We’re Selling the Wetas!

Ah, what fun it is to look back on all the fun we’ve had with our Wetas. But we’re closing down our Ventura office, so it’s time for them to find a new home—it could be yours!


We’ve got the most stylin’ Weta setup around, with two identical boats and a sweet trailer for carting them around.

Both Wetas have been sold.

Let the Baja Ha-Ha Begin

Chief among the weather gods is El Niño ;) Tomorrow morning we leave San Diego, heading south in the direction of Cabo San Lucas. Looks like hurricane Patricia has left the area, thankfully. See where we’re at, courtesy of Vanishing Girl’s satellite tracker: share.delorme.com/PaulMartson

Weta Training Camp 2015

Thanks to all who attended for making this year’s Weta Training Camp a big success! And thanks to photographer Rick Saez for shooting it all. See all the photos from the event on Rick’s web site.

US Weta Ambassador Stephanie De Lair came out from the other coast and gave us a nice write-up on the Summer Solstice site.

68th annual Newport to Ensenada Race

This year the famous N2E became the infamous N2C (Newport to Catalina) because the wind was exactly one day late to the start line. Vanishing Girl was one of 4 boats in our division to retire with a DNF, a decision that came swiftly and unanimously at 1am while slatting off Carlsbad, CA.

Let’s rewind to the beginning of the 5-day trip with Captains Paul and Jared, and PPS crew Danna, Mike, Andreas, and Mark.


Interesting problem the authorities appear to have in bustling downtown Ventura.

Van Girl sleeping under a waxing and just slightly gibbous moon, ready to go.

We departed Ventura at 4am. A whale came by to say hi as the sun rose over Pt. Mugu. Nice way to start the day!

Race Day morning. Drizzle!

206 boats this year. Danna loved the close quarters milling about before our 12:10 start. ​​

We had a good start. Here we are on top of Cool Man Cool. Photo credit to Joy.

Sail #1006. We could’ve used a bigger headsail. Photo credit to Woody.

The dreaded leeward hike. Even the 70′ tri ORION was pretty much stuck to the water.

From the bluffs just south of Newport. Like a great migration. Photo credit Woody.

By sun up, we were no longer racing. It was a strategic call to spend the night motor-sailing to Avalon for two reasons: ​

First, because it was fun to spend a day with nothing to do but play 6 games of pool and walk around town. ​

Second, because when the wind came back it came back big. I almost felt bad for those who finished. What goes down must come up. And the forecast was for 30 knots from up. ​

That morning I had to go unfuck the main halyard at the first spreaders. ​

Here’s the whole crew looking at me looking at them. Down faster please!

The breeze came on, and the cowboyz got serious.

It continued to build – up to 30 kts true, briefly – and we kept reducing sail. Great opportunity for boat and crew to hone some skills.

By the end of the afternoon we ended up with just a double reefed main, flying in to Jared’s anchorage (Paradise Cove).

It was dark the rest of the trip. We arrived Ventura the exact time of day we left, 4am. By 7am the crew had resisted the temptation to go “off watch and snooze” instead driving home to SF, Arizona, and Oxnard. Van Girl and crew had a fun sailing adventure, if not a race to Ensenada. See you all again for another attempt! ​

Captain Pablo out.​

To Get Downtown

No, our roof deck is not getting fumigated. This is Vanishing Girl’s new-to-her half-ounce Pineapple runner! It’s far from crispy new, but it is light and big. It will likely see some action in just a few weeks as we have some downwind miles to log… Newport Beach & Ensenada here we come!

Newport to Ensenada 2014

This year’s Newport to Ensenada race was a strange one, weather-wise. Some forecasts were predicting gusts in the 30-40kt range off the San Diego coast sometime during the night. That’s record-breaking weather for the big 60-to-70 foot trimarans; it’s also boat-breaking weather. We were all a little anxious, expecting a wet and wild ride for the race.

