Dolphins Doing…Something (Interesting)

27 Feb

The sea is a mysterious place, despite all our science. And its creatures have mysterious habits that are sometimes extraordinary to behold.

One of the wildest phenomenons is a dolphin stampede, where massive numbers of dolphins gather and go, um, nuts.

Here is a recent example:

 

This has been seen before and though no one really knows why dolphins behave this way, we are learning

more and more about how intelligent and socially complex dolphins are. In fact. scientists who study dolphin intelligence have started to call for giving dolphins "non-person rights" that would protext their lives and liberty. ...

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Peskin Point

26 Feb

“If” lead negotiator Stephen Barclay and his America’s Cup cohorts were a trifle nave regarding San Francisco politics when they first blew into town, trumpeting the splendors to come, an 11th hour lawsuit filed last week by former President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and still-local chairman of the Democratic Party Aaron Peskin should complete their education. This is a blood sport, and you don’t have to be certifiably sane to play.

I remain on-message, however. Relax. The America’s Cup is going to be fine.
Unless it’s the San Francisco waterfront you care about. Then you might worry. ...

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JARLE ANDHOEY: Retreat from Antarctica

26 Feb

Jarle Andhoey

Norwegian Jarle Andhoey and his crew aboard the outlaw vessel Nilaya have announced they are leaving Antarctic waters and are sailing north again, reportedly for South America. To escape the area they evidently must first transit a 200-mile belt of sea ice. The Maori political activist, Busby Noble, who is aboard without a passport (accidentally or not, depending on which reports you read), has told the media he now plans to get a temporary passport in Argentina so he can return to his home in New Zealand.

All in all, this seems in the end to be a case of ...

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Water Tank Install is Finished

25 Feb

I posted before about installing the aft water tank but at the time it was just held in place with expanding foam. Now we’ve finished the install with the addition of some plywood and fiberglass reinforcement. This was a simple project which drove home two things for me- first that fiberglass and epoxy resin are almost too easy to work with and second that I really have no idea how to gauge the strength or reliability of the fiberglass work I am doing!

Whenever I have a glassing project I call my father up to talk to him about it ...

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Sailing Wonk Corner: Volvo Mystery Explained

24 Feb

If you have been wondering why the hell the Volvo Ocean Race fleet appears to be sailing away from the finish  in New Zealand, and why PUMA appears to be heading to Alaska, then the Groupama team will do its best to enlighten you. Here is their analysis:

There's been a major meteorological upset over the North Pacific: a very large subtropical depression (962 hPa) is extending away from Japan towards the East, with another depression replacing it this weekend over the Empire of the Rising Sun, whilst a third system is rolling across from China at the start ...

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The Sea Gives Good Quote

24 Feb

There's a good collection of things people have said about the sea and sailing over on the H2uhO blog.

My favorites are:

"Being hove to in a long gale is the most boring way of being terrified I know." Donald Hamilton

"Bad cooking is responsible for more trouble at sea than all other things put together." Thomas Fleming Day

"The chance for mistakes is about equal to the number of crew squared." Ted Turner

I also found this awesome video from the last Volvo Ocean Race, a reminder of what it should be:

More quotes after the jump…

 ...

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BEAUTIFUL DREAMERS: Every Cruise Begins With a Vision

24 Feb

Cruising under sail: an ideal vision

One of the most remarkable things about sailboats is their capacity to inspire us to dream. Inside every cruising sailor’s head there is a fantasy, be it of a palm-studded tropical lagoon, an antique Mediterranean harbor, some barren high-latitude fjord, or just the cove around the next headland. And all of these visions, however various, can be both personified and provoked by that most magical of objects: a boat propelled by sails.

Once lost in the anxiety of actually owning and maintaining a boat, we sometimes forget about this power they have, but fortunately reminders are often close at hand. ...

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Ocean Film Festival: Evening of Sailing

24 Feb

A San Francisco treat since 2004, the Ocean Film Festival is growing in new directions, and you should know.

Will it go international come 2013? Don’t bet against it, and meanwhile there is a pre-event on Friday, February 24 at the Aquarium of the Bay to launch their first Evening of Sailing with three shorts and two, um, mediums.

Nancy Ogden’s Madstreak is the feature of the evening. It’s the story of Clay Burkhalter’s Mini-Transat race, and you’ve probably read about that venture in the sailing media, but the film is aimed to please your nonsailing friends as well. Think ...

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Laser Regattus Interruptus

23 Feb

"Hey, who shut the wind off?" (Click image for full size)

Backstory from Crowley Maritime Facebook page:

John Caputo, one of our customers in San Juan, Puerto Rico sent us this great photo. He said: "Not your average every day duck crossing. Our little sailors had to pause while this Crowley barge had to pass in the channel during the San Juan regatta."

Here's another great one, taken in the Baltic Sea:
...

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Life Aboard: New Davits and New Teeth

23 Feb

22-Feb-2012 puerto vallarta, mexico.
Okay, seriously this time, the davits are done. Done done. The guys came by today to add a couple more hooks and a cleat on each one as well as clean up the caulk. They are done and they are awesome. Even Ali likes them and she was not into this project at all. I hauled the dinghy up with the motor on and the davits do everything I wanted them to do. Meaning basically that they hold the dinghy nice and tight and there is absolutely no movement side to side, back and forth, or ...

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