SEASICKNESS: To Puke And Puke Not

12 Feb

Seasick sailor

The first time I almost lost it on a boat was during my first job with a boat magazine more than 25 years ago. Soon after I was hired, I was sent out to test a Grand Banks trawler on Block Island Sound, and on the run back from Block Island to Mystic, Connecticut, I made the mistake of helping myself to some Pringles potato chips I found on the flybridge. I also made the mistake of eating the whole can. Those familiar with Pringles, and with the motion of a Grand Banks trawler in a beam sea, will appreciate ...

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Doctor, doctor

11 Feb

(Updated to reflect the results of Trial #3)

I got my first ear infection when I was about three weeks old.  To hear my mother tell it, I was a demon baby to begin with, and this did not help.  (Aside: my mother rates babies on a difficulty scale from 1 to 10, 1 being a delightful child such as my sister (the second-born) who slept 23 hours a day and was apparently made of sunshine and rainbows, 10 being me, the first-born, who was made of pure rage.  Maybe Mom just needed a little more practice, hmm?  Hmm?)  Shortly ...

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HMS Bounty: Outside Magazine Investigates

11 Feb

For anyone who cares about what happened to the HMS Bounty and why, Outside magazine has a nicely detailed investigation:

As the drama of the Bounty’s final hours unfolded on CNN and the Weather Channel, seamen and landlubbers alike were asking the same question: what was a square-rigged ship doing in the middle of a hurricane—a storm that had been forecast for days? Sailors pointed fingers at the captain, Robin Walbridge, insisting that his poor judgment and bravado were to blame. It’s true that Walbridge had tempted fate before. In each instance, some combination of skill and luck had

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Captain Cook and Star Trek

8 Feb

When I started reading Blue Latitudes I thought the author was a poser. Here he was retracing the voyages of the great Captain Cook, and he flew to most of the destinations. Aside from a week on the Endeavor replica and a few weeks on some charter sailboats, Tony Horwitz isn’t a sailor. He is, however, a great writer, formerly of The New Yorker. Blue Latitudes is researched meticulously and Horwitz succeeds in giving us a more human portrait of Cook.

I thought I was into Captain Cook, but now realize I’m a complete dilettante. The Captain Cook Society publishes ...

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Oracle Is Sailing Again

6 Feb

Well, the rebuilt Oracle AC72 (with substantial mods) is back out on the water, and Artemis and Team New Zealand are messing about in their boats as well, so I guess I'll start paying attention to the America's Cup again. 

After all, this is the year. What is stunning, and conveys the intensity of the setback Oracle suffered when they trashed their AC72 last October, is that they are just now working into double digits in terms of AC72 sailing days. That is a long, long way behnd the other teams, especially Team New Zealand, in ...

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Keel-less 2

5 Feb

The Vendee Globe is always a lottery. Example: JP Dick lost his keel and somehow sailed home. Javier Sanso on Acciona wasn't so lucky. His Open 60 lost its keel and rolled over. Sanso took to his life raft and happily was airlifted to safety. 

His account of the capsize and rescue is here. This is what he had to say about the initial moments:

It all happened so quickly.  At around midday yesterday I was sailing upwind in around 20 knots from the NE and had just sent a report to the Race HQ giving my position

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4 Feb

Landing fish

A LOT OF BLUEWATER SAILORS I know complain that they never catch fish while on passage. I once had this problem, too, but since perfecting my technique I've never once been skunked on a passage during which I have tried to catch fish. It's really not very hard and is a great way to vary your diet at sea.

Some hardcore "veggie-lantes" I know do like to argue that it is immoral to catch and eat fish. But the way I see it you have to look at things from the fish's perspective. A fish that is bigger than you ...

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More on Sailboat/Tug Collision at Golden Gate

29 Jan

Still no names on the vessels involved in the tug/sailboat collision/sinking under the Golden Gate Bridge. For better or worse, there's a lot of loose talk bouncing about, mainly in the comments to the online article in the San Francisco Chronicle 

Gee whiz, people really take some cheap shots when emboldened by the anonymity of the Internet. Some suggest that one of those arrogant sailors (who should be banned from San Francisco Bay and required to get licenses) was pushing for right of way against a tug and tow. There is no indication that any such thing happened. I'm ...

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Tug Sinks Sailboat Under Golden Gate

27 Jan

Yesterday at about 3:30 p.m. a tug and barge struck a sailboat near the Golden Gate Bridge. The two crew of the sailboat were thrown into the water, rescued by the Coast Guard, and treated for hypothermia. The sailboat itself didn't fare so well, and went to the bottom.

It isn't clear whether it was the tug or the tow that struck the sailboat, and the Coast Guard isn't revealing any other details, nor the names of the vessels, until they complete their investigation. The sailboat was supposed to be a 20-30 footer.

Out my window (I live in San ...

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