Korean marine electronics tour, w/ apps & gadgets

29 May

Written by Ben Ellison on May 29, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub

FlightTrack_Korea_Intellian_trip.jpg

The original idea was to finish this entry during the Chicago stop of the very long journey seen on the nifty FlightTrack app screen above, but travel mistakes were made and O’Hara airport had less connectivity than one might presume in this day and age.  Is anyone surprised to hear that the Tokyo and Seoul airports are much friendlier to the traveler trying to stay in touch?  So, yes, I’m already in  Korea and will soon begin a writer’s tour that is being hosted by Intellian ...

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Chicken

28 May

We found a copy of the movie Chicken Run and thought maybe it was time to let Ouest watch these sorts of full length cartoon movies. Twenty minutes into it she was crying.

Why is that man being mean to the chicken?” she screamed with tears welling up and then spilling down her cheeks. Literally screamed.

Ali was with her and calmed her down, but that was the end of that little experiment. This girl does not like mean people, period.

A few minutes later I said to her, “You didn’t like the movie, huh?”

The tears came back immediately ...

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BAADS Karma vs. Bad Karma

28 May

The smile says it. Loïck Peyron as captured by Chris Barrineau

Just days after a heartfelt celebration of sailing and racing, joined by the great Loïck Peyron, the Bay Area Association of Disabled sailors was ripped off for all five of the outboard motors that power its rescue boats and make the whole show—and it’s a good show—possible. From the most marginal of beginnings this dedicated, industrious group has grown into a small powerhouse of enablement. Sure, they get people out sailing, but it’s more than that. It’s freedom from a wheelchair, from crutches, from paralysis, freedom to breathe fresh ...

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Game Called On Account Of Rain

28 May

When the kids and I arrived in Canada last month, we were greeted by unseasonably cold, rainy weather.  Things improved to t-shirt weather by the time we left, but, when we stepped off the plane in Auckland on Saturday, the cold, rainy weather found us again.


New Zealand’s winter weather is upon us.  The boat shook so hard in the wind last night that Erik and I worried we might slip off our stand.  Today brought torrential rain and barely-above-freezing temperatures.  And so what did your intrepid Papillon Crew do?  We hid.  We lit the diesel heater and hunkered ...

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Things on sailboats that annoy me offshore…

28 May

I was cleaning out my desk just now and came across a list that I had brainstormed during a particularly frustrating moment on a recent yacht delivery. Incidentally, this is one of many, many lists that I create during offshore passages – I cannot NOT think about stuff when out on the high seas. Some of the other topics I’ll share in due course include: Business Ideas, Top Five Offshore Tricks, and Refit Ideas for Arcturus. Without further ado, things that annoy me…

-self-tending jibs of which you cannot adjust the sheet lead fore/aft
-single-line mainsail reefing
-lines led to ...

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Godspeed, Old Mainsail

27 May

IMG 1010
On our trip up to Petaluma last week, the old mainsail finally gave up the ghost. I guess they don’t make things like they used to: That mainsail only lasted through one circumnavigation, about a thousand days in the sun, and (with a bit of sail tape here and there) another five years of hard sailing out of San Francisco Bay before it just fell apart. I’ve had a new mainsail near the top of the list for years, but of course sails are quite expensive so I’ve been making do. My 1967 ketch has a long boom compared to ...

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Mer-Kids

27 May

Ouest took another leap forward with her swimming today—swimming underwater. She’s been putting her head under while swimming for months, but always just for a second. Today she stayed under and stroked, and stroked, and stroked. And every time she came up she was smiling as wide as her mouth would allow. She was very proud of herself. She knew she’d conquered something that had been beating her for a while.

I don’t think I mentioned Lowe’s swimming the other day. He basically began doing the same thing Ouest just did—swimming underwater—though he doesn’t seem to realize, or care, that ...

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BERMUDA FITTED DINGHIES: More Extreme Sailing

27 May

Bermuda dinghy downwind

Practically the first thing I learned on flying back to Bermuda to rejoin Lunacy this past Thursday was that there would be dinghy races here in St. George’s Harbor on Friday. That and the prospect of a front moving through on Saturday immediately put my inchoate plan for a Memorial Day weekend mini-cruise with the bride on the back burner. No way could I miss a dinghy race. I’ve been fascinated with these traditional local racing machines–formally known as Bermuda fitted dinghies–ever since I first saw some racing here way back in August 1995.

The concept is familiar enough: ...

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Fly This Car to Minnesota

26 May

We stood on the sidewalk of the airport this morning and said goodbye to grandma and grandpa. Grandma cried, told Ouest she’d be back soon, and then disappeared inside. “All right Ouest, let’s go to the market,” Ali said.

“No. Grandma’s coming back. She’s going to come to Bumfuzzle.”

For the past twenty-four hours there had been a lot of talk discussing them leaving, including jokes about where grandma and grandpa would sleep on the boat. Ouest announced that grandma could sleep with her. Grandpa? In the dinghy of course.

“Sweetie, Grandma is going on an airplane and going home ...

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