Archive for the 'Beneteau' Category

Jun 13 2010

Video: Day Sail Cabo–Luxury Yacht Sailing in Cabo San Lucas, MX

Published by under Beneteau,Mexico

This is a short promo video I made for Captain Bob of L’Atitiude 32. It is a gorgeous boat, and Bob provides an amazing sailing experience. So, if you ever get down to Cabo San Lucas, save a day and go sailing with Day Sail Cabo. (www.daysailcabo.com)

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Jan 08 2010

Christmas Humpback Whale Watching in Cabo San Lucas

While I certainly missing all of you at Christmas this year, I had an interesting opportunity for a unique way to celebrate the holiday this year.

On Christmas Eve, I recognized another Baja Ha-ha participant–Captain Bob. He sailed down on his 52-foot Beneteau sailboat, named L’Atitude 32. He is a licensed Captain, has chosen to winter down here in Mexico, and has gone through all of the hoops to run his charter business out of Cabo San Lucas. Both down here without our respective families, we decided that we would go fishing on Christmas and do what sailors do–sail.

The boat is luxurious, to say the least. The interior is huge, has an entertainer’s kitchen, a horseshoe-shaped dining table that seats 8 people, two aft cabins (each with their own bathroom and shower), and a gigantic master suite amidship–which corresponds nicely to the most comfortable, least rolling, and most quiet place on the ship. The dark blue hull and ultra-white topsides are recognizable even from a distance.

Whales Breeching in Cabo San Lucas on Christmas Day while Whale Watching with Captain Bob We met a little after 10am, packed up the gear, and motored out of the harbor. Not far past the famous rocks of Land’s End, we rigged our fishing gear, tossed the lures overboard, and spooled out some line to get them popping at just the right distance behinds us–the irresistible siren’s song singing to the fish swimming below. And, we settled into the important tasks in Mexico: selecting the right music, and what will I be drinking today.

It was, in fact, our original intent to fish all day. The seas were flat, and there was a mild breeze. Neither of us has a schedule–so, if we fished all day, that would be fine. On our two fishing poles, we dragged a cedar plug, a painted cedar plug, a couple of jigs, and later a spoon. Captain Bob got a nice hit on one of his lures. We slowed and waited and the fish took another nibble. And, then, nothing. So, we returned to our conversation and kept fishing.

We made a nice, arcing loop outside of the Bahia Cabo San Lucas. We headed west for a almost an hour, then due south off-shore, and finally circled around back towards Cabo. Just as we had turned back towards Cabo San Lucas, a humpback whale surfaced about 20 feet off the starboard side of the boat. A nice, benign visitor wondering what two sailors were doing in his or her territory on Christmas Day. We quickly decided to reel in the fishing gear and spend the rest of the day whale watching.

Whale Watching with Captain Bob on Christmas Day in Cabo San Lucas . . . and, a full whale breech That magnificent humpback whale proceeded to put on a show for the next three hours that was absolutely spectacular. Full, out of the water, breeches. Giant splashes. The picturesque tail before the deep dive. It was phenomenal–and, a superb way to spend Christmas. If we had only figured out how to transport the entire family and an apple pie, or two down here–it would have been complete!

Captain Bob charters his boat, and it is a classy, full-service experience. You can go whale watching (they will be here through March), snorkeling, or enjoy a sunset, cocktail cruise–the food, drinks and gear are provided. You can reach him through his website at www.daysailcabo.com, by email: bob@daysailcabo.com, by phone (US): 858-442-2233, or phone (local, Cabo San Lucas): 624-18-24-924

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May 19 2008

Stone Cup: Day Two

Published by under Beneteau,Sailboat Racing

Some choices are easier to make than others . . . and, this one was absolutely clear: I need to look for another boat.

The second day of racing was pretty good. I was mentally prepped and ready for the racing. I was also better rested, no alcohol in my system from the night before, and had eaten better–wanted to eliminate that from my sailing performance altogether. I worked the bow and another racer from another boat I sailed on was working mast–and, he is a good sailor.

The first race in the IRC Division was a shorter race with 3 full sausages around the course. We had a very clean foredeck the entire race: good hoists and douses. We had one issue when the entire boat had prepared for a windward douse and literally, in the last second, the owner called out “Leeward douse!”

