Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ellison Snubs The Deep Six

This just in from Thelonius P Bilgewater of Lido Fleet 6 (aka: "The Deep Six") at Alamitos Bay, California -

"It is generally known that Larry Ellison, winner of the America's Cup, got his start sailing 'a little plastic boat called a Lido 14'. He began Lido'ing during his school days at the University of California Yacht Club on San Francisco Bay and attributes that experience to his multi-billion dollar fortune, good looks and general joy of life.

"Despite his indebtedness to the Lido Class, Mr. Ellison has ignored Fleet Six's repeated invitations to come sail on Alamitos Bay. Just two weeks ago he made a weak excuse about being somewhere out of the country, off the coast of Spain it is believed, partying with some Swiss friends. Last weekend, Larry claimed he was returning tableware to the San Diego Yacht Club, misplaced some years past"

Mark Ryan's mystery ship - formerly sail #4790

Fleet 6 raced anyway, with supporting sailors joining in from the factory and Fleets 2, 7 and 8. Turned out to be a blast - literally - with winds of 20 knots that dismasted one of the boats and blew the numbers (really, TPB?) off of Lido 4790's sails. TPB said that wind was so strong the only person who could have kept a Lido down was Larry Ellison with his team of lawyers on the rail.

Well, you can be sure that Pandabonium and K will not be inviting Larry to sail with us anytime soon, but we look forward to Fleet 6's email updates. The Fleet 6 newsletter isn't posted online, so if you'd like to receive it (Thelonius P Bilgewater is always a fun read) send an email request to .

Until next, sweet sailing.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Noon is the name of a jazz singer here in Japan. She is from a Korean family and was born in Osaka Prefecture. She's recorded five albums now, a Toyota Home commercial in 2004 (with the song "Close to You"), and received some awards along the way. I like her voice. It reminds me a bit of Blossom Dearie.

Anyway, it was Noon singing Bluesette that we heard when we walked into Mama's Kitchen back on June 29th last year - the day of Bluesette's maiden voyage. Now, thanks to someone in Singapore who posted it on YouTube, I can share that song with you. Aren't the internets tubes wonderful?

Until next, sweet sailing.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Proper Course Haiku

Congratulations to Tillerman at Proper Course on 5 years of blogging.

Five years, Proper Course
Tillerman has shown the way
Frostbiting Lasers!

Picture shamelessly grabbed from Proper Course.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


K's birthday is just around the corner, and while she is certainly not of an age I would consider "old", I thought I would offer some words of wisdom about aging which I have garnered during my life's voyage of some nearly sixty trips around the sun.

So, K, here is my message to you about growing old. I hope you will it find uplifting and perhaps even inspiring on your XXth birthday:

I forgot what it was...

oh well,

Otanjou-bi Omedetou Gozaimasu!

Gambatte, ne!

Your loving Panda.

Until next, sweet sailing.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Snows of Lake Hinuma

or... "The Flake returns to the Lake"...

We hadn't been to Lake Hinuma since December and even if we couldn't go sailing, I at least wanted to spend time working on the boat to have things ship shape and ready to go for the next sail.

The weather for Sunday was forecast to be sunny, if not warm, and that was good enough for me. Little did I expect to find this in our front yard Sunday morning:

Our second snow this year. Well, it was a light one and the sun was burning through. It didn't seem to bother the "hiyodori", known to English speakers as "Brown-eared Bulbul", that was looking for seeds in the field across the street, having long since finished off the leftovers on our mikan (tangerine) tree.

Well, if a little snow didn't bother him, I wasn't going to let it bother me.

Hinuma Yacht Harbor was quiet. Seems no one was interested in sailing in the cold weather. The only people around were a group of men taking the boating license course.

I plopped a thermometer into the water: 5°C (41°F). Brrr. Wetsuit, Drysuit or no. Somehow, I'm OK with waiting a bit longer before venturing out on the lake.

While K made herself comfortable on a floatation cushion and opened a book, I went to work sanding and buffing.

We took a break for lunch at Mama's Kitchen. Sorry - no pictures this time. I really should have taken pictures for you foodies - and me. K had pasta with tomato sauce, eggplant, and bacon. I had a teishoku (set tray) of rice, salmon, special pickled veggies, soy sprouts, miso soup with shijimi clams, and spinach 'omelette' with tomato sauce. Everything was absolutely delicious. There weren't even any bones in the fish.

We also had a desert (mine was on the house - I guess we've been missed) of rare cheesecake and fruit. Before we left, Mama (and daughter) gave us cookies in honor of Valentine's Day. I don't think I've had such a high calorie day in months, but no regrets. It was great.

The ducks don't mind the cold water - they have down jackets. By the way, how do you get down off a duck? I know how to get down of a horse...

It only took me about an hour to finish up with Bluesette - mostly because I had forgotten to bring the bonnets for the electric buffer (doh!), so could only do a few small areas by hand. It was enough, and mid-week I will take the train and go back by myself to do more.

Hinuma Yacht Harbor is "Yamaha Country". Poor fools. When the oil runs dry we'll still be sailing.

Until next, sweet sailing.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Winter Course Corrections

Japanese holidays, new medical tests, and a round of the flu helped to make January fly by with no time for sailing. Hadn't really expected to do much, but I would like to give my dry suit a try. That may have to wait until the water temperature is kopasetic with K's wetsuit's capabilities.

Meanwhile, DoubleWave had a "white sale" on, well, white sails and I ordered a new set. Our existing Elliot/Pattison sails are still good of course, but I have wanted a set of Ullman sails and this sale made it possible.

Judging from race results, Ullman Lido 14 sails are faster, but as we aren't likely to be racing any time soon, that was not the main reason for the purchase. Rather, it is the window in the mainsail as well as jib which attracted me. I am looking forward to less neck twisting in order to see who or what is to our lee. If it makes us a bit quicker in the bargain, that's fine. It will also be nice to have a backup set of sails.

Until next, sweet sailing.

Picture courtesy of Lido 14 Fleet 21, Oceanside.