Monday, December 15, 2008

Long Time, No Update

Well... the Catalina is finally gone. I had her picked up with a wrecker and we took her to the landfill. She's gone and now no longer trying to suck cash from me in the afterlife.

Not much else has been going on. I passed my Microsoft exam for windows xp, so I now have my MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional) certification. I got a raise at work for being there 1 year and my review went well. Im trying to get a promotion, we will see how it goes.

Ive been working on my hobie cat and trying to get her ready for the spring time. I was working on the side rails of the trampoline frame when I noticed a large crack in the rail along a hole that developed from the sea/salt eating through the aluminum. New rails are $145 each (2 total) but right now Im investigating the use of epoxy to bond some aluminum stock over the hole and stress crack to strengthen it. Apparently there are issues with epoxy and aluminum due to oxidation and the bond will fail eventually.

Anyways, I will get back to work on updating this damn blog. Im still here. Just dont have much to report.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The New Project

Well, there she is. I mean... there THEY are. I gave Chris the yellow one, mr blue is mine. I picked them both up for $600, they need some work. Hopefully I will be sailing mine this weekend after a few upgrades. They are both Hobie 14 Turbos, meaning they have a front jib instead of just a main. I cant wait, Im super excited!

Harvest Moon Regatta Part 1

Looking forward in Greg's boat

The Tallship Elissa

Cruise ships back at port

Anchored near the Galveston cruise terminal, waiting for Arty to arrive

Looking aft in Greg's beautiful Morgan 382

Cliff at the helm

Greg and Arty discuss life and politics

Approaching the Flagship Hotel, our start. Late.. very late

Finally we made it past the start (tetrahedron)

The boats in the distance is where we were supposed to be, but we were 17 minutes late for the start.

Vagabond 47, stunning.

Bearing down on ya... better shake that reef out

Our first victom getting passed

This is where I slept

Monday, October 27, 2008

Harvest Moon pictures part2

Greg and Cliff, early morning

Sailing into Port Aransas

s/v Barefoot Babe rounding the marker

Getting swept out of the channel

Greg at the helm, pure concentration


Looking aft towards the gulf and the markers

First entering the channel, Arty is our lookout

Sailing Backwards

The current was horrendous!

s/v Barefoot Babe on the left

Yours Truly, Dave Rich in person, steering for the win

Traffic jam in the channel, port aransas

Arty in pre-celebration

Vagabond 47.. a beautiful boat. This is everyone stuck in the channels

The Renegade Burgee

Group picture of crew with the addition of Don (far left) from the forum we frequent for sailing and general rowdyness

Tankers in the houston ship channel

Greg, owner and fearless captain of Catharsis

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Damn! Where Have YOU been Dave Rich?

The answer is quite simple... in many many places and forms.

Ive been dealing with boat insurance bastards.
Ive been sailing on other peoples' boats.
Ive been celebrating my birthday.
Ive been sailing in the Harvest Moon Regatta in which our boat took 2nd place in our division.
Ive been reading non stop about preparing boats for ocean passage and other sailing material.
Ive been working... thats all that can be said about that topic.
Ive been looking at boats and trying to decide on what my next one will be.

Ive been doing everything EXCEPT SURFING.

Isnt that how it always goes? With this job, it has turned me into a weekend warrior and it is almost impossible to catch surf. Living 1.5 hours from the beach and working 8am-6pm is just making it impossible to even think about surfing right now. Its ok though, its making me even more motivated that I have ever been.

I have been working hard on the first step of my huge goal of escape, and that is paying off my debt. Its official right now... IM DEBT FREE! The boat is paid, the credit card is empty... its time to kick it into high gear and I already have my first grand in savings. Im dead serious about getting the fuckkkkkk outtaaaaa this place.

Like I mentioned up top, we just got back from competing in the harvest moon regatta. I was crew on a Morgan 382 and we took 2nd place in Cruising non Spinnaker division group d. It was one of the coolest things I have done. Sailing offshore is just amazing and I wish we could have been out there for weeks. That trip greatly increased my interest in taking a sail boat for my trip so I have been doubling up on my reading. Time to get serious.

Well, I shall be posting some pictures of the sailing trip. Until then...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Basically she's gone

Yea that sums it up. The boat didnt make it. I dont know what Ill do now but yea... I have to find something to occupy my time.

Man it has been a long time since I have posted on here! I need to get back in the groove that I was in for a while.

In some recent news, I finally got a spot screwing aboard s/v (sailing vessel) Catharsis. A friend of mine Greg owns the boat. Its a Morgan 382 and we are headed offshore early thursday morning, october 16th. The race we are participating in is called the Harvest Moon Regatta and we will race non stop from Galveston Island to Port Aransas offshore in the Gulf. It should take at max around 2 days to get there. I can say that I am VERY excited about this as it will be my first offshore passage. Ill be offshore with a great crew of knowledgable sailors and one who does yacht delivery work for a living. I cant wait to pick that guy's brain! I have been doign a lot of sailing research and study on storm tactics and dealing with heavy weather while at sea. I got the book "Storm Tactics" by Lin and Larry Pardey and its awsome, especially accompanied by the dvd. Its putting more courage into me to possibly attempt a voyage by boat for my next trip. Storms and dealing with that has been a major concern for me along with a few others but I have been learning that with enough practice and the right gear, a sailor can make it through even some of the roughest weather while at sea.

In some other news, I have been thinking about buying my first motorcycle. I have been eyeing a 99 Kawasaki KLR650. Its basically a street legal dirtbike, an enduro/dualsport if you will. They are very durable and you can take them almost anywhere, and ohh did I mention, 45mpg????? The deal is a decent one at $1800 so Im thinking about taking it to have something to do with my time on the weekends now that my sailing has been brought to an abrupt end. That might change as well, I might be in the market for a small trailor sailer to keep racking up hours and experience on the water. I need to keep turning those miles under my keel. Keeping my boat until it was time to upgrade was the plan originally and I really didnt expect to loose the boat so damn fast. Its really dissapointing. Basically, she made it through the storm but was drug by a truck in the apartments by residents clearing paths to get in trucks so they could move out. I really need to post some pictures but Im just not in the mood tonight to hunt them down.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

been a while

well the hurricane is coming....

