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Showing posts from August, 2008

Home Alone, Too

One thing I'll note about my post below, about sailing the SF Bay. It is indeed technical sailing; there is the risk of collision above all, with other boats or land, but the adage: if you can sail SF Bay you can sail anywhere is simply not true. Sea swell is usually easy to manage, but the thing I do not want to ever have to do is ride out a storm at sea. Boats, even relatively small sail boats, can do that, and experts vary on which of the handful of methods of riding out a gale or storm is best...but it is the waves, not the wind, that can flip a keelboat over. Specifically, breaking waves, steep waves that the boat loses control of going down (or up) the face...any boat can capsize in bad enough wave activity. The bigger ones are just safer because of size (paraphrasing Nigel Calder in his monumental book).

The thing about ocean sailing is that, unless one is in a storm or some bad swell, the waves and swell are generally easy to manage (though seasickness is an issue for…

Sailing Bay and the Sea-Father

More than twenty years ago, I sat in a small bleacher in one of the gymnasiums at CSULB, first day orientation for a sailing class; just curiosity. The instructor, maybe in his fifties, went into his spiel: "All the stuff you see and hear and read about the myth of sailing boats...the blue blazer and white trousers, the captain's hat, the ascot, dinners at the yacht club...the skipper quietly smoking a pipe while staring out to see...the first thing we have to do is clear all that up; I want you to know that all that stuff is totally and completely true."

We all laughed. It was quite a few years later before my first time on a small sailboat, a very funny story I wrote about here a couple years back. But I did not really sail or learn to sail until about four years ago when my wife said a group was going from her work, mostly nurses, that one of the ICU nurses was a skipper, and that we could sail on San Francisco Bay for the day for about sixty or seventy bucks a pie…