Charles Doane

GOLEN GLOBE RACE: Back in the Atlantic, Attrition, Bending the Rules

5 Dec

GGR tracker

There’s certainly been no lack of drama in this year’s “remake” of the first non-stop round-the-world Golden Globe Race of 50 years ago. As one would expect the attrition rate has been high, with dismastings, rescues at sea, injuries, including one broken back, and very thankfully (so far) no fatalities. Of the 18 sailors who set out on this adventure back in July, only eight are still sailing. Or wait… that may be seven now, as word comes this morning that Susie Goodall, on DHL Starlight, has just set off her EPIRB. Bummer!

Amazingly, two GGR boats ...

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2018 SOUTHBOUND LUNACY: Annapolis to St. Maarten

15 Nov

Lunacy doghouse

What with swapping out old Lunacy for new Lunacy and last year’s jaunt down to Florida and back it’s been a few years since I pilgrimaged to the W’Indies for the winter. It’s past time to revisit old haunts, I decided, what with last year’s awful storms, plus I have some business to attend to down there. Having again pimped out new Lunacy to her builder to be shown at Annapolis, it was preordained I should depart from the Chesapeake, which is something I hadn’t done before. I assumed it would be easier than leaving from New England.

I made ...

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2018 SOUTHBOUND LUNACY: Annapolis to St. Maarten

15 Nov

Lunacy doghouse

What with swapping out old Lunacy for new Lunacy and last year’s jaunt down to Florida and back it’s been a few years since I pilgrimaged to the W’Indies for the winter. It’s past time to revisit old haunts, I decided, what with last year’s awful storms, plus I have some business to attend to down there. Having again pimped out new Lunacy to her builder to be shown at Annapolis, it was preordained I should depart from the Chesapeake, which is something I hadn’t done before. I assumed it would be easier than leaving from New England.

I made ...

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NICK SKEATES ON WYLO II: The Ultimate Barebones Cruiser and his Ultimate Dirt Simple Boat

17 Oct

Nick Skeates

Dang it. I was going to write a post about the boats I test-sailed after the show in Annapolis, as has been my custom these past years, but I lost my freaking camera and have no pix for it. Ah, well. This gives me a chance to change the subject and point you at a fantastic viddy posted on Vimeo by Byrony Stokes a couple of months ago. About the intrepid Nick Skeates, a dumpster-diving barebones cruising legend and his tough-as-nails self-designed and self-built boat Wylo II.

Gypsea Stories: Wylo II from Bryony Stokes on Vimeo.

Though there ...

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JVD Airways: Fly Foxy to the Virgin Islands

6 Oct

Foxy

By far the most interesting piece of news I picked up while wandering the show in Annapolis the last two days came from this man, Foxy Callwood, renowned owner of Foxy’s Bar on Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands. During the course of a rambling conversation, Foxy complained of the lagging effort to revitalize his home island after last year’s devastating hurricane. He also let slip with a sly smile that he was working on a scheme to launch a new airline, JVD Airways, that he hopes will help rekindle the local economy by offering direct flights from ...

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2018 SOUTHBOUND LUNACY: Back to the Boat Show Solo Delivery Trip

3 Oct

Lunacy in slings

This truly was touch and go. I’d had the boat hauled in early September to attend to a fairly discrete list of chores: 1) put on fresh bottom paint; 2) have some nice handrails sent by my friends at Boréal welded on to the stern arch; 3) make sure the engine’s running gear was OK after that run-in with a pot warp. It was the last item, of course, that created problems.

Turned out that wrapped pot warp (remember?) had ruined the cutless bearing, and to change that out the prop shaft had to be pulled, and as ...

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UNMANNED: First Robot Sailboat Completes Transatlantic Voyage

19 Sep

Sailbuoy Met

Who needs crew? Not the Sailbuoy Met, a 2-meter long sailing robot, which recently arrived in Ireland after sailing 80 days non-stop from Newfoundland. Created by a Norwegian company, Offshore Sensing AS, Sailbuoy is the first robot vessel to cross the Atlantic and the first to complete the Microtransat Challenge, a transatlantic race for autonomous vessels. Twenty previous attempts by different teams had ended in abject failure.

 Sailbuoy route

Route of the victor

Check out the Microtransat tracking map and you’ll see there are currently two other robots working to complete the course. SeaLeon, fielded by Dalhousie University ...

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LAURA DEKKER’S GUPPY: Wrecked on a Reef in the Cook Islands

10 Sep

Guppy under sail

This definitely denotes a trend. A curse even. Call it the Curse of Famous Circumnavigating Sailboats That Have Been Donated to Non-Profit Organizations. The latest victim, you may have noticed, is Laura Dekker’s bright red 40-foot Jeanneau Gin Fizz Guppy, which carried her around the world back in 2010-11 and helped her become the youngest sailor to circumnavigate the world alone. Laura has posted details on both her blog and one of her Facebook pages, so I’ll let her tell the story:

I loaned Guppy long term in full faith to a non-profit organization [Ed: LifeSail, based ...

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The SEA IS NOT FULL: Now Available As An E-Book!

4 Sep

SINF cover

Many of you have asked about this, and I am happy to report my latest book has just been released in electronic format at both Amazon and at the iBooks store. Now you have no excuse for not reading it! (Also, it’s my birthday today, so you should feel obliged to propitiate me.)

Remember: John Kretschmer, one of the most popular bluewater authors of our generation, has called The Sea Is Not Full “ONE OF THE BEST SAILING BOOKS” he’s read in a long time. “More than that,” he continued, “it’s one of the best books I’ve read in a ...

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2018 SUMMER CRUISE: Thwarted Ambitions

30 Aug

Lunacy aground

Job one before embarking on this summer’s cruise was to clean up Lunacy’s bottom a bit. I waited until too late to ask if my home yard, Maine Yacht Center, could arrange to have a diver do it, so ended up having to do it myself. First I dove on the boat, on day one of the cruise at Cliff Island, and scrubbed a good bit of the starboard side, paying particular attention to the log and depth sensors, which were extremely foul. This, as I’d hoped, resolved both my autopilot problem (my modern NKE pilot needs more-or-less ...

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