Volvo Ocean Race: The Southern Ocean Brawl Is On

22 Mar

Finally, the big Southern Ocean leg. And though just 5 days in, we've already had two major breakdowns.

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing lost a structural bulkhead just out of Auckland and returned for repairs. Now they are desperately trying to claw their way back to the fleet.

And last night Sanya suffered a critical failure of their starboard rudder (cause unknown), which opened a major leak. So they are heading back to New Zealand

Plus, PUMA had two serious injuries, including a dislocated shoulder.

And now the whole fleet is bracing for a serious pasting.

In ...

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The Oceans = Great Video

21 Mar

Sometimes the best way to understand the incredible wealth of experience offered by the watery realms is to watch….some great video.

Here are five good ones that I threw into the vault over the past few weeks.

1) Gone Sailing (Backstory)

2) Gone Sailing, Part 2

3) Gone Sailing, Part 3

4) Day At The Beach

5) Foot In Mouth (Backstory)

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BLUEWATER SAILING ON A BUDGET: Selecting and Preparing a Boat

20 Mar

Pearson Alberg 35

Much has been written on the subject of preparing a boat to go offshore. It seems most of this literature is now focused on affluent types who aspire to live as profligately afloat as they do ashore, but it’s important to remember you can in fact explore the watery parts of our planet in a boat of your own without spending huge sums of money. As an illustration of what’s possible, I thought I might tell the sordid tale of how I bought and equipped my first bluewater sailboat.

I purchased Crazy Horse in Connecticut in the fall of 1994 ...

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‘Upgrading’ a mystery masthead LED tricolor/anchor light

19 Mar

My LED combination masthead tri-color and anchor light (whew!) recently arrived. It came from an ebay source that seems to have disappeared and strangely enough ebay won’t even show me the transaction history.  The light itself bears no identifying markings and came with no papers, not even a receipt. Unsurprisingly, it’s not perfect.


Electrically it seems convincingly constructed with a heavy, solid casing for the LED bulbs and proper fasteners but the construction of the housing has a couple seriously weak spots. The heavy bulbs are held on by just these two tiny screws going through the copper sockets ...

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Questions for Cruisers

18 Mar

A while back I asked my blog readers to submit any questions they might have so that I could answer them here on SAILfeed. One reader sent us a list so long and detailed that I thought I'd just go ahead and attack a few of them in one go. So here goes.

How do you get weather information, and how often? What information do you use and why?

 

I answered this question during our first cruise and the online cruisers forums got all in a huff about it. Some called me a liar, some just claimed it as ...

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CRAZY CRUISING GUYS: Updates on Reid Stowe and Jarle Andhoey

16 Mar

Schooner Anne

It’s been a while since I mentioned Reid Stowe, not because I’ve lost interest in him, but because he went dark for several weeks, not long after he and his family arrived in the jungles of Guyana aboard their schooner Anne back in early January. Now he’s got his communications sorted and is again transmitting regular updates.

Last we visited with Reid he was booking into Guyana at Georgetown and accidentally violated the local pilot boat with his bow. Since then he’s made friends with the pilots and got some help conning Anne up the coast and into the Essequibo ...

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Inside Artemis

16 Mar

What's up with Artemis? Don't they know that when you play the America's Cup game you are supposed to be paranoid, secretive, and hostile to media efforts to learn anything about your plans and designs? And that you need lots of security goons to shoo inquisitive, photo-snapping journalists away?

Apparently not. Yesterday they distributed pictures of their new AC72 wing. And now we see that they've also allowed CNN Mainsail's Shirley Robertson behind the scenes for a pretty extensive look at their team and progress. The result is three sweet video reports.

For that, they win the inaugural Mariner ...

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The Unveiling Of An AC72 Wing

15 Mar

It's a slow, painful creep toward the actual sailing of the next America's Cup competition. But it is nice to actually see (finally) a major component of the AC72, speed kills, catamaran design. So thanks to Artemis for daring to take their spanking new AC72 wing out into the open air and stand it up.

Here's what it looks like in action:

Here is what it looks like compared to the puny AC45 wing:

And here is what Artemis is saying about it:

The culmination of more than 35,000 man hours and a tremendous amount of hard work on

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“Sharks Are Honest”

14 Mar

Is big-wave surfer, and shark-riding freediver Mark Healey crazy? Or does he know something the rest of us don't?

A little of both, I think, as this video of Healey diving with bull sharks attests. He goes on from the title quote above to say: "People have ulterior motives. I think people are way more dangerous than sharks." Hard to argue with that.

This guy, however, seems more than a little crazy.

This guy, too.

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JOSHUA SLOCUM’S LIBERDADE: Where Is She Now?

14 Mar

Joshua Slocum and family aboard Liberdade

One nice thing about this blogging game is that you sometimes get useful feedback. For example: about two years ago I put up a post about Joshua Slocum and his bizarre homemade 35-foot dory/junk Liberdade, which he sailed from South America to the U.S. in 1888 with his family after they were shipwrecked on the Brazilian coast. This included a brief end note as to the fate of the boat, to the effect that it had been donated to the Smithsonian Institution, but that it wasn’t known whether the Smithsonian still had the boat hidden in its vaults, ...

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