Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Elise and Steve

A new chapter begins in the life of Elise - with new partner Steve. Very emotional day for me but a happy one for Elise as Steve shares my love for offshore racing and Elise is eager to go back out there.

However, it is only normal that I also close this blog and start another one for new adventures.

Sail Fast!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Sailing Outing with work

We went out of Adventure Cat with the team at work - it was so much fun!! We had wind AND sun and a very warm day

Pretty cool picture - we went out to Point Bonita, the back to Alcatraz, the Bay Bridge and back to port.

Downwind - happy dog

Upwind - un happy dog

Vlad was his usual sailing self...

I liked the boat because there was a cat on the sail

Great Pumpkin Pursuit Race

I did the Great Pumpkin pursuit race on the Express 27 Current Affair, skippered by Seth. I had raced on his boat about two years ago shortly before he got it. 

Photos from Pressure Drop and Norcal Sailing

The race was in-between squalls - with bits of sunshines. Because the squalls were so localized we could take advantage of the extra wind in the front of them and the lift on their side. I picked the wrong way around (CW) despite initial thoughts of CCW - we did very well on our side and not as bad at all as I thought we would overall (23 overall and 5th Express) so the two sides were not as clear cut as in some years. Taking an early tack to position ourselves for three lifts was the call on that side. First lift off Angel Islands, second lift off a squall and staying on the edge of it for more wind and 3rd lift because the forecast indicated that the wind would move west.

We didn't see any pumpkins. One year on Elise we could have picked one up but the crew voted against it...

Dianne did third overall!!!! A fantastic showing! So proud of Steve.

One Wabbit sank and had to be rescued and a couple of mast snapped in the higher winds 

Vallejo 2 of Vallejo 1-2 on JouJou

Tom, owner and skipper of JouJou welcome me on his boat for the 2nd leg of Vallejo 1-2. I had never sailed with nor on this typ eof boat so quite a treat, learning new things.

The biggest challenge was that we faced really light air but we only had a jib when all the other boats flew a genoa. This clearly impeded boat speed. We were in the right place on the course, taking advantage of the early ebb, then crossing over as after the wind died it was most likely to come back up on the left. We had to cross the main channel once due to a ship which hurt us a litle but not much. Overall a very fun day. I took a uber back to Vallejo where I had left my car and Tom bravely sailed the boat back up the city front in 27 knots!

Dolphins and Figaro II

Pretty neat photo!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Hobie 16 & Hobie 18 North American Championship - Puerto Penasco, Mexico

I replaced a crew at the last minute for the North American championship on a hobie 18. I had never set foot on this boat so I wasn't very hopeful in terms of competitiveness but what is there not to like in 80 degree weather and 80 degree water?

The race committee on set, displaying course 2

The youngest crew member! the big drawback of the venue was that winds were fairly lights most of the time, except for two days, one during the prologue (Pinata Regatta) and the championship.

The start of a Hobie 16 race

On Wind Raider - the skipper, Kurt, was a very experienced hobie sailor but not a racer. The boat was among the heaviest in the event - this made me feel better since I wasn't the most experienced crew around.

Our start. We got very good starts, except for the first race.


One of the rare days with wind.

Tactics play an important part when racing hobies as you need to bang the corners if possible since tacking is so expensive.

The weighing of the boats in front of race HQ. Hobie did sponsor the event alongside other companies and individuals.

Setting things up on the beach.

A very light air day in the desert...the water was so warm that in the morning it felt warmer than the air. At midday, dipping in was a great way to cool off in-between races.

Getting the boats in the water

Prep for the Hobie 1

Passing the gate...


Relaxing crew :)

Prawn ship

On the two days with a bit of breeze, the surf was up as well. Made for fun departures

Finally some double trapeze weather

The North American Hobie 16 champions!

Protection from the sun was a good idea. I got badly burned on my lower legs, despite ample quantities of sunscreens

Rounding the leeward gate

I believe that the Darcy's placed too in the championship

Mast down :(

Righting up a boat

Downwind in some of nicer breeze days

It was my first time crossing the Mexico border by land. On the way to Mexico, they didn't even check my passport.

The view from the beach into the RV Park where most of the racers were staying. The entire place is desert.

The view from the RV Park onto the beach where the boats were staying in-between race days. There often was a shore breeze right along the beach but it would die a few boat lengths out to see.

Of course, a tropical destination must have bungalows...

Sunsets were all absolutely stunning

I watched all the post season Giants games with other racers. I don't feel too bad losing to the World Champions. There were also cub fans in the sports bar and I got some free drinks...

Kurt had a sleeping test (the bedroom) and a tall main tent (the living room, kitchen and others...) - it was great!

There were Waves at the Pinata regatta.

Race HQ and the scales

Go Giants!

I love that they don't have Ketchup but CATsup in Mexico

Breaking Bad

There were cats everywhere at my hotel! I loved it!

Watched the debate at an American owned restaurant and bar in town

Lotsa funny all terrain vehicles. I got on one for like an hour - basically a 4-wheel motorbike, an ATV. Fun but after an hour of eating dust and sweating in the sun, happy to be back on a boat and in the water...

We had breakfasts most days at a German breakfast and brunch place across the road from the commercial harbor

Canada was there!

After the sunset, we could see the other side of the Sea of Cortez into San Felipe.

The cats of the hotel...

I have about 100 pictures of cats from my vacation...

Award ceremony fun

I know...

Our loyal steed ready to head home

I had to take this picture... Elise is never too far clearly...

I loved the light in the evening. And boy does that place have tides - they were over 20 feet tidal differences. We'd have to walk a lot just to bring the boats back in the evening.

Launching a firefly...

Getting rady for the award ceremony

Jim, my regular Hobie ride and his crew for the NA

I did some tourist things on the last day - with a dinner/booze cruise to see my last sunset.

Hundreds of pelicans! and very few seagulls interestingly enough

That cruise was fun - 70-ish ladies pole dancing was quite unique!

 The last night at Puerto Penasco or Rocky Point

Seafood is a local specialty

And the signature dish of the German breakfast place

Our event was in the local paper!

Good bye Mexico, the border (with a wall) was across that hill range.