Monthly Archives: October 2011

SF sightseeing

Had a great Sunday.  True, I didn’t get a chance to sit down and watch the Steelers win against “Gisele Bundchen’s husband’s team” as Larissa calls the Pats, but we had a great time with friends Amauri & Greicy.

It was a bit of a classic SF sightseeing – Ghirardelli Square (& Chocolate tasting), the SF Palace of Fine Arts and beautiful surrounding grounds, a visit to a home for sale on the corner of Marina Green and the road to the gate (sorry, can’t remember the address, but it’s literally the NW corner of the Marina district – and the house was going for 3M), then lunch near Pacific Heights, and Nutella Crepes on Pier 39… we had a great time!  What an epic day weather-wise too.  And to think tomorrow is Halloween.  Incredible.  Thanks to A&G for the meetup.

More soon folks.




achados da gringa

Galera, teria que colocar umas fotinhas do finde, e vou.  Mas antes disso, vou ter que fazer um pequeno promo x uma amiga.  A nossa amiga, Thais, ex-colega TIM/Oi, mora aqui na area faz tempo e ha menos tempo virou blogueira.  Recentemente ela postou algo muito bonito que tinha a ver com Baby Cakes.  Entao rola o promo aqui.  Alem do mais, o blog dela é muito engraçada, verdadeira e divertida – acho que tem uns leitores aqui que vao gostar.

Vao vistando o blog dela, ela é fun e ela merece ser ainda mais compartilhada.

Eu a chamo de ‘gringa’ mas nao é nada disso, é claro.  Thais é Carioca pura – que nao haja duvida!  Quando eravamos colegas na TIM, ela passava na minha mesa x conversar – em Ingles!  Ela tava muito afim de arrumar uma aventura, uma experiencia, algo, algem dos horizontes do Rio.  Arrumou, e nao vai parar por ai.  Entao, deem uma lida e vao ver.

Bjo Thaisinha, amiga que chamo de Gringa.



a very good week, indeed

Sitting down at the Nav Table, which is also our work desk, I’m feeling a sense of happiness and peace.  It’s quiet, I have that ‘good tired’ feeling after walking a pleasant 18 holes of golf, and it’s just me at the moment – a nice day with some nice new age tunes, and (FINALLY) a comfortable chair to sit here in… friends and crewmembers that have spent time on the boat will remember that there’s never been a comfy place to sit at the Nav Table.  Now there is.  It’s a great feeling, almost like getting a new starboard half of the salon… and it was half off at the office supply store.  🙂

But this moment of relaxation has allowed me to reflect on 7 very very good days, notwithstanding the unmentionable ‘J–‘ search situation.

Beginning with last Friday, it’s been a fantastic 7 day stretch.

Friday morning – while waiting for the line at the fuel dock and pump-out station, this is the Alameda side of the estuary: the Pasta Pelican restaurant.  Free moorage while you eat if you bring your boat in for a meal.  

This is the Oalkand side of the Estuary, with downtown Oakland in the background.  In the foreground, at water’s edge, is the Fuel Dock and Pump-Out station of Jack London Square.  What is even harder to see the ‘line’ we’re waiting on: 5 US Coast Guard RIB boats are refuelling.  FIVE of those guys snuck in right before we got there… so we had to hit a holding patter and wait until we could get into pump out.  It all went without a hitch.  But that’s boating – never be in a hurry, you’ll just be frustrated.  

Friday evening our new friend Amanda came over with her 2 lovely children, Zoë and Noah.  We enjoyed good chat and fellowship and a quiet eve as we played with her kiddies.  I wish I’d taken more pics, but we were busy holding newborn Noah and playing with an ever more exuberant Zoë (she’s 18 months, I think)

This is Zoë, and I think she’s adorable (and a stylish dresser too!)

