Icebergs Away!

7 Feb

Icebergs are always amazing to encounter at sea. And when they are calving, breaking up, flipping over, or doing anything other than simply floating, it only gets more thrilling.

So thanks to always industrious GCaptain for going to the trouble of compiling the "Top 6 Dangerous Iceberg Collapse Videos."

This is my favorite. Yes, iceberg-watching is a participation sport!:

But watch them all, because they are each mesmerizing in their own way–including this iceberg-created 

tsunami which sweeps into a fishing village on Greenland. You never know what will get you when you live on a coast.


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Repacing Rotten Deck Core, Part I

4 Feb

As I mentioned in this post one of the major repairs on my boat is a section of deck where the upper fiberglass laminate had cracked, allowing water into the balsa core and starting a cycle of rot and delamination which led to this:

Close-up of the worst damage. These cracks go all the way through the fiberglass.

I knew this project would take more than a few days so before starting I made a series of dams out of plywood so that I could protect it with a tarp and not have rainwater running into the repair area. This ...

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Orca Uber Alles

3 Feb

For anyone who has any doubt about the supreme intelligence and physical superiority of killer whales, I offer this article about research being done on the lives of orcas who frequent Antarctic waters.

It's a fascinating account of the sophistication of orca society, communication, and hunting strategies. It leaves even me, a mutant with certain evolutionary advantages, with one simple thought: "We are not worthy."

Charlie's buddy, Jarle Andhoey, better not mess with them (and somewhere in footage of his that he once sent me he has a great sequence of an orca repeatedly spyhopping throuh a hole in ...

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Icebreaking, Hucking, and Costa Concordia From Below

2 Feb

Some posts just keep on giving. So naturally I want to share the wealth.

Let's start by following up this post on the last dive to the Costa Concordia with this evocative picture of the ship's bell:

Then let's double-down on the insane 90-foot kayak huck in this post, with ANOTHER insane 90-foot kayak huck (what is it about 90 feet and kayakers?):

And last, but not least, do you remember the epic icebreaking quest to get oil to Nome, Alaska?

Well, eventually the USCG Cutter Healy had to break the fuel ship out of the ice for ...

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Open 60 Insanity: The “Keel Walk”

2 Feb

Alex Thompson may not win many races, but he and his Hugo Boss team are insanely creative and daring when it comes to marketing. I mean, who comes up with the idea that prodcues a picture like this?

I doubt that the keel walk will become a regular feature of canting keel racing programs everywhere. Yes, it is James Bond-cool and may deliver a global marketing bonanza. But pulling it off looks seriously, seriously, hairy (see video after the jump)…

The absolutely key factor in this stunt: trusting the driver and trimmer aboard Hugo Boss. Because they are in charge ...

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Core Electrical System Revamp

1 Feb


This is a standard project for any sailboat older than thirty, for three reasons:

  1. Sailboats used to be built with electrical systems designed to power a VHF radio and a reading light, and now we ask them to power refrigeration, inverters, all kinds of electronic gizmos, and to charge the battery banks that supply them.
  2. Electrical stuff has come a long way in the last thirty years. Back then we had variations of automotive equipment, and now we have purpose-built, high capacity alternators and regulators, marine wire, and better distribution products.
  3. The thirty-year-old stuff is, well, thirty years old,
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ROUND BARBADOS RACE: 140 Gallons of Rum

26 Jan

Round Barbados Race

YES, sports fans… the number is ONE FOUR ZERO. Gallons. That’s about how much Extra Old rum I reckon the folks at Mt. Gay had to dole out at the conclusion of the Mt. Gay Rum Round Barbados Race last Saturday. Conditions for the race, now in its second year, were pretty much ideal and by the end of the day no fewer than six different boats had set course records of one description or another. Mt. Gay had pledged to award each record-setting boat its skipper’s weight in rum, which means each boat received about 23.3 gallons of rum ...

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Chi-Mac Autopsy: Anatomy Of A Deadly Storm

26 Jan

In 2011, the storied Chicago-Mackinac Race experienced its first weather-related fatalities when 2 sailors died after their sailboat, Wiingnuts, was capsized by a powerrful thunderstorm

For the weather-geeks among you, the website LakeErieWx has released a highly detailed analysis of the explosive thunderstorm cells which swept the fleet. 

It's an interesting report which emphasizes the fact that any offshore racing boat needs to be ready for pretty


The conclusion (full report is here):

The data from the base reflectivity and base velocity radar imagery suggests that the waters west of Charlevoix, MI were buffeted by

... Read More

Our Only Real Scare During an Entire Circumnavigation

26 Jan

Back in 2005, during our sail around the world, everything was new to us, including river bars. They seemed harmless enough, especially after that first one in Australia that was smooth as glass. Well, the second one caught us. The Clarence River Bar. i'll never forget that one. It very nearly ended our trip and has given Ali an unconditional fear of following seas. If I have to hear one more time how the six-foot following seas are "huge!" I'm going to do something drastic, like have her hypnotized and her Clarence River memory permanently erased. If hypnosis doesn't work ...

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