San Francisco Bay is beautiful body of water. But it can be a challenging place to sail, row or swim. I'm Ben Shaw, a lifelong sailor and adventurer. But my sailing career on the West Coast is just beginning. In this podcast I pick the brains of those who know the local waters. If you want to hear some good adventure stories while learning more about sailing on and around SF Bay, this is the podcast for you.
Ryan Finn: Success // Around Cape Horn in a Proa Sailboat - Ep. 103
Ryann Finn departed New York in January of 2022. Just over three months later he arrived here in San Francisco, having sailed his 36-foot proa sailboat 14,000 nautical miles - down the Atlantic, around Cape Horn, and back up the Pacific to San Francisco. He faced multiple challenges, including broken gear that required stops in Brazil and Patagonia, plenty of storms, and frustrating calms in the Pacific as he neared his destination. He talks about his adventurous passage and adjusting to life back on land. You can follow Ryan on Facebook at 2Oceans1Rock.
James Frederick // Across the Pacific Without a Rudder - Ep. 102
James Frederick was recently awarded the 2021 Qualifiers Mug from the Ocean Cruising Club for sailing 2,300 miles across the Pacific Ocean, 1,000 of those without a rudder. We met up in Annapolis the night before he received his award to talk about his rudder failure, steering by drogue, and how he went from being an artist, and taxi driver to an ocean cruiser aboard his 1965 Alberg 30 Triteia. He’s currently cruising in French Polynesia and you can follow his adventure at www.svtriteia.com.
Heather Richard // Winging it to Baja - Ep. 101
Captain Heather Richard, a good friend of mine, was one of the key inspirations for this podcast. She was my very first guest and I’m thrilled to have her back on the program for episode 101. She lives and runs a charter business in Sausalito called Fine Day for Sailing aboard her 43-foot sailboat Carodon. A U.S. Coastguard licensed captain, Heather’s been sailing since the age of 4 and more recently she’s picked up wing foiling. We talk about winging, her recent sailing trips down to Baja, homeschooling three kids along the way, and her sailing plans for the future.
Barry & Samantha Spanier // Rosie G Comes To Life - Ep. 100
The Rosie G is an innovative, new, scow bowed, junk rigged, boat that came from the mind of Barry and Samatha Spanier. She was designed by Jim Antrim and built by Cree Partridge and his yard at the Berkeley Marine Center. All of these folks are friends of the show, which is why it was such a treat to sit in the dog house on Rosie G in the Emeryville Marina and talk with Barry and Samatha about the boat’s conception, construction, and coming sea trials.
McKayla Bower // Trans Around The World - Ep. 99
McKala Bower is a trans woman who only started sailing a short while ago, but she’s got big ambitions to be the first trans and first openly gay person to circumnavigate solo. She’s always loved adventure and the outdoors and we talk about how at 25, a near-death experience in the mountains actually led her to coming out as trans. Now she’s tackling an adventure on the sea aboard her sailboat S/V Swirl, a San Juan 30, built in 1977. Learn more about McKayla at whoismckaylabower.com
Brady & Blue // Buying a Boat w Bitcoin & Surviving a Tsunami - Ep. 98
In this second interview with Brady Trautman and Alex Blue of S/V Delos fame, we talk about their new Passport 42, Lintika - the largest boat in their Cruisers Academy fleet. The sail training school they’re running in Tahoe and Sausalito is going strong and we had a great time talking about their plans for Lintika, surviving a tsunami warning in San Francisco, and nearly striking it rich on whale poop.
Every episode has a take away
While many of us don’t aspire to circumnavigate, hearing others’ stories about dealing with adversities and marine-based adventures is inspiring (and educational). So many tidbits I hope I never have to use (e.g., if you have to abandon ship, grab your shoes) and so many helpful piece of advice. Great listen!
So many miles, ideas and amazing sailors covered!
I have learned so much from this podcast. Ben has interviewed so many amazing and interesting guests, every episode a keeper. If you’re interested in Bay Area Sailing, this podcast is for you. Thanks Andy and team for your excellent and insightful episodes.
Thoughtfull and well planned
Ben has done great job creating an engaging podcast. Topics and guests are wide ranging and his interviews are well planned to create a good flow. His question lines, delivery, and exchange with the guests make you feel like you’re in the conversation and not simply listening to an interview. Highly recommend!