What happened to windsurfing?
Kiteboarding is now all the rage, but kiteboarding isn’t doing for the world what windsurfing did back in its heyday. Before this last Olympics I heard that windsurfing was going to be replaced by kiteboarding, but I was relieved to find out this wasn’t the case: kiteboarding was just entering as an exhibition sport. Windsurfing was still in, albeit called RS:X. Then I had to look up what an RS:X is: It’s a windsurfer.
Back in 1967 my dad’s former roommate from Pomona College co-invented, and later co-patented what would be called the Windsurfer. Hoyle Schweitzer ... Read More
After blogging about the Sail Transport Network a few days ago, I was perusing their website and came across The New Age of Sail by Dmitry Orlov, way down at the end of the left hand column. Mr. Orlov wrote his online manifesto back in 2006, but it really got wheels in 2008 when the economy started to crash. Back then I read mention of it in The Economist, The New Yorker, and blogged about it myself.
It makes for an interesting read if you've got an hour to spend–part fact, part speculation, part fiction. He doesn't mention ... Read More
HE WAS THE FIRST profoundly deaf sailor to circumnavigate the British Isles (1981), the first sail a solo transat (2005), and now Gerry Hughes is going for the big enchilada: solo non-stop all the way around the world via the Southern Ocean. He left Troon, Scotland, on September 1 and is currently south of the Cape Verdes, about 700 miles north of the equator.
He’s already had a fair share of trouble. Tab through the updates on the news page on his website and you’ll see he’s been puzzling over a busted generator, roller-furler, and windvane since leaving Scotland and ... Read More
I WAS AMAZED TO LEARN that Bill King, one of the nine sailors who in 1968 joined in the famous Golden Globe Race, the very first singlehanded non-stop race around the world, died late last week. I had assumed he must have died many years ago, but no… he’s been alive and kicking all this while, working his organic farm at Oranmore Castle in County Galway in Ireland. In the end he made it all the way to 102 years before finally passing on to whatever comes next last Friday.
For a man who thought himself timid ... Read More
If you are a sailing Walter Mitty, then you should be following the wanderings and doings of one Ronnie Simpson.
Simpson is still in his twenties, but he has lived quite a life. A short, but far from complete, summary: he served in Iraq as a Marine and was badly wounded, he abandoned his first sailboat in the Pacific, he bicycled across Asia, he raced the Singledhanded Transpac to Hawaii, he lost the keel on the boat on the way back and managed to sail it 800 miles back to San Francisco, he won his class in ... Read More
REMEMBERING GEORGE “I’LL GUARANTEE YOU TEN BOATS” GRIFFITH
George Griffith rocked my world. The man had a vision for a next boat, and he didn’t care about the doubters. The result was the Cal 40, arguably the most influential raceboat of the second half of the 20th century, and I have it on good authority that George, on his last day of sharing our Blue Planet, had a view of some very fine Cal 40s, moored at Catalina Island, gleaming as brightly as when they rolled off Jensen Marine’s production line in the 1960s.
George Griffith died this morning at ... Read More
I GOT INTO THE SUBJECT of Prohibition a couple of years ago on reading Daniel Okrent’s excellent popular history, Last Call. I’d always understood, of course, that Prohibition was the product of the unique power of highly motivated single-issue minorities in American politics. But prior to reading Okrent’s book I’d never grasped what a perfect storm of political trends (the suffrage movement, allowing women to vote, plus the advent of income taxes, to replace revenue from liquor taxes) was required to make it possible for temperance fanatics to highjack the U.S. Constitution. What I also never realized was that ... Read More
When we think rescue at sea we often picture an heroic airlift of desperate people
stranded on a reef or in heavy seas. But is this really where our SAR dollars are going? (From the Courier-Mail)
Now that my boat is launched I’m in the process of getting up to code on certain safety regulations. So I’ve got to go and equip myself with flares, and USCG approved fire extinguishers (not one, but two, I believe, for my 28ft boat!), and a “Pollution Placard’… Even though most of this is stuff I would buy anyway before going offshore, I find ... Read More
Every cruiser is different, but over the years certain archetypes have emerged in my mind:
The Crusty Cruiser (or Grotty Yachtie): Seafaring life a thin disguise for alcoholism. Doesn’t really ever sail anywhere, but settles into haunts like Marina La Paz, Phuket, or certain Caribbean islands where rum is cheap. Boats are likely to have cockroaches and lots of dog hair. If male, Moses beard. If female, hairy legs and arm pits. Personal hygiene neglected due to water shortage aboard. Favorite part of cruising: cocktail hour.
The Yacht Club Officer on Tour: Yacht Club Burgee flown at all times ... Read More
BACK IN THE LATE NINETIES when I quit my job as an associate editor at Cruising World, Elaine Lembo was hired to take my place. We’ve been good friends ever since. We usually have furtive encounters in vans running between BWI Airport and Annapolis in October and swap all kinds of juicy gossip about sailing magazines, particularly the ones we work for. This year for the first time we had our furtive encounter in the proper way, aboard a boat, in a fabulous anchorage in Maine (Ridley Cove, just south of Cundy’s Harbor), in company with Elaine’s partner-in-crime, paramour, ... Read More