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Welcome to Captain Brad's page. Let's go sailing!

Charter Setup Upon Arriving at Club Nautique Day On Bay Itinerary Party Food Clothing & Gear Directions
Setting Up
The Charter
Arrive at
Club Nautique
Your Day
On The Bay
The Itinerary
To You
Food &
Fashion &
Directions To
Club Nautique
Look thru the sections to get the info you need!

Setting up the charter

    · Choosing the boat: First, folks say "Yes, I'd like to go sailing." When I know how many people want to go, I can select a boat to fit. I won't reserve a boat 'til I have all the initial money, 'cause the charter companies keep the money.

    · Paying the filthy money: I collect an amount between $80-$130 from everybody. When I know which boat we'll take, I refund something or ask for more.

    · Changing your mind: Although I can get a refund up to 2 weeks before we go, I might not be able to get another boat, so once you say yes, you're stuck for your share, or for a sub. I don't like this part, but it gets horribly expensive very quickly if I don't pay close attention.

    · Choosing dates: If the participants are committed, I manage the date to work for everybody. If some are lukewarm, I establish (some) date(s), then choose the day that wins the most votes.

    · Who's going: All the sailing groups are selected by sending emails to folks who know each other. You'll know everyone there, probably.

    · Not worrying about Brad's feelings if you don't want to go: Sailing is not for everyone. Although the day will be safe, some folks just aren't cut out for it. If you want to do something fun that's more closely related to terra firma, then just say so, and we'll do something else another time (see Enjoy Yourself, under The Rules, below). You can only goof me up by not RSVP'ing. Either a yes or no is totally cool.

    · Where the boats are: I keep my vast fleets of sailing yachts at Club Nautique locations, plus a couple of marinas, in Alameda and Sausalito. I'll be asking you to decide which place we'll be leaving from. Alameda is closer to most folks I know, Sausalito has a shorter transit time under sail to the great scenery. I'm cool either way.

    · Type of boat: I rent sloop-rigged Hunters, Beneteaus, Islanders, Jeanneaus and Dufours, up to 50'. They're very pretty and great party vehicles.


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    Arriving at the Charter Base

    · The boat-getting procedure: I arrive as close to 0900 as I can, depending how hungover I am, and pick up the key and sign the contract. Then I go down to the boat and start the checkout list. This takes me between 30 and 75 minutes, depending on whether I've used that particular boat before, and whether the boat is well organized. I gotta sign the form to confirm that we have one of each thing - there are like 50 things to check.

    · The people-getting-aboard procedure: The group should plan on arriving at the charter base at the same time, like 10:30. At both Alameda and Sausalito, the marina itself is locked - we'll only get one key. The first folks to arrive will call me on the cellphone, and I'll let them in. After this, some heroic volunteer will in charge of getting everyone aboard, because I'll be busy with the checkout list. This means that bio breaks and car [un]loading require a little forethought and teamwork.

    The morning checkout list period might be a good time to eat something, have coffee, drink some margaritas, or whatever. Once we get going, it's best to have things stowed away to avoid too much excitement in the form of loud crashing noises when the sailboat heels to the breeze.

    During the last part of the equipment list check, volunteers can fill the icebox with ice. It won't be silly if we have an ice chest or two, just in case we don't like the look of the icebox versus our cold space requirements. Another thing we'll do is to decide on how to stow our stuff. Our boat will have lots of space below. We'll have to pay a little attention to how we fit in the cockpit to ensure smooth operations.

    Before we get underway, there will be a brief lecture on some safety and convenience topics such as crew overboard and using the toilets. You're not in Kansas any more, Toto.

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    Your Day On The Bay

    · The Rules:

    1. Be safe

    2. Enjoy yourself

    3. Speak up if you want something (like "can I steer now?") or don't want something ("Good God, we're heeling too far!")

    · Workers and Watchers:

    The boat we'll charter will be sloop-rigged. In a pinch, I can operate the boat entirely alone, although it means I can't simultaneously show off my tight-ship form underway. Also, it makes me tired afterward. This is why each of you gets to decide how much you want to help with sailing the boat, and when, or not. The most important part is that at the end of the day, you had a really great time and will revere me as a sea god for the rest of your life ... or, well, at least, that you had a really great time.

    Do NOT feel bashful about saying stuff like "Can it be my turn to steer, or trim (or disrobe, or whatever)?" What makes the whole thing fun for me is to be inside the decision making, not necessarily to do any particular job. If I ask you if you're tired of doing something, don't feel shy about saying “Yes, Brad, I’m ready for a break.” My punishment for asking is that I do some kind of sailing task - not what you'd call punishment at all. If you derive enjoyment from sitting back and soaking it all in, say so. You can even change your mind during the day.

    If I have some real need for help, I'll tell you what to do, and how to do it if you don't already know. If you're an enthusiastic do-er, then we'll coordinate just like a sailing crew. If you're supervising from behind a drink, I'll only ask if it's important. If I'm crazy with busy-ness, I might impose on somebody to hand over the drinking water, or my jacket, or whatever - this is a different sort of request than "sheet out the main" or "trim the outhaul".

