Saturday, July 29, 2017

Friday, July 28, 2017

Two Girls on a Boat

The last time I featured these lovely young lasses, they were sailing the great loop from Lake Michigan.  The loop takes them out of the Great Lakes, down the East Coast, around Florida and then up the Mississippi back to the lakes.  On their adventure, they did a side trip to the Bahamas.

Jess meets a guy from the UK upon returning home.  They decide to sail to his home...across the Atlantic and dodging icebergs.  By now, she is becoming a prolific writer.  Book worthy.  Here is an example from the first day of their crossing.

I can’t add up the glories of one single day one. It doesn't feel right to be gifted so many things in less than 24 hours. I feel a very subtle shift in my gut. I know how these things tend to balance out. As my first grave yard shift begins the subtle shift takes a sharp turn. Upwards. Outwards. Stuck in between the back of my throat, threatening to come out of my nostrils. I am sick. Again. Again. And again. I put water in. It comes back up. I put a cracker in. It comes back up. Ginger ale. Comes back up. What does it want, quarters? I prevent myself from trying this. Someone has hooked up a macerator pump to my mouth and is pressing the button. Over 4 hours I drain my body of everything that is not securely attached to the walls of my stomach. I move onto dry heaving and count down the minutes till I can wake Luke up.

Read more here.

Which one do you like better?

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Have you ever sailed at night?

You should try it sometime! When sailing more that 80–90 miles, you will be sailing at night. A 35 foot sailboat can cover about 125 miles in a 24 hour period if there is wind for the entire time (or you motor to keep the the boat at an average of 5 knots).

I have done many passages at night in Mexico on the 750 mile trip between San Diego and Cabo. We are about 40 miles off shore and it can be pitch black out there. The auto pilot is on and you are watching out for other boats and making sure the boat stays on course. If there is something in the water ahead of you, you will not be able to see it and if it is say a stray container from a ship, it could sink your boat. You try not to think about that. You gaze up at the heavens and the stars and planets are glowing brighter than you could ever imagine. Then a shooting star arcs across the sky. Wow! To the east, a full moon rises over the Mexican/Baja desert. Everyone else is asleep on the boat and you have your thoughts to yourself. I carefully head to the bow and feel the boat surging thru the waves as we move south silently thru the night. Out of the corner of my eye, bright lights are streaming towards the bow underwater and moving fast. Oh my, it’s a small school of dolphins lit up with blue green bioluminescence. Double wow! I can hear their squeaks as they use the energy of the boat pushing the water to save their energy. My watch lasts to the sunrise. I head to the bow once more and dream of landfall in Cabo and all the fun we are about to have. I see some flying fish near the boat. Suddenly, one flies right into my crotch! Ouch! He is flopping on deck and I quickly push him back into the water. My watch ends and I head to my bunk. I dream very vividly due to the rocking action of the boat. They say sleeping on a boat is like returning to the womb. However, this is a womb with a view!

I really love sailing at night on the SF Bay as well. We take off at sunset and the bay is quiet. The wind is blowing 20–25 and we raise the sails. With the moon light reflecting off the water and your friends smiling faces in the cockpit, life is good. We are moving quickly and the boat is heeling to port. We can see Angel Island in the distance as well as the SF skyline and the wind continues to build. At night, all your senses come alive. I go below and hit the head. As I am pumping the head to flush it, raw water from the bay is pumped thru. As I look in the bowl, what do I see? Bioluminescence inside the bowl! These are microorganisms (a certain type of plankton) that when they are agitated, they glow in beautiful colors. I head back on deck as we sail into the night.

Sailing at night is one of my passions and I will be doing a ton more of it. We depart in 12 months for a 7000-mile adventure to Australia. We are taking our time and it will be a 12-month journey. Bon Voyage to me!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

It Just Keeps Getting Better!

After working all weekend, it was time to head out for a sail to recharge.  Kona and I took off about 9am.  Winds were up and down to start the day.  We had a fine sail once they kicked in about 10am.  I had been wanting to sail Raccoon Straits for a while and the winds cooperated.  We made it to Sam's in Tiburon and prepared to dock.  I secured the bow line and since it was calm, I decided to grab the fender off the dodger.  It got tangled in another line and did not come off easily.  At that moment, the boat starts drifting and I am about to go in the drink.  I jumped and my knee landed on the deck while I grabbed a stantion.  I was able to get onboard as two helpful busboys from the restaurant ran down to catch the lines.  As I was jumping on to the boat, my first thought was, is my phone in my pocket?  It was, but it did not get wet.  Got lucky.  Went down below to reflect on my entrance and recover from my bonehead move.

