Archive for November, 2012


Friday night fun

November 30, 2012   

The Davis and I went out for mexican dinner then onto the bowling alley.

Leftover dinner

November 24, 2012   

Today I had a great relaxing day making a meal from leftover Thanksgiving holiday food.

Started with Salsa and guac

Next was arugula (rocket) salad with balsalmic mustard dressing, parmesan shavings, clemetine segments and baked crumbled proscuitto.

Entree of turkey soup (made from homemade stock) with dried cranberries and cilantro.

Served on the side were balls of stuffing coated in corn meal and star shaped corn bread.

Dessert – choice of pear or apple phyloll parcels with homemade vanilla custard, port-cherry reduction and semi sweet chocolate chips.

Sun Valley Thanksgiving

November 23, 2012   

My office at Boise airport! I was there for 7 hours on wednesday waiting for a shuttle so I got lots of ordering done for parts for Darling.

No snow around the lodge unfortunately. The lodge is beautifully decorated for the holidays and had many old photos of celebrities who used to come to sun valley sking.

Old style advertising for Sun Valley skiing.

Uncle Dales and Linda’s dog Punzi who loves attention and I love giving it to her!

Thanksgiving appetizers

With Aunty Linda in front of a beautiful log fire.

The golf course Uncle Dale goes to has an amazing lodge.

Manmade snow for those desperate to go skiing.

Some artwork from a gallery open during the gallery walk.

We headed higher to Gallena Lodge and finally found some snow.

Snow looking like  cotton against a cystal blue ski

Thank you SFYC

November 15, 2012   

Lori Fromm of the Women’s Auxilary at SFYC called me out of the blue in October and asked if I would accept the Nancy Rodgers Race Grant from SFYC. Normally it is a surprise award that is presented at the womens auxilary luncheon in November. This is the second time the award has been given. As I have never been to the luncheon in previous years they had to call me to get me to come.

It was a very nice surprise and rather embaressing when they talked about me before presenting me with the trophy.

Close up of the trophy – this was the second time that it was awarded. The deed of gift is that it is to be given to a woman who is a member of the club that has raced nationally, internationally at a high level intends to continue participation and is an ambassador for women in the club.

I was presented with a silver bowl to take home with me filled with beautifully scented flowers.

The money from the grant will be used to pay some of my GMDSS (Global Maritime Distress Safety Systems) course that I will take in the spring time.

Safety at Sea courses again – in pictures

November 14, 2012   

We ran another Safety and Sea course at SFYC on 10-11th November. There will be a repeat 17-18th. In the meantime we have VHF and radar courses running in the weekday evenings.

How does this go back together. Getting to know your lifejacket… it is pretty important.

Lets put that fire out!

Group hug – warmer, more visible and less likely to get lost

Turn that liferaft back upright.

Biggest and strongest in first with people holding down the back of the raft. You need the biggest to help pull in the woman and children.

Keep those boots on. Water inside weighs the same as water outside they won’t drag you down… in fact his feet are floating.

Safely entering the cold water of SF Bay.

Row row row your liferaft! Getting used to the liferaft… Photo by Paige Brooks

The wonder of ceramic knives from bed bath and beyond! Photo by Paige Brooks

Does your emergency knive work? What type of tools do you carry for cutting your rigging? Where do you try to cut your rigging?

Photo by Paige Brooks
Setting off a rocket flare. Be careful of the recoil and wear gloves!

Photo by Paige Brooks
Thank you to George Brewster owner of Black Swan for lending us his boat last minute. If he hadn’t we wouldn’t have been able to do the rocket flares which was a valuable lesson for all involved.

Photo by Paige Brooks
So tell me who wants the SOLAS flare and who wants the non SOLAS flare!

New NorCal Minimum Safety Requirements Discussion

November 5, 2012   

The Northern California Offshore Racing Council Safety Committee has posted a draft of the minimum equipment requirements for offshore races and is inviting comments. No

Home sweet home – altitude experience


This last trip to high altitude was moderately challenging physically and very slightly mentally. For the last 12 years my profession of racing yachts has taken me to much more physical and mental extremes than my altitude endeavors in 2012. The high altitude failures are frustrating, disappointing and puzzling for me all at once.

With SFYC burgee at 6000m smarter this time as I brought the fabric version. The plastic burgee fell apart in the cold at Aconcaqua at 6500m.

I was still making rational decisions at 6000m – gathering information on what remained of the climb and figuring out what percent of energy I felt I had left. I made a promise to myself that if I didn’t think I would have 50% of my energy left on the summit that I would not continue. At those altitudes the only person that will get you down the mountain is yourself. At lower altitudes you can have helicopter rescue (unlike the middle of the ocean). My heart wanted to continue up the hill but my lungs and my brain made the decision for me.

