Sailfeed
June 12th

I spent over a year on and off, anchored right at that spot, and jumped off those rocks many times. It looks like since then somebody’s put an (ineffective) fence around them. The very first time I dropped anchor there, after entering the Heads for the first time, and old salt advised me on the holding, and advised me not to swim. I asked why, and he made the the big mouth sign with his arms. Throughout the year+, and many hours of lovely swimming around that bay, bottom scrubbing, etc., I came to dismiss all the the rumors about man-eating sharks in Sydney Harbour/Port Jackson.…

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May 6th

Cheap LED Strip Lights for Boats

Posted by // May 6, 2014 // COMMENT (2 Comments)

Boats and Gear,

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Looks like Ben Ellison also just blogged about inexpensive LED lighting – when it rains it pours – but note that one of these entire color-changing, dimmable, waterproof strip kits costs about half what a single marine LED fixture costs.

These LED strip lights must be in every college dorm room on the planet by now. They’re cheap (about $30 for a complete kit), they can make all the colors of the rainbow, and using the included automatic controls they’ll do all kinds of fades, flashes, and disco colors, which are kinda fun.

For a boat they’ve got other advantages: They use little power, about 3 amps at 12 volts to light up a 15-foot strip at full power – this is enough to light a large main cabin; they’re flexible and waterproof; and they can be set to just dim red, which is great for night sailing without blinding the crew.…

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April 17th

Coast Guard Boardings: My Number Was Up

Posted by // April 17, 2014 // COMMENT (11 Comments)

Miscellany, Techniques,

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After writing the posts about Coast Guard Boardings, I was wondering when my number would come up again. It came up last weekend.

The boarding and paper-checking were routine, but some of the things the boarding officer told me were not.

To backtrack a bit, from some of the comments from my posts, some think I’m taking a crack at the Coast Guard, but this is NOT the case. I’m taking a crack at Title 14 section 89 of the United States Code, which I think should be repealed or revised, especially with regard to recreational craft in domestic waters.…

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April 7th

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There’s been an ongoing rescue of a one-year-old baby from the cruising boat Rebel Heart, which is about 900 miles west of Cabo San Lucas. They haven’t clarified what the illness is, but it’s been an elaborate rescue, complete with mid-air refuelings, medics dropped from air and landed aboard, extraction of the infant, and a happy ending.

The whole episode is tweeted on the California Air National Guard Twitter feed, with photos, links to relevant articles, and updates.…

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March 6th

The Hurricane of 1939, Newport Beach

Posted by // March 6, 2014 // COMMENT (0 Comments)

Miscellany, ,

This video, a gift to our local nautical museum, just got posted to YouTube.

The carnage begins about 3 minutes in, if you’re just into carnage.

It’s bizarre to watch this on the harbor I grew up on, which is usually a very mellow place, and hasn’t had a hurricane since, well, 1939. I’ve only seen waves break inside the harbor a few times in my life, namely the Swell of 1983, when The Wedge was breaking at well over twenty feet.

My dad was six years old in 1939, and he remembers it well.

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it:

“The 1939 California tropical storm, also called the 1939 Long Beach tropical storm, El Cordonazo, The Lash of St.…

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February 26th

Sail Covers Redux

Posted by // February 26, 2014 // COMMENT (3 Comments)

Maintenance,

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I can’t explain it, but my sail covers have become too small over the years. Either they shrunk, or sails have become bulkier. (Do I sound like an aging man talking about his waistline?) It’s been a real stretch lately, and a ten minute job, to get the sail covers on, especially over my new-ish main, which is still stiff. They were also generally battered and had lots of rips to repair. I’ll say this much though: That Sunbrella is some tough stuff. Those sail covers date from long before I owned the boat, meaning they’ve stood up to at least twenty years in the sun.…

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