we got a victory.  Sunday was about resting and relaxing.  But first I took off for a bike ride.  About 2 miles from home it starts raining hard.  Oh well, might as well enjoy it.  Then much needed sleep.  Good times, indeed.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Disaster Strikes...Almost

We were out on a fine February day a few years back.  My friend Hillary had brought his two teenage sons.  John and Kona filled out the cockpit.  We were on a port tack off of Angel with our 130% genoa flying.  Moving along at about 6 knots, Hillary's son mentions that there is a boat heading our way on a starboard tack.  I hear a faint cry, "starboard".  I immediately tell John to fall off.  He falls off hard and an older gal flys by in a Santana 22 on our starboard side...and very close.  I was stunned.  Usually, I can come up with something smart to say, but in this case, I was speechless.  I could not believe that this lady was going to hit us because she had the right of way!  The first rule of sailing is never hit another boat.  You donot want people in the frigid bay where hypothermia can set in in less than 10 minutes.  Our problem was that our genoa is huge and it blocks the view off starboard.  Because we have lots of boat traffic on the bay, especially on the nice weekend days, I have come up with a way to prevent this situation.  It's called "wag the dog".  Heading upwind or downwind a few degrees to get a view from that side will give you a much better idea of what is approaching.  When we see another vessel, we check to see if the land behind it is moving.  If it is, we are not on a collision course.  If the land is not moving, we are on a collision course and evasive maneuvers may be needed.  There are no required courses to take to drive a boat on the bay.  And for that reason, I always assume the other boat does not know the rules and if it looks questionable, even if I am on the starboard tack, I give the other boat the right of way.  It's not worth it.

We are so thankful that we did not have a collision.  We headed out the Gate that day and had one of the most glorious sails ever out to the Pacific.  There are good days and great days on our lovely bay.  This turned out to be one of the best!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Holiday Pics

Had a great sail aboard Addiction yesterday.  Travis from the Haha and his friend Peter joined.  Along with Kona, we headed out not thinking there would be much wind.  Forecast was for 5 knots of wind.  There was some lingering fog as we headed out.  After motoring about 10 minutes, we found the wind.  It started light but soon we were in 12-15 for most of the afternoon.  Had a great run to Angel and then set the kite.  We could not get to the spot we wanted and gybing the kite would have been difficult so we dropped it and were able to sail the rest of the way home.  A great day on the water indeed.  I think the area fog had a lot to do with the forecast being very wrong.  Just goes to show you that, at least in the Bay Area, despite a low wind forecast, we had terrific wind and a warm, sunny day!

 Here is a great song written by Vangelis, performed by Chrissie Hynde and featuring MLK!  The MLK part starts at the 11:30 mark.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Trip Outline - Our 7000 Mile Adventure to Australia

Noting is carved in stone at the moment.  This is a very general idea of some of the landfalls we will make in 2018/19.  Next step is to purchase the boat this fall.  Then things will start to fall into place. Departure is in 20 months! 

You can view the full version by clicking at the bottom right of the table.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Great Story

A man from Washington quits his job, sold everything, bought a humble sailboat and sailed to Chile to ski the glaciers.  Read his story here.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Weekend Pics from the Archives

That's my Kona on the dodger.  He is too big for that now.

Bonehead Moves x 2!

It's going to be a wet and wild ride with lots of rain and wind this weekend.  They are claiming up to 10 inches of rain in the mountains.  Could this be the end of the drought?  So far, this is one of the wettest winters in 35 years!  Bring it!

Jeff Gordon Prank x 2

A while back I shared this great vid of Jeff pranking a salesman with hilarious results.

One of his fans thought it was set up and did not believe the prank was real.  See the vid below to see how Jeff responds.  Even better!

Friday, January 06, 2017

Solo Spinnaker

Got out mid day for some 8-10 knot winds.  Out near Angel, I decide to put the kite up for a run to the barn.  As soon as she is ready...the wind dies.  Slowly making my way back with a little motor and sail.  As I get closer, the wind picks up again and I raise her once more.  Very close to home and a nice run.  I have not put her up solo in a couple years but today was a great day to do it as the winds were kind to me.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Picture Awards from the Smithsonian

This is a gorgeous film with pics and vids from the world around us.  Enjoy.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

New Year Vid Dump

Here's to a great 2017!

Race starts at about the 13 min. mark.

Vids begin at the 2 min. mark.

Lots to look forward to this year.  After 17 years of partnering on our Newport 30, I am planning to purchase the boat that will take us to Australia.  I plan to start looking in the fall of this year and purchase before the start of 2018.

Here are some of my criteria:
40-44 feet
3 cabin layout
$100k budget
Bimini and dodger
Prefer roller furling head sail but not on main sail
Downwind sails, spinnaker etc.
Looking for a boat that is somewhat turn key
Strong auto pilot
Electronics installed
Engine with low hours

In other words, I want it all!!