I am not sure if he wasn’t able to drive for a windward douse, or if he just plain forgot, or what–but, of course, we had a kite flying out of the back of the boat, lost some time, and recovered unscathed. We may never know what happened, but 8 out of 9 people knew windward douse–unfortunately that ninth person was driving.

The second race started well. The foredeck worked through the 10 minutes of lunch changing headsails for the changing conditions. The winds were holding above 20 knots/hour and gusting higher. I also cleared the gear at that time and re-checked everything.

Once the second race started, we made it to the windward mark, set the pole and had a good hoist–although the we got the final word to t-up the spinnaker about 100 yards from the mark. We gybed a couple of times, and started to talk through the leeward rounding and all was going well, until . . . .

The very next gybe, the lazy spinnaker sheet had come loose and wrapped itself around the jaws of the pole. We had lassoed it around the guy, but there had been some tension on it from the back of the boat and it pulled loose.  When we tripped, it held the pole right in place. The owner of the boat took this race off, and our helmsman is a superior sailor of excellent skill. He saw it happen and eased the boat. As I went to correct this, he thought I was fixing it one way, and I was fixing it the other way.

The result was a REALLY ugly wrap–like picture-worth of the “Now That’s Ugly” contest on Sailing Anarchy (although we did not tear the spinnaker). A couple of crew members came forward to help secure the spinnaker, and we headed in to port.

By this time, the owner had come up from down below and was looking for a scape-goat. And, he picked me. It was relatively soft, but in a sweet and diminutive tone, told me that I was ready for the “light wind” racing and not this heavy stuff.

He did not try to reconstruct what happened. When the trim team said that the foredeck was not getting the information in enough time to act upon it, he did not listen. When the helmsman said that it was a result of mis-communication–he was helping me fix it one way, and I was fixing it the other–he did not listen. In fact, I don’t think he even knew what happened.

And, that is okay. He owns the boat and can run it however he likes, but I do not want to sail with him. Snap decisions cause mistakes. Lack of communication cause mistakes. And, mistakes happen on every boat. Crucifying me for those mistakes is foolish and counter-productive. I am certainly willing to take my share of the blame–but, shouldering all of it is a bit much.  It simply creates a foredeck that is hostile towards the cockpit and a cockpit that is hostile towards the foredeck.  Not exactly a great definition of teamwork . . . .

The larger issue, however, is that the boat owner did not see or understand what happened. He has made his decision blindly, without the information. Sailing like that is how people get hurt–and, it might be me. So, this weekend, and all of the incidents led me to my decision: I am looking for a new boat to race.

Got bowman?

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May 17 2008

The Stone Cup: Day One

Published by under Beneteau,Sailboat Racing

Today was the first day of the Stone Cup, sponsored by the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco. It was also the event of the IRC racing season.

Like no other place on the planet, the San Francisco weather opened up and unleashed some incredible winds. By the time the first race had started, the winds were hitting 18 knots and hour. During the second race, they blew 26 knots of steady wind with occasional puffs that were a little more.

We had a great time, but our game was a little off on the second race, although the boat owner thought we had placed third or fourth overall at the end of the day.

On the first race, I worked on the bow. On the second race, I worked at the mast. I know that personally, I could have raced better.

Tomorrow, we are all going to race better.

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May 17 2008

Enicinal Yacht Club Beer-Can Races

Published by under Beneteau,Sailboat Racing

Last night, to signify the end a great week and begin a great weekend of sailing, we raced in the Encinal Yacht Club’s Friday-night Beer-can races.

This race is a fun little jaunt–a couple of sausages up and down the estuar–but, the winds of the estuary and the quality of the sailors make it a challenge. Many of the Bay Area’s vendors of sailing-related services operate in Alamada, CA. And, some of these sail-maker and boat builders live close to work . . . .

Lastly, the great fun is the weather in the Estuary. Someone on-board last night said it in the best way I have heard to-date. “It’s the Estuary! There is completely different wind 100 yards away.” Light air sailboat racing at its best, and definitely a great way to cap the week.

If you are interested, the Encinal Yacht Club (sponsors of the yearly Coastal Cup from San Francisco to Santa Barbara) was founded in 1890. Check out their Website: www.encinal.org

PS. I was racing on a Beneteau 40.5, and worked the foredeck.

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