Addendum on Waves

Some of my friends who read the last blog, suggested that I might be exaggerating the conditions just a little bit. But luckily, Willie and Howard are still around. I think at least one of them might be reading this blog. Perhaps they will verify my tall tail for the doubters. In any case, there is one sober fact that may be at least partly relevant. The same day we left from San Francisco to San Diego in July, 1983, another “midget ocean race” (the boats are small, not the ocean) was being sailed from Half-moon bay (south of San Francisco) to Moss Landing, a small port north of Monterrey. One of the boats in the race, a “Wiley Wabbit”, was lost with all hands very close to the same time we were repeatedly broaching. This was a crushing blow to a bunch of sailors, especially in the Monterey Bay area, from where the three lost crewmembers hailed.

The ocean is a dangerous place. No doubt about it.

3 thoughts on “Addendum on Waves

  1. lew whitney says:

    Billy, what a treat to read your Blogs!!! You will remember me as your old, old friend from Howlands childhood. I still aim for 40 summer nights moored in the same spot since 1948 where things have changed less than anywhere else I have spent time. Psyche moors next to us and Steve and Amanda are the best friends we could have……..not to leave out the Barbers and the Bevens whom we love to see too. Siwash ia tattooed into my memory bank, what there is of it.

    Some recollections about the conditions off SF:

    Admitedly, to avoid the Viet Nam war draft, I joined the Coast Guard Reserve in 1965. After boot camp, I was assigned to the legendary Dexter, a 320 foot CG cutter that contained mostly reservists. In January of 1966 we went under the Golden Gate in the teeth of a major Pacific storm…….60 knot winds and 30+ foot seas that broke over the bow and ran down the decks. The bow would dive and the stern would rise out of the water and you could hear the prop thrashing in the air. This was followed by a death roll to port, then starboard.The lookout Reservists were lashed to the crows nest and the rest of us were barfing into shared heads. We survived…….our ridiculous mission was to accompany the Acapulco each race, so conditions soon turned tropical and I spent my time sanding and painting.

    I look forward to sharing your Pacific Cup adventure with you and your crew via your Blog and send a big thank you for allowing me onboard.



  2. Hi Bill, thanks for taking me down memory lane. That was some adrenaline-filled times. If I was young, I’d probably do it again. Do you still have that super 8 film that you took when it was a bit calmer? I’d love to see that again.

    In regards to how fast we were going, I don’t know if we reached 30 knots – it was hard to quantify that, as our Signet speedo only went up to 20kts. But I do know that we pegged it a bunch of times, and each time we did, we were still going faster. Moore 24’s are like 505’s on steroids – 2000lbs in total with 1000lbs in the keel itself, narrow hull with a big spade rudder. The faster you go, the more control you get – just a really fun, honest boat.

    Howard Wright


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