Vendee Globe!

12 Nov

Well, the greatest sailing competition on the face of the Earth is now at sea. Website is here. Tracker is here. YouTube is here. Twitter is here. Facebook is here.

Phew, that's sailing in the social media age. But it let's you soak it all up.

Here's the latest video update:

The latest news (including Groupe Bel's collision with a trawler) is here. No surprise: all the big guns are at the 

top of the fleet.

Settle in, and enjoy. because there is three months if intense, suspenseful racing ahead.

In the ...

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Long, Beautiful Hair

11 Nov

When I was little, Saturday morning was not complete without cartoons on channel 29 out of Buffalo. One of the staple commercials breaking up He-Man and Scooby Doo was The Hair Club For Men. Happy clients shook their newly-thickened locks as they cavorted in hot tubs with young models in blue eyeshadow and grinned knowingly at us, the viewers, around their Burt Reynolds mustaches. I never understood why men would want those elaborate, shiny perms, and I put it down to Strange Things Grown-Ups Do.

Maybe the problem was that I didn´t identify with the untamed styles of the late ...

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Life Aboard is Different with Kids

11 Nov

The marina is slowly becoming more lively. Most of the cruisers who left their boats here for the summer are back now. I watch these older childless couples with a little bit of envy as they scrub their boats with toothbrushes, polish stainless, and all the rest of the little things that keep a boat looking tip-top. We used to take care of our boat too. Back in the catamaran pre-kids days.

Paradise Village Marina

Uke

 

Of course while they are shining their topsides life aboard Bumfuzzle is all about making cupcakes. Today was finally the day. We don't really do sweets, so ...

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Little-Man Overboard

10 Nov

Lowe took a dip in the marina today. He was playing down on the dock when he suddenly decided it would be funny to throw a bucket in the water. Then throw it in again. And again. It was funny right up until the last time when I picked the bucket out and put it away so he couldn't do it any more.

That's when he decided to throw a little tantrum. Standing there a couple of feet in from the edge of the dock he suddenly threw his head backward to yell out his displeasure with me. Instead what ...

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Stung!

9 Nov

I sailed solo along the Nicaraguan coast, trying to cover some distance, but it felt like I was dragging a dead whale. The bottom paint was shot after about 8000 miles, and the hull was a living reef.

I anchored in a remote bight in the coast, donned snorkeling gear, and jumped in. I scraped the propeller first, as I always do, and felt stinging all over my body.

I scraped the whole bottom of Condesa – about a two-hour job – and got stung like hell. The stinging was tolerable as long as I kept my mind on the ...

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First Time For Everything

8 Nov

Yacht porn is a well-established artistic genre, so it is harder and harder for directors to find something new to impress the audience. 

This video starts out pretty–like so many other sailing videos that blend music, slo-mo, and a cool boat–but at the one minute mark the director manages to come up with something creative and different, something that even Alex Thomson would be proud of.

All I will tell you is that it is sort of a William Tell thing, and involves a woman in a bikini.

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Always Getting Ready to Cruise

8 Nov

This sure looks like a boat that is going places doesn't it? This life of leisure can feel like anything but, sometimes. It's almost impossible to believe that we'll pull out of here sometime in the next few weeks; certainly before Ouest's third birthday. Somehow we always manage to get our act together, throw everything aboard, turn the key, and float on out to sea. Small miracles.

 

At the moment Lowe is obsessed with strollers. He wakes up in the morning, walks out of his bedroom door, climbs the steps into the cockpit, walks around to the gate, and ...

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SOUTHBOUND LUNACY: Triple Gulf Stream Crossing

7 Nov

Lunacy in Gulf Stream

HAVING SUFFERED NO DAMAGE while lying in port during Superstorm Sandy, Lunacy at last departed New Hampshire at 1000 hours last Thursday. Aboard with me were two pick-up crew enlisted through Offshore Passage Opportunities: Minnie Burke, 23, a young adventuress from Virginia, and Chris Salas, 41, a doctor from Rhode Island. Neither had much, if any, offshore sailing experience, and I was careful not to sugarcoat our prospects. I told them what I tell anyone who proposes to sail from New England to Bermuda in the fall: this is normally a difficult passage; you will be sailing in ...

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SailRocket Diary: Inside The Search For 60 Knots

7 Nov

Paul Larsen and his Vestas SailRocket team have been stymied by two weeks of light winds in Namibia. But in a quest for record speed, the tinkering never stops. You solve one problem and discover another. It's like a giant puzzle, and you don't really know whether you will ever put allthe pieces together.

Here's a very good look at what it is like from the inside. This is the sort of stuff that needs to be remembered if the champagne ever gets popped.

...

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Back Aboard Bumfuzzle

7 Nov

We've been off the boat for four months. We spent two of those downtown here in Puerto Vallarta, one in Portland, OR, and another in St. Paul, MN. By the end of our two months back in the States we were both Jonesing for Mexico again. Happy to be back on the boat and moving at our own pace.

The kids are happy to be back. The first day we were all sitting out on deck when Ouest, my two year-old said to the boat in all sincerity, "Me missed you boat." She actually talked about the boat the whole ...

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