All that was left was to persuade Jon that I was capable of making it to crampon point to give the team each a good luck hug. I did try very hard to put on a smiley face after getting up from my hands and knees from a coughing and vomiting fit! The antibiotics didn’t stop my cold going to my chest and causing an infection.

The guys heading on up without me.

I have always been able to prepare myself and my boats with lots of hard work and if not finish the races entered but end up on the podium. This new sport is something I haven’t found a successful equation for. Maybe there isn’t one – what I do know from reading is that your body reacts differently to altitude every time you go to a mountain. If the speed is down on the boat we logically figure out why and rectify the situation. To some degree this is possible with high altitude climbing but I think there is a large percent that can’t be controlled. The problem is we aren’t dealing with mechanical parts it is human physiology and if you get it wrong the potential for physical damage is higher. I monitor my pulse ox and that helps me with many other clues to understand what my body requires to go higher. I don’t get worried about those figures I just analyze why my figures are not as I expect them to be. My body does react quickly to help in the form of water, rest etc. at altitude but it does seem to lag behind others in acclimatization once I get to 5000m. We all acclimatize at a different rate which makes commercial mountaineering trips a difficult thing for my body to deal with.

I think maybe a full days rest at base camp and then moving up to advanced base camp and starting from there would have made a difference to me however, commercial pressure would not allow that.

This last trip was physically a lot easier than Aconcaqua. We stayed at teahouses with heated communal areas en route except for two days in a tent. We ate sitting upright with knives and forks and didn’t have to carry our excrement in bags up and over the mountain. We didn’t carry our own gear as we had porters a huge difference which I didn’t get use to. This all meant it was more of a cruise in an Oyster 82 than a race in a Rogers 46. As a result I wasn’t ever in such a horrible state as I was on summit day back in January. So I guess I am very slowly learning from the experience despite not getting as high as in January it was an amazing trip with beautiful views and so much cultural history to learn.

Ama lighting up as the sun comes up.
Will I go to high altitude again – yes. Why? Because I like to push myself, set myself goals, learn new things and besides the views from up there are stunning. It is time to take what I have learnt from three years south up to high altitudes and use it in a new environment.

Singapore 10 hours

November 4, 2012   

Arrived airport 10pm and outside the gate was a set of computers so went online and booked a $16 bunk bed in a nearby hostel. Then jumped in a $9 shuttle to the hostel and I am now in my bunk about to go to sleep for 6.5 hours before heading back to Changi airport for the next leg of my journey home. Have a great Sunday.

Changi airport is a great experience would be nice if all airports were like this!

Stupas and Durbar

November 3, 2012   

Last bit of shopping done – purchase of three synthetic down jackets for my nieces and nephew for Christmas sking. Then we walked to Durbar square where they wanted a heafty entrance fee so instead we walked around the outside of the square for lunch on Freak St.

The square was where the city’s kings were once crowned and from where they ruled. It is the heart of old town Kathmandu and if there wasn’t so much dust and pollution it would be possible to make out the erotic explicit scenes that adorn the roof struts. We didn’t concentrate much of the buildings as we were trying to beat off touts attempting to sell the boys flutes and chess sets for 5 times the price at Folk Nepal. Rob’s line was pretty good when the tout told him very good made from sandlewood he replied I live in a sandlewood forest! We retreated to a roof top terrace with a resturant which had a very funny waiter and alright food.

The group split with the girls and Gerry braving a bone shaking taxi ride 5km out to the Bodhnath stupa built sometime after AD600.

The dome is whitewashed with a gilded tower painted with the eyes of the Buddha. A few worshippers were constantly prostating themselves to the stupa while tourist spun the prayer wheels and took multiple pictures of the prayer flags. We again retreated to a roof top and watched the sea of humanity below. A peaceful way to look at the monument. Before another taxi ride which wasn’t as bad as the one out there as the driver stuck to the main ring road instead of the pothole ridden side streets.

Kathmandu is indeed a strange mix of a very few fancy buildings containing shops and hotels surrounded by areas that look like a bomb was dropped and nobody has done anything to rectify the situation.

Shopping in Kathmandu

November 2, 2012   

Those who know me know I hate shopping however, presents need to be purchased. So the boys headed to the barber shop for a shave and the girls headed to Thamel and then onto the local market in deepest Kathmandu. I ended up with my primus stove (similar to what we use at BAS) and Claire and I both got thermos’s. Jay wants one so I will be taking him back to the local market today – what a fun experience.

Dinner with the team last night before everyone heads their seperate ways. Jon back to the mountains this morning and Claire off to the UK. The band is dispersing.