Saturday the Castellino family came aboard for a lovely day out on the bay.  I’d say daysail but I’d be lying.  It was flat calm and nearly wind-less all day – but it did make for a great ‘motor’ out of the Gate and everyone had a good time.  Ang & Anthony’s twin girls, Alexis & Ashley, had a blast I think – and they both were great skippers on the helm.  In fact, I didn’t do much steering all day long!  How much do you want to bet that Anthony starts looking for his next sailboat…

Saturday morning, looking like a good day to take the boat out!

Alexis and Ashley, doing the bow pose.  We loved having them aboard, because they enjoyed it so much!

We saw an America’s Cup boat, which is always a thrill for a sailor – for me at least.  This beautiful black monohull belongs to Oracle and carries the number USA 76.  Oh yeah, and that’s Alactraz Island and the Bay Bridge in the background.  

A view of the gate, from the outside.

Lara and Angela hanging out on the foredeck, enjoying the view. 

Headed back into the gate, looking north towards Sausalito and Tiburon.  

Measuring up the bridge….

This boat was on a downwind leg of a regatta and had a big bright shamrock in their spinnaker.  I took it as an omen, as the ND-USC game was coming up.  Apparently they didn’t see it in South Bend… 

Thanks to the Castellinos for coming out – hope they can do it again soon.  Ashley, Angela, Alexis and Anthony!

Saturday night we headed into the city for a yummy dinner and a bit of a family reunion – with cousin David & wife Jean in from Pittsburgh, we hooked up with them and Jason and Amanda at a cool seafood restaurant, Anchor & Hope.  It was great to see D&J again after so long.  It left us longing for a trip soon to the Burg.  Alas, we didn’t get any pictures.  Perhaps the ND loss to USC was stinging too much to make me want to pic up the phone and play photographer.

Well, I did take one pic on the way to dinner -heck, we were stuck in traffic for like 40 minutes just to get to the Bay Bridge… might as well snap a shot.  😦

Sunday another boat outing – this time with Thais & Kyle and newly arrived friends Amauri & Greicy.  There was more wind than Saturday but alas not enough to really get the rails in the water.  Upon returning to the marina, we did an impromtu barbeque and really closed out the weekend in style.

Greicy and Amauri having a good time on Sunday.  So good to see them again!  There were supposed to be more pics, but Thais never sent me hers.  (hint hint!)

Monday night I met up with an old business ‘colleague’ from SF/Switzerland and Rio and did some networking with a bunch of startup guys who are all now on the ‘ready to crew’ list.  We had a lot of fun at the Nopa restaurant and I’m looking forward to more meet & greets with them.

Wenesday was a special day – for me at least.  One of the 9 Mikes here at Gate 11, Mike Elsey, is an avid golfer.  We’d been talking about it for months, but he finally got me out on the course.  We started at dawn in the cold fog and continued through 27 holes by the time it was over.  There were some good shots, a great shot or two, and then all the others – kind of par for the course for me.  But I do love to get out on the links.  I hadn’t walked 27 holes in a looooong time.

This from the first fairway – we teed off before sunrise!

This is Mike on the first green.  A great day!

The fog starts to lift… 

Today, Friday, another special day… as the same group was getting back together, I got permission from the Admiral and took advantage of the opportunity.  Today we walked 18 holes in perfect weather and I shaved about 4 strokes off Wednesday… progress!  We played again with Shannon and Lester, also locals and avid golfers.  I don’t know who wrote the book on swings, but if you watch Shannon’s effortless, smooth swing, you’d think that she inspired the book. This lady has been playing for only 14 months and tears it up – from the blue tees with the guys!  Again, a great 18 holes on the links.  Thanks to Baby Cakes for allowing me to go.  🙂

Another great sunrise, another great day to play golf!

Now I’ve got to do some boat chores, set up some meetings for next week, and hope that all those HR departments and hiring managers that are looking over my CV are thinking… yeah, this could be the guy!

Ciao gang – more when we can get in here!  If we don’t before Monday, Happy Halloween!

Stella says “Happy Halloween” and ‘Come play with me!’



Back through the gate


What time is kickoff????

Go Irish!

