Charles Doane

IN MARIA’S WAKE: Cruising From St. Thomas to Puerto Rico

13 Mar

On flying into St. Thomas on the third Sunday of last month Clare and I were pleased to find Lunacy resting peacefully in her slip at the Crown Bay Marina in Charlotte Amalie. We were not so pleased however to discover that she was covered in a thick layer of grimy soot. This had come from the very large diesel-powered forklift that is forever trundling up and down the container ship dock just upwind of the marina. We were even less pleased on Monday when we went into the office to pay the bill. This was, bar none, the most ...

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GOLDEN GLOBE RACE: Jean-Luc Van Den Heede First to Finish in 212 Days; Mark Slats is Penalized

29 Jan

GGR First Across

This happened this morning at Les Sables D’Olonne. A really great achievement, to win a non-stop RTW race at age 73. HATS OFF to Jean-Luc!!!

If you’ve been following you also know that Mark Slats, on The Ohpen Maverick, isn’t far behind. To avoid a huge winter gale blasting into the Bay of Biscay, Slats diverted toward La Coruna, Spain, after consulting with Dick Koopmans, his race manager, via sat-phone. This violation of the race rules has drawn a 36-hour time penalty from race organizer Don McIntyre. This is twice as long as the 18-hour penalty Jean-Luc received after ...

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GOLDEN GLOBE RACE: Jean-Luc Van Den Heede First to Finish in 212 Days; Mark Slats is Penalized

29 Jan

This happened this morning at Les Sables D’Olonne. A really great achievement, to win a non-stop RTW race at age 73. HATS OFF to Jean-Luc!!!

If you’ve been following you also know that Mark Slats, on The Ohpen Maverick, isn’t far behind. To avoid a huge winter gale blasting into the Bay of Biscay, Slats diverted toward La Coruna, Spain, after consulting with Dick Koopmans, his race manager, via sat-phone. This violation of the race rules has drawn a 36-hour time penalty from race organizer Don McIntyre. This is twice as long as the 18-hour penalty Jean-Luc received after ...

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HENRI DE MONFRIED: Cruising the Red Sea With Style and Purpose

26 Jan

De Monfried steering

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is that the literature of the sea is nearly as vast as the sea itself. It seems there are always new landfalls to make. Here for example we have yet another fascinating character I never dreamed existed. Henri de Monfried, son of a minor French artist who associated with Gauguin, was a devotee of sailing since childhood and as an adult roamed the Red Sea in various native craft before, during, and after World War I. He supported himself trying to cultivate pearls and by fishing for them, but mostly ...

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INTEGREL GENERATING SYSTEM: Nigel Calder’s Frankenstein Comes Alive!

18 Jan

Dr. Calder

I wrote about this in my regular column in the current issue of SAIL (the February issue, which of course comes out in mid-January), but it’s something EVERYONE should know about, so I’m pimping it here too. This is a new system for managing electrical power on sailboats that Nigel Calder has been helping to develop for many years. It consists of an engine-driven DC generator–effectively a high-output “alternator on steroids,” as Nigel has put it–and a very sophisticated black-box controller that harvests untapped energy in a marine diesel propulsion engine’s power curve. It produces scads of electrical power when ...

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INTEGREL GENERATING SYSTEM: Nigel Calder’s Frankenstein Comes Alive!

18 Jan

I wrote about this in my regular column in the current issue of SAIL (the February issue, which of course comes out in mid-January), but it’s something EVERYONE should know about, so I’m pimping it here too. This is a new system for managing electrical power on sailboats that Nigel Calder has been helping to develop for many years. It consists of an engine-driven DC generator–effectively a high-output “alternator on steroids,” as Nigel has put it–and a very sophisticated black-box controller that harvests untapped energy in a marine diesel propulsion engine’s power curve. It produces scads of electrical power when ...

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IN IRMA’S WAKE: Xmas/New Year’s Cruise from St. Maarten to St. Thomas

10 Jan

Oyster Pond damage

We descended en famille into SXM two days after Christmas to find a) the airport was no longer running out of tents and the regular terminal had (sort of) reopened; and b) the Christmas winds, as Don Street likes to call them, were in full effect. Blowing out of the east, as always, these were tradewinds, but “fortified” with lots of ugly rain squalls and big long gusts of breeze up to 35 knots or more. They trapped us on the island for a couple of days, which gave us time to rent a car and explore in detail.

We ...

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IN IRMA’S WAKE: Xmas/New Year’s Cruise from St. Maarten to St. Thomas

10 Jan

We descended en famille into SXM two days after Christmas to find a) the airport was no longer running out of tents and the regular terminal had (sort of) reopened; and b) the Christmas winds, as Don Street likes to call them, were in full effect. Blowing out of the east, as always, these were tradewinds, but “fortified” with lots of ugly rain squalls and big long gusts of breeze up to 35 knots or more. They trapped us on the island for a couple of days, which gave us time to rent a car and explore in detail.

We ...

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

5 Dec

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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