    All this goes back to two basic facts: you're supposed to have a wonderful time, and I like just about everything about being in, on, and around sailboats (exceptions have to do with catastrophes, which we will not experience as long as anyone aboard is not experienced - we will never push the envelope enough for any real risks).

    · Risks: I don't take any risks as long as anyone aboard is not experienced. If you have to ask about what's risky, then there won't be any risks while you're aboard. Period. I will obsess all day about the risk that your sailing experience might be blemished in some minor way. That's all the risk you get. Get over it. If something seems scary, speak up - I'll explain it until you're comfortable, or we'll decide to do something else. Some things about sailing speak to a different part of your mind than your intellectual capability. You might understand logically that something is OK, but still not be comfortable. This is OK, but I can't fix it you don't tell me.

    · Where do we go? We'll decide that as a group - everybody gets a vote. Consensus wins. Often, with correct planning, everybody gets his or her own way. See also The Itinerary Belongs To You on this page.

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    The Itinerary and Schedule Belong To You

    Every decision will be made by consensus - this is your day!

    · 1030+: We set sail! During the morning hours, the breeze is usually light at the Golden Gate, so we might think about going out to the bridge for a little sight-seeing (I'm not insured this year to go past the bridge - maybe next year). This is not a hard decision to make at the last second and entails no risk - we'll do the right fun thing at the time. It takes about 30 minutes to get to the bridge from the slip in Sausalito, and about 2 hours from Alameda to GG. There are also McCovey Cove at SBC Park, and the Brother's Islands north of the Richmond bridge.

    I have also picked folks up and dropped them off at other locations, such as SF - this is kind of an adventure for everybody, so tell me if you have a location or schedule conflict.

    · 1200-1400: We'll want a snack or lunch (see "Food and Partying", below - details will be the content of a separate email). Good lunch places if we bring food are a slip or buoy at Ayala Cove, aka Hospital cove at Angel Island, or to anchor at Pac Bell Park, at East Garrison of Angel Island, or Christmas Cove at Treasure Island.

    · 1700-1900: Maybe we'll like to have a sundowner, possibly accompanied by food, probably at the slip, OR this could entail more romantic anchoring, if y'all like. BTW: an at-slip or at-anchor chow session can be a very party-like activity, and eminently cool. The day can end whenever the consensus is that it should end. It's a 30-45 minute sail from the best Angel Island anchorage to the Sausalito slip. It's 2 hours from East Garrison to the Club Nautique base in Alameda. Pac Bell Park or Christmas Cove to Alameda is like an hour.

    · How long it will take us to get home once we're in the slip: Maybe 6pm-7pm or so, I'll have to button up the boat - this will take 30-45 minutes with some help, could be longer. It goes faster if folks helped with the morning checkout list and, at day's end, know where things go. Also, we can clean up during the last few minutes before we dock, eg counters & floors. After we return, I have to fill out a second checklist for the condition of the boat, plus anything that is missing, eg sails, engine, hull, mast, passengers, etc. I'll be the last one off, because I'll hose the salt off the boat. This means that someone will have to run the key back to me if y'all are going to escape ASAP, or wait a little 'til I'm done if not.

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    Food and Partying

    As you know, a sailing vessel travels on its stomach - here's what we can do:

    · Coordinate pot luck food.

    · Brown-bag it.

    · Delegate a volunteer to hit the deli.

    · Sail to Sam's Anchor Café (first come first served for moorage) in Tiburon and go out for lunch at Sam's, or Guaymas, or Il Fornaio.

    · Sail to Pier 39 ($10 boat parking fee) and eat out in SF.

    · Sail to the Horizon's dock in Sausalito, which is very cool (same first-come thing as Sam's).

    Each group decides its food arrangements. This is the part I don't do very well, so I look for consensus and volunteers. If you leave the food decisions up to me, it'll be "bring your own damn lunch - do I look like Julia Child?" Anyone answering yes to this question will not return alive.

    Beverages and partying: We'll need lots of water - you'll dehydrate in the wind. Soft drinks are good. Bringing alcohol is fine. I probably won't drink much alcohol, if any at all, depending on how many sailors are aboard. The rest of you are designated drinkers, depending on the rate of volunteerism for tough margarita duty.

    La Música: If you want, bring CDs or tapes - there's usually a stereo. There are mood advantages to almost every kind of music from raucous to jazz to New Age (really! some New Age or World music is quite fit for human consumption while underway or at anchor), depending on your group.

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    Fashion and Gear - What the well-dressed sailor will be wearing this summer on the Bay:

    · A little wet? If we are sailing together on a small boat (20' to 30'), there is a chance that the Bay will throw a little water on you, which is why there's lots of talk below about water-resistance. If we're sailing on a larger boat, this is not so likely.

    · Weather: Note that if the weather is good, the apparent temperature could range from between like 48º to maybe 80º, or higher - just during one day. If San Francisco is cool and Sacramento is hot, then the wind machine, sometimes aided by fog, will cause the apparent temperature to be lower than the weatherman said.