Got our colors out today – headed for a sail on the bay!

BEAT USC!!!!!!!!

Boo! Timeless Halloween

Who says boaters don’t get into holidays?  Probably noone around here.  I’ve already heard rumors about the crazy lighting displays people do on their boats for Christmas, but friends Dave and Caty on Timeless certainly don’t limit it to the end of the year…. I haven’t spoken to either one of them about this, but I did see this, their first Halloween efforts this morning as entered the cockpit to have my morning look-round, coffee in hand:

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Is that great, or what?

We have our own version of Black Bart, hanging not from the yardarm, but at least from the Spinnaker pole.  Nicely done Dave & Caty.  Do you have a costume for Stella? (she’s the youngest four-legged boat mascot around Gate 11 – see pic with Larissa on Fleet Week day).

Happy Friday.

saudades de Jennifer

I was ‘thumbing’ through the thousands of photos from the trip, thinking about how I’m going to eventually sort of storyboard all of that and – one day – get some media put together in the form of a few ‘best of’ photo collections, some slide shows, and, when I finally get really ambitious (and a bigger, more powerful Mac), videos.

Anyway, I realized of course that I wasn’t going to get very far with that tonight, but looking through all these photos brought back quite a flow of memories from the cruise.  One thing I managed to do was choose a number of photos that could be cropped into decent header photos.  Well, as long as I continue using this blog theme.  It’s probably time for a new one, but we’ll get there.  So I uploaded a few of these and now you should see a different one – or at least a random one – every time you visit the blog.  Also, I started to play with an app, on my Chrome browser, that I had been playing with on my iPhone.  You know, just to tweak a photo with an app for dummies (I love Photoshop, but have never been very adept at using it).

So, the pic of the day today is one that pays homage to the sailing posture of this boat, to my gorgeous admiral, to the week-long passage from Fatu Hiva to Tahiti, and, of course, to Jennifer.  I miss Jennifer.  She’s stuffed in a bag under my bed, but I know she wants to get out, stretch her fibers, and carry this lovely blue boat forward again.  Thanks to Niklas from Espumeru for this photo – this was just before we ran the gauntlet of stringing through the Tuamotus atolls on our way to landfall at Tahiti.

More soon gang.  Some interesting weekend activities coming up – should be fun, and should give us a bit of visual material for the ol blog.  Ciao!


The color of Alu on gray

No sun yet, but this is typical Alaneda in the morning. In probably an hour or so, this same pic will be the color of aluminum (the masts) on Blue, California blue sky blue.

That’s what I get for taking my eyes of the job search stuff on the screen in front of me, and looking out the window…..


Flotsam and Jetsam

Some of you may have heard about this rescue in other media, but today a video was posted showing the rescue itself.  To read about what happened, one of the best sources I know is Latitude 38, and here’s their link:

As coincidence would have it, the one to first report it was our virtual friend Bill from “Raptor Dance”, whom we’ve never met in person but who’s given us plenty of virtual advice over the years through a sailboat owner’s group on Yahoo.  He’s also the reason, so to speak, that we’re in Marina Village Yacht Harbor at all – he suggested it to us in one of his many emails, and we’re glad that he did.  But I digress.

Here’s the video that was posted showing the rescue as it happened.

You can, of course, watch it on YouTube.

This gives Larissa and me the shivers – because we know what these long ocean crossings are like and though we never discussed them all that much, I know that scenarios like this (and much worse) went through both our minds, before and during some of our longer crossings.

Thank goodness (and thanks to good planning) that they had a satellite phone on board, and that the cruise liner voluntarily participates in the AMVER system (originally known as the Atlantic Merchant Vessel Emergency Reporting System), which has been responsible the saving countless lives since its inception in the late 1950s – this, also, as reported by Latitude 38.

It is of course a great shame to think that this lovely vessel is out there in the Pacific, unaccompanied – a very sad scenario we prefer not to think about at all.  But that loss pales in comparison when you consider the three souls aboard that were saved in this ordeal.