The boat is tied up and Ive battened all the hatches haha.

I dont have much faith that she will make it....

Storm surge is just gonna be too rad.

Im hoping they are hyping and full of shit.

We will see

Monday, August 25, 2008

Two Quotes from my Miki Dora Book

Well, Im nearing the end of "All for a Few Perfect Waves" by David Rensin. The book has been opening my eyes to a surfing legend that who's life was previously unknown to me. I had heard the name but I did not understand who this person was. Miki Dora. A legend in his own.

Here are two quotes, well paragraphs, from the book that have moved me....

"To what avail the plough or sail, or love, or life -- if freedom fail? Freedom. Freedom to what? Escape, run, wonder turning your back on a cowed society that stutters, staggers, and satnates every man for himself and fuck you Jack I've got mine?
To be truly challenging, a voyage, like life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen, who play with their boats at sea --"cruising" it is called. Voyaging belongs to the sea men, and to the wonderers of the world who cannot or will not fit in.
Little has been said or written about the ways a man may blast himself free. Why? I don't know, unless the answer lies in our diseased values....Men are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of "security", and in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine--and before we know it our lives are gone.
What does a man really need --- really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in ---and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all --- in the material sense. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention from the sheer idiocy of the charade.
The years thunder by. The dreams of youth grow dim where they like caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.
Dedication to the sea is the symbol of migration and movement and wondering. It is the barbaric place and it stands opposed to society and it is a constant symbol in all of literature, too.
As Thomas Wolfe said, "It is the state of barbaric disorder out of which civilization has emerged and into which it is liable to return."
----Stearling Hayden, Wonderer, 1964

And now the famous paragraph from Miki Dora himself as seen in the movie "Surfers- The movie"

"My whole life is this escape; my whole life is this wave I drop into, set the whole thing up, pull off a bottom turn, pull up into it, and shoot for my life, going for broke man. And behind me all this shit goes over my back: the screaming parents, teachers, the police [laughs], priests, politicians, kneeboarders, windsurfers ---they're all going over the falls into the reef; headfirst into the motherfucking reef, and BWAH! And I'm shooting for my life. And when it starts to close out I pull out and go down the back, and catch another wave, and do the same goddamned thing again." -- Miki Dora

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Native Americans, Cocaine and that Helpless Feeling that Im Getting Old

Interesting title no? I thought so myself.

Native Americans. Thats a term I have always liked because of its "correctness" against the "white man". I hate the term too because it sounds way to PC (politically correct for those not in the know) for me and it actually takes longer to say than just Indian. So basically what Im saying is that I prefer Native American but I use Indian to keep it short and sweet.

Well last night was interesting as hell. I went downtown to meet Jess for dinner and some drinks over at Cecil's on W. Grey and we were having a good night. We invited some fellow surfing friends up there and they came to hang out for a bit. Well, this Indian guy walks up and introduces himself, a pretty nice guy, and challenges for the pool table. No biggie, we wernt even playing. Dez, a friend of Jess and I, takes the offer. Anyways, lets just say some MAJOR miscommunication happens and next thing I know, they are seconds away from blows. The bouncers kick Dez out and I talk with the Indian guy. He is extreamly sorry and is very apologetic and I tell him no worries, it was both parties faults equally but Dez was letting his temper get to him.

Anyways, later that night, the Indian guy buys Jess and I a round for another apologee. As Im closing my tab, I buy him and his cousin a round as a good gesture. We are all shaking hands and thats when he slips me the little baggie of cocaine. Im literally like WTF? We hit the car and check it out, no small baggie either. Jess says street value maybe around $40 but says its a lot to just give someone. We toss it out the window...... YES WE TOSSED IT. I dont fuck with that stuff!

Anyways..... moving on.

I was just sitting here at my desk, thinking about last night, thinking about my future, thinking about Jess and girls in general and thinking about Mexico as I could see one of my pictures on my background. Damn.... Im getting old. Im getting complacent. Im starting to think, yeaaaa screw all that. Ill just stay here and buy a badass boat and maybe a house or something and just settle in, live that "normal" life. Then I think.... "DAVE RICH, WAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?????? QUIT YOUR JOB TOMORROW!!!! GET OUTA HERE! HIT THE ROADS! GO LIVE ON THE RANCH IN MONTANA WITH YOUR GRANDMA! GO SURF YOUR BRAINS OUT!". Im freaking out. .... Its safe to say..... Im feeling another small break down happening. Nothing serious. Ill drink heavily for a few something stupid..... probly get myself in some trouble lol. I dont know. I neeeeeeeed to get the fuck outa here. I only have 8 days of vacation, that SUCKS! I have been saving like crazy for next summer when I will have like 15 and I can take off for Mexico and go surf like a damn madman.

Girlfriends..... .wow. That is just a mess. I have been single for almost 2 yrs now and well.... I duno. Do I give up my freedom? My free weekends where I do whatever the hell I want, which is always sailing and having a good time? Ooooooo and what about money? Im almost debt free and I need to keep saving hard after Im out because I need to start racking that cash up to get outa here. Im proud of myself about getting out of debt so fast but truthfully, I could have done it faster but at the risk of possibly driving myself crazy trying. Its time to get serious...... I gotta get outa here before I loose my mind, my guts, and my freedom.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Some Sailing Videos

Sorry if these have been posted before.

Not much has been going on. I had a pretty uneventful weekend on the boat, mostly trying to catch up and get back in the maintenance when the heat is down. This weekend I lubed my winches and re bedded the bolts with 5200. They turn MUCH easier now!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Office Mishaps

Well... let me explain Jason. Jason is one of those people that disaster just follows him around wherever his presence may be. Kinda like pigpen with that cloud of dust from Charlie Brown.