    · Shoes: Shoes with a grip & light colored soles, eg tennis shoes or deck shoes - gotta be tolerant about possibly getting 'em wet. If your shoes don't lace down tight, then it's especially important to wear socks, in case you fall in the water and want to climb out again (also, sunburned ankles are uncool).

    · Layers:

    Perfect pants combination:

    Shorts under wind pants, long pants in your duffel bag for going ashore (or if the weather turns colder). Note that sweat pants absorb water really well - you might not like how this turns out. Jeans are OK.

    "Sweat" layer

    eg T-shirt

    First "insulation" layer

    eg "ski skin" turtleneck

    Second insulation layer

    eg sweater or sweatshirt - in the duffel bag

    Outer layer

    waterproof shell, eg weather jacket, biking shell - best if Gortex or similar, which repels water, but breathes.

    · Gloves: If you want to help with the work of sailing, then maybe gloves with no fingertips: sailing gloves, weight lifting gloves, other sport gloves - gotta be tolerant about possibly getting 'em wet - salty gloves can be rinsed in fresh water for that supple "been there, done that" world traveler look. I usually have a spare pair along.

    · Sunglasses: UV AB Sunglasses! With a tether, unless you do some sort of religious sacrifice thing about dropping things into deep, cold water while going 6 miles per hour.

    · Hat: Hat with chin strap, or retainer. Baseball cap with "wind clip" (or nylon twine & alligator clip, duct tape, staple gun for the thick-skulled) is great. Baseball caps often blow away if you look up at the sails. If the cap is tied or clipped to you, you're probably safe - hats don't usually have enough sail area to carry away an adult, and you get to keep your hat. If your cap does blow away, borrow one from someone else - the cool among your party probably don't want to be seen with you, otherwise.

    · Hair: If your hair is long enough to blow in the wind and tangle, this will be the defining entangling experience. Tie it back, wear a hat, shave your head - whatever works best for you.

    · Sunscreen: Sunscreen, even if you tan - the glare & wind are more perilous than they seem. Also, do the voodoo you do for wind burn, like lip balm, if you have any voodoo to do. Do be do be do.

    · Motion sickness: In the Bay, this is not a very big deal. Outside of the Golden Gate, it's somewhat more likely. If you're worried about this, take a Marazine, Dramamine, or whatever about the time you arrive at the boat, probably no more than a half hour before. It takes 30-60 minutes for everybody to get settled, check out the boat, etc., so your dose will have time to take effect. Motion sickness is a very individualized experience; however, I do get carsick and seasick, but have never been seasick on the Bay. Why gamble, you ask? These drugs used to make me drowsy. I don't know if this would still be true, because I haven't used a motion sickness medication in years.

    · Kids: If you are bringing kids, we've already talked about it before you've come to this reading material. This is not a surprise hint that you should show up with your kids. Kids are great, but the passenger list has to be planned in advance. All that having been said, if you have any that weigh more than 90 pounds and have Personal Flotation Devices for 'em, it would be great to bring 'em. I have a great collection for under 90 pounds, plus offshore PFDs for emergencies, but the adult PFDs on board are pretty bulky.

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    Directions To Club Nautique, Where I Keep One of My Fleets of Yachts

    Alameda Base

    You're going to the Alameda side of the Webster St. (Posey) Tube, then following the From Webster St Tube directions below

    · From the North (Berkeley, etc.) or San Francisco - Take 880 South to Broadway/Alameda exit. Right at second light on 7th St. (continue on 7th for 7-8 signals), right on Webster thru tunnel to Alameda. See FROM WEBSTER ST. TUNNEL below.

    · From the South (Hayward, etc.) - Take 880 north to Broadway exit in Oakland. Right on Broadway (1st signal), right on 7th St. (next signal), right on Webster (next signal) thru tunnel to Alameda. See FROM WEBSTER ST. TUNNEL below.

    · From the East (Walnut Creek, etc.) - Take 24 W. to 980 and take the 11th St / 12th St / Jackson St exit in Oakland. Continue on frontage road(Bush St.) to the first left, Jackson St. Left on 7th St., right on Webster, thru tunnel to Alameda. See FROM WEBSTER ST. TUNNEL below.

    From Webster St. Tube - Exiting tunnel, stay on Webster to last signal. Right on Central, left on Ballena Blvd. (next signal). Through stop sign. At end of townhouses, left into parking lot at sign "Club Nautique". Club is at the left end of building, #1150 (blue awning over door).

    Sausalito Base

    · From the Richmond Bridge - Take the San Anselmo turnoff (the first exit) and follow your nose to 101 south. Take 101 south to Sausalito/Marin City exit (at north end of town). At the first signal, turn left. At the next signal proceed directly across Bridgeway onto Gate Six Road and into the Richardson Bay Marina. Go straight ahead through the parking lot. Follow the road, bearing left to the end of the parking lot. Clubhouse is in the right side of the gray "Kappas Marina" Building.

    · From the Golden Gate Bridge -Take 101 north to Sausalito/Marin City exit (at north end of town). At the first signal, turn left. Go straight ahead through the parking lot. Follow the road, bearing left to the end of the parking lot. Clubhouse is in the right side of the gray "Kappas Marina" Building.