As I was relaxing, another boat came in and tied up.  It looked similar to a Jeanneau I had been looking at online.  I called over to the skipper and he said it was the boat, would I like to take a look?  Kona and I headed over.  She is a 2003, 43', with 3 cabins.  They are asking $120k.  She was looking good.  This is one of the few 3 cabin boats on the bay and one that I would consider.

Then Kona and I headed to our favorite cove on Angel Island.  On the way over under jib, somehow the shackle on the main halyard disconnected and was flying in the 20-knot winds.  Once anchored, I was able to bring her in.  We had a nice time swaying in the breeze.  Soon it was time to head to the barn and call it a day.

Jeanneau 43

Friday, July 21, 2017

Foils Are Everywhere

Foils are changing our sport, I think for the better.

Pics of the Week

 I am at the dentist and the drugs are kicking in when I spy my spirit animal!

That's me with a green flash and the Golden Gate Bridge!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Making Your Dreams Come True!

I have had several dreams/goals in my life that I have accomplished and the biggest one is about to happen!

Here are some of the big ones that I have pursued and accomplished.
  1. Get a swimming scholarship and graduate from college. In 1976, my best friend and I received scholarships to UNLV. I had an amazing 4 years there. My swimming/water polo experience was the best. We traveled all over the west coast to meets. We also spent a week in Hawaii. I graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management.
  2. Move to California! I grew up in Delaware and I was an east coaster trapped in a west coast body. I surfed, skateboarded, swam and loved the water. I wanted to live on the west coast. In 1980, I got my chance. I interviewed with Hyatt Hotels and they offered me a job after college. Where would you like to work? Cali! I was offered a position in Monterey, CA. I moved into a bungalow 1 block from the beach in Carmel. I could not believe my luck. I surfed everyday, worked hard, and rode my bike up and down that beautiful peninsula. I eventually moved to the Bay Area where I have made my home for 36 years.
  3. Start my own business. I had worked for Hyatt and Marriott for many years and I was going nowhere financially. I met some folks in the event planning business and loved what they did. I joined them for a couple years and then started my own company called: Too Much Fun Club. We work with large companies in the Silicon Valley and plan their celebrations. We are in our 25th year! My wife and I run the biz out of our home. It has been an amazing ride!
  4. Get married, have a kid, buy a home. I met Bridget through some friends. We have had an great life together and she has been awesome. And a great biz partner as well. Our son Connor was a blessing. He is going to be a senior at San Diego St. This fall he will travel to Ireland for a semester abroad. In 1997, we purchased a beautiful, brand new home in the east bay. The street is very quiet as are our neighbors.
  5. Sail across the Pacific! I have been sailing the very windy SF bay for the last 33 years. I have also sailed the coast of Mexico many times. Chartered boats all over the Caribbean as well. In one year, 2 friends and I will depart for a sail to Australia. It will take 12 months to get there! We will sail the west coast of Mexico, Central America and then across the Pacific. Bridget will join us at some of the islands along the way. Bon voyage indeed.
  6. To sum things up: I have been blessed in my life in so many ways. My family growing up was very wonderful and I had a great childhood. I have worked hard all my life to make these dreams happen. I have stumbled several times and doors closed. However, through a positive attitude and being the optimistic person that I am, I have been able to shake it off and make my life better. I have been able to travel the world and enjoy the fruits of my labor. So start your own dreams! If I can do it, anybody can!!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

How to Buy a Boat

Found this on the web...

