A Lot of Wind Video

19 Dec

As I've said many times, sailors are notorious exaggerators, and the wind and waves always seem to get a little higher and stronger after a few drinks. The video below is what I consider a lot of wind. I posted this video on YouTube a few years ago as an experiment, and I'm shocked that over twenty thousand people have watched it, which I guess isn't that many in the YouTube world.

To answer nitty-gritty questions, this was at Peninsula Tamar, at the Boca Occidental of the Straits of Magellan, with a typical low pressure system blowing through. Captain Slocum ...

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William Faulkner, Sailor Man

19 Dec

© Floating around the net

Being on a Southern sojourn, I counted it high time to renew acquaintance with my friends Eudora Welty, Robert Penn Warren, William Faulkner

And so it came about that in a five-pounder of an anthology I found a piece by Faulkner that was new to me, an autobiography of sorts in 19 pages posing as an investigation of swamps and Snopses and small towns called cities and tiny black women of fortitude and loyalty who lived and died surrounded by admiration and slow tragedy: out of that welter emerged a few nuggets of the 1949 ...

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GUNBOAT 66 PHAEDO: Shifting Into Cruising Mode

18 Dec

Paul Hand and Lloyd Thornburg

When I first stepped aboard the bright orange Gunboat 66 Phaedo while chatting up ARC sailors here in Rodney Bay, I had no idea at first who I was talking to. A soft-spoken not-quite-clean-shaven young man in a t-shirt invited me aboard after I hailed the boat from the dock, and I naturally assumed he must be crew. He eagerly pointed out the skipper (Paul Hand, on the left up top) and some of the other folks aboard, and it was only after I inquired directly as to his own identity that he admitted, a bit bashfully, that he was ...

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Iceberg Alley

16 Dec

Ice in the Southern Ocean at 30 knots is a scary prospect. And Banque Populaire has an ice field astride the fast route to Cape Horn, so it is diverting north and headed for a region of light winds.

That's the bad news. The good news is that the descent to the Horn after that is looking good. It's all about keeping the boat in one piece, and they are in a zone of maximum risk. So for the moment it's better to be smart than daring.

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Volvo Update

15 Dec

The Volvo Ocean Race is shuffling around off the bottom of Africa, trying to find the best route north to Abu Dhabi, and here's what you need to know:

The boats are through the washing machine of the Agulhas Current and no one dropped a rig. So that's good.

There was a big fleet split to get there, with Groupama again showing a penchant for wild gambles. So far, that's not so good (for them).

Telefonica, again with smart tactics and smooth sailing, is establishing itself as the class of the fleet. Nice to see an ocean race in which ...

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2011 ARC: Dock Walk

15 Dec

ARC fleet at St. Lucia

I'm hitting the rally beat hard these days. After recently not sailing in the Caribbean 1500, I'm now down in Rodney Bay, St. Lucia, checking out the end of this year's Atlantic Rally for Cruisers. To get a feel for things, I took a long stroll yesterday around the docks. I don't know about you, but walking around a marina or boatyard ogling boats is something I never get tired of.

There were two in particular I was looking for. The first was a Class 40 Akilaria named Vaquita. She turned in a stellar performance, crossing the ...

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Awesome Ocean Advocacy By The TankBangers

14 Dec

For anyone who loves the big, blue ocean and wishes we were better stewards, this wildly creative music video will move you (and sometimes make you smile, and sometimes make you mad).

But no matter what, it will make you care. Which is why it works. Share it around and maybe some other people will care, too. Waterworld needs a break from the fishing, the trash, the pollution.

It's brought to you by The TankBangers, the worlds first underwater music group. Follow their exploits on Facebook.

Click "Read More" to watch…

 ...

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Dog Tired

14 Dec

We're remodeling our kitchen. We wash our dishes in the bathtub. We've been saying for a week, hey, let's just move onto the boat, where we'll have a kitchen and be perfectly comfortable. The wind has been from every which way lately in San Francisco, making for a choppy, surgey mess. In the best of times my marina is rough, but it was particularly rough over the weekend. The rocking wasn't so bad, but the surge was terrible. Every time the boat surged, the dock lines creaked, squeaked, and groaned. Every time there was squeaking and groaning, the dog sat bolt upright and ...

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