Atlantic Cup: NYC-Newport

24 May

A very nice video recap of the second offshore leg of the Atlantic Cup. The most striking thing about this fleet of 14, doublehanded, Class 40 yachts is how close they race. It's like one-design inshore racing, where every sail change or tactical decison can impact your finish, only over hundreds of miles.

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The (Flying) French Are Coming

24 May

And they want to steal the Los Angeles-Honolulu Pacific-crossing record (ok, they want to steal it from another Frenchman, Olivier De Kersauson, but still). Well, I for one, welcome it. Because the boat they are bringing to US shores is the awesome, Jules Verne-esque, foiling trimaran that is otherwise known as Hydroptere.

Hydroptere has been in development by French sailor Alain Thebault for more than twenty years, and it just gets faster and faster (it currently owns the fastest nautical mile record, at 50.17 knots). And two weeks ago, the latest version of the boat, Hydroptere ...

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Battery and Refrigeration Woes in Baja’s Hurricane Hole

24 May

puerto escondido, baja sur.
Today was one of those boat ownership days I'd rather forget about. It reminded me too much about why I hate boats. We noticed an hour or so into our motor north that the batteries weren't charging right. The voltage was sitting at 12.3, way too low. I opened up the battery compartment and got to work with the voltmeter. The voltage on the starter battery where the alternator wire comes in was 14.0, right where it should have been I think. However the house bank was still sitting at 12.3. The two banks were connected ...

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FITTING UNDER BRIDGES: View From the Masthead

23 May

Sailboat under bridge

FUNNY THING ABOUT SAILBOAT MASTS and bridges: no matter how much clearance you actually have, when you’re standing in your cockpit looking up it always looks like you’re not going to make it. Of course, the people who think to put bridges in our way do try to provide information on how much space is under them, even at various states of the tide. But still every so often the situation is ambiguous, and you’re not quite sure your mast will fit.

Some people just hold their breath and take their chances when confronted with this dilemma. For example, check ...

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Anasazi Girl: A Family Sail…Across The Southern Ocean

23 May

James Burwick is an extraordinary sailor, and very unusual Dad. So unusual, he is sailing around the world with his family (which includes his partner Somira Sao, and their two children, ages 1.5 and 3.5!), on an Open 40. Anasazi Girl just completed a late-season Souther Ocean passage, from Simons Town, South Africa, to Freemantle, Western Australia.

Here's a little teaser of what that looked like:

 

Now, sailing across the southern Indian Ocean, in April/May, on an Open 40, with two rugrats, might be

consdered a bit radical by the Never Expose Your Kids To Any Risk Parenting Association. ...

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What’s Up With Sailboat Abandonments?

22 May

Okay, the one above, famously shot off Cape Town, looks like it will be pretty bad.

But, like Charlie, I am finding the whale collisions and subsequent sailboat abandonments a bit puzzling. No one really knows how often cruising sailboats collide with whales, but it is easier to understand how a fast racing boat, or Jules Verne-attempting multihull, could come to grief than it is to understand how a slow, heavy, cruiser might.

Below is a video account of a another post-whale-collision rescue that took place earlier this month. It was shot from a Stolt tanker, that was diverted ...

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The Cats to Green Water

22 May

los gatos, baja sur.
I hate to jinx it, especially since I've no way to check a forecast from here, but the weather has been incredible this past week. Since getting away from the Coromuel around La Paz I don't think we've seen wind blow past five knots. The anchorages have been like mill ponds. It's been comfortably warm throughout the days until late afternoon when the boat finally heats up a bit too much. Nights the temperature drops quickly until we're pulling a thin blanket over ourselves. Overall it's been pretty much perfect.

Only thing worth mentioning about today ...

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ARC EUROPE 2012: Outer Limits Holed By Whale

21 May

Outer Limits departs Bermuda

I’VE BEEN MEANING TO SHARE more about my time in Bermuda visiting the ARC Europe fleet, but I hadn’t thought I’d end up having to write a post like this. You may have heard the news over the weekend: one of the 33 boats that departed St. Georges for the Azores last Wednesday was abandoned on Saturday after striking a submerged object believed to be a whale. Fortunately, no one was lost or injured. The boat, a Hanse 370 called Outer Limits (pictured up top slipping out Town Cut on Wednesday), belonged to an amiable Dutchman, Joost Gehrels, who I ...

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Utter Destruction

21 May

We've all seen videos of ships coming together in an unseamanlike manner, aka colliding, but this is the most brutal collision I've yet seen.

At least it answers the age-old question, debated since Archimedes: what happens when a 68,879 ton bulk carrier t-bones a smaller tuna boat?

Answer: Utter destruction.

Full backstory is here, but the video says it all.

And some pics….

(via)...

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