The all-San Francisco crew (Jared Brockway, Dave Berntsen, Rick Waltonsmith, Danna Pomykal, Thierry de Froidmont) met at the boat in Ventura and we set off for Newport the day before the race. It was a long day (~90 miles), but we had beautiful weather all the way down. Lots of dolphin sightings too.

Race day started out breezy. A couple of the boats had already taken a reef, and we did too not long after the start. Soon after taking the reef and settling into a groove, it became apparent that something was not right. The leeward rigging was very slack and the crossbeams were flexing at the joints. Dave went forward to check, and sure enough, one of the four 5/16″ cable stays that give the boat its rigidity had broken. We retired from the race and headed back to Newport for repairs.
broken water stay

It was disappointing to have the race end so soon, but also a relief. If something was going to break, it was better to have it happen now than in the dark crossing the Coronado Islands in big wind. We weren’t the only casualty—last year’s race winner Afterburner had a breakage too and joined us for a lay day in Newport for repairs.

Newport was not a bad place to spend the day.

With all new synthetic high-tech stays to replace the original cabling, we were ready to go the next morning. The low pressure system that caused the nasty weather for the race had cleared up, and we had an extra day before needing to be back in Ventura. Feeling no reason to rush, we planned to overnight in Avalon before heading back up to Ventura. It was a bad decision in hindsight.

The sail to Avalon was beautiful and quick. On the way out of the harbor, we could see the newly-arriving warm front pushing the low-pressure system down the coast behind us. A welcome sight.
warm front

The harbor at Avalon. Always pretty.

The wind had reversed by the time we arrived at Avalon, and reversed again by the time we left. This warm front was turning out to be more than a return to the normal Southern California weather. The forecast was quickly changing, now showing strong Santa Ana winds coming from inland—and yet we still had the normal onshore breeze leaving Avalon.

The headwind and seas strengthened to the point that we decided to take shelter in Malibu’s Paradise Cove for the night rather than continue to Ventura. The Santa Ana wind arrived in the evening, reversing the wind direction and blowing hot and heavy offshore, continuing through the night. That was good for our trip up the coast because it meant the end of the headwinds. The warm, dry breeze from abeam was great but its extreme variability was nerve-wracking.
This is from the weather station at Leo Carrillo Beach, which we crossed a little after 9:00a. The wind would go from near-nothing to gale force within in a minute as we crossed mountain canyons. The most difficult was this “river of blood” at Port Hueneme. Something about the curvature of the mountains creates a massive offshore flow here during the Santa Anas. Normally the red fingers on the color-coded wind map would extend for a mile or so beneath the mountain canyons and then wither away, but this one took us several miles offshore before we escaped it.
Once we got to Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard, the offshore wind calmed down and we sailed the last five or six miles to Ventura with flat seas and a gentle onshore breeze. Amazing that we saw this range of conditions in the span of about five hours along the usually-placid SoCal coast.

Apologies to the crew for the changes to the float plan, but glad that we had some great sailing nonetheless..and some good weather stories to share.


F*** Winter

Nothing cures winter blahs better than a trip to the Sea of Cortez. Islands ringed with white sand beaches rise out of the water, where the navy blue of the deep sea gradually becomes the pale, watery turquoise. These are not Miles Davis’ kind of blues.
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With temperatures in the mid-80s and water temps in the 70s, the islands surrounding Loreto are a playground for water lovers. Sport fishermen in pangas, tourists in kayaks, and cruisers in their boats enjoy their own kind of leisure here.
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Any sailor will tell you there is something magical about the sound a boat makes slicing through the water. Turn off the motor, and it’s just the sound of the water moving over the hull—or hulls, if you’re into trimarans like us. The wind is usually moderate here, which performance sailboats like the Corsair love.

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Try it: A winter sailing trip to the Sea of Cortez. You won’t want to leave.
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A few more photos from the trip:
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The boat lives here in Puerto Escondido, an amazing natural harbor.

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Living the good life—this could be you.

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More kinds of blue.