Welcome to San Francisco Bay

19 Aug

Photo © Gilles Martin-Raget

May I remind us all that the win that brought the America’s Cup to San Francisco Bay was a rescue mission. No one outside of Larry Ellison and his racing team had the wherewithalmuch less the obsession of a junkyard dogto break the Alinghi machine and come away with the prize.

Then they went and changed everything.

And now my home town is suffering a bout of anticipation fatigue, which I reckon will clear up with boats on the water, and sailing news in the sports pages rather than in finance. Meanwhile, consider

Had the Cup ...

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Smart Sharks

18 Aug

In honor of The Mariner's Human Week, I too have a shark story.

Sailing solo along Costa Rica's Pacific coast, I was doing my best to put some meat on the table. I'd bought some new lures and trolled with rod and reel as I motored through the calms.

Unfortunately, I kept hooking Jack Cravelle. As I learned my first time cruising Mexico years ago, the Jack Cravelle is a great fighter and a game fish, but pretty much inedible. We tried to eat one once and it was like fish flavored cat food, brown and bloody. Since then ...

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Do It Yourself! Index of DIY and Technical Posts

17 Aug
Doesn’t this look FUN?

Part of what excited me about this blog was the extra incentive it gave me to thoroughly document the repair process on my boat, and to write about it. There’s still plenty of work to be done and quite a backlog to write up but a good deal of progress has already been made and documented. As the blog format makes it a bit of a pain to track down past posts, I’m creating this index. I’ll keep it updated and link to it, and I’ll try to add stuff from the other sailfeed bloggers as ...

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ACWS Restricted Zone on SF Bay and

16 Aug

What do you do for a headline here?

John Kostecki and Stan Honey Named to National Sailing Hall of Fame

Oracle Team USA Releases Teaser of AC72

Observers of the Emirates Team New Zealand AC72 Say She’s Built for Stout

It’s all good.

I’m thinking most of my readers don’t need for me to list the resume of either Kostecki or Honey, and my other two readers can easily figure things out. I’m carrying print deadlines just now, so let’s content ourselves with the Oracle sneak peek and some need-to-know stuff about ACWS on SF Bay August 22-26. No surprises ...

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Sailing’s Seriously Simple Stupid

16 Aug

After my post titled, Catamarans vs Monohulls, I received a lot of feedback. Most of it positive, because I am the utmost authority and I have now handed down judgement on the subject. But one commenter to our Facebook page said that he stopped reading the article after he read, “Sailing is not meant to be complicated.” He said I do myself and the sport of sailing a disservice by describing it as simple.


My reply was, “BUT IT IS SIMPLE!”


Maybe I should have added, because he may not have been aware, that I am the ...

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MAINE COAST CRUISE: Brimstone Island

16 Aug

Brimstone Island

ALTHOUGH THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE SPOTS on the coast, I haven’t been here in almost 10 years. All that time I have been dreaming of coming back. On the chart it doesn’t look like anything special–just another tiny uninhabited islet in the small archipelago that stretches around the southern end of Vinalhaven Island on the outer edge of Penobscot Bay. The instant you get ashore, however, you realize you’ve arrived someplace very special.

Brimstone Is. chart

What is apparent from the chart is that there is a small anchorage here, between Brimstone Island itself and its lesser satellite, Little Brimstone, directly ...

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Human Week

15 Aug

Discovery's Shark Week is all about pumping up ratings by scaring the crap out of humans regarding the big bad shark. It's a sick farce since humans kill approximately 1,460,000 times as many sharks every year as sharks do humans.

It always makes me wonder why one of the networks doesn't start an annual series called "Human Week." It  would be devoted to graphically portraying the merciless predatory extremes of the most dangerous and violent animal on the planet. It would be really scary, and surely that would make for some good ratings.

Anyhow,with regard to the dangers humans pose ...

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Diesel Engine Longevity

14 Aug

The meter on my Perkins 4-236 diesel engine just turned over 12,000 hours, and I'm only responsible for about 4000 of this. Over the course of forty-five years and a circumnavigation Charlene (I don’t know why my diesel engine is named this) has had routine maintenance, and lots of components replaced, but she’s never been rebuilt.

In the fifteen years I’ve owned the boat, the engine has only failed to start with a touch of the key twice: once because it was too cold in New Zealand, the other a few weeks ago when the starting battery was shot. That’s ...

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Lifeboat Freefall

14 Aug

Whenever I see lifeboats suspended high on a container ship, seemingly ready to drop into the sea from two-stories up. I wonder what that lifeboat freefall must look like, and how reliable it is.

Well, it turns out that lifeboat designers spend an awful lot of time thinking about those very issues. And when they are confident that they have it right (and because container ships are getting bigger and bigger), they go for record drops. Like this new world record….from 60 meters up (though if they were REALLY confident, they'd put live people in the thing instead ...

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Young Inspirational Cruisers

13 Aug

I don't follow many cruising websites. Even people we know tend to just rehash the same old stories from paradise. But some sites compel me to check in every now and then to see how things are going. Liz Clark's is one of them.


Her story is fun and amazing in itself. She was introduced to sailing young. Her parents took her on a six-month cruise when she was ten. At fifteen she started surfing and within just a few years was the College Women's National Champion. Just a couple of years out of college the opportunity to become

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