People

Off Sailing!

20 Dec

I got a call about a week back from a friend of mine who is also boat obsessed and an equally off-the-cuff planner. Turns out since the last time we saw each other she has been sailing on and off with a group of like-minded folks on a small flotilla of old plastic boats. Their latest plan is a Christmas jaunt to the Bahamas for a couple weeks and she was calling to invited me to come along with my boat. Unfortunately my boat is momentarily in regression the cockpit dismantled in order to be painted and the cabin a ...

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DEBBIE CALITZ: Ex-Pirate Hostage Busted for Pot and Mushrooms

11 Dec

Calitz book cover

OH NO! (Not ANOTHER cruiser-got-busted story!) Just six months ago, Debbie Calitz, a South African sailor taken hostage by Somali pirates with her boyfriend off the coast of Tanzania, was finally released after 20 months in captivity. In little more than a week her book about her ordeal, 20 Months in Hostage Hell (see image up top), is scheduled to be released by Penguin Books. Right now, however, she's up to her eyeballs in legal trouble, as she, her two children, and six others were arrested in her Pretoria apartment last Friday for possession of marijuana and hallucinogenic ...

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What Inspires You? -or- Reflecting on the past eight years

10 Dec

"Man is not a camel – he must drink."

That's a sign I saw in a bar in New Zealand in 2004. It's also one of the very first entries in my journal from that trip, the first real length journey I've ever been on. I started reading it today on the plane ride to St. Lucia to work for the ARC Rally finish because I'm doing a 'Voice of Experience' article for SAIL and wanted to refresh my memory of that anchor debacle in Endeavor Inlet.

All it has done thus far is put a yearning in my soul ...

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Loick Peyron On The AC72: It’s REALLY On The Edge

27 Nov

We've all been watching the development of the AC72, trying to get a good feel for what kind of design it is, what the limits are, where the risks lie.

We've seen ETNZ handle their beast with aplomb

We've seen Oracle Racing devoured.

But now, for the first time, we have a real inside evaluation of the AC72. It comes courtesy of Loick Peyron, who is working with Artemis Racing and has probably sailed more miles in more multihull designs than just about any sailor on the planet. 

Peyron knows what he is talking about, so when he ...

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PASSAGE EAST: Racing Transatlantic With Carleton Mitchell

31 Oct

1952 Transat Race

Big confession here: I have read little of Carleton Mitchell’s writing. I was always familiar, of course, with his enormous reputation–three consecutive Bermuda Race wins, etc.–but I never bothered to study any of his seven books until he died at the ripe old age of 96 in the summer of 2007. On learning of his demise, I ordered a copy of Islands to Windward, his first book, published in 1948, which documents an extended cruise of the Caribbean he made aboard Carib, a 46-foot Alden ketch, shortly after World War II. The photos were nice, but I wasn’t ...

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Remembering Myron, Keeping Myron

26 Oct

The Spaulding Center in Sausalito lies not so far across the water from The San Francisco Yacht Club in Belvedere, host to what has become an alpha sailing event on San Francisco Bay, the Leukemia Cup. It’s pretty hard to compete with Ted Turner as a keynote speaker—basically, you don’t; Turner is one of the all-time good guys—but enthusiasm for wooden boatcraft, plus having Warwick “Commodore” Tompkins on the bill for a same-night fundraiser at what once was Myron Spaulding’s boatyard, was enough to make that event a sell-out too.

What is the Spaulding Center? Chronicle writer Carl Nolte calls ...

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Shackleton

26 Oct

For just $20,000 you can participate in a re-creation of the Shackleton Epic  (with modern communications, safety gear, and central heating). For $20,000 do you think you'll be eating fancy cruise food? No, you will eat seal livers for the entire duration of the cruise, seal livers cooked over a fire of seal blubber. Just when you've had enough of seal livers, guess what you get to eat next? More seal livers. Several cruise members will have their toes amputated under primitive conditions,  all will be marooned on Elephant Island for an Antarctic winter, then will get to observe ...

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REID STOWE: Out of South America

22 Oct

Reid Stowe's mom, RIP

Here’s a titillating bit of synchronicity. It seems that marathon voyaging champ Reid Stowe, who has spent much of the last year living with his family in the jungles of Guyana working to refit his schooner, will soon be leaving South America, just as his old buddy Ivo van Laake sails in from Europe on a cruise with his family. Reid’s mom Anne (see photo up top), after whom his schooner is named, died recently, and Reid’s current plan is to sail north to North Carolina via the West Indies and move in with his dad. Meanwhile, Ivo, a ...

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BOAT GIRL: New Book by Melanie Neale

17 Oct

Boat Girl book

I first met the Neale family–Tom, his wife Mel, and their two young daughters, Melanie and Carolyn–in November 1993 on the Virginia shore in Chesapeake Bay. I was sailing south with Nim Marsh, then a once-and-future editor at Cruising World magazine, aboard his boat Breakaway, a Bristol 29, and he was anxious to visit the Neales, who were aboard their Gulfstar 47 Chez Nous, preparing to embark on their annual pilgrimage from the Chesapeake to the Bahamas. I remember pulling into an anchorage past the marina where Chez Nous was docked and running aground in a tricky channel. ...

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Schooner Race watch onboard Rodney Carroll’s Tayana 37

16 Oct

Note: unless otherwise noted, Mia Karlsson has taken all the photos. 

We left Annapolis early and drove up to Sparrow's Point, to the Old Bay Marina where I'd been twice before to help Rodney do some work on his Tayana 37. The boat had been hauled out for over 3 years, Rodney doing the refit himself between sculpture projects. Two years ago I helped him step the mast, when the boat was on the hard. Earlier this summer, Mia and I joined him and his wife Narda (and their brown dog Brownie) on a sweltering day to help install his ...

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