Tag Archives: sailing

Travel Thursdays – Barbados!

17 Nov

Since I’m leaving for Hawaii tomorrow I thought I’d do an island Travel Thursday!  When I was in high school I met who would become one of my greatest friends, Sheena.  Her family was Bajan and were born/grew up on the island of Barbados.  Her family was kind enough to extend the offer to let me come to Barbados with them one summer and see the island.  It’s a very small island at only about 21 miles long and 14 miles wide.  Since her family was from there, they had a nice condo to stay that they used to live in when the island was their full time residence.  The condo’s backyard looked exactly like the following photo:

(Photo Cred)

(photo cred)

The condos also had a pool in between the building and the ocean so you could take your pick of where you wanted to cool off.  It was/is my definition of paradise to a tee.  You have to be very careful around town by yourself.  We didn’t go hardly anywhere on our own except in the ocean but there were many people swimming so we were safe.  The white sand was so soft and the water was so gentle, you could walk out a very long way before having to tread water.  Sheena and I even walked through the ocean to get to the market one day and carried what we bought on our heads for the walk back.

(photo cred)

Sheena’s Uncle also took us sailing around the entire island!  He has his own sailboat and it’s a family event to get everyone together for a sail while they are in town.  It was my first sailing experience and we stopped to snorkel around a sunken ship!  We also sailed by the rum factory where the ocean smells like rum.  It was an unreal experience that I’ll never forget.

(photo cred)

Her family also took us in jeeps across the island dirt roads to see the East side (other side) of the island.  Here the water is much rougher.  It’s still beautiful to see but you can tell this is where the big swells come from.

Barbados is a beautiful place to visit but make sure to check out extensively the area where you will be staying when planning a trip to this island.  It has some rough areas and I definitely recommend doing some good research before booking any hotels.  I don’t have any of my own pictures from my trip because I lost them when my computer crashed a few years ago but these pictures depict this place particularly well.  Recently, Sheena has moved back to the island herself so hopefully I can pay her a visit sometime soon and relive all the beauty of Barbados!

Sail away on the bay

7 Sep

Wow, wow, wow… is all I have to say about sailing on the bay.  I had an AMAZING time this weekend setting sail with Liz and all of her friends for her Bachelorette party.  It was one of the best ways to see the city and bond with friends.  I highly recommend sailing in SF with Captain Kirk and his crew.  We sailed for three hours and it was a hands-on, fun experience that I will never forget!

We set sail from 40 South Beach Harbor by the AT&T park in San Francisco on the Bay Wolf.

After a short safety brief, we were off!

We started out using the little boat motor to get out in the open waters and then they asked if anyone wanted to help raise the sail and of course I was all for it.  It was very easy to start raising but the higher it got, the wind pushed and the sail was much harder to raise.  Once I couldn’t raise it anymore, Molly (Liz’s sister) helped crank the rope tight so we could be in full sail 🙂

Climbing to the back of the boat after raising the sail was hard because it was so tipsy that you have to hold onto something solid on the boat at all times!  We got the boat ready to go though before reaching the Bay Bridge.

Finally we were about to embark on the rougher waters past the Bay Bridge.  After this point was when we felt our first full sailboat lean!

The start of the sailboat lean.  You can’t tell how much the boats were leaning but it was definitely fun!

Then we were in full lean!  I had my feet braced against the side of the boat like it was the bottom of the boat because it was tilted so far over.

As we started getting closer to the Golden Gate, the winds picked up and so did the activity around us.  There were kite surfers, wind surfers and many other boats of all kinds.

The stormy weather was mainly over the water at this point but the sun sure was shining on San Francisco.

We started to pass Alcatraz and then Captain Kirk let me steer.  He also taught me to steer while we “jibed” which is where you slowly let the sail’s boom switch sides of the vessel.  We had to do this once we started going in the reverse direction to catch the wind to push us in the right direction.

This windsurfer was very far out in the water and flying by.  He was doing so well considering how choppy it was.

It was really cool to sail under the new Bay Bridge that’s been under construction for a few years now and should be done in 2013.  It’s been a big deal to have this new bridge built because supposedly the old Bay Bridge won’t withstand the next “big one” aka huge earthquake.  This bridge is going to be amazing and I really enjoyed seeing it so close and personal!

The finished part of the new Bay Bridge.  Both directions of traffic will no longer be stacked on top of each other but instead set side by side.

Going under!  It’s a lot lower than the old one.

The moon!

After coming back under the Bay Bridge on the other side of Treasure Island the lighting really started to change and morph into one of the most amazing sunsets.

Other sail boats, the famous Oakland cranes and the two Bay Bridges.

I had so much fun shooting photos on this day.

Rope torch is what I see here.

Sun spot light shining into AT&T park, home of the world series winners the Giants!

Sunset over AT&T park, downtown San Francisco and the Bay Bridge.

Alcatraz.

The city lights started to dapple the city skyline.

The final shots of the sail.

The Bay Bridge with all the lights on 🙂

We chose to use Captain Kirk and his crew, Alex and Jennifer.  They were AWESOME.  They allowed us to be hands on and had a plethora of knowledge to share!  Along the sail, the crew supplied tons of snacks and beverages to keep our energy up.  10% of their proceeds go to charity (Team in Training) which is a wonderful thing.  We were the only group on the boat and I had one of the best times of adventure ever.

And one last photo before I go…

🙂

Upcoming Sailing Adventure!

1 Sep

This weekend I am embarking on a very new and exciting adventure!  I will be setting sail on the San Francisco bay with about 10 other girls for my brother’s fiance, Liz’s, bachelorette rendezvous.  I couldn’t be more excited because I have constantly watched these magnificent vessels from the piers of San Francisco for years now.  I’ve been on power boats my entire life (wakeboarding, tubing, etc) but never sail boats!  I went once with a great friend of mine, Sheena, while I went with her home one summer in high school to her native island, Barbados.  That experience was unforgettable as you can imagine sailing around a tropical island and snorkeling above and around sunken ships in transparent turquoise marvels.  I’ve also heard all the great stories from Ian about growing up spending entire summers on his grandparents sail boat and just having the time of his life.

However, this new experience I imagine to be a little bit more adventurous for the simple fact that the bay area waters are not exactly calm or warm.  It will definitely be safe but I look forward to being a little more involved in the process.  This is also a great experience I look forward to because it’s not your average bachelorette party.  We are going to be bonding over an adventure together and this is how I know Liz is the one for my brother.  She is up for the crazy challenge of life ahead with my brother.  Just kidding brother, love you 🙂  But I love that they will continue to explore life together through new and exciting adventures.  I hope to capture my own photos from the sunset sail this weekend so I can share with everyone but for now here are some from a SF travel site: