Oldie but goodie

Yachting World's Elaine Bunting writes about Betsy Crowfoot. Touché!


Drowning in Controversy, Shark Fin Soup Swims Out of Favor

Conservationists are hoping the Year of the Dragon is the last time shark fin soup is ladled out to celebrate the New Year ... MORE



Wild Wild West

Get ready for a wild west weekend, when one-hundred of California’s top female sailors vie for the annual Linda Elias Memorial Women’s One Design (LEMWOD) Championship October 16 and 17, 2010.

The two day regatta, aboard evenly-matched Catalina 37 sailboats, will see nine all-women teams, from San Diego to Santa Monica, compete for the title of this pre-eminent yachting event.

Newport Harbor Yacht Club returns to defend their title: having won in 2008 and 2009, they are looking for a three-peat. “We love the camaraderie of the regatta and look forward to seeing our friends,” says Skipper Gale Nye Pinckney. They will face fierce competition – both new and old – in their quest for victory in the seven-race regatta.

Jane Hoffner debuts as a new skipper at LEMWOD, having raced as crew several times. Her Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club “Team Pilikia” is the first BCYC entry in seven years. “I was honored to be asked to bring a team to the event, hope to be competitive and would love to win!” Team Pilikia has been actively practicing aboard the Catalina 37s all summer, racing Wet Wednesdays, Long Beach Race Week and the recent Charity Regatta, and is expected to be a strong contender.

Returning to the field is organizer and seven-time skipper Karen Campbell, representing Los Angeles Yacht Club’ Team Novias del Mar. “It was this event so many years ago that gave me the confidence to ask to be ‘pick up crew’ when I hardly knew port from starboard,” says Campbell. Now an accomplished sailor, Campbell continues, “My goal is to pull together a team of friends, new friends, and inexperienced but driven women who want to race and learn and have fun ... and if we get a piece of hardware doing all of the above, it doesn’t get any better!”

This year marks the 19th running of the competition, which was originally called the Women’s One Design Challenge. In 2003 it was rededicated to the memory of three-time champion Linda Elias, a popular Long Beach sailor.

LEMWOD is sailed in a matched fleet of custom designed Catalina 37s, and governed by the 2009-2012 Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) and the Catalina 37 Class Rules. Four windward/leeward races are slated for Saturday and three Sunday, beginning with an 11:55AM warning. Racing takes place inside the Long Beach breakwater adjacent Belmont Pier – providing a prime opportunity for spectator viewing. Parties, trophies, silent auction and entertainment follow each day’s races, at Long Beach Yacht Club.

“I’ve done the regatta as crew four times, and skippered once,” said Karyn Jones, Women's Sailing Association of Santa Monica Bay Skipper, “but my highlight was last year, when we pulled together as a team on the second day. I always learn something, and come back to LEMWOD because I enjoy the camaraderie – both of our team and our competitors.”

Jones said her goal during the aggressive two-day competition is, “To do our best, have fun, and of course, get the damage deposit back.”

LEMWOD is hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club, organized by the Long Beach/Los Angeles Women’s Sailing Association, and made possible by the Long Beach Sailing Foundation.

This year’s entrants include:












# # #


Linda Elias, who would have been 60 this year, was a well-known sailor in both the offshore and buoy racing circles. She sailed in four Transpacs, one Pacific Cup and numerous races to Mexico, on boats such as Joss, Ragtime and Baywolf; and was a three-time winner of the Women’s One Design Challenge – in 1992, 1994 and 1996. She passed away in 2003 after a nine-year battle with ovarian cancer.

Elias is remembered as a talented skipper, sailor and helmsperson; and celebrated for an enduring sense of humor, yet serious commitment to excellent seamanship and the promotion of women’s sailing.“I doubt that there is a trophy case in any Southern California yacht club that sponsors women’s regattas, that does not have Linda’s name on their trophies,” said longtime friend Camille Daniels.

Since 2003 the LEMWOD has helped raise funds and awareness for the Linda Elias Sailing Scholarship Fund. Established by the Long Beach Sailing Foundation, a 501c(3), the scholarship supports individuals who actively demonstrate a willingness and desire to advance the sport of amateur sailing.


Sea Gypsy

"I am fevered with the sunset, I am fretful with the bay,
For the wander-thirst is on me And my soul is in Cathay.

There's a schooner in the offing, With her topsails shot with fire,
And my heart has gone aboard her For the Islands of Desire.

I must forth again to-morrow! With the sunset I must be
Hull down on the trail of rapture In the wonder of the sea."

-- Richard Hovey


Current blog

please click on the headline for my current dispatches from the woods.



Sharing this piece by Evan Mark Katz about CHARACTER and Jean-Dominique Bauby ...

"Bauby – the former editor of French Elle magazine, who, after suffering from a stroke, became completely paralyzed, except for his left eyelid ... his story was immortalized in the movie, “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”, but it really got me to thinking:

If you had EVERYTHING taken away from you – your body, your job, your whole self-definition – what would you be left with?

You’d be left with your mind.
You’d be left with your heart.
You’d be left with your spirit.
You’d be left with your kindness.
You’d be left with your generosity.
You’d be left with your sense of humor.

Strip away your looks, your home, your career, your money and you’d be left with everything that’s on the INSIDE.

Looks come and go.
Jobs come and go.
Money comes and goes.

What lasts forever is CHARACTER."


She's Baaaaaaaaaaack

I'm about back from my Upside Down Summer with more adventures this side of the globe ... so updates will be posted here including the upcoming THAI ONE ON charter cruise in Phuket. Stand by ...

[me at the El Cid marina pool in Mazatlan --> ]


Seek the water ...

... wherever you might be.

In Paraguay til the end of the year. Stand by, wahines!

Click here for updates


The frozen summer

For some reason I have agreed to sail to Antarctica next year.
ME! The original fun-in-the-sun'lovin' Malibu Barbie.
Send snugglies.

<-- Home Sweet Home: Punta Arenas



Clinch it!


2009 'Re-solutions'

Wishing everyone a fantastic 2009 - starting right now!
It's a new year, and time to think of *new solutions* to *old problems* ... "re-solutions"
Just a new way of looking at things. I mean, same action = same result, right? So if you want a different result, you've got to take a different angle/action. Seems simple enough ...


uh oh

i haven't been blogging much.
maybe i don't want to be a writer anymore.
or maybe i'm just lazy.


Oldie but goodie: translator for common female phrases

Share this with the men in your life!!!

(1) Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.
Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.
Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes . Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.
Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!
Loud Sigh: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to # 3 for the meaning of nothing.)
That's Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. That' s okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.
Thanks: A woman is thanking you, do not question, or faint. Just say you're welcome. (I want to add in a clause here - This is true unless she says 'Thanks a lot' - that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. DO NOT say 'you're welcome' that will bring on a 'whatever').
Whatever: Is a woman's way of saying F-- YOU!
Don't worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking 'What's wrong?' For the woman's response refer to # 3.


The Gospel according to Wynonna

Wynonna rocks! Not only is she incredibly talented, but she's got an amazing message too. Her personality, dreams, humor & values all shine through in her performance. Great message - great delivery. I told Coco to listen to Wynonna and she'd learn everything she needs to know about life.



Fisher chicks in the news!

"Camaraderie is catching for Lady Anglers who get together to dish and fish"

"... they are anglers devoted to the sport of trying to outsmart fish and tease them onto their hook, so they can (hopefully) grill them up in garlic and butter. But since the all-female group of Ventura County anglers formed seven years ago, they've not only pulled in lots of big fish, they've become a tight, eclectic group of friends who get together monthly to talk about fish, sex, family and food while laughing and fishing ... "

See the story in today's VENTURA COUNTY STAR or here.


Feature film: Morning Light!

We LOVED the movie Morning Light, which premiered in Hollywood Oct. 7 at the El Capitan Theatre. And not just because we worked on it ( :-D) It’s just a great, heart-warming and FUN film about a dozen young people who undertake the adventure of a lifetime, sailing from LA to Hawaii on a super-fast (and sometimes gnarly) race boat. Funny, exciting, real – and with the backing of Disney Studios so a really first-class production.

We hope you and your friends and family will go see this film when it comes out! It opens Oct 17 – for a list of theaters email me at crazeemermaid@gmail.com; it goes to DVD in the Spring. If you stay til the very very end you’ll see my name as the credits roll ;-) Here’s a picture of Coco outside the theater about to walk down the red carpet. (L) and also us walking down the red carpet (R)!

**Also a ‘making of’ tv show on the team selection trials is showing TOMORROW Thurs 10/9 on ESPN2, called “Morning Light: Making the Cut” **Check your local listings – it’s on at 9pm here in Calif (and I am looking for someplace to watch it ... )


XPLORE is underway!

Xplore Expeditions has begun our second season today, with a glorious 12 day voyage from Tierra del Fuego, around Cape Horn, and through the Beagle Channel: a multitude of islands and pristine fjords with glacier faces cutting through dense green forests. Departing from Ushuaia Argentina to Punta Arenas Chile.



September 19 is "Talk like a pirate day" so it's time to practice some buccaneer banter:
BOB: Avast, me beauty.
MARY: Avast, Bob. Is that a yardarm in your doubloons, or are you just glad to see me?
BOB: You are giving me the desire to haul some keel.
MARY: Arrrrr.


Report from Burning Man

This in from my dear (70-something) friend Bill -- who took me on my first-ever sail (in 1987-ish?)-- after I asked what he thought about Burning Man this year ;-)
"One thing I have learned about naked bodies, they look best if you are young ... I did see a guy with three penises. Somehow he glued one onto each side of his own. It was pretty funny. Lots of topless girls and body painted people.The best was in the middle of a blinding sandstorm (we had two, one lasted 8 hours).There was a knock on our RV door, and standing outside was a stark naked 20-something black girl clad only in goggles and a facemask, holding a bottle of wine, and asking to borrow a corkscrew. That's something you just don't see every day ..."


'woop! woop! woop! woop!'

"Here, in the tradition popularized by George Plimpton, is participatory sportswriting at its finest and most far-out. Editor Zachary Michael Jack fields a dream team of today’s best sports journalists, hotshots, and rising stars in search of the game behind the game."

'Featuring guess who???!!! :-D

This book comes out Nov. 1. Order here or at your local bookstore.


Here fishy, fishy, fishy ...

Nauti Girls go fishing. More pix here

<-- Me & my Ahi
Slash, Snax & Skippy -->


Linda Elias Memorial Women's One Design Challenge

Oct. 18 & 19: click here for details



Santa Barbara - King Harbor: Aug 1

Click on picture for results: look for Aug1&2 / results / RATTLE & HUM



... and we live here!!!


Coco says ...

'Why miss out on a great opportunity because the guy's an idiot? Take advantage of the trip and write him off when you get back.'

Who raised this girl???!!!


Always a bridesmaid ...

First place has eluded Sandy Hayes & team for the third time at this year's Mayor's Cup - but our second-place finish was good enough for me: racing my first big international grade two match race! AWESOME! I was so thrilled to get to race at this level, in great conditions, with such an incredible, fun and talented team, and get entirely spoiled by Camille-y and the organizers. Read more here: Long Beach Press Telegram and on the official website. [ps - check out the photo in the LBPT article: although it SAYS that Baylis is leading, look at the picture and see who's up front in the pink. US! Team 'Cotton Eye Candy'!]


The trouble with tacking duels ...

In a real duel, someone gets to die. In a tacking duel - you just get to keep tacking.

So it was today, 187-million tacks later, that we ended up with a 4-3 record. Pretty good, but should have won them all. Now, we think, we're 'fine tuned' for the rest of the regatta.

'Trouble is, so are the rest of the girls.

Sitting on my bed eating leftover CPK pizza, nursing one now-tepid beer, having saturated myself to utter prune-dom in the jacuzzi, I'm reflecting on the day. Sandy - compact, feisty, sharp-as-a-tack - knows what she wants and just how to do it ... Amanda - all 5' tall, 120lb of her pure muscle - throws her whole body into tailing the sheet the way only a 20-something can (with still pliable bones and resilient muscles) ... Adreana is at one point near tears, having been reamed for a task (I blame the language barrier) while Cindy hurls over the side (really impressive projectile vomiting - we are discussing the use of 'vomit as a weapon') and both rally phenomenally ('puke & rally!' became our battle-cry!) when the next rounding approaches. I'm SO impressed with the team and - as cliche as it sounds - really honored to be racing with them.


'Playing with Matches ... '

Vanity got the best of me, when I was asked by one of the top-ranked women's match racing skippers in the world to join her team for Mayor's Cup. Had I been thinking straight, and not so top-heavy from flattery, I might have said 'no': a practical answer for a 40-(mumble-mumble)-year-old who hasn't been to the gym in two months and coincidentally has a titanium ass. But I said 'yes' (guffaw-gush-blush-golly-gee) and find myself now packed and ready to head to Long Beach at 5am tomorrow ... On an empty stomach. Parched. Gnawing on my lips and bubblegum and craving anything solid. Trying to get 'to weight' I have been slogging along on the eliptical trainer and treadmill at the Y, jogging with the (puzzled) dog, dieting, drinking lemon water and have banished salt in any shape or form. As a result I've dropped four lbs but mostly from hunching violently over in pain due to calf and thigh cramps. Seriously: I am NOT a runner.
But I'm excited. In a masochistic, challenged kind of way. I place little goals in front of myself: 'Tomorrow I can eat again', 'Thursday we have the night off so I can pack my body in ice in the bathtub at the hotel', 'Saturday I can have a drink', 'Sunday this will be a-l-l behind me'. For better or for worse.
For news and results click here - look for skipper Sandy Hayes.


I just can't help being nauti!

The Nauti Chicas go to Long Beach for the 3-day LBRW regatta and Cat37 Nationals! Look here for official details and results!


Tons of prizes at free fishing derby for kids!

Kids compete – for free – at this annual fishing derby Saturday July 5 at Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara, 10:00am – noon.

Registration starts @ 9:00am, fishing starts @ 10:00. Kids will compete in three different age groups (up to 15 yrs old) for tons of prizes. Helpers will record and release the fish; prizes go to the top three anglers in each category, PLUS the first 100 kids to show up!

Sign up at West Marine on Cesar Chavez or at the Harbor beforehand. A limited number of rods & reels are available for loan to those who request in advance - otherwise bring your own gear, bait will be supplied.

Rules are:

1) Children must catch & land the fish themselves

2) One rod per kid

3) One hook per rod

Prizes from West Marine, whale watching trips etc from Santa Barbara Sailing Center, & more. Call 805/564-1005 for details.


Making whoopee

It was bound to happen.
Considering my ambition to get in the water if I’m near a get-in-able body of water that, in particular, I’ve never been in before -- the Indian Ocean, St. Maarten’s Great Bay, the Sarapiquí River in Costa Rica, and several beaches in Mexico (where God-knows-what you can catch) come to mind, along with more recently the Tuolumne River and Pinecrest Lake -- my 'toe in the water' dogma has finally caught up with me, fostering a little souvenir I never intended to take home: a colony of single-celled parasitic squatters whose common goal is to ‘party hardy’ in my small intestines, while creating copious amounts of gas.
Yes, I am a walking-talking whoopee cushion.
Giardia is a not-so-uncommon protozoa found in rural, wilderness and other so-so water supplies that, once ingested (when, for instance, you rip down a water slide and half a gallon of Tuolumne River shoots up your nose) provokes a veritable orgy of flagellates and flatulence. The ‘host’ (why do I not feel ‘hospitable’?) exhibits a feeling of general malaise coupled with a low-grade fever and nausea. I actually feel okay as long as I don’t eat! Then my stomach gurgles and rumbles like a distant thunder storm … even the dog doesn’t want to sleep with me!
Fortunately it’s stunted my appetite (who needs colonics when you can have a parasite?) and added to my cachet as a verified world adventurer. Tally ho!


Hearts of Stone

Carpinteria is 'a healing place' I've been told, and mystical land that it is - our beaches are scattered with heart-shaped rocks. Jan K showed and gave me my first heart rock, and since then I've shared the joy of searching for these stones during long, thoughtful walks on the beach in every season.

While Stephen was here I told him of the heart rocks, and soon his eyes were glued to the ground. Tenacious in his search (as in everything) he soon presented me with a lovely smooth heart of stone.

Today I emailed him in Ushuaia, where it is snowing and well into winter.

"I found the most amazing heart rock yesterday," I said. "It is hard, and roughly chiseled by the sea, but most definitely a heart!"

'Send a picture' he said and I did.

"Funny thing about this heart rock," I added, "as roughty- toughty as it appears, i had to prop it up -- it does not want to stand on its own!"



It seems to be, as JenJen puts it, a time to 'reset expectations'. Some higher, some lower, some simply different.

What molds our expectations? I did a workshop on this years ago: so often our expectations are shaped by the strangest input - media, misinterpretation, other people with unique skills and traits - and our expectations don't end up actually matching the individual/situation at hand at all! (
Although it appears to be the other way around!)

With our expectations doomed from the start, they fail. Our reaction is disappointment - which the subject can sense - and around and around the frustration goes!

So here I am, resetting my expectations: for certain people, family members, standard of living, fitness,
relationships, finances, career, and myself. Once I establish a realistic expectation I guess I can decide whether that's acceptable or not. In some cases: no. Why 'hang with the turkeys' if you want to 'soar with the eagles'? So if my expectations are so low, let's say, of the Fisherman - honestly: Why would I want him around anyway???

By contrast, I am hoisting my expectations for Coco. She has a big year ahead - we have named it 'The Year of Endurance'. She had a lot of challenges, which will require more discipline, tenacity and organization than ever before. But I have promised to be her #1 fan and supporter and help her achieve this
if she promises to give it her all.

For me, it's more difficult. My expectations of myself have always been warped, so this needs work. But here in the midst of my 'year of the F-word' I find myself looking more keenly at my future - what and where it will bring me - and that self-exploration will help me set high goals for myself.

I wouldn't expect anything less.


So many travels, so little time!

So much has happened since my last post :-O !! Here is the 'before' picture -on the way to Costa Rica - June (l) and I (r) had a fabulous vacation in this tropical wonderland ... got home and my darling 'Capt Bruce' came to visit for 10 days ... then we both left LAX last week: he back to Ushuaia and me to PV for 4 days of racing. I am beat, bronze and broke - LOL! More to come ...


Strengthen Venoco's Clean-up of Contaminated Soils in Carpinteria!

toxic"After several years of back and forth negotiations with the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB), Venoco and Chevron have submitted a proposed clean-up plan for soils contaminated with DDT and other pesticides at the Venoco (formerly Chevron) Oil and Gas Processing Facility at 5675 Carpinteria Avenue in Carpinteria. Unfortunately, the clean-up plan they are proposing will leave substantial volumes of contaminated soils on the site and is not adequately protective of human health and the environment. Please email the RWQCB and/or attend their hearing on May 9th in San Luis Obispo (click here for directions and agenda, see item #7), and urge them to require a better and more thorough plan to ensure that the site is cleaned up in short order to levels that are truly protective of the environment and public and aquatic health, along the lines proposed by Santa Barbara Channelkeeper in our April 24th comment letter. Click here to review the proposed clean-up plan." - from SB Channelkeeper


Rockfish, not roses!

Moms fish free on Mother's Day! Channel Islands Sportfishing is offering Moms a free ride on Mother's Day: May 11. Half and 3/4 day charters included: we're going on GENTLEMAN. Contact me if you want to join us!
The Nauti Chicas won the Caroline Starr trophy for best corrected time for an all-gal crew in the 125nm Newport to Ensenada race ---a major comeback after last month's Newport to Cabo San Lucas race. Details here.



