Out of Office Reply: Gone Cruising

29 Feb

I am off for 3-1/2 weeks on The Clipperton Project, a scientific/artistic expedition to an atoll in the middle of nowhere, and not on the way to anywhere…or I might be the unwitting participant in some bizarre social experiment or new reality show. At any rate, about twenty of us are off on three boats, leaving from La Paz, with the goal of having eight days on the island to carry out various studies on the island, the lagoon, and the surrounding reefs. Clipperton is a French possession, but closer to Mexico/Central America.

I arrived at about 10 p.m. ...

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VO70s At Speed

29 Feb

The Volvo fleet is finally broad reaching in strong trade winds, doing what a VO70 was designed to do: sail at 20-plus knots over the open ocean.

What would that be like? These will give you a feel.

And if you want to see what it looks like on video, as well as see what sort of damage these speeds are handing to the fleet, click on.

 ...

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Extreme Sailing Is Still Extreme

29 Feb

It is impressive how fast, and how far, sailing and sponsorship have come in the Arabian Peninsula. So it's no suprise to see the Extreme Sailing Series open its season in Oman, which makes for a nice promo:

We're through Day 2 of the racing, and so far the big story has been the impressive debut of surfer/sailor, and

laid-back, all-around nice guy, Morgan Larson, who took his team to the top of the Day 1 rankings despite nearly losing a man overboard. Larson's Oman Air is still a close second after two days, so it ain't no fluke. ...

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Le Volvo?

28 Feb

The Whitbread/Volvo has generally been considered an "Anglo" race, with the French preferring the solo and multihull stuff, like the Jules Verne and the Vendee Globe. So it was an interesting wrinkle that Groupama stepped up to build a VO70 and compete in this year's edition of the VOR.

No one knew quite what to expect, but now that we are a few legs in, and Groupama is leading the fleet to Auckland, I'm loving the flair and competitiveness of Franck Cammas and his team. They are in third place on the leaderboard, they have shown a propensity for ...

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A View of Peskin Point

28 Feb

You know how, sometimes, you’d rather be wrong?

I seem to remember writing, If lead negotiator Stephen Barclay and his Americas Cup cohorts were a trifle nave regarding San Francisco politics when they first blew into town, trumpeting the splendors to come, an 11th hour lawsuit filed last week by former President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and still-local chairman of the Democratic Party Aaron Peskin should complete their education. This is a blood sport, and you dont have to be certifiably sane to play.

I remain on-message. The Americas Cup is going to be fine.

Unfortunately, if ...

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Gauge of Confusion

27 Feb

 

Gauges and sending units can get very confusing.

In the photo above, this very nice Beneteau came with this engine panel, which has idiot lights for high water temperature and oil pressure, but no gauges. In an ideal world you want both, the gauges to show you normal temperatures/pressures and trends if anything changes, and the idiot lights/buzzer to go off if something catastrophic happens. This also builds in redundancy, because you have two pressure senders, two temperature senders, and the corresponding guages/lights at the helm.

To get a new panel from Yanmar with gauges cost $1700, and I ...

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Dolphins Doing…Something (Interesting)

27 Feb

The sea is a mysterious place, despite all our science. And its creatures have mysterious habits that are sometimes extraordinary to behold.

One of the wildest phenomenons is a dolphin stampede, where massive numbers of dolphins gather and go, um, nuts.

Here is a recent example:

 

This has been seen before and though no one really knows why dolphins behave this way, we are learning

more and more about how intelligent and socially complex dolphins are. In fact. scientists who study dolphin intelligence have started to call for giving dolphins "non-person rights" that would protext their lives and liberty. ...

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Peskin Point

26 Feb

“If” lead negotiator Stephen Barclay and his America’s Cup cohorts were a trifle nave regarding San Francisco politics when they first blew into town, trumpeting the splendors to come, an 11th hour lawsuit filed last week by former President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and still-local chairman of the Democratic Party Aaron Peskin should complete their education. This is a blood sport, and you don’t have to be certifiably sane to play.

I remain on-message, however. Relax. The America’s Cup is going to be fine.
Unless it’s the San Francisco waterfront you care about. Then you might worry. ...

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JARLE ANDHOEY: Retreat from Antarctica

26 Feb

Jarle Andhoey

Norwegian Jarle Andhoey and his crew aboard the outlaw vessel Nilaya have announced they are leaving Antarctic waters and are sailing north again, reportedly for South America. To escape the area they evidently must first transit a 200-mile belt of sea ice. The Maori political activist, Busby Noble, who is aboard without a passport (accidentally or not, depending on which reports you read), has told the media he now plans to get a temporary passport in Argentina so he can return to his home in New Zealand.

All in all, this seems in the end to be a case of ...

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Water Tank Install is Finished

25 Feb

I posted before about installing the aft water tank but at the time it was just held in place with expanding foam. Now we’ve finished the install with the addition of some plywood and fiberglass reinforcement. This was a simple project which drove home two things for me- first that fiberglass and epoxy resin are almost too easy to work with and second that I really have no idea how to gauge the strength or reliability of the fiberglass work I am doing!

Whenever I have a glassing project I call my father up to talk to him about it ...

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