Stray Cat

I’m feeling kind of nostalgic today. I’ve been reconfiguring my network file system storage and backup setup. Most of the files are pictures. I came across this one taken in 2001 on a Wednesday evening beer can race in Santa Cruz, California. I have a new boat now, smaller but the same designer George Olson. Stray Cat was an Olson30 Ultra Light Displacement Boat – very fast in her day. She still is I’m sure. I sold Stray Cat so I could focus on a new software company a year after this picture was taken. I will always look back on my years racing her with a smile. I wonder where she is now? -john

calico556

Stray Cat

Winter road ride

Tom calls suggesting a ‘road’ ride? I thought Tom was all mountain bike lately. So, road being my favorite, I’m all go. The weather is a perfect winter warm, no rain, mud, cold…..Nice dry, grippy pavement, warm sun and breeze. And it could rain tomorrow, so we gotta go for it.

I haven’t ridden in two weeks and my road bike felt light and fast compared to my dual-suspection (tank) mountain bike. But I knew, it was an illusion and I was going to pay at some point for this fast, hilly and long winter ride.

The ride itself was uphill to Summit Road then left on Zayante Road down to Mt-Hermon. The downhill along Zayante is long, windy and fast. Most of it is under a Redowood forest. In all it was about a 25mile ride with a 2,897ft accent to the summit, max speed 31mph – I know, lame – the ride is full of blind turns that limit your speed so as not to get hit by an oncoming car or truck….

You know it’s been a good ride when all you can think about is a hot shower and something to eat. -john

Winter road ride

Steamer lane

I took this photo while walking past Monterey bay harbor on New Years eve. – It’s new years, a new year to celebrate. So I was surprised to see Ruruk, the blue 1966, 24ft Columbia sailboat looking well and somewhat cared for, mored in the harbor.

In the late 90’s I sailed on Ruruk for several San Francisco and Berkley Circle races. It was my first racing experience from high school and my first time on the SFBay and coastal Pacific waters. Why I will always love Ruruk is for all the thousands of ocean racing miles I have sailed in years from that time. My two closest “near sinking” events happened on just a few races while crewing on this boat. One involved a puncture (Olson 30 nose) in the starboard bow the size of a 25inch TV set – 1 inch above water line..the other was the boat took on so much water over the decks that she almost sank in the middle of the channel…. So I have to smile when I see her still out there living on.

On Wednesday afternoon, I sailed Calico, my Olson 25 sailboat north around Lighthouse Point and Steamer Lane. The seas were calm, but powerful sets of three to five, 12-14fters were rolling in from the deep sea in 5-8 minute intervals. I tried not to cut the corner too close and get t-boned by one against the rock. I love sailing in the ocean for how wild it its out there. You have to be pretty tough to surf these powerful ocean waves this far out. And be comfortable sharing the water with great white sharks.

With the announcement that San Francesco was awarded the 34th America’s Cup this week – I’m thinking about 70ft cats sailing down the coast to Santa Cruz over the next few years. I can only image how fast the newest wingrigged, multihull prototypes boats are going to be. I am available to crew if you happen to own one of these boats.

It took about twenty tacks to get around the point and but only three jibes to reach back to the harbor. The ocean, wind, waves and weather made for great sailing.

Continue reading “Steamer lane”

Steamer lane