Whether its his motorcycle spewing oil all over his pants, his truck tailights falling out on the road, or contantly spilling drinks on himself; he's a walking DISASTER! He provides our office with non stop entertainment, unfortunately for him it is all at his expense.

Today he topped the charts with this stunt. He was trying to replace his battery backup under his desk and we have these crazy complicated cubicle things. Anyways, he was trying to disconnect the upper desk part, with all of his things still on there, and WAMMMO. The entire desk piece flipped over and he was yelling for me to come and save his monitors. Sorry for the blurryness of the pics but we were just laughing too hard! Yes thats a coke on the ground and it got all over everything!!!!!!!!!!!
In the end, the battery backup didnt even plug into the wall socket that was behind all that! He did it for NOTHING! Gotta love it! This is for you Jason, I told you I would put it on my blog. hahahahah thanks for the non stop fun.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

That Hurricane is just tooooooo close!

Dolly Dolly Dolly. I wish you a speedy death.

It would have done us wave starved Texans much much better had she taken a middle of the Gulf route. Instead the Florida pan handle caught the goodness we usually are blessed with, as if they dont get enough swell!

Its getting big around here but the conditions are less than ideal with us being on the "dirty" side of the storm. The winds are all over the place and our surf is in total 'victory at sea' condition right now. Everyone is hoping on Thurs or Fri, IF there is enough swell left over. Im just writing it off and hopefully we will have some decent winds this weekend for some good sailing.

Rami and I went sailing on sunday and we had a damn blast despite the late start. He hasn't been out there in a long time but he quickly remembered. This time though, I was going to give him the full crash course and get him handling the boat comfortably. We had a great sail with light winds at first but they steadily increased later on and it was my first time to sail into and across the ship channel. We were just enjoying the vibe, drinking and I was laying down below trying to imagine and pretend we were sailing across the ocean somewhere. Total bliss! I got Rami to start single handing and forcing him to tack and work the sails at the same time. We sailed all the way through the channel coming in and were coming along nicely but a little slow. A beautiful classic cruiser passed us motor-sailing through the channel and a motor boat was stuck behind us and our little sailing traffic jam. I was worried he would pull the typical "power boater" attitude and I apologized to him as he passed and he just laughed and said "no worries man, isnt that what its all about??". You rock dude! So the wind picked up and I forced Rami to sail straight at the Sundance Grill2 to scare the people a little and get the most of our tack. We pulled a BEAUTIFUL tack maybe 15ft before running into the dock and we caught some thumbs up and shouts from the crowd eating outside.

Coming across the lake I asked Rami what time he had to be home. He informed me that he didnt have any schedule to adhere to so we quickly turned around and headed for the Turtle Club, a floating bar. We tied off and headed in to get the sunday special called Bushwackers. All they told me was "a couple of types of rum, some Kahlua, some licqour crap, and yea...... they'll put ya down. After 2 each, we decided it was time to get outa there before being on a boat would have just been too difficult and we motored on back to the marina. What an awsome night!!!!!

Everything else has been going ok. Ive been getting a little bored as always so Im thinking of a new direction for this site in conjunction with my youtube account. I have a good camera and I would like to start filming some sailing and stuff so stay tuned.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Subway Lines

Well, not those trains but the restaraunts.

Why does it seem that every single time I go there I get stuck behind some douche bag who is ordering for the entire office? Why dont they ever have enough sense or kindness to let me, single sandwich guy, pass and pay????? So I just want to say thanks to the lady who drug her 3 very young children into the store and let them choose their sandwiches while explaining all of the available options and wasting 20 minutes of my lunch period. Asshole.

Not much else going on, just hungover and tired. I had a late night last night and some more drama and I swear to God Im so ready for this week to end. Its has been NONSTOP shit all week and it has to end. Its too much to explain but lets just say I have never been so well reminded of why I have been single for almost 2 years now.

Hope everyone has a great weekend. Im going to try for a sail despite the shitty wind forecasts. Lol, love the optimism today in this post

Monday, July 07, 2008

And All Those Other Things

My sailing/surfing buddy Chris sent those to me today. Those are Toyota camper trucks and I have to say, Im hooked! Those things look awsome! I remember seeing the big Toyota motorhomes all the time but these are much much cooler. I could totally live in one of those things for YEARS just surfing my brains out somewhere in Central America..... or that nice little left point Joe and I discovered in Mexico last year. Ahhhhhh the posibilities.... but gas is going to suck. They do ok, 18-24 but still..... if I drive for 3 years and make it south to Argentina or something thats around 80K miles judging from others similair trips ( ). Thats a lot of money in gas!!!!!!

Well, once again, it has been a while since my last post. I just can't seem to stay caught up with this thing anymore. Well, basically its because I still feel awfully repetative on here. I dont want to bore what readers I have left with my BS. Lol, moving on.....

The races were pretty decent despite the apparent totall lack of anything resembling wind. In fact, on the 2nd day of racing, they called the races off after only 1 race. Thank God though cause "sailing" (more like slightly controlled drifting) at .5kts really sucks when its 90F outside. We came in last place on Saturday and last again on Sunday. We were in 1st for a while on Sunday then fell slightly but had a firm grip on 3rd when we followed another boat around a marker and made some wierd navigational error resulting in us being in last place. Shit.....I hate losing.

Not much else has been going on, just still tossing up the endless question for my next trip. Drive, sail, or hitch. I dont know the way yet, but I might even be open to some other alternatives as well. I have been keeping my eye on some boats in the area and a great deal just came up on an 85 Westerly Konsort 29'. A British boat that is quite strong but the deal has come at a bad time and I dont have the 10K on hand yet. Plus when running some numbers through the sail calculator she was returning some capsize ratio numbers that I didnt quite like. Its debatable but coming in at 2.12 was just too much for me, hell my Catalina 25 does 1.96!!!

In other news, Im about 2-3 months away from being totally debt free!!!!!!!!! Isnt that awsome?? I thought so! This is the first major milestone in my ultimate dream of living free and getting on the road (or ocean) for an extended trip while still in my 20's. I have been paying at record levels and have dug myself out 7K in less than 1 year! I could have done even better but I might have driven myself insane if I would have stayed home every single night and eaten jelly sammiches or lunch. No thanks. We will save those hardships for when Im on my trip.

