Crossing the Gulf of California

23 Apr

en route. gulf of california.
We set out this morning from Mazatlan in a thick fog, but needed to do so in order to cross the breakwater's bar at high tide. When we arrived here it was low tide and to be honest I'm not sure now how we got in the first time without hitting bottom. Once outside the breakwater we pointed the bow towards Baja and settled in. Lowe laid down and took a monumental nap, Ouest and Ali colored pictures, and I stared into the fog, freezing my butt off, waiting for the sun to burn it ...

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Billabong Big Wave Awards

23 Apr

Yep, it's that time of year again: the Billabong XXL awards will be doled out in an overhyped, marketed-to-death, fake frenzy on May 4. But that doesn't mean the video is not cool.

Here are this year's Rode Of The Year nominees:

 

My vote would go to Ryan Hipwood, for the most perfect ride, on a most perfect wave. Anyhow, nice stuff, but

it's always as much fun to check out the Wipeout Awards.

 

The interesting thing (well sort of) about this year is that one surfer–Garrett McNamara–could pull off the double, winning bot the Big Wave ...

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Volvo Ocean Race: Can PUMA Make It Two In A Row?

23 Apr

Okay, the Volvo Ocean Race is at sea again, powering from Brazil to Miami. PUMA is off to a fast start and they would certainly make things interesting if they could pull off a second consecutive leg win, particularly if Telefonica stumbles (overall scoreboard here). Groupama and CAMPER are also in a position to threaten Telefonica's overall lead, with four legs to go.

It's nice to have a VOR that looks like it has a chance to go down to the wire (unlike recent editions). Here's the Leg 6 start:

 

...

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BAMBA 50: Catamaran Motorsailer

23 Apr

Bamba 50 under sail

Yo peeps. I’m tapping this out in the wind-blown town of Lorient, France, where I spent all day yesterday browsing through a small, but very interesting boat show, Les Salons du Multicoque. This is a special presentation of multihulls, containing some very cutting-edge boats, that flops back and forth between Brittany and the Med. Ironically, one of the boats I found most interesting was this new Bamba 50, a catamaran motorsailing trawler built right near here in La Rochelle. It serves as a trenchant reminder that the “edge” in boat design can cut more ways than one.

The ...

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Remembering Loss Living with Sacrifice

22 Apr

Does it say something about sailing or does it say something about journalism that even the New York Times had to look for an Americas Cup tie-in when it reported the tragic deaths of five amateur sailors aboard a keelboat rounding an island at the edge of the Continental Shelf, 27 miles from the nearest point of the planned 2013 Americas Cup course inside San Francisco Bay?

In the last week I have not had a single sailor-conversation that has not turned to the tragedy of losing five souls in the 2012 Farallons Race. For that matter, it came up ...

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Boat Crane and Lift Accidents to Make You Cry

22 Apr

 

 

These are really aweful. The second one, where the strop slides off the bow, almost happened to me, and they  dropped my boat back in the cradle before disaster. Now I always have them tie a line between the two strops, so they can't slip fore or aft.

The main thing we can learn from these is don't be anywhere near a boat when it's being lifted. I don't think anyone was killed in these accidents, but it looks like a few injuries. ...

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DIY epoxy repair links and my chances of survival as a career criminal…

21 Apr

Friends, do you know about this brilliant resource?

                         West System Epoxy Technical Services:  Toll free 866-937-8797

It’s the West System help line where M-F, 9-5 there is an expert on hand to talk you through virtually any project you think you could use epoxy on. They’ve been a huge help to me with my deck core replacement and the repair I have just started on my cockpit sole. Plus West System has an enormous database of past repair projects here: http://www.westsystem.com/ss/boat-repair/. They also have extremely detailed yet easily digested manuals on the general use of epoxy, epoxy for ...

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The Low Speed Chase Memorial

21 Apr

Here is an updated timetable for Saturday’s memorial to the crew lost aboard
Low Speed Chase:

The event has shifted into BELVEDERE COVE AND RACCOON STRAITS

A detailed link is HERE

All participating boats are asked to turn on running lights
All participants shall wear Personal Floatation Devices

Schedule:
1845 Gather to the southeast of Elephant Rock
1900 – 1930
Tiburon Fire Boat with the USCG will lead procession using their spinning lights; boats should carefully fall in line behind. Boats will proceed in line following the FD boat between Victory and the Protector, Farallones, and may drop ...

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Wayback Machine: 18th Century Shipping Routes

19 Apr

It's extraordinary and enlightening when you apply modern data modeling to delve into the mists of history. James Cheshire and Ben Schmidt took 18th century British, Dutch, and Spanish shipping records to produce these spectacular visual representations of the routes being sailed.

Here's what British shipping was up to, 1750-1800 (click image for enlarged version):

Here's what you are looking at: Cross-Atlantic shipping lanes were among the busiest, but the number of

vessels traveling to what was than called the East Indies – now India and South-East Asia – also stands out when compared to Dutch and Spanish records ...

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