Next stop: Ensenada! The Nauti Chicas are at it again - but just a 125nm race this time. Pray for wind ... and check HERE for updates.


TONIGHT! April 18

SB Channelkeeper fundraiser/ screening of "One Winter Story".
This award-winning documentary is an unprecedented glimpse into the male-dominated world of big-wave surfing from an unusual and seldom seen perspective - a woman's. The surfing footage is an awesome sight but the fine, intensely immediate rendering of Sarah's experience is this unforgettable film's real reward. "One Winter Story" traces Sarah's strength and determination to their roots in a beautiful montage of film, voice, memory and emotion.

Live music and a raffle will precede the film starting at 6:30 pm, the filmmakers will be on hand for Q&A afterwards. Film begins around 7:30pm. Tickets are $12 at the door. For more details CLICK ON THE PHOTO.



Okay that sounds cocky and narcissistic but really, I love my life. I am one happy, lucky, blessed kinda girl!


800 miles later ...

We made it to Cabo in five days plus change. Blew up our best kite for the conditions (20+) - which was a setback, but otherwise everything went wonderfully. Mahvelous teamwork, great boat, all systems 'go'. Arrived to the most gorgeous, posh accommodations (compliments of Vista Serena/Montage Resorts) imaginable, and all the cold, wet, sleep-deprived memories of our passage melted away in the Cabo sunshine (with a little help from some margaritas ... ) More pix HERE on Shutterfly. Thanks for your prayers & support ~ Betsy


Going, going, gone ...

Off to CABO on an 800nm race aboard the J/35 Predator. 'Starts in Newport Beach 28 March ... finishes in Cabo San Lucas on ??? Check here for dispatches and a link to the official website and position reports ... and please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. GO NAUTI CHICAS!


BBC: Fish key to reef climate survival

By Richard Black
Environment correspondent, BBC
"A healthy fish population could be the key to ensuring coral reefs survive the impacts of climate change, pollution, overfishing and other threats.
Australian scientists found that some fish act as 'lawnmowers', keeping coral free of kelp and unwanted algae."
Read the whole story from BBC


Kick ass boots ...

... for kick ass chicas!
Denise models Coco's and my new wellies from J.Crew


Good News, Bad News

A bunch of us went to see Walking on Water (free) at the Arlington Theater tonight: an inspirational docu-feature about two kids who go surfing around the globe with the masters of the sport. Along the way - visiting what surely must be God's favorite places - they discover that kids everywhere are 'just like me' (although much more grateful, with so much less).
Driving home, the car jouncing as the girls and Joe-Joseph-Joey dance to the blaring music, we see a low hovering helicopter off Padaro Lane, accompanied by several boats with blue strobe lights. Clearly a Search & Rescue. I get home and read that the USCG is looking for a man who swam out to his boat, which had broken loose from its mooring in the gusty conditions. Now, seven hours later, they continue to search for him in an obvious grid. The water is about 55°. Sobering. Life is precious.


It's all about the accessories ...

First it's the boots, now it's the right white wine ... to me, it's all about the accessories!
For GCLA's March meeting I've selected six wines (all but one from Santa Ynez) of various varietals for the gals to taste, in our ongoing quest for the perfect fish-worthy white. I purposefully snubbed chardonnay and sauvignon blanc; picking rousanne blends, viognier, albarino and others, to get out of that chard/sauv blanc rut. In London, I hear, they say "ABC" at the chi chi bars ... "Anything But Chardonnay". Well bring it on!


The Lure of Alaska

[as seen in FOOD & WINE]
The Lure of Alaska
The small, grasshopper-like plane makes one final loop around the lake, then disappears behind a ridge of blue-green mountains, leaving me standing in the frigid, waist-high waters of Crab Slough, near Glacier Bay, Alaska.
All is silent, save for the whispering of the tall grasses. When the plane returns this afternoon, I'll be a fly fisherwoman, I resolve. In the back of my mind, I simply hope it returns.
Continued here ...