Scenes From Hurricane Isaac

31 Aug


Unfortunately Isaac hit quite a bit harder than expected. As predicted Metro New Orleans seems to have few problems beyond more extensive and longer-lasting power outages than expected (72% of the city is still without power) but in many less-protected areas of SE Louisiana flooding was heavy, in places worse than Katrina. Although Isaac was not a particularly strong storm it was large and, even worse, it slowed significantly when it made landfall and spent an unexpectedly long time in SE Louisiana, all the while dumping rain and pushing massive amounts of water inland. The result was extensive flooding ...

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Pozo Omega Hot Spring, Chile

30 Aug

Sailing solo up the channels of Chilean Patagonia I was always cold. I got used to it after a while, but even after a night in a cozy bunk or warmning my bones by the diesel heater, I would always return to a basic state of coldness. My hands and feet were the worst, and parts of both heels were numb for months afterwards. I stumbled across mention of a remote natural hot spring, called Pozo Omega, and it drew me northward, even though would be a sixty-some mile deviation from my rhumbline to Valdivia.

My bad choice in cold ...

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Aegean Wreck Found

30 Aug

When the Aegean, a 37-foot Hunter, abruptly disappeared during the Newport-Ensenada Race, killing four, many speculated that the sailboat may have been run down by a big ship. A US Sailing Indepenedent Review Panel in June determined that the Aegean almost certainly struck the tip of North Coronado island. But there was always just the tiniest shred of doubt.

Now two San Diegans have likely put any questions to rest by discovering the wreck of the hull off Coronado Island:

San Diego lifeguard Ed Harris and boater Russell Moore, who owns La Jolla-based Xplore Offshore, made three visits

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More of That Foiler Stuff

30 Aug

Earlier we shared a pic that’s floating around the net, mostly on Facebook, of ETNZ above the water on foils.

It’s hard to reconcile that pic, which is not universally trusted, with Emirates Team New Zealand’s video of the day. Then again, try stopping this at 36 seconds.

Disinformation and hyperbolic over-interpretation are built into the America’s Cup experience. Why should it be different as we roll toward 2013?

But, “We’ll all have to try it” says Luna Rossa’s czar of AC72 development, Matteo Plazzi, when he speaks of lifting foils, and where there’s smoke there’s fire. Meanwhile, there is ...

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MOTORSAILING: Making the Most of Your Iron Genny

29 Aug

Dowlings fuel dock

THIS IS A COMMON SIGHT at Dowling’s fuel dock in St. Georges, Bermuda, both in the spring and the fall when the seasonal stampede of migrating yachts passes through. It never fails to amaze me how many jerry jugs of fuel some bluewater sailors are willing to carry. In this particular case I counted 16 jugs open on the quay waiting to be filled and another four on deck. At five gallons a pop that’s an extra 100 gallons of fuel this crew will somehow lash down on the deck of their 40-foot sailboat. At 7.3 pounds per gallon (the ...

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AC72s on Foils?

29 Aug

ETNZ’s AC72 apparently on foils. First look via Facebook/Sail Racing Magazine

Oracle Team USA was the first to tease us with a full-foiling catamaran, months ago, when it revealed an AC45 flying above the water on test-version-only foils . . .

It is widely expected (conservative statement) that Oracle’s first AC72to be revealed next week, if preparations stay on trackwill be a flyer. The AC72 rule prohibits the trimmable rudder winglets that would be a first-thought method of controlling pitch, but you can bet your bippie and your thingie too that the best brains in the business have been ...

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Storm Update- Isaac develops hurricane strength, makes landfall

29 Aug

I’ve still got power so here’s a quick update. I’ll keep ’em coming if I can. Isaac graduated to hurricane status this afternoon and made landfall a couple hours ago in Southeastern Louisiana. This means that there is no longer any appreciable risk of the storm strengthening. It will remain a category 1 as it pushes its way up the Mississippi river towards New Orleans, eventually petering out somewhere North of here. We’re expecting sustained winds of 70-80mph and gusts up to 100mph here in the city but that’s almost business as usual, a category 1 hurricane is not an ...

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Red Sky in the Morning, Sailors Take Warning – Isaac on its way

27 Aug

Well just twenty-four hours ago this storm was barely relevant to New Orleans and now Tropical Storm Isaac is plastered all over the news. For now I can report that the weather is quite nice, and Lake Ponchartrain was exquisite for sailing until just this afternoon.

When we get word around Sunday evening that New Orleans was likely to take a direct hit people started to think about candles and tying things down in the yard. Well, tomorrow, or the day after, mostly. For reasons that seem suspiciously related to a certain anniversary rather than this storm in particular it ...

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BILL McCOY: The King of Rum Row

27 Aug

William McCoy

I GOT INTO THE SUBJECT of Prohibition a couple of years ago on reading Daniel Okrent’s excellent popular history, Last Call. I’d always understood, of course, that Prohibition was the product of the unique power of highly motivated single-issue minorities in American politics. But prior to reading Okrent’s book I’d never grasped what a perfect storm of political trends (the suffrage movement, allowing women to vote, plus the advent of income taxes, to replace revenue from liquor taxes) was required to make it possible for temperance fanatics to highjack the U.S. Constitution. What I also never realized was that ...

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Aaron Peskin

26 Aug

The home team. Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget

I learned two things from the America’s Cup World Series on San Francisco Bay.

I have a horse in this race.

And I am not alone.

I saw, heard and felt the crowd every time an Oracle Team USA boat nosed out front in a match race. We have a horse in this race. It’s called, the home team.

And when Oracle Team USA 4 slipped in front of Team Korea, at the last instant, to finish second to Luna Rossa Piranha in Sunday’s finale and gain enough points to win the fleet ...

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