I keep thinking about a route or a desired desitnation for the trip and I guess all that just depends. I would like to try and take up work wherever I decide to stay for a while. 2 months here, 3 there, 1 over there; doesn't matter to me. I have been getting pretty good at repairing surfboards and I actually like doing it. I did it for beer and lunch when I was on my last trip and camping at La Ticla, Mexico. I did some basic ding repairs, rail gashes, and busted noses. Fiberglass/epoxy is magic!!!!!!!! I guess I could do this for basic crap but it will only work out near "surfy" towns and stuff. I would like to drive to South America, shipping the car through the Darien of course. I really want to explore Colombia and Venezuela. I hear great stories of these places and of course great surf. How could I resist? Africa? Mmmmmmmm the Philipines and Indonesia are callllllling my name with remoooooteeee islands and endless empty surf breaks. I hate surfing totally alone but I guess I could get used to it. I tend not to charge as hard when Im surfing by myself though and the risk of death from an injury is a little great when surfing by yourself. Death is a strong word but I guess it could easily happen. Get knocked out, boom, you drown etc.
Anyways my loyal fans, I shall be giving you doses of adventure soon. I have some pictures of sailing coming up.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Upcoming Regatta

Well I have a race (regatta) to crew in this weekend. Its the Lukemia cup and Ill be aboard a Pearson Ensign in the one-design group. Im really looking foward to this as I had a blast last time. The only crappy part is the winds and forecast looking like only 5-10 for the weekend. It will be long and hot, thats for sure.

So this past weekend I finally decided to make a small trip on my boat and overnight somewhere. I waited as late as I could before heading out to Redfish Island as the heat was horrendous! Around 5:30pm Saturday, I pushed off and headed out. My motor is running a little hot due to a semi clogged intake tube so I run it as little as possible and with the winds straight out of the south that day, a sail through the lake and out the main channel was entirely possible. I set the sails and had her hauling next to a large tri-maran that takes charter guests out all the time. I was passing them under sail while they were motoring through the lake and had several guests aboard snapping photos of me until I did a 360 to allow the big boat more room in front of me to maneuver in the channel.

As soon as I broke free of the boardwalk, I went flying close hauled to the wind towards the island. I worked on balancing the sails like I have been learning and setting my tiller tamer which is a very simple autopilot. Its a line that is clamped down on the tiller and with everything in perfect trim the boat will semi steer itself and boy did it ever this day! I sailed a good 45 minutes before I ever had to touch the tiller, walking around the boat, going below for some snacks and drinks, you name it. I passed the big tri again out on the water and I sheeted in to give them a show and really get her heeling. I passed them at 30 degrees over to port and just flying and I was able to point her very high. I made it all the way into the island without tacking one time, which is usually next to impossible on a SE wind but I was able to scoot in ever so cleverly that day. I decided with all my single handed sail handling I would try to set the anchor under sail with no help from the engine. This would proove to be more challenging that I imagined.

I came into the anchorage and found a nice spot I like and quickly hove to. I tied the tiller off and ran to the bow to drop the anchor and realized I was still moving at a solid knot or so. I started to panic about running over my anchor with the keel so I ran back trying to come about through the wind and tack off to drag my anchor a little until it set. I could not get her to tack, she only wanted to gybe. I couldnt for the life of me get the tiller "unstuck" and I was drifting rapidly towards a motor boat and I started getting very nervous. I decided to abandon my goal and drop the engine, which I messsed that up too, basically rendering me under sail until I had a minute to fix the engine. Anyways, long story short, I tacked and missed the boats and the rocks and finally got the anchor set with the help of the motor. I had a wonderful night at anchor and slept great in the wind rushing through my foward hatch and into the v-berth.

That next morning I was preparing everything to go and setting up the big 150 genoa my friend let me borrow in anticipation for sunday's light winds. I started to bring down my LED latern Id hauled to the top of the mast with my main halyard (I dont have a working masthead light for anchoring) and then I realized my next mistake. I should have tied another line because the lantern was so small and light that it did not weigh enough to come down on its own. Shit. Now what? I got the boat hook out. Not long enough. Wait..... what if I climb the mast with the boat hook, I wont have to go the top! So I hung the hook on the spreaders and shimmied up the mast. Standing lightly as possible on the spreader brackets, a full 14-16ft above the deck of my boat, I hooked the lantern with the boat hook and got it down and got my ass off that mast as fast as possible.

I had a pretty uneventful sail home. I drifted for a while with no wind and sail another 1 -3 hours only making a 1 - 1.5kts or so. The sun was tearing me up as I have no bimini for shade. Finally around 1 - 2pm the winds started kicking and I was running the boat pretty well balanced and wing and winged it with no pole and was making around 4-5kts. I raced a boat around the lake a little and finally decided I'd had enough for the weekend and I was getting burned pretty bad.

Well... that was my weekend. Sorry there is no better ending lol, but its time for me to leave the office and get my ass home.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Im still alive

dont worrrrrry peeps. Ive just been a little busy. Boat coming along great and even better news, Im about 4 months from being totally 100% debt free! Yeaaaayuh!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Back from the weekend

Well this weekend was nuts. I only wish I had pictures!

It started out with me arriving to Hattisburg Mississippi 1 hour ahead of my bro who drove to the coast to pick up his friend from the airport. I wanted to mess with him, so before I even got the house, I swung by a gas station and grabbed a 4 pack of sparks. I drank with his roommate Ryan and when he showed up I was already a little toasty. We all had a few beers and headed out the bar where I sucked horribly in some pool. We met a bunch of my brothers friends from school and we all decided to head out to some club called Zodiac.

At Zodiac I was already a little messed up and then I figured out that they had like $2.00 gin & tonics. Bad news for me. I started buying drinks left and right and got into some hispanic discussions with a friend of Cory's who is also big into their culture. The last thing I remember is holding 3 drinks somehow and attempting to drink them all.