Most boats can be bought for 1/3 less than their asking price, at the end of negotiations.
Step 1. Every boat on the Market is not worth the asking price. Typically when making an offer bid 1/3 less, that’s right 33% less then the asking price.
Example: if a boat asking price is $100,000. I recommend writing your offer bid price for $67,000.
You may or may not insult the owner, but no worries, its business. I recommend to use a yacht broker, if you are emotionally involved person.
Step 2. THE COUNTER OFFER. The owner will counter offer with a higher price and go from there.
Example: Say they owner counter offers $85,000 on the $100,000 asking price. At least you know where here stands.
Come up half and meet the owner in the middle.
Example: Owner counter offered at $85,000, your offer was $67,000. So raise your offer back to $76,000. He make come back at $80,000, then accept.
Step 4. THE SURVEY (inspection) and SEA TRIAL
All vessel purchases are allowed a Survey and Sea Trial. This is the beauty of buying a boat and the advantage falls in favor of the buyer, not the seller.
I have never seen a boat that is perfect, they always have some issues.
Keep in mind, anything on a boat can be repaired. Just what is the cost? And that is precisely the point in this Art of Boat negotiations.
A. Sea Trial - Make sure you note the amount of fuel. Make sure both tanks are the same level. Many times the boat may list to starboard or Port because the owner added something and the boat is not level.
Take the ride. Notice the speed. You can always say the boat does not go fast enough for your desires. On your Notes knock off $5k. If the boat lists to one side, knock off another $3k.
B. Survey- The boat will be hauled out at the expense of the owner. His cost for this is $2k to $5k. Your cost will be getting the person to survey your boat. A list can be found online. It will cost you $500 to $1,500. Money well spent.
On the Survey Report you will get a list of about 50 items for repairs. They will be prioritized. (1) Sea Worthy required, Bildge alarms/pumps, (2) definitely needing repair, engine-generator etc. (3) recommended repaired, Risers, Impellers and Air conditions and (4) maintenance repairs -oil change and light bulbs and (5)cosmetic repairs cushions upholstery.
This is the big negotiable part and is your advantage in price. This can be anywhere from $10k to $30k survey + $5k Sea Trial (slow engines and uneven list)= $15k to $35k reduction in price more.
Step 5. Final negotiations will give you an advantage of knocking off another $15k to $35k.
You see, once the owner has spent this money on the haul out, by then he is emotionally committed in selling the boat. You might say he has already divorced himself from it.
Example: Counter Offer again based on the Survey and Sea Trial another $15k if you are nice and $20k if you drive a hard bargain.
Final Sales price: $65k. Like I said, most boats can be bought for 1/3 less of the asking price.
When is a boat owner the happiest? The day he buys his boat and the day he sells his boat. Ha!

Titanic - The Ship that Never Sank

It amazing to me how many times conspiracy theories pop up in big stories.  The sinking of the Titanic is no different.  Three ships were built for White Star: Olympic, Titanic and Gigantic.  The Olympic had a unfortunate run and hit several boats over the years.  The last accident was so bad that they would need to scrap the boat and take a huge loss that would put them out of biz.  Instead, the boss, J. P. Morgan, decides to make some minor repairs and switch nameplates with the Titanic and such and send the Olympic to a watery grave 2.5 miles below the ocean surface.  Instead of losing the investment, they receive the insurance money and all is well... for them.  Their plan was to have another boat in the vicinity to pick up the the crew and passengers once the ship started sinking.  Due to a bonehead move, the skipper of the rescue boat got the coordinates wrong and was too far away to make the rescue.  I am not making this up folks!  This is a fascinating story and if you would like more detail, click here. 

When the Titanic was built, she had 14 portholes.  On the day she set sail, she had 16, same as the Olympic.

The Perfect Wave

My perfect wave happened at Zuma Beach in Malibu.  I had been surfing for about 14 years and never been tubed.  I dropped in on a nice right and made a clean bottom turn.  Next thing I know, the wave is tubing and I am in a perfect position inside the green room.  What an awesome feeling!  They say it's like returning to the womb...but this is a womb with a view!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

One of My Favorite Vids

If you have ever wondered how a sail boat uses the wind to move forward, this vid is for you.  Check it out! 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Pics of the Week

Couple of great sails coming up on the SF Bay!

Comanche - A Closer Look

The fastest 100 footer on the planet just smashed the Transpac mono hull record.  Here is a look at their campaign to break the prestigious trans Atlantic record.  Jim Clark is the money man and has assembled a team of sailing rock stars to break records.  This boat is capable of speeds over 40 knots.  Take a look at the vid and hold on to your hats!

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Unforgiving Ocean

The Volvo Ocean Race will test even the strongest of sailors.  Eight months of grueling ocean miles in the toughest oceans in the world.  This vid shows some of the extremes these sailors face.  Go full screen on this one.  Enjoy!

Friday, July 07, 2017

Pics of the Week

Just getting back from a cruise in Alaska!  Wow!

America's Cup for Dirtbags!

750 miles of the worst conditions possible with 40 knot to 0 knot winds, 15 knot currents, no motors, and no support.  A race from Victoria, BC to Ketchikan, AK and 710 miles of the most complex waters anywhere and mostly upwind.  First place is $10k, second place: steak knives. One crazy race for similar types of racers.