JARLE ANDHOEY: Back to Antarctica

27 Jan

Yacht Nilaya under sail

The fanatic “Viking” sailor who lost his steel yacht Berserk and the lives of three crew members last February in a failed attempt to reach the South Pole by ATV is returning to the scene of the crime. Norwegian adventurer Jarle Andhoey, age 34, has obtained a new yacht, Nilaya, a 54-foot Kiwi-built steel sloop, and set out from New Zealand earlier this week for Antarctica, in spite of the fact that he (again) has no permits to travel there. Kiwi authorities launched an air/sea search for the vessel and reportedly located it yesterday, but could not detain ...

Read More

VOR Turning Point: The Misery Of Malacca

26 Jan

The fleet is fast approaching a sharp right turn at the Strait Of Malacca. Sailing through it will be a nerve-wracking, sleepless, hell of endless windshifts, unyielding shipping, and a minefield of fishing gear. Sounds like fun, right?

Here's how it sets up:

And here's how VOR Race HQ describes what awaits:

At around 500 nautical miles from north to south the Malacca Strait is the longest in the world used for international navigation. Linking the Indian Ocean with the China Sea the strait is the preferred route for bulk of large scale commercial shipping in the region with

... Read More

ROUND BARBADOS RACE: 140 Gallons of Rum

26 Jan

Round Barbados Race

YES, sports fans… the number is ONE FOUR ZERO. Gallons. That’s about how much Extra Old rum I reckon the folks at Mt. Gay had to dole out at the conclusion of the Mt. Gay Rum Round Barbados Race last Saturday. Conditions for the race, now in its second year, were pretty much ideal and by the end of the day no fewer than six different boats had set course records of one description or another. Mt. Gay had pledged to award each record-setting boat its skipper’s weight in rum, which means each boat received about 23.3 gallons of rum ...

Read More

Chi-Mac Autopsy: Anatomy Of A Deadly Storm

26 Jan

In 2011, the storied Chicago-Mackinac Race experienced its first weather-related fatalities when 2 sailors died after their sailboat, Wiingnuts, was capsized by a powerrful thunderstorm

For the weather-geeks among you, the website LakeErieWx has released a highly detailed analysis of the explosive thunderstorm cells which swept the fleet. 

It's an interesting report which emphasizes the fact that any offshore racing boat needs to be ready for pretty

much ANYTHING.

The conclusion (full report is here):

The data from the base reflectivity and base velocity radar imagery suggests that the waters west of Charlevoix, MI were buffeted by

... Read More

Our Only Real Scare During an Entire Circumnavigation

26 Jan

Back in 2005, during our sail around the world, everything was new to us, including river bars. They seemed harmless enough, especially after that first one in Australia that was smooth as glass. Well, the second one caught us. The Clarence River Bar. i'll never forget that one. It very nearly ended our trip and has given Ali an unconditional fear of following seas. If I have to hear one more time how the six-foot following seas are "huge!" I'm going to do something drastic, like have her hypnotized and her Clarence River memory permanently erased. If hypnosis doesn't work ...

Read More

Dock Line Death Test

25 Jan

In the book The Bad Girl, by Mario Vargas Llosa, a character named Arquimedes has a preternatural ability to tell where breakwaters and groins should be built. He can tell just by meditating on the sea whether the breakwater will serve its purpose or make matters worse. The best hydrologists and engineers in Lima always hired Arquimedes, because if they didn't their projects often ended up as expensive failures.

Pier 39 Marina, where I keep my boat in San Francisco, did not hire Arquimedes. It's hard to figure out the mechanics, because there are breakwaters and sea walls every which ...

Read More

Pirate Smackdown! (Grab Your Popcorn)

25 Jan

Courtesy of the US and Royal Navies.

It's hard to know what the Volvo Ocean Race suits were so worried about, when you have these guys on the scene. Check out this video of the RN Fort Victoria and the USS Carney forcefully putting a gang of Somali pirates out of business. (Note to pirates: a hail of bullets means "STOP")

I have to admit the the determination of the pirates in the face of machine gun fire and two warships is pretty

impressive. But this was never a fair fight, and the result was 13 pirates retired to ...

Read More

10-0 Vote But . . .

25 Jan

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday night voted 10-0 to reject two appeals against the America’s Cup Environmental Impact Review.

Though not until the AC Event Authority agree do re-site its JumboTron from a barge anchored in Aquatic Park – where swim clubs argued it would stir up toxic silt – to a spot on land instead.

The vote does not preclude civil action, but I note that certain parties to the appeal, such as the Sierra Club, are on record as wanting the America’s Cup to be sailed on San Francisco Bay. Things need to get moving ...

Read More

The Foul Taste of Antifouling Legislation

24 Jan

So I’m a little behind on the times but I recent heard about California Senate Bill 623 and Washington Senate Bill 5436 both regulating the use of copper in antifouling paints. The WA bill became law in May of last year and will effectively ban (less then .5% versus the 40% plus common now) copper in antifouling paints by 2020 while the CA bill is a bit less specific and is not yet law. These bills reflect growing momentum to regulate copper-based antifouling paints. Across the pond in the EU many localities have made it illegal to scrub such paint ...

Read More

More from the AIM Marine Group