Somali Piracy By The Numbers

25 Apr

Everything you need to know, in one awesome graphic, courtesy of travelinsurance.org.

Average ransom: $4.97 million (which explains why piracy is a growth industry)

Percent of piracy hijackings which nab non-commercial vessels (like cruising sailors): 15%

Click "Read More" to go to graphic…

(Click image for full-res view):

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Hold Fast

24 Apr

I don't watch many videos but this one I particularly liked. It's a group of friends buying a beat up boat, outfitting it the best they can with basically no money, and cruising the Bahamas. It's one of the best produced cruising videos I've watched, sort of like a PBS documentary almost.

 

 

 

I think a lot of wannabe cruisers could take a lesson from this one. It doesn't take the dream boat and loads of cash to get out there and cruise....

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Farallones Tragedy: A Survivor’s Tale

24 Apr

Bryan Chong, one of three survivors from Low Speed Chase, which went on the rocks at the Farallones and lost 5 of 8 crew, has released a letter to explain what happened. Chong was the mainsheet trimmer, and this is the first detailed account which has come from one of the surviving crew.

It can't be easy for Chong to relive in detail such a sorrowful and searing experience, but he doesn't hesitate to provide a full account of what he saw and witnessed throughout that terrible afternoon.

Chong writes about why he races, how Low Speed Chase got ...

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Matt Rutherford’s Epic Voyage

24 Apr

There are very few voyages these days that truly earn the superlative "epic." Matt Rutherford, an Annapolis sailor, just delivered one. Non-stop, and solo, around the Americas, via the Northwest Passage and Cape Horn. More than 27,000 miles in 310 days. Incredible.

Rutherford arrived in Annapolis over the weekend, and received a hero's welcome:

“Long time, no see,” Rutherford, 31, said into the mike, with the same familiar combination of awkwardness and comedic timing that those who know him best had missed these last 309 days. He was still barefoot, his toenails brown and gnarled, and thick shocks of

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Baja at Last

24 Apr

ensenada de los muertos. baja, mexico.
Oh glorious Baja. I love Baja, always have. Love it even more than the mainland. Last night I loved it because you could have heard a mouse skitter through the engine compartment it was so quiet. In other words, no swell! This morning I loved it for the ultra clear blue skies and crisp desert mountain landscape, and this afternoon I loved it for clear water. So clear and refreshing you are tempted to take a swig. I've known that I've wanted to cruise Baja for a long time, and I am happy to ...

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A question for Sailfeed readers

24 Apr

Hi there! It has been very interesting these past few months to see which blog posts have attracted attention vs. those that have been less interesting for you folks. I was quite surprised to see that my post raving about West System and Hamilton Marine, which I really wasn’t sure anyone would find interesting, was ‘shared’ on facebook quite a few times (well, relatively, that is. I’ve still got a little ways to go before I catch up with Lady Gaga…). It might be nice to imagine my stories are so enthralling that everyone is just dying to share the ...

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Crossing the Gulf of California

23 Apr

en route. gulf of california.
We set out this morning from Mazatlan in a thick fog, but needed to do so in order to cross the breakwater's bar at high tide. When we arrived here it was low tide and to be honest I'm not sure now how we got in the first time without hitting bottom. Once outside the breakwater we pointed the bow towards Baja and settled in. Lowe laid down and took a monumental nap, Ouest and Ali colored pictures, and I stared into the fog, freezing my butt off, waiting for the sun to burn it ...

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Billabong Big Wave Awards

23 Apr

Yep, it's that time of year again: the Billabong XXL awards will be doled out in an overhyped, marketed-to-death, fake frenzy on May 4. But that doesn't mean the video is not cool.

Here are this year's Rode Of The Year nominees:

 

My vote would go to Ryan Hipwood, for the most perfect ride, on a most perfect wave. Anyhow, nice stuff, but

it's always as much fun to check out the Wipeout Awards.

 

The interesting thing (well sort of) about this year is that one surfer–Garrett McNamara–could pull off the double, winning bot the Big Wave ...

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Volvo Ocean Race: Can PUMA Make It Two In A Row?

23 Apr

Okay, the Volvo Ocean Race is at sea again, powering from Brazil to Miami. PUMA is off to a fast start and they would certainly make things interesting if they could pull off a second consecutive leg win, particularly if Telefonica stumbles (overall scoreboard here). Groupama and CAMPER are also in a position to threaten Telefonica's overall lead, with four legs to go.

It's nice to have a VOR that looks like it has a chance to go down to the wire (unlike recent editions). Here's the Leg 6 start:

 

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BAMBA 50: Catamaran Motorsailer

23 Apr

Bamba 50 under sail

Yo peeps. I’m tapping this out in the wind-blown town of Lorient, France, where I spent all day yesterday browsing through a small, but very interesting boat show, Les Salons du Multicoque. This is a special presentation of multihulls, containing some very cutting-edge boats, that flops back and forth between Brittany and the Med. Ironically, one of the boats I found most interesting was this new Bamba 50, a catamaran motorsailing trawler built right near here in La Rochelle. It serves as a trenchant reminder that the “edge” in boat design can cut more ways than one.

The ...

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