Volvo Ocean Race Sprints Into Abu Dhabi

4 Jan

At least there was an exciting finish to this strange, two-part, Leg. Groupama snuck by Telefonica at the end to win the 98-mile fast reach into Abu Dhabi by just 52 seconds

Leg 2 leaves Telefonica atop the standings, with 66 points, chased by Camper with 58. Then there is a gap to Groupama at 42 points. After that you have the Leg 1 dropouts, starting with PUMA at 28.

We're going to need Leg 3 (and beyond) to shake up the standings if this Volvo is going to get exciting.

Here's what the sprint mini-leg looked like:

And ...

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ANCHORING QUIZ: Big Boat Butts in St. Bart’s

4 Jan

Gustavia waterfront

From water level it is impossible to capture with a camera the visual cornucopia that is the anchorage at Gustavia, the main town on St. Bart’s, when the New Year rolls around. Like a vast army come to camp on the outskirts of a tiny village, yachts of all description plunk down their hooks to await the turn of the calendar. A large proportion are very large yachts. Some are very, very large. At night the cumulative blaze of anchor and cabin lights, each echoed in a wavy scribble in the wake-chopped water beneath it, is like that of a ...

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Banque Pop Entering The Home Stretch

3 Jan

The big tri, after sailing halfway to Maine to skirt a massive Azores High, is finally starting to change course toward the East, and is slowly bending onto the rhumb line to the finish off Ushant.

BP has a lead of about 844 miles on Groupama's reference time, and just a bit more than 2000 miles to go. As BP hooks into a big low moving out over the Atlantic average speeds are climbing, so Peyron and his crew could/should be home by the end of the week. That would mean shaving 2-3 days off the existing record. 

What ...

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Barra de Navidad

3 Jan

Turns out we sort of jumped the gun on the big grocery stock up the other day as we still have no strong inclination to leave. We like Barra. It's a nice local feeling town that is just the right size for walking from one end to the other with a two year-old in tow. We've eaten at at least ten different restaurants and despite none of them being overwhelmingly good none have been too disappointing either. Ice cream shop, French bakery, OXXO, and a couple of hardware stores and we're pretty well taken care of these days.

 
The ...
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ETNZ a One-Boat AC Team (Not?)

3 Jan

Emirates Team New Zealand, incarnation 2011. Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget

I see the most recent decision
of the America’s Cup Jury being portrayed in New Zealand as a win, but to my monkeymind it looks like a setback for the Emirates Team New Zealand/Luna Rossa partnership, with first-generation AC72 catamarans set to launch just six months from now. Am I missing something?

I figure ETNZ as a two-boat team, but they just might be nursing a sore toe—

While many of us spent the “holiday” weeks fa-la-la-ing away, folks involved in whatever capacity with America’s Cup 34 were cranking right ...

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2011 Remembered: Tanker Vs. Sailboat

3 Jan

Blogger Craig Russell calls this (failed) effort by a sailboat racer to sneak across the bow of a massive cargo vessel in The Solent the "Bonehead Move Of The Year–2011," and it is hard to disagree with him. 

It's always amusing to watch the silly risks salboat racers are willing to take in the heat of the moment, but I bow before this skipper's complete loss of perspective and ability to weigh risk and benefit. (cont.)

Or at least to weigh it in any sort of meaningful way. Impressive in a sick kind of way. And very, very, ...

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The Volvo Ocean Race So Far (In One Sweet Video)

2 Jan

It's hard to know what the heck is happening in the Volvo Ocean Race, what with the stealth zones, secret transports, and a Leg 2 that has been divided into stages (click here to find out how to watch the Stage 2 "Sprint Finish" on Jan. 4). 

Hopefully, we'll be back to normal VOR legs, and normal VOR race tracking soon enough. But in the meantime, Volvo will help you get up to speed with this excellent video summary of what has happened so far…(cont.)

 

 

 ...

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Never-ending Boat “Want List”

31 Dec

We sort of set this cruising season aside as our trial run to decide what things we're going to need on this boat if we want to live happily onboard long term. Mexico is the perfect place to do this since the sailing isn't all that difficult. Distances aren't too far, marinas are plentiful if needed, labor is relatively inexpensive, and if we really really need something it's only a quick flight to the States, or better yet, we have family bring it with them on one of their many trips. 

 
So far we're coming to the conclusion that ...
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Where did all the catamarans go?

31 Dec

Something we noticed way back when we were on the boat in California, and which has carried on as true right down here into Mexico, is that there are no catamarans on the West Coast. Of the U.S. or of Mexico. You just never see them. I'm sure they exist, but it's like a rumor that you can't quite prove is true. Right now there are nineteen boats in the lagoon, all monohulls. We haven't shared an anchorage with a catamaran, and back in the marina we only saw one or two languishing in their slips. In Florida you can't ...

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