First Word from the Atlantic Cup

12 May

Having sailed the Centennial Newport-Bermuda with Joe Harris aboard Gryphon Solo, I am naturally tuned in to the man’s prospects in the Atlantic Cup and a first leg now under way from Charleston to New York. Gryphon Solo was an Open 50, the same that Brad Van Liew sailed to win his first solo race around the world. Gryphon Solo 2 is a Class 40, a manifestation of an attempt to bring more European-style competition to this side of the Atlantic. It also represents, as Joe says, “unfinished business.” He never got the sponsorship for his own race around ...

Read More

Looking Closely

10 May

As cruising sailors we always talk about the grand vistas – the sweeping seascapes, the towering islands, the glorious landfalls – but sometimes the most arresting sights are on a smaller scale…a much smaller scale. While soloing through the channels of Chilean Patagonia for about six weeks I had lots of time on my hands while waiting for weather. I often took short walks in my foul weather gear with my waterproof camera (because it never stopped raining). These photos were all taken along the water's edge with a macro at  about one centimeter away, which either means I was ...

Read More

A fairly frustrating day…

10 May

Whew, New Orleans is getting hot! It was 90 degrees and sunny when I went to try and finish up the last couple fiberglass jobs I’ve got left. As anyone who has tried to work with epoxy in this kind of heat could probably have told me, it didn’t go well…

This is my first batch of epoxy 5 minutes after mixing:

I was using West System’s Slow Hardener and mixing in fairing compound to the recommended ‘peanut butter’ consistency (which slows the epoxy reaction considerably by diluting it) but this only bought me a few minutes’ working time. I ...

Read More

NEW SEA CHEST: Plus A Filtration Scheme

9 May

Seacock and strainer

I promised to share pix of my new seacock/sea-chest installation (you’ll recall the old aluminum chest had corrosion issues) once it was in place. Lunacy got launched late last week and yesterday was my first chance to visit in a while. I was pretty pleased with what the guys at Maine Yacht Center have worked out here.

As you can see in the photo up top, they succeeded in installing a stock plastic strainer on top of a new Marelon seacock within the limited vertical space available under the cabin sole. The one intake line leading off the strainer is ...

Read More

GROOTE BEER: Hermann Goering’s Botter Jacht (Not)

7 May

Groote Beer

My association with this vessel dates back to 1992, when I sailed across the Atlantic with Cliff and Ruth Ann Fremstad aboard their Alden schooner Constellation. After we unfortunately lost Constellation in a river in Spain that summer, I was a bit surprised when Cliff and Ruth Ann, who had been living aboard the schooner for several years, announced they would have to move back aboard their other boat. My surprise morphed into amazement when they described it to me and showed me some pix. It was a 52-foot Dutch botter jacht named Groote Beer (or “Great Bear”), which ...

Read More

Bareboat Dreaming

7 May

As I started writing this note, I believe the sixth storm of the east coast season was piling up on my drive way. I then pondered, “Why exactly do I winter on the East Coast?” At times like these, we all start to google what deals we could find on flights to any Caribbean Island that would take us. And the best (and really only) way to vacation down there is on a bareboat charter. Even the words sound sweet and luscious, bareboat…

But before packing up those flip flops, here is a good check list of things to do....

Read More

NORTHWEST PASSAGE CRUISE: Crew Wanted

4 May

Nick Kats on Teddy

UPDATE to the UPDATE: He’s on again! My cousin Nick (that’s Nicolas Kats, a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist currently residing in Ireland, depicted above on the vessel in question) has in fact decided to move back to Portland, Oregon, and wants to take his boat along with him. Having studied the charts, he has concluded that the most logical route from A to B leads through the Northwest Passage, and he is looking for crew to come along on the journey.

Here’s the voyage precis he sent me:

Trip – Clifden, Co Galway, Ireland – W Greenland – NW Passage ...

Read More

La Paz, Mexico

4 May

The kids' Grandma has been in town the past few days so we've been tied to the dock and not accomplishing anything on the boat list, which whenever we are in port seems to grow rather than shrink. Well with Grammy gone we're back to pushing to get out of here and head up into the Sea of Cortez a bit further.

la paz, mexico.
The two guys sanding and scraping our boat's varnish off finished up today. They looked defeated. I swear when they quoted me a price they hadn't really taken a good look at the boat. That ...

Read More

Plugging away at the cockpit sole

4 May

It has been a distracting week what with friends visiting from out of town and new flooring in my house but I still got out to the boat a couple days. The end of the fiberglass work is in sight and it’s an exciting prospect. I definitely won’t be shedding any tears when I discard this uniform!

Mainly I’ve been working on finishing up the cockpit sole, which means lots of fairing. Here’s what it looked like after my last post:

That’s the new plywood sole sealed in place with plenty of epoxy. There was a seriously low spot ...

Read More

ENSENADA RACE: Mysterious Destruction of Aegean

3 May

Aegean SPOT track

This is pretty weird. I previously mentioned the tragic loss of Aegean in the Newport Ensenada Race off southern California last weekend, and since then have been following developments with interest. The original presumption was that the boat, a 37-foot Hunter, had been run down by a ship, and this seemed to have been confirmed by at least one eyewitness on another boat. But Aegean‘s SPOT track also shows the boat running directly into the north end of North Coronado Island at a speed of about 7 knots.

The debris from the wreck reportedly looks as though it has ...

Read More

More from the AIM Marine Group