I woke up in the morning and felt pretty damn good, the result of a post bar super drunk chips and salsa binge that my brother and I engaged in. We all got dressed and headed up to the University for graduation ceremony. Don and I just checked out all the hot girls the whole time and half listened to the guest speaker who seriously rambled on for about 10 minutes about some Babe Ruth story and not even giving up in life. Im dead serious. We all decided that we would stay only as long as to watch Cory walk and nail a pic and we would be outa there. Ryan and I made an agreement to yell pretty loud when my bro hit the stage and that was pretty damn embarressing. Back at the house it was pack pack pack time as we all were headed down to New Orleans for some night-time festivities.

As soon as we hit New Orleans I was amazed at the destruction I saw before me, even 3 years after that infamous storm. Whole apartment complexes just abandoned, abandoned stores, buildings...... homes. In downtown there were several high rises with windows completely blown out, standing there as silent but obvious reminders of this city's recent hardships. Spray painted on a wall, there was graffitti that read "Wealth in the face of such poverty is a crime against all humanity". We rounded a corner and turned onto Canal and there I saw an entire tent community living under the I10 bridge, maybe some 50 tents. I saw another sign that read "New Orleans bars never closed while we have no homes". This all put me into a very somber mood as I immediatly felt horrible for coming to this city to party and to forget my problems while these people still have not recieved help or care for what they went through. There are a million things one could assume in both directions, but I saw what I saw and NO American city should ever look like that. We have abandoned them. Left them to fend for themselves. That did not have the look of any American city and Im ashamed of that.

Anyways.... after talking with Don a little while about it and seeing that he was equally as moved, we both decided to just try and put it behind us. After dinner, a mojito and a gin&tonic, I felt much better. We all headed over to Tropical Isle for the famous hand grenades and I had a heck of a time finding a damn ATM that would read my debit card. I finally found one after I walked 16 blocks round trip.... and it was hot! We started on the drinks and eventually made our way to another bar called BeerFest. My bro Cory had been telling me about this place becuase they have a squiddy. A huge beer bong that can support 7 people at once! 2 beers per person were filled and we all went for it, chugging our hearts out. Yours truly took the first game and narrowly lost the 2nd. All that beer so quickly and so soon after a big dinner had my stomach in fits and not to mention I had a major shit moving inside haha. I headed down the street to hotel and snuck into the bathrooms and did my biz and made myself throw up 3 times to get all that beer out of me. I felt great!

I took off down the street to find my bro and everyone who had headed to Club Utopia. I was blocked by a bunch of police, an ambulance, and a huge crowd. I later found out someone had been shot right there in front of everyone on Bourbon street. Utopia was a blast and I was trying to catch up to everyones level of drunkness, after all, I had just thrown up all my beer and liqour. I started going for gold and blew all the rest of my cash and was buying everyone shots and it got expensive fast. I ended up dancing a little but it was mostly Don and Cory who were stealing the show haha. I left with 2 of our friends and headed with them back to the hotel where I once again, somehow hurt my face while drinking. I was jumping on the twin beds back and forth and I decided to dive and missed the bed and fell down into that hole thats always between hotel beds and the wall, smashing my face into said wall. A little phased I got up and decided to calm down and eventually went to sleep. This is where I had smash #2. I rolled off the bed in my drunken sleep and caught my face yet again on the end table that is usually between twin beds in hotel rooms. I never even woke up.

Back in Hattisburg we all just sat around playing video games all day saturday and having fun. Later that night the hangover started kicking my ass so I started in on the beer in an effort to curb its attack on my head and stomach. At dinner I started slamming em down and had a jagerbomb to help with the peppiness. We headed out to a bar after that where I had another 4 beers, 2 shots of patron, and 1 of jack daniels. Back at home I finished the night off right with a nice good glass of Captain Morgan. A toast that my fellow sailing/surfing friend Chris said one day while sailing and drinking Sailor Jerry Rum... "To all the sailors at sea, and all the sailors that wanna be!".

I had a long drive back home but it was fun. I love being on the road and even a road I have driven countless times since I was in elementary school is still a blast. You just have to rememebr the places you stopped for gas and food last time and try not to hit the same ones again. I made it home pretty quick considering I got gas 2 times and stopped 2 more to pee. 7 hours total. My bro is a now a grad with his masters and Im super excited for him and proud of him as well. Now if I can just convince that bastard to move to Houston and live with me for a while, hehehe... Lord only knows what will happen.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

My Brother's Graduation

Well, Im headed to Mississippi tomorrow to watch my older brother graduate with his masters from USM!!!!! How awsome is that????

We have a fun filled weekend planned that includes friday night hotels in New Orleans a couple of blocks from Bourbon street. Yeaaa... Ill be more careful this time as I was almost arrested last time I was there. Yeeeaaaaaa hahahaa.

So we have been having some good times sailing lately as the weather has been perfect. I have a bunch of picutres I need to put up on here and I just started editing some videos I shot the day of a day we were out there. I will get them up on Youtube soon for everyone to see. Ok well... I need a shower. Im off to a special place :)

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Battle at Sea

Well, this weekend went by pretty uneventfully as Damien and I were working on Sabina's car. We battled an overheating issue and everytime we conquered one part, something else would rear its ugly head. We were so excited at one point we totally forgot she overheated the hell out of it the previous night. Needless to say, we got stuck in traffic trying to test something, and drove it literally 20 minutes with no water in the engine! I LOVE Hondas!

Well Sunday came around and Sabina, Damien and I decided to go sailing. The forecast was looking good at 10-15kts of wind from the NW. This would be my first experience with a NW wind in the bay and hopefully will be one of my last.

