Team New Zealand’s Rules Of The Road

19 Jan

An excellent set of guidelines for conducting yourself (often in bars, it seems) like a professional sailor. No wonder they win so much:

Rule number 1

No phones at dinner. As soon as a phone comes out the offender is fined. Fines are immediate and can be paid at the bar. Sounds old school but it really bugs me to have a get together and someone is Skyping their sister, surfing the net, or on Facebook. It’s not right!

Special permission can be granted to have a phone on the table. I think we gave permission once in France. 

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Circumnavigation – Favorite Place?

19 Jan

We are often asked, “What was your favorite place?” when people hear that we sailed around the world. And while the standard answer is that every country had it’s high points, for us, the best area we cruised, or at least our fondest and most interesting memories, came from sailing the Red Sea. Which is why it is so disappointing to hear that these days, just six years later, cruisers are facing such a tough decision when it comes to choosing whether or not to sail these waters.

For us this area was all about being “out there,” about being ...

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BOATHANDLING: Secrets of a Sensuous Sailor

18 Jan

Couple sailing

It wasn't until I first sailed on a boat with an engine that I understood precisely what is most seductive about sailing. Any who have cursed the din of a motor while afloat will know exactly what I mean. We feel it the very instant we switch our engines off, as the awful over-riding sound of internal combustion dies away. I call it the orgasm of silence, that moment in which it seems all of our senses have suddenly been turned on.

Considered purely on an aesthetic basis the sensuality of sailing is hardly unique. Any mode of transportation, particularly ...

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North to Puerto Vallarta

18 Jan

(Jan.13) So what would the problem of the day be on this fine Mexican Friday? We woke up with no problems, everyone was in a good mood and ready for some breakfast. Seeing as how the fridge didn't get very cold the night before because of the engine overheating issue we decided to fire up the engine this morning and cool it down. 

All was well for the first half hour or so, then we both started to think, "Does something sound different?" Pretty soon it was obvious something was making a weird, sort of indescribable background whistling noise. I ...
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Captain Schettino’s Conduct

17 Jan

The Costa Contadora story just gets farcically worse with every news cycle.

Is Capt. Schettino hiding under a blanket in this crowd of survivors?

If you want to know how NOT to conduct yourself as a Captain after ordering passengers and crew to

abandon ship, and hustling off yourself, audio recordings of Captain Schettino–as authorities try to save lives and complete the evacuation–are a perfect example of what not to do and say. 

Sample:

A few minutes later, the port authority commander again asked Schettino where he is. Schettino, who was still on land, didn’t reply. “Go on board and coordinate the rescue operation from there,” yells De Falco. “Are you

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The Costa Concordia Story Beggars Belief

17 Jan

It is must be the season of the shipwreck. With the Rena barely broken up, the world turns its attention to the Med, and the Costa Concordia disaster. The story so far:

  • one wrecked liner
  • 6 dead (three found on board and three found drowned at sea)
  • 29 missing, but no one seems to know for sure if that's the right number
  • divers blowing holes in the ship hull to better access flooded cabins in the search for victims
  • mega-insurance claims, lawsuits, and criminal proceedings imminent

The sea will take its due, and that means shipwrecks and lives ...

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Limping Along to Chamela

16 Jan

(Jan. 10) I dove in today with scrapers in hand and found that it was amazing this boat moved at all when we left Barra. The bottom was a giant mass of growth. Hundreds of pounds of fist sized plants, quite beautiful actually, had attached themselves to our fifteen or so year-old bottom paint. Wish I knew what kind of paint it was, I'd Tweet a complaint to the company. I mean really.

Fortunately I'd bought the biggest scraper to be had at Home Depot, unfortunately my in-laws weren't able to find our snorkel gear stashed away somewhere in their ...
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Anatomy of a Water Damaged Deck

16 Jan

Part of the fun in my search for a boat was determining which of a vast roster of sailboat poxes and maladies should count as a plus on the scoresheet and which a minus. From hull blisters to fiberglass delamination, rot, soaked cores, decayed fasteners and decrepit systems, these boats had them all. But which were desirable features? (Hint: don’t pick hull blisters!) I could count my purchase budget on one hand in less than a hand’s worth of figures so I knew I was going to have to settle for a few ailments. Fortunately some common problems will greatly ...

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