Learned to sail on eight foot El Toro dinghies at Lake Ralphine, Santa Rosa, California (early teens). Acquired real "sea time" (three months) in 1975 working aboard the NOAA Ship RAINIER between the Cook Inlet, Alaska and the west side of Two Harbors, Catalina Island, California, with a service stop in Seattle, WA. Resumed sailing in 1985 on a Catalina 23 with Porter Thompson on Vineyard Sound out of Lake Tashmoo, Martha's Vineyard.
In the fall of that year, sitting on the beach behind the health food store between the Black Dog restaurant and the Gannon & Benjamin Marine Railway, I met Russell Brown as he was hauling his proa Kauri for the winter. I helped him a little and got a close look, including inside.
Still sailing the Catalina 23 frequently in the spring and summer of 1986 when one day the magnificent 50' Newick trimaran Moxie blocked access to our dock and I got a chance to go aboard. She had just arrived from winter haulout in Maine and suffered damage to her starboard ama (old Navy wound) so island resident Dick Newick, Moxie's designer, had lifted the damaged ama up onto the dock and was doing a major repair.
We got rides on Kauri once in awhile that summer and then in the fall of 1986 I crewed on a 41 foot, 45,000 lb.(!!) "Pinky" schooner non-stop from Martha's Vineyard to the Chesapeake Bay in 3.5 days, my first offshore sailing experience. We anchored as near as possible to Jim Brown's house where we attended the wedding of Kim and Lou MacGregor. Cimba and Kauri were both there; we hung around for a few days, went sailing with Russell on Kauri.
Over the winter of 1986/87 I was going to the mainland every two weeks with Dick Newick, video taping the construction of Ocean Surfer. We had a lot of time to talk on those ferry rides. Dick also had a shop at his house on the Vineyard where Ocean Surfer's wing mast was built, along with many other epoxy projects over the years. The sign outside said "Beware, proa constructor". During that winter, the opportunity came up for me to become a 1/3rd owner of Moxie and I jumped at the chance!!
For three incredible summers, 1987..89, I sailed Moxie as much as possible (3 to 5 times per week) from May through October, including delivery trips to and from Maine each season, trips to Nantucket and Newport, and mostly just sailing between West Chop and Wood's Hole, the Elizabeth islands, Buzzards Bay, Menemsha...
Summer of 1987 was fantastic!!! In June, four of us raced Moxie from Newport, R.I. to Bermuda, setting a race record at that time of 64 hours, 49 minutes (average 10+ knots for 630+ miles, as I recall, hitting 22 knots at times). Leaving Newport Harbor, we had 40 knots of wind on the nose, rain and ten foot seas. Ugh. Russell was already in Bermuda aboard Kauri, heading north to the Vineyard again from a winter spent in warmer places.
Ocean Surfer was launched that summer and I went on many of the shakedown sails, then used Moxie as a platform to video Ocean Surfer passing by. Skipper Mark Rudiger showed up to train with the boat which he sailed in the singlehanded trans-Atlantic in 1988. More sails on Kauri in a variety of conditions in Vineyard Sound, Wood's Hole and Buzzard's Bay, 1988 and 1989, though never "offshore".
In 1988, I waited for a predictable October gale with 25 knot winds out of the west, off the land, leaving flat water on Vineyard Sound for two friends and I to sail the 50 foot racing trimaran Moxie around the island of Martha's Vineyard in four hours and fifty-five minutes!
In the winter of 89-90, Moxie was sold and my friend with the Catalina 23, Porter Thompson, bought Kauri from Russell Brown. I was originally a partner with Porter in Kauri but moved to California in January of 1990 before we launched the next season. I did return and sail Kauri with him, without Russell on board!
Spent many Saturdays working in Sausalito with Marc Ginisty (builder of Aotea and Nai'a) on the catamaran Apparition (and have sailed it alot too). Crewed regularly with Mike Reppy on Nai'a, usually blasting across S.F. Bay but occasionally out the Golden Gate for a little overnight up the coast at Bolinas.
Flew to Hawaii in 1995 and was one of five who delivered Double Bullet II back to L.A. in 12.5 days after the transpac. 76 feet long, 15,000 lbs., 100' wing mast. We left the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor around 10:30 am and arrived in Nawiliwili, Kauai, five hours later, hitting 27 knots in the Kauai channel!! (a delivery!) Encountered 18' seas 300 miles from California, big fun.
Delivered Double Bullet II from Cabo San Lucas to Marina Del Rey.
Five years crewing on various race boats in San Francisco Bay, mono and multi including a wild F-25c, "Ja Mon".