The sail started off nice with a good beam reach that had us doing somewhere around 4.5 - 5kts. As we neared Red Bluff Point we decided to jybe and head downwind toward redfish island. As we were on a broad reach to a training run, we were making good time. GPS was registering around 5.5-6kts. While sailing downwind, it is sometimes hard to realize changing conditions. It feels like you are sailing slower and it feels like the wind is much less than it is. I started to notice the increasing size of the waves and we began surfing down the fronts of them doing a steady 7kts. At one point on a wave my GPS registered 9kts, which is really fast for my little boat. We headed off the wind a little as I was getting a little worried about my rudder snapping off and thats when we started to realize the wind had kicked up considerably. We bashed through it for a while until I decided that we really needed to reef the main and thank God I did when I did. The winds started blasting us, gusting to over 25kts. The waves were building considerably but we were still making good headway and everyone was having fun, especially Sabina. She was laughing and giggling her ass off at every pounding wave we slammed over sending water flying everywhere. I noticed that many of the sailboats had dropped their sails to jibs only or reefed mains and we were one of the only boats flying a single reefed main with a full 110% jib. It was uncomfortable but we were having fun so why back down now.

We decided it was time to fight our way back to Kemah and thats when I realized just how hard this was going to be. I could not point near high enough to get us toward the kemah channel and now the winds were gusting to 30kts at times. We tacked and tacked and just couldnt do it so I set our course straight out to Baytown and Red Bluff. We were slowly being drug out into the ship channel and further away from Kemah and making slow but steady headway against the horrible NW current and huge waves. The seas in the bay were easily around 3-4ft and very tightly packed making the going rough. We were still having fun but I was getting nervous about the rig as I could hear and see it shaking under the stress of the gusting winds. Finally we got our tack back to kemah were I could point high enough to get us in. It was a long beam reach through the seas, a few times literally dumping all the sheets and heading into the wind to rough out for a few seconds what seemed like damn near 35kts gusts, just roaring wind that would send us heeling over 30 degrees almost dead into the wind with all the sheets extreamly eased. I really could have used a 2nd reef point and a smaller 100% jib but I have neither and I was determined to maintain a somewhat balanced sail plan. Jib alone would have been much better but our pointing ability would have been greatly lowered.

We finally made it back in and headed back to my marina across the lake which also had a 2ft rolling chop, spraying us still all the way home. Im very impressed with the way the boat handled the waves and wind and I have much more confidence in her now as a result of that day. It also showed me still how much more work needs to be done to my boat so that she is rigged properly and correctly to make everything as easy as possible in those rough conditions. Being on deck was not a nice place to be during all of that trying to fix a damn reef if the sail, only to find out that it would not reef totally flat due to the boom height.

Anyways, now Im at work, sunburned and sore, but remembering yesterday and being proud. We were the only 2nd boat out with as much sail and eating sandwiches the whole way in haha. I saw way too many sailboats drop all sails and turn to motors, whats the fun in that?

Thursday, April 03, 2008


I finally got to surf last weekend! Yes!!!!!!!! The water was hanging around 70F and decent air temp so I was able to trunk with a rash guard for a couple of hours. Wow Im outa shape!!! That was a helluva workout for me and I realize now what this 9-5 is doing to my poor body and soul. I had some good rides after a few blown waves and totally kooking out and eating shit a few times. It took me a little bit to get back in the groove but I had a blast. The waves were waistish with some pretty good sets rolling in, a lot of closeouts though. Im glad I took the fish, it was a perfect day for it.

The boat is still busted! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! The mast is still down and Im just hoping I will be able to get it back up this weekend. Last weekend I was crewing in a regatta (sailboat race) and that was super fun. We didnt do well but we were a thrown together last second team so we did our best. Im crewing on a 50ft tri-maran this saturday for a friend of a friend's charter. He owns the boat and charters it out on the bay all the time and he needs some help this weekend so I volunteered. The boat is HUGE! Well, I better get back to work. I have some pics coming up sooooooon.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

not gonna happen

Well, I was supposed to haul the boat out this weekend and repaint her bottom and clean up the hull, but I found out the yard will be closed on Sunday and that's the day I need to be back in the water and headed back home to my marina. Crap! So now, I will hold out until next weekend when I have more time and the yard will be open longer. I will try and get some good pics of the boat on the hard and the bottom work. Im also getting some vinyl stickers with the name of the boat for both sides. She is to be named "2 Far 2 Drive" and I will go through with the whole shebang of the tradition of naming the boats. After all, I want Posideon and Neptune to look well upon me and always give me gently following seas. Ok, well, I dont want following seas all the time but in general, protecting me would be nice.

Work has been a little crazy. With all the updates and everything going on, the IT dept has been nuts. We have been rolling out new things everyday to try and make the new finance software run much better. We have been employing and utilizing technologies that 3 weeks ago, we had only heard of, now we are running Windows Server 2008 virtualized with Terminal Server rocking out, handling several clients at full speed. We have 2 other virtual servers running Server 2003 and they are acting as terminal servers as well. We have been messing with the terminal server stuff to increase line speed and app response to our remote locations. Needless to say, its been a blast.

I missed some damn good surf today and that kind of sucks. I decided not to go at the last minute when I already had the green light to burn some of my comp time and now Im kind of regretting it. My buddie Charlie which some of you may remember from 3 long years ago (one of the guys I went to Costa Rica with and the guy who introduced me to surfing) went and said it was not as good as the pictures showed. He said the afternoon which was around the time I would have been back to work, was waaaay better with a high tide filling in and the current calming a little. Either way, it was nothing short of glass out there today. Well, this is Texas and its spring time, one of the best and most consistent times to surf here.

Well thats about it. Look out for the pictures of the boat on the hard coming soon. I gotta get her ready for her Freeport trip!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Battle with the Boat

Well, Im about to start placing orders for parts today so I can start getting everything repaired. I have to replace the sheeves at the top of the mast after I broke one and Im doing them all out of a strong desire to not have my halyards (ropes that raise and lower the sails) get caught in the top of the mast again. Its going to to be fun I can say that much. The haul out is scheduled for the last week of march but it might get bumped, we will see.

Work has been a blast. Im still fighting my way through BDD and its just driving me nuts at the moment. Its hard to dedicate a lot of time to it when your manning the help desk as well. I keep getting stop 7B errors which I believe are directly related to HAL incompatibility issues. Hehe, tech talk, sorry.

