CARIBBEAN 1500 RALLY: They Leave Without Me

11 Nov

Caribbean 1500 rally start 2011

I decided I had to pull the plug on my participation in this year’s Caribbean 1500 on Wednesday afternoon after rally HQ announced they were postponing the start once again until this morning. I was reluctant to do this, but the “squash zone” between my prospective arrival time in the BVI and the Thanksgiving holiday was getting a little too tight for comfort. I flew home yesterday, and today I’m following the rally start a bit wistfully via the tracking feature on the rally website.

I felt especially bad leaving Larry and Cathy on Katahdin short one crew member ...

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An Introduction in Two Parts

10 Nov

Hello, and welcome to my blog. I’ve created this as a space for musings on low-budget sailing, DIY sailboat repair, and to follow the evolution of my sailboat, a Cape Dory 28 which needs rather a lot of work. I’ll be introducing her in my next post but I suppose I should start with a little about me, and what got me into this boat project.
 Though not quite born at sea, my sister and I have lived on sailboats, on and off, since we were just a few months old. Until high school when we were no longer allowed ...

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The Meeting, My Report

8 Nov

From the time the America’s Cup landed in Don’t-Call-It-Frisco, plenty of people were wringing their hands over whether or not the 2013 match would really be sailed on San Francisco Bay.

No guarantees, but nothing in the proceedings of this week’s meeting of the Design Review Board, Bay Conservation & Development Commission, raised any alarms. BCDC has been instrumental in controlling what once was rampant landfill in San Francisco Bay. Here the commissioners were more concerned with making sure that America’s Cup spectator facilities not block the Bay Trail that, piece by piece, is being linked along the bay shoreline. ...

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CARIBBEAN 1500 RALLY: Departure Delayed

8 Nov

Surface chart for Sean

I’ve never seen this before… a subtropical storm with a name. But there you have it–sub-storm Sean, reportedly packing max winds of 40-50 knots, is stalled right over the Caribbean 1500 route and is going nowhere fast.

By midday yesterday we had word aboard Katahdin that the rally start was officially postphoned until Wednesday. The skinny then was that the low squatting north of the Bahamas had a 40 percent chance of going tropical (according to the National Hurricane Center), or maybe even 50 percent (according to Jeff Masters at Weather Underground). This morning it has officially achieved ...

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CARIBBEAN 1500 RALLY: Imminent Departure

7 Nov

Katahdin ready to 1aunch

I should mention that I’m in Virginia right now, and will depart today (maybe) in this year’s Caribbean 1500 cruising rally to Tortola, BVI. I’m crewing on a Cambria 44, Katahdin, which you see here, as of yesterday evening, all ready to go. Sort of.

We launch this a.m. at 0900 and will be praying that the new rudder bearing packing gland does not leak.

Larry and Cathy Clough, Katahdin‘s owners, have been running around all over Chesapeake Bay like the proverbial headless chickens trying to cope with this rudder problem for a couple of weeks now. As ...

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6 Nov

Antifouling test

Lunacy was hauled for the winter on Friday, which means at last I have answers and evidence to share with the several people who’ve been asking me about the Ultrasonic Antifouling system I installed toward the end of the season last year. When Lunacy was hauled last year, after two months with the Ultrasonic unit running, there wasn’t a speck of growth on her anywhere. This year, after a full five months in the water, the results are decidedly different.

I couldn’t attend the haul-out, but once again, Jeff Stack, the service manager at Maine Yacht Center, was ...

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The World’s Largest Yacht Design Office aka WLYDO

6 Nov
bob in office.jpg

It’s quiet up here at the beach. Really quiet. My wife goes off to school each morning and I sit here at the keyboard pretty much all day except for when I walk the dogs or make a run to the grocery store. The fact is that not counting my two dogs I pretty much have no social life. My exchanges with other beach residents is usually confined to “How’s the crabbing” , “What lure were you using?”or “Don’t worry I have a plastic sack. I’ll pick it up.” It’s a stimulating environment. For entertainment I go to the SAILING ANARCHY

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MARTEN 65: Canting-Keel Cruiser by Owen Clarke

4 Nov

Marten 65 under sail

That’s right–this is a dedicated cruising boat with a canting keel. Not only that, the keel lifts, too. Not only that–this puppy’s for sale right now. All yours for just a tad over $2 million.

It is, needless to say, a quite sophisticated one-off job. The commissioning owner, a big fan of Ellen MacArthur and IMOCA Open 60 racing, initially sought to acquire an existing Open 60 and convert it to a cruising boat, but then turned to Owen Clarke Design, which had designed MacArthur’s Kingfisher, to create a new purpose-built vessel. Constructed by New Zealand-based Marten Yachts...

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Luna Rossa Changes the Equation

2 Nov

So, having observed this much, Patrizio Bertelli decides that he wants to play in America’s Cup 34, after all. This could almost be read as a vote of confidence, eh?

Especially if you recall a time when the absence of Bertelli’s team was considered evidence, by some, that AC34 was going the wrong direction.

And the design-sharing agreement announced today along with the announcement of the challenge itself—Luna Rossa joins the game and gains access to Emirates Team New Zealand’s design process, and a training partner—accomplishes important goals for both teams. ETNZ has been needing an infusion of cash, and ...

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Can America

31 Oct

What a fright. Imagine if all the landfill planned for San Francisco Bay circa 1961 had been carried out.

(ooo, creepy)

(and I hope you “had” a HAPPY HALLOWEEN)

In 1961, Cadillacs had tailfins. . .

. . . bigger was better, and the city of Berkeley, for example, was planning to expand via landfill into a huge chunk of what San Francisco Bay sailors now know as the Olympic Circle, Berkeley Circle, or just “the Circle.” A body of water where, in the fifty years since 1961, legendary figures have sailed, and legends have been born.

Fifty years after ...

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