Captain Kira Maixner began sailing in 2014 and it quickly became a way of life for her. She is now a sailing instructor at the Modern Sailing School and Club in Sausalito and crew on the USA 76 America's Cup Yacht and first mate on a San Francisco Whale Tours. For the Pacific Sail & Powerboat show she put together and moderated a panel discussion by and about women sailing on San Francisco Bay. The participants included Nichole Ortiz, an active member of the Modern Sailing Club and the Club's first club skipper; Captain Darci Bogdan, a Santa Cruz native who is a sailing instructor and Captain for Chardonnay Sailing Charters and Sea Spirit Ocean Safari; Laura Levy, an active racer and the co-founder of Sømand, an emerging brand that designs performance sailwear specifically for women; and Joan Byrn, a local racing skipper and promoter of women's sailing as well as a lead organizer for the Red Bra Regatta, the largest all-women regatta on the Bay. See the full bios of the participants here.
Mary Gidley spent 101 days floating across the Atlantic on a raft as part of a sociological experiment. That experience is captured in the new documentary called The Raft. Mary had other adventures on the water, including opening and running Cass' Marina, the first operation to rent sailboats on the San Francisco Bay, and cruising to Mexico, long before it was commonplace to do so. Mary's son Memo is a professional race car drive and a charter captain. We spoke aboard his boat, Basic Instinct. The Gidley's were featured in a three part Latitude 38 series.
Amanda Swan Neal was the rigger aboard Maiden, the first ever yacht sailed by an all-female crew in the round-the-world Whitbread race in 1989. I talk with Amanda about the new documentary, by director Alex Holmes, called Maiden, which tells the story of skipper Tracy Edwards and the race. We also talk about sailing from NZ to SF in the 1980s and the offshore sail-training expeditions that Amanda and her husband John Neal offer aboard their Hallberg-Rassy 46, Mahina Tiare III.
Quincey & Mitchell are a young, inspiring couple who are working to get a charter business, Q+M Travels, up and running. They have a great boat for it, a Kelly Peterson 46, that they found in Panama and sailed back to the Bay just about a year ago. Mitchell has been teaching sailing on all kinds of boats for years. Quincey is a professional nutritionist. Together they love hosting people aboard their boat both for weekends and longer adventures.
In September of 2018, Randall Reeves set out from San Francisco on the Figure 8 Voyage 2.0. Since then he has spent 227 days at sea alone, rounding Cape Horn twice, in an attempt to circumnavigate both Antarctica and the Americas in one season. He recently made landfall in Halifax, Nova Scotia after a N. Atlantic storm damaged his Monitor wind vane and ripped his sail. I caught up with Randall in person at the Armdale Yacht Club.
In 1965, my dad sailed across the Pacific Ocean on a 35-ft Piver designed trimaran. Onboard was the very first solar panel ever on a cruising boat. The boat's owner, Venkataraman Radhakrishnan, had friends at Bell Labs who were building the first communication satellites (Telstar I and Telstar II) and had access to the reject cells. There wasn't much on the bare-bones boat to power, but the panel put out enough juice to run the 3-inch, Phillips reel-to-reel tape player on board.
Katie and Lyall Burgess met while sailing in the Caribbean. After purchasing their own yacht, they realized there was little info available to help boat owners go solar. This prompted them to found Sun Powered Yachts in 2018. Katie and Lyall live off the grid on the Big Island of Hawaii with their two girls. They have been spending more time at sea, preparing to spend a full year aboard with the girls in 2022.
The Race to Alaska runs 750-miles, from Port Townsend, Washington to Ketchikan, AK and has only two rules: 1) No Engine 2) No Support Crew. The eight members of Team Shut Up And Drive will spend a week together on a sparse, 33-foot racing boat with a bucket for a toilet. I talk with Nathalie Criou and Satchel Douglas two members of the team.
In September of 2017, I spent a week living and cruising San Francisco Bay aboard a 10-foot, mahogany sailing dinghy. I learned a lot about local waters and met some interesting sailors along the way. An article about the adventure was published in the May, 2019 issue of Cruising World Magazine. In this episode, I share an annotated version of the article.
For Luc Maheu, working on the water is all about heritage. Sailing is in his blood and he's keeping the tradition alive in style. He's a master mariner, a merchant marine, a charter captain and in his spare time runs a business building traditional rigging tools. We chatted aboard his 60-foot schooner, docked at the Pt. San Pablo Yacht Club in Richmond, CA.