So for a response to the comment left to my last post, I will delve a little into the "alternative forms of living" question that was asked.

I have been fighting and analyzing the idea of what we do with our lives for the past few years. The whole shebang, Buy a house, buy a car, get married, have kids, pray they do something great, and move on. I believe that there are alternatives to this and avoiding this path is not necesarily a bad thing. After all, it is my life right? I look at many things that are happening in our world. Pollution, Blind consumerism, capitalism, neopolitical movements, globalization and I realize that the innocence of the world is gone or fading very rapidly. We now have access to almost any part of the world, instantly at our fingertips. Almost everyday, weird and obscure languages, perhaps once part of a beautiful and flourishing culture, are dying in favor of the international business language of english. Afterall, to rise from what is considered "poverty", you must beable to speak english to do foriegn business. To hang on to ones roots and cultures is almost a death wish for some peoples.

I try and live on the minimums. At times, I could do a lot better, I think everyone could, but trust me, I dont have a lot. I dont have an iPod, no gaming systems, no new car, no fancy cell phone, none of that mess. My dreams and desires have me living on the minimums, living life and seeing the joys that life and actions, not objects can bring me. Some people relate this to being very religious but thats not my case. I have an understanding that material objects end up in a dump and thats all they do. I have my material comforts, dont get me wrong, but Im very picky when I buy one, I make sure I can maxamize its usage. I traveled through Mexico and Guatemala for 2.5 months, 73 days with a friend, my car, our surfboards, and a tent. We slept in the dirt, in the car, in the tent, often covered in sweat for almost the entire duration. In 73 days of traveling, we slept in a room of some sort for only 10 days. We lived on street tacos, PP&J, cans of tuna, and ramen noodles. We ate good when we wanted to, but we enjoyed our basic foods almost as much so we decided to stick with the basics. We lived among the people and got to know them very well. I found this to be an amazing experience and it has completely changed my ideas about "travel" and "vacations". In Guatemala, we would watch tour buses full of rich Americans come through town as they "window watched", rolling slowly down the streets. They dare not leave the safety and comfort of their airconditioned bus, these Gautemalan's would surely murder them for their money. Its true, I was a victom of an attempted robbery; half of it my fault. I should not have slept there, lying prone under a palapa next to a fire. I should have slept with my machete as I always did, but I chose not to. Perhaps God was teaching me a lesson in faith and just how fragile our bodies are, and how quickly life can be taken from us. That robbery, the stabbing, the punk that got away before Joe could take an arm from him with the machete didnt change a thing about my view on people from other countries, especially Mexico.

My ideas of living now are changing a little. More and more news has come out that supports my idea of living to the max. I believe we as humans have had our time here, but we have betrayed our planet enough and the repercussions arent too far off. Im not talking about Global Warming or any of that political hype crap. I believe we might see a complete ecosystem collapse within our lifetimes if we continue at our rate. Im looking more and more into living "off the grid" and just trying to enjoy whats left of our beautiful world. Sailing is showing me how possible this is. Im working on my next trip, the drawing boards are up, the plans are rolling. Where I will sleep, eat, and visit; Im not sure. However, I do know that it will be an epic trip, either by sail or by van. Im planning at least Mexico, all of Central America, and possibly shipping the car/sailing into south America and exploring through there, especially Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia. My strive to see the world, to surf, to live my life not confined to an office is still strong. My spirit has not been crushed while I am doing my time in the 9-5, or 8-6 in this case. It is providing a means to put some long terms plans together for the ultimate escape. My head is still above the water.

Ill post some more pictures of sailing soon.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Crazyness is About to Begin!

Well, we are nearing our launch date to completely redo our Finance dept and move them to an entirely new software set. The training starts next week on monday and we just have a crazy mess of upgrades facing us. We have to roll them,and update our Utility Billing depts system as well and roll them to a new SQL server and away from a flatfile database. FUN!

Im also going back and forth about whether or not Im going to switch out my standing rigging on my boat. Basically, it could use it, but 700 is a lot of money to throw at it when it isnt really broken. The problem is that I cant really wait until its broken, because if something on the standing rigging fails under sail, there is a very good chance the mast will come down and not the way it was intended. Bleh! I have been going back and forth about this and well, I dont know. The date for the haul out is getting closer and closer and my list of projects is getting bigger and bigger and well, its going to suck basically. Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!! Not exactly the fun part of owning a boat but it has to be done!!!

Im looking forward to a long weekend and sailing my ass off. Its going to be a blast. We are forecasted to have 70F weather all weekend with nice 9-14mph south winds. Perfect sailing weather!!!!!!!!!! Now... If I can figure out a way to make all those damn powerboats stay at home and stop chopping everything up and in general, being stupid.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Weekends come and go

I had a good sail saturday, I just stayed in the lake cruising around and having a good time by myself. It was a nice day out and sunday I was hoping would be even better. I hung out till like 3am with Heather and Megan and I woke up kinda late, only to find hardly any wind. I decided to make a run anyways and headed for the bay. There were about a million boats out, ok not really, but it seemed like it. The motorboaters were out in full force, waking everything in their path and just stirring things up. I sailed around the bay a little before I finally had enough of no wind and came back in and fought my way through the channel to my slip. Yea... it sucked lol.

Here is an interesting email I got the other day from a friend from San Diego, I met him in La Ticla Mexico.

"what up man, long time. how have you been.....have a good winter...i moved to kauai in december and have been getting nuggs all winter. but thinkin ahead for summer, and conguamas, and barrels, and shrimp burgers.....catch my drift....or somewhere...maybe indo.....what are your plans . what you been up to.....holla back, partner.....yeeehaw barrel fest what what!!!"

This just gets my blood pumping like no other. Damn........... I cant wait to get back to that place!

I need to get wet, its been a while.

Im doing some scouting for a sail down to another port city around 40 miles south of where we sail. Its a place I often go to surf and I think a sail down there via the Gulf would really kick ass. We shall see how it back to work David!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Sailing Pics

Im at the helm. That day in the bay was just beautiful!
Here we are again. My bud Chris is going down below for some beers.

