A Genuine Catch-22

18 Oct

Catch-22 is a horrendously misused term. People use it to mean damned if you do, damned if you don’t, but this is not what a Catch-22 is. I haven’t read the book in a long time, but I believe the episode I had in Iquique, Chile, would get Joseph Heller's blessing. Every international cruiser has a horror story about bureaucracy run amok. After ten years, 34 countries, and clearing in or out of countries about 200 times (I came and went from the same countries a lot), this episode in Iquique stands apart.

My new passport was supposed to be ...

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Oracle Team USA Capsize: Oracle Video And Pics

17 Oct

UPDATE: Here's a long range video of the capsize itself. You can only imagine what it must have been like to be aboard the AC72 as the bows started going down the mine.

Oracle Team has put out their own video and photos of their AC-72 capsize.The video has some good sailing footage, which gives you a sense of the sheer power of the thing, as well as the sequence when the catamaran turned turtle (further trashing the wing). And it's got team members speaking about what happened

and what it means.

It was always said that the ...

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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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The Original Windsurfer

15 Oct

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 ...

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2012 ANNAPOLIS CATAMARAN TESTS: Leopard 58 and Fountaine Pajot Sanya 57

15 Oct

Leopard 58

Both the cats I tested after the Annapolis show this year are super-sized production boats designed mostly to serve in the charter trade. The Leopard 58, a.k.a. the Moorings 5800, is the more extreme example of this species, fully three stories tall, topped with an enormous covered flybridge on which it is possible to entertain and feed a dozen or more people while simultaneously driving the boat.

Leopard 58 flybridge

The Leopard’s amazing flybridge. There is both a wet bar and dedicated barbecue to satiate the hordes that will gather here

Viewed from a dock, or even from on deck, the height ...

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Vendee Globe: Powered By Open 60

10 Oct

Sure, our fickle attentions are distracted by those cool looking boats that have been racing, and flipping, out in San Francisco, and their larger cousins.

But the Vendee Globe is just one month away, and photographer par excellence Christophe Launay has picked the perfect moment to remind us that there are few boats that look more awesome than the venerable Open 60 powering across the seas.

Alex Thompson and Hugo Boss have a knack for drama (if not for always completing races). And they deliver once again, with Launay's help. Check it (full gallery is here):

HUGO ...

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The Sail Transport Network

10 Oct

A few months ago Charlie Doane wrote a blog post about sail powered shipping. It may be viable someday soon, but activity is afoot on a smaller scale. I first came in contact with the Sail Transport Network a few years ago, when I started Wine By Sail.

The idea of Wine By Sail, in its first incarnation, was to deliver wine from wineries around the Bay Area by sailboat, rather than by truck. Now Wine By Sail is my charter business, and we transport wine on a much shorter voyage, from the bottles to our mouths. You ...

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Bareboat Charter for $25 Per Day

8 Oct

Okay, the $25 only got me a 17-foot canoe, but it was one of the best "cruising" experiences of my life.  My friend Eddie and I canoed 100 miles down the Green River in Utah, from Ruby Ranch to the confluence with the Colorado River.

The canoe is a ticklish craft. I hadn't paddled one since I was twelve. You'd think forward movement would be straightforward, but a canoe wants to spin out of control at all times. Let me revise that: A canoe loaded with as much crap as we had in this one wants to spin out of ...

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Sail repair for Idiots (of the capital I sort…)

4 Oct
Going up the mast to sort out the cause of a very stupid mistake…

My father has a mantra of sorts for whenever he does something really foolish- ‘Well, at least I can write about this…’ In that spirit, I have a confession to make.

A little while back a couple friends and I went out for an evenings sail and seeing as there was plenty of wind we decided to put the boat through its paces. I hadn’t yet put the rail underwater so that became the goal for the evening. Sailing close-hauled in 20+ knots with full main ...

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