HMS BOUNTY: Many Unanswered Questions

4 Dec

Rescuing Bounty survivors

SAY WHAT??? Has my esteemed SAILfeed colleague, the mysterious Mariner, been spending too much time sniffing go-juice fumes? I eagerly dove into his post yesterday, in which he hailed and linked to “the first detailed journalistic account” of the loss of HMS Bounty, but was sorely disappointed by what I found. The account in question, currently bouncing around the Internet in various (often unattributed) iterations, was originally published by Spiegel Online and is barely coherent in places and doesn’t even pretend to address some of the biggest questions raised by the tragedy.

Right at the top ...

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WHALE SHARK RESCUE: Measure Twice, Cut Once

3 Dec

Here’s a cool viddy that popped up on YouTube a couple of weeks ago. This poor whale shark, found swimming off Baja California, somehow got a very heavy rope wrapped around itself, and this team of divers managed to approach it and cut it free. The rope evidently had been in place a long time, as it looks like it was studded with barnacles and other growth and had cut way into the shark.

How do YOU spell relief???

I bet that was one happy fish.

Biology lesson: whale sharks are huge filter-feeding fish that snack on tiny creatures ...

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HMS Bounty: The First Detailed Account

3 Dec

I'm sure there is a lot more to come (a Vanity Fair article, a Lifetime movie, a few books, an official report–you get the idea). But here is the first, detailed, journalistic account of the tragedy of the HMS Bounty.

It is a full narrative of the decision to leave port, through the sinking and rescue, and is full of the sorts of little human details that give meaning, emotion, and power to any tragedy–like the fact that young Claudene Christian, who died at sea, left her mother  a departure voicemail that her mother just can't bring herself to ...

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Bad Influences

2 Dec

How can you beat that?

Look at that.  Beautiful Papillon en route from Tonga to New Zealand, with our lovely butterfly spinnaker flying.  Whats that you say?  We look a little different than we did before?  True, friends, true.  We used to be a yawl, albeit a bent one.  So how did this change ...

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Building Blocks of a Monitored Electrical System

2 Dec

After months in the dark, I’m finally starting to get some lights turned on. On the boat, that is. Although I’ve had the bare bones in place for a while I’m just now getting into the wiring in earnest. It’s tricky and often frustrating work but it is immensely satisfying to finally have things like lights and A/C outlets. Actually, I’m sitting on the boat as I write this.

The not-so-basic building block of my electrical system is a panel from Blue Sea. It was a gift from my father and is the single most expensive and technically advanced piece ...

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Hurricane Season 2012

30 Nov

It ends today. So, how did it go?

Here's a review

[I]t was an active one, with 19 named storms – tied for third most on record. But despite the large number of named storms, the total amount of storm energy (accumulated cyclone energy) was just somewhat above average as we had only one major hurricane and a number of weaker storms which stayed out in the open ocean. 

“Based on the combined number, intensity, and duration of all tropical storms and hurricanes, NOAA classifies the season as above-normal. 2012 was an active year, but not exceptionally so as

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TANDEM ANCHOR SYSTEM: An Anchor Within An Anchor

29 Nov

Tandem Anchor illo

This new anchoring system, developed by Peter Weber in Slovenia, was formally introduced at the METS (Marine Equipment Trade Show) extravaganza in Amsterdam this month, where it was nominated for a DAME Award, and was also on our shortlist at SAIL when we put our heads together this week to pick winners for the 2013 Freeman K. Pittman Innovation Awards. It is a fascinating concept. The drawing up top gives a clear idea of the basic principle: a pair of anchors that can be deployed together on a single chain rode, designed so that one can nest inside the ...

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A Hunger for Sailing

29 Nov

For sailors passing through the pristine waters of St. Vincent and the Grenadines with an insatiable hunger for the destination’s ever-changing kaleidoscope of blue, green and aquamarine seas, it’s hard not to work up an appetite. Tamarind Beach Hotel & Yacht Club, a luxuriant beachfront escape on the beautiful crescent-shaped island of Canouan, has just opened a delicious delicatessen shop on property called “Buon Appetito.” The shop is designed for sailors in the Grenadines and passerby guests to enjoy– with cold cuts, pate, cheese, pastas, wines and much more in stock. It’s an opportunity for non-guests of the hotel to ...

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Hans Klaar Sets Sail

29 Nov

Regular readers will know that Hans Klaar is a remarkable voyager–a builder of classic two-hulled sailing craft, who sails where the wind and his spirit take him. After a shocking and painful turn in his life, Klaar set out to build a new boat on the west coast of Africa. 

And every once in a while, out of the blue, he sends me an update on his progress and whereabouts, which always get me dreaming and thinking my life is way too bound by convention. Here is his latest, from this morning, with the welcome news that he completed ...

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The Fastest Sailing Run Ever

28 Nov

We got the news of SailRocket's mindblowing new outright speed record of 65.45 knots over the weekend.

Now we get the video and analysis from Paul Larsen.

First, the video, in which you can see what real speed (and joy) looks like. (Props to whoever got those shots from a remote control helicopter).

And here is some of what Paul Larsen had to say (his full account is here):

We were using all the course this time. We hit it hard and the acceleration was rapid. We went straight into the 60's. The pod was instantly high

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