I got some shots from me sailing my boat last sunday. It was beautiful out there on the bay and I ran into 2 people that post on the same sailing forum I do and thats where I got the shots from.

Im going sailing again this weekend and Im super excited, I cant wait to hit the water. I have a small list of chores I need to do when I get down there tomarrow but its nothing too daunting. Well, I better get back to work, its going to be a crazy day. Thanks again Gary for the pictures!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Ahhhh Madness

Hahaha, Well yea. Im still alive and kicking in this mad mad mad IT world of the government. Working with 50 million different vendors, crappy software for such a specialized environment, and just random crap all over the place. Im hanging in there and coming up quick in this thing.

The sailing has just been going offffffffff!!!! I have been sailing every weekend and my personal life and organization has been suffering as a result of that. I have been learning literally TONS of information on this sailing thing and just getting out there and experierimenting with everything. Ive also gotten out there in the bay by myself in my first singlehand last week and had a blast. It was challenging to work the sails and plan everything in advance to make sure it would work but it forced me to really review my process and see errors I have been making. Anyways, I gotta run. Still at work and working on a bunch of issues. Anyone know why adobe acrobat pro 8 is totally eating it trying to convert a 200mb+ file that is 20 24X36 pages at 3000dpi down to 20 pages of 11X17 @ 300dpi? Dayum, its driving me nuts!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Just Thinkin

I have been doing a lot of that lately. Just reading and thinking about everything. BUT, dont leave the page yet, this will not be another "I can't decide what to do with my life" post.

I have been reading Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac and its an awsome book, I really recomend it to anyone who hasn't read it and is interested in another way of living.

The IT world has been going pretty decent, just learning and learning and staying caught up in a world that moves at the speed of light it seems at times. I have been trying to get focused on getting my ceritifications and trying to move up maybe here at the city but that will tell in due time. We have been working on several big projects and trying to increase our productivity and overall response time. Its really exciting and the technologies we are working with are super fun. Its challenging to say the least.

Well, it looks like Im headed to lunch. I brought my lunch today as an effort to start saving money for the big trip, but, I can always start on monday right? Right!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Small Craft Advisory

That was the call for Galveston Bay saturday as we had strong NE winds all day friday and then ESE winds at 15-20kts on saturday, effectively whipping the bay into a frenzy. It was clear and cold as hell as we met up at the boat, me, Damien, and my buddy Chris (the guy I raced last weekend). Chris starts putting on foul weather gear, being the experienced sailor that he is and is looking at me like Im totally retarded. I have on jeans, 2 shirts, and a good hoodie. He tells us its going to be cold and wet but we head out anyways.

As we are motoring through the channel and under highway 146 I noticed the lack of boats but I thought it was just the cold keeping them from coming out. As we approached the mouth of the bay, that's when I realized why there were hardly any boats out. There were 2-3ft waves and just chop everywhere. We started beating through it and I was up getting the mainsail ready to be reefed when I noticed the prop on the outboard was coming out of the water because we were bashing through so bad. The foredeck was getting soaked with each wave and I was catching chilly 50F water in the face. Chris informs us that we are heading back to the lake. He doesn't know my boat that well and doesn't really trust the rig that well yet. We headed back into the lake and let her run under full sail. We initially sailed on some light points or maybe the wind was just slacking a little because when we tacked back across the lake we started healing hard. I had a good puff hit me and I dropped my beer for the mainsheet to let it out a little to ease the heel and being her back under control. We sailed across the lake a few more times and on the last one at a close reach we were hauling ass. I didnt have my GPS so I dont have a speed but it was a solid 6kts for sure.

The rest of my weekend was pretty uneventful. I rode a dirtbike for my first time this weekend and immediately caught on to that and had a blast. It was a 200cc but had been modified a little and that damn thing was pretty fast.

I hung out with Sabinka last night and we watched a good movie and enjoyed some wine. It was the perfect end to my weekend and I had a good time. We talked about life and goals and missions a little and shared ideas with each other. Yup, now Im in the office, dealing with 25 something emails about tech crap. yay.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The race was ON!

A Beneteau 34 we passed

My boat. Yea, my jib needed to be hauled higher.

Healing pretty good here.

Chris on his Morgan25

Closeup of the Morgan25 I raced

I had a great day sailing on saturday! My Dad and my step Dad both came down to sail with me and I prepared them for the race that was going to take place against my friend Chris in his Morgan 25. We got the boat clean and loaded up with some lunch stuff and headed out.

We met up in the bay just outside the channel markers and we started raising the sails. Chris faked me out with reefing at first and I followed only to look up and see him under full sail. Damn! I unreefed and got the main and jib up as fast as I could and had my Dad at the helm start us on our first tack off to starboard. We quickly caught up to him and passed him and we turned back out to the bay as we were getting into some shallow water and I draw 4ft. All day Chris would get me on port tacks and I would hang right with him or gain on him on the starboard side. We did finally pass him and slamdunk him when I was at the helm and controlling a lot of the mainsheet. I passed within 15ft of him and completely stole his wind. What a great day! Later that night I got some praise for our performace that day. Not tooo shabby for some newbies.

Sunday brought colder weather with a northern wind and I decided to go out. Well the wind was dying off more and more throughout the day and by time we got a ways out the bay, it went totally calm with maybe 1-2kts of gust. Blam, we were becalmed. We decided to just hang out and drift and have some drinks. We had a good time and even motored over to some big 40ft Hunter and got them to give us some chips. It wasnt really my idea but it was funny nonetheless. We eventually had to motor all the way back in and as we were coming in, it started picking up again so we motorsailed all the way back to the slip.

Im really starting to get the hang of this I think. Its so incredibly fun out there. Im working on the boat and getting more and more things replaced and getting her looking good and sailing right. Ill be working on the rigging again soon. I still need to do my brightworks but, thats not at the top of the list. Enjoy the pictures.