A Hurricane, an ‘Evacuation’ and a Rescue Of Sorts – Weathering Hurricane Isaac

8 Sep

Here’s the story to go with those photos. I’ll have at least one more post coming up on Isaac- about what seemed to work and what didn’t for weathering the storm- and then I’ll stop flogging this particular horse (real classy turn of phrase, huh?) Here’s how the storm went for me.

Isaac wasn’t much on anyone’s mind here in the city until the night of Sunday the 26th when predictions of its erratic spirals began to settle in on Southeast Louisiana. I was leaving a noisy punk matinee when all of a sudden the storm was on ...

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Grant Dalton: Yes, ETNZ foils, but….

7 Sep

It's always worth taking whatever any AC team manager says with a grain of salt, because you never know what sort of mind games or head fakes are in play. (Image above via).

But, for what it's worth, here's what ETNZ honcho Grant Dalton says about his AC72 and foiling:

Here's the ETNZ blog:

Late last week sailing web sites and blogs were awash with speculation that the team was “flying” its AC72. Some pictures were circulated and comment ranged from yachties convinced they were genuine to skeptics equally certain they were the work of a skilled photo

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One Standing

6 Sep

When Emirates Team New Zealand launched its first AC72, observers allowed she was built for stout. By lightweight, carbon fiber standards, anyhow.

When the boat went full-foil on sailing day five, it fulfilled a lot of expectations (Luna Rossa’s Matteo Plazzi: “We’ll all have to try it”) and promised a bit more, considering that ETNZ is, we might say, the one man standing.

Artemis trialed a wing months ago on an ORMA trimaran and broke it. Quite possibly, the next meeting was a long meeting for the engineers. They have not said publicly when they expect to sail an AC72....

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ETNZ’s AC72 Tries To Go Down The Mine

6 Sep

These boats definitely look cool, and they can fly (whether literally or not, only time will tell). ETNZ hits 35-40 knots in this video, and that's enough to have hometown sailing commentators Martin Tasker and Peter Lester practically wetting their pants with excitement.

I'll leave it to the foil-ologists to argue about what this video tells us about whether and how this AC 72 will get up into the air. The most interesting part to me was that they almost stuffed it (comes at the end) in a very flat sea state. A pitchpole in one of these babies would ...

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Wind + Wing = Lift

6 Sep

That's the basic equation that gets us across the oceans and will power the America's Cup. It's also the equation that keeps wingsuit flyer extarordinaire Alexander Polli from dying–and allows him to make spectacular video.

I view sailing as being at one end of a Bernoulii spectrum, that goes through kitesurfing to wingsuit flying. And the spectrum is all about freedom and natural forces. But if you need a little water to get why I am posting this, then make sure you watch until 1:40 in the video.



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C’mon, Hydroptere!

5 Sep

It's hard not to love Hydroptere, Alain Thebault's sizzling fast flying tri. And when they shipped over to the West Coast to take a shot at the transpac record, we had drama in the making.

And then we didn't. Disdaining the weather windows on offer, Hydroptere moved up to San Francisco Bay, where it has been parading around, looking good and getting lots of attention but not doing much of anything. Thankfully, on the weekend Thebault decided Hydroptere better do SOMETHING. So they invented the San Francisco Nautical Mile record and, well, set it.

Nice, right (some beautiful ...

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LABOR DAY MISHAPS: Racing & Cruising

4 Sep

Drascombe Dabber under sail

I INFLICTED BOTH FORMS of sailing on the family over the long weekend, with rather mixed results. First, on Saturday, we attempted to campaign our 15-foot Drascombe Dabber Mimi in the Round Island Regatta (RIR) in Portsmouth. The photo up top (snapped by a friend on shore with a phone) shows us in our moment of glory, with sails drawing nicely, actually going somewhere.

It certainly was a struggle getting to that point. Very soon after we pulled away from the dock, located just a few short yards from the start line, I knew something was wrong. The jib wouldn’t ...

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Sailing Events in St. Vincent and the Grenadines

4 Sep

Over the last three decades, Bequia Easter Regatta has grown into one of the region’s most popular small island regattas, with visitors and competitors coming from all over the world to partake in the Easter weekend’s festivities.  Enthusiastic supporters and spectators gather at every available vantage point to see the boats demonstrate their legendary skill. Another annual sailing event is the Canouan Regatta, held every May-June. This festival includes boat races, sports and games, calypso competition and a beauty pageant. For more information on these events, visit www.discoversvg.com....

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Best Stops on the Milk Run

4 Sep

 “Where was your favorite place?”


Anybody who has sailed to more than three or four countries is sure to get this question over and over and over and over again. And it seems that for most of us cruisers the answer is, “Well, that depends.”


And it's true. It does depend. Are you talking favorite cruising grounds, favorite country overall, favorite experience, favorite people, favorite what? It's like asking me what my favorite sandwich is. I mean, come on, I can't answer that. There's just too many variables.


But I've gone ahead and done it anyway. I ...

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The Importance of the Dinghy

3 Sep

We tend to underestimate the importance of our dinghies, referring to them as dinks and rubber duckies, but they are one of the most important pieces of gear we've got on a vessel. They're the family car, the delivery wagon, the exploration vehicle, and in some cases, the liferaft.

A few years ago Tamarindo, Costa Rica, was having its swell of the year. Eight to ten foot surf pounded the coast for four days. It was also the season for Papagayos, fierce offshore winds that can blow up to thirty knots in the mornings. Combine the big swell with strong ...

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