I am in awe of these new America’s Cup boats – incredibly fast, incredibly beautiful. Thanks to Mr. Ellison, sailing is now exciting again and hopefully this is just the begining of a new era. For the best American commentary see, SailingAnarchy.com.
Go team Oracle/USA!!
October is a great month for sailing on Monterey Bay. The winds are warm and the breeze strong. Brent and I took Calico of out for a short afternoon sail. The bigger the swells the larger our smiles.
It was a hot day in Santa Cruz yesterday and hot days usually generate a lot of wind. I decided to sail Calico offshore a couple of miles into the clear blue Pacific Ocean swells. It was a beautiful and exciting end of summer adventure.
Yesterday Andrew and I motored Calico, my 20 year old, 25 foot, midget-racing offshore sailing sloop to the boat yard for a quick bottom cleaning and preseason maintenance. I’m hoping to do some offshore adventure sailing up and down the California coast this summer and fall. We’ll see if it happens – hope so.
Continue reading “Summer Setup”
Low Speed on the rocks – Farallon Islands
When I moved out to northern California from Virginia in 1995 one of my first interests was to learn how to sail performance sailboats out on the Pacific Ocean. We’ll its been over 17 years and many different types of sailboats that I have both crewed on and skippered as an owner. I have also sailed up and down the California coast in small raceboats and in 2001 was lucky enough to race to Hawaii on 52 foot racer.
Now adays, I sail less, but still love the sport and being out on the ocean on my 25 footer Calico. So, yesterday when I learned of the tragic loss of a racing sailboat off the Farallon Islands off San Francisco. It really sadden me, and I know a few of my other sailing mates. We all felt compelled to talk about it, what a tragedy…a real bummer. After reading more about the tradegy and learning more about the circumstances a couple of thoughts stood out for me that I wish I did not feel compelled to put down.
From personal experience I have skippered a similar but smaller race boat in this same race in 2005. I remember being very nervous about it the night before. I was racing one of the smallest boats in the fleet…and I had never sailed this challenging ocean race before. It was a 60 to 70 mile out and back loop around the Farallon Islands 25 miles offshore. Fortunately, we had an incredibly good and exciting race that all of us will remember.
So…when I learned that the boat had sailed close to shore I wonder if to sail a shorter course around the islands. These islands are big, sharp, mean, meanicing rocks that look like they take the greatest of pleasue in smashing small race boats upon its jaged shores. From a sailors point of view, finding yourself in the water is very frighting experience. Especially in the waters off San Francisco. These waters and the Farallon Islands are home to the largest concentaration of great white sharks on the US West Coast. You do no want to find youself swimming in the waters anywhere near this island. It is also freezing cold water.
Next thought, why are crew washed overboard? Because they are not clipped into the boat. In my opionion, it does not matter how calm the ocean ‘looks’ and ‘feels’ out there…you can get hit with a big 10 foot breaking greeny ‘on top’ of the cockpit and roll the boat at any time. If crew members are not clipped in, they are washed overboard – perhaps unconscious. My advice is to take long way around the island and always be clipped in out there.
Our Antrim 27 – Luna, San Fransciso
Continue reading “Farallon Islands”
YesterdayI had a dinner meeting up in San Francisco and decided to drive up a little early to have a drink at my favorite bar in the world. The Golden Gate Yacht Club is a real treat to visit, and it helps to have a good friend who’s a member. As it turns out, yesterday Larry Ellison was hosting a party to celebrate the second anniversary of his wining the Americas cup. I had to leave early, so missed the event (I was not on the invite list) but just to hang out at the bar as the crew setup for the evenings event was a ton of fun.
There is a rumor X2Engine is going to have an event here in April….