Captain's Log

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Dorothy Barnett headshot

“Hey Paul, is that your grandma?” “No, man, that’s my mom!”

April 22, 2024

When I was born, my mother was 41, and in the 1960s, having a baby when you were over 40 was rare. I realized by the fifth grade that my parents were old. I don’t mean they were just older than me; they were ancient! My two best friends, Richie Brownsberger, and Mike Fillipponi, had […]

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Teenage girl smiles as she sails on the SV Riviera

Spring Break & Teenagers: How to reconnect with your teens on vacation

March 28, 2024

“The kids will love it”! Famous last words spoken by innumerable parents as they plan their spring break vacations: Past bad memories of family excursions gone awry fade as the fantasy of a successful vacation with the kids, full of love, laughter, and gratitude, soaks the parental brain into believing a fun-filled family outing will happen, […]

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A man on one knee, proposing to his girlfriend on the deck of the Riviera sailboat in the San Diego Bay.

The Back Story

February 26, 2024

It always fascinates me how couples meet—a dinner party, arranged by a nosey aunt. A chance meeting with friends at a bar, or perhaps she just swiped right, and the rest was history. Clinton, a young man from Arizona, first saw Kaleen (his future wife) in 2017 on a beach in San Diego, precisely seven […]

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A silhouette of a couple dining out. A rose sits on the table between them.

The Perfect Date?

January 22, 2024

Statistically, going to dinner to celebrate Valentine’s Day does not end well. A recent poll suggests that 49% of all couples that dine out for the Holiday of Love find it disappointing. Yet, year after year, couples flock to overcrowded restaurants, go through the motions, and pay the swollen check on what is typically a […]

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Group of people posing for a photo on the deck of a sailboat

Thank You!

January 5, 2024

As we close the door on 2023; I want to thank everyone who has helped make Sail Riviera come to life. Four years ago, when we started this little adventure, we had a simple mission statement: Provide a customized private sailing experience that was luxurious, exciting, authentic, and fun. I’m happy to say we’ve managed […]

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Whale surfacing in the ocean with its tail above the water


December 5, 2023

In August of 1977, I stood on the bow of a Ferry on its way from Olympia, Washington, to Victoria, British Columbia, and was amazed at the beauty of the Northwest. As a kid born and raised in Southern California, Vancouver Island, with its giant red cedars, Douglas firs, and Sitka spruce trees, along with […]

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Avalon Harbor, Catalina Island: A novice sailor’s tale

November 4, 2023

The heavy-set man in an oversized Hawaiian shirt stood on the stern swim platform of his prestigious 54-foot Grand Banks motor yacht. The large man, with hands on hips, was in the “bitch wing pose” as he scrutinized Victoria and me in our 42-foot sailboat. We were assigned to the mooring next to his spotless […]

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Newly-engaged couple with girl showing off her engagement ring at sunset on the San Diego bay.

Yes! Yes! A Thousand Times Yes!

October 5, 2023

The phone call was brief, but the young man’s urgent tone pulled me in and made me pay attention. “Mr. Paul, my name is Logan, and I plan to propose to my girlfriend on your sailboat, but I’ve never done this before, and I want it to be perfect.” I couldn’t help but smile at […]

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Couple posing on the deck of the Riviera sailboat

The “Riviera Way” – Sailing Above & Beyond

September 1, 2023

I once had a crew member accuse me of “overdoing it.” This person, who is no longer employed, needed to understand what makes Riviera the must-do activity when visiting San Diego. After all, anyone can offer a “boat ride” in San Diego Bay. Anyone could hand a guest a bag of Cheetos, toss them a […]

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San Diego Skyline At Dusk, as seen from the San Diego Bay

San Diego Summer Nights

July 27, 2023

It was the summer of 1980. I turned 17, landed my first job as a sailing instructor at Harbor Island Yacht Club, and lived on my Dad’s 25-foot Catalina. Occasionally, after sunset, I’d motor Dad’s little sailboat out of the marina into San Diego Bay. I’d cut the engine, hoist the headsail and let the […]

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