Merry Christmas To You All!

23 Dec

Spike Sub 2010.jpgAnd thanks very much for visiting my blog.

Here is a little sketch I did for 7 year old Orlando Yen in Australia for Christmas.
Orlando Xmas 2011 smaller.JPG
Here is a sketch that Orlando did for me this Christmas!
ChristmasCutterbyOrlando.jpg
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REID STOWE: Rudderless in the North Atlantic

23 Dec

Rudder repair on schooner Anne

Well, I was wrong about one thing. I wrote earlier I expected there would be little news of marathon sailor Reid Stowe as he and his crew made their way down to South America aboard the schooner Anne. But lo, reports have regularly appeared both at Reid’s site and at a blog maintained by crew member Andy Cronin (via his girlfriend Paulina). This has resulted in mega-traffic at the Reid-hating thread at Sailing Anarchy. Indeed, rumor now has it that SA founder Scot Tempesta secretly sponsored the voyage so as to titillate his thralls and boost the site’s metrics....

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A Sailor Turns Two

23 Dec

Big birthday today! So we started the morning off with some boat work. Because no day, birthdays included, is complete without a couple hours of bloody knuckles in the engine compartment.

 
But soon enough the engine work was put on the back burner and the celebration kicked off. We blew up fifty balloons and threw them around the house. The girl loves her balloons. Then Mama went to work on the cake. There is a first for everything, and as we stood there with Ouest helping us stir the batter, we prayed the cake would actually work out.
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Running and Broaching Video

22 Dec

This video is a great illustration of the mechanics of running with a storm. It's hard to see this kind of thing live, becaue nobody wants to get a camera out in these conditions,  plus they're hanging on for dear life and can't film. In this case another vessel was following them to capture the action.

The waves aren't that big, but they sure are steep. You can have huge waves out there, but if they're not breaking they pose no danger. These are short, steep little monsters, and the possibilities of pitchpoling or a knockdown are obvious. 

This boat ...

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Close Encounter With A Sea Giant

22 Dec

It amuses me no end to see humans trying to explore and understand my world. There is so much they never see, and so much they take for granted. But this photographer certainly got his money's worth (I play with these guys all the time.)

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Volvo Stealth Zone Explained

21 Dec

For anyone who is as confused as I am by the Volvo Ocean Race anti-piracy Stealth Zone, this is just the video for you:

Unorthodox, but I understand the concern. Hard for the VO70s to carry bow cannons, which weigh an awful lot and would definitely affect trim....

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Volvo Update: The French Gamble (Again!)

21 Dec

As I watch the strange doing of the the sailors in Volvo Ocean Race, I can't help but admire the Gaullic flair Franck Cammas and his Groupama crew are bringing to this Anglo race. Eschewing the careful, conservative tactics of the rest of the fleet, Cammas has taken big flyers on both legs. His tour of the African coast did not work out so well in Leg 1 (though Groupama still came in third since half the fleet broke down).

In the current Leg they took off again, sailing around a sticky trough that trapped the rest of the ...

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The Storms Of Brittany

21 Dec

No one loves a tempest as much as The Mariner. And when I want to see the ocean at its most beautiful, and its angriest, I go to the coast of Brittany. It is there that the mighty Atlantic, whipped by storm force winds, piles into the puny edifices erected by humans to help keep them off the rocky coast. It is a spectacular show, made more sublime by a soundtrack supplied by Mozart, a  non-sailor, but a human genius and a distant pre-mutation cousin of mine. 

Click "Read More" to see the great ocean in all its furious glory.

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2011 ARC: Bubble Gum And Rubber Band Award

20 Dec

ARC leader Andrew Bishop

Though I've participated in the ARC before, this was the first time I was able to attend the prizegiving. What a bash! The wind-up to the 2011 ARC this past Saturday was a celebration of epic proportions. After plying the assembled multitude of sailors with rum (clever tactic that), master of ceremonies Andrew Bishop (see photo up top) proceeded to hand out a multitude of awards for all manner of achievements.

My personal favorite was the Award for Having Your Entry Number Coincidentally Match Your Order of Finish Number. Amazingly, it was shared this year by the crews of three ...

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Margaret: An Unusual Launch

20 Dec
Preparing Margaret for (re)launching

Welcome to SailFeed! The website launched today but as you can see most of us blogging here have already been going at it for a bit. My blog is one of the newest so if you’re interested it won’t take long to peruse my previous posts and catch up. At the moment it’s a bit technical as we’ve been chronicling progress on the refit of my Cape Dory 28 but in the spirit of SailFeed’s first day I thought we could lighten things up a bit with a launch story of my own.

Meet Margaret:
Margaret ...
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