The Whitbread/Volvo has generally been considered an "Anglo" race, with the French preferring the solo and multihull stuff, like the Jules Verne and the Vendee Globe. So it was an interesting wrinkle that Groupama stepped up to build a VO70 and compete in this year's edition of the VOR.
No one knew quite what to expect, but now that we are a few legs in, and Groupama is leading the fleet to Auckland, I'm loving the flair and competitiveness of Franck Cammas and his team. They are in third place on the leaderboard, they have shown a propensity for ... Read More
You know how, sometimes, you’d rather be wrong?
I seem to remember writing, If lead negotiator Stephen Barclay and his Americas 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 dont have to be certifiably sane to play.
I remain on-message. The Americas Cup is going to be fine. Read More
Unfortunately, if ...
Gauges and sending units can get very confusing.
In the photo above, this very nice Beneteau came with this engine panel, which has idiot lights for high water temperature and oil pressure, but no gauges. In an ideal world you want both, the gauges to show you normal temperatures/pressures and trends if anything changes, and the idiot lights/buzzer to go off if something catastrophic happens. This also builds in redundancy, because you have two pressure senders, two temperature senders, and the corresponding guages/lights at the helm.
To get a new panel from Yanmar with gauges cost $1700, and I ... Read More
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. ... Read More
“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. Read More
Unless it’s the San Francisco waterfront you care about. Then you might worry. ...
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 ... Read More
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 ... Read More
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 ... Read More
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…
... Read More
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. ... Read More