Having been left behind on the dock, I’ve been obsessively following the progress of this year’s Caribbean 1500 via the rally’s online tracking page. For much of the fleet it has been slow going. After prudently waiting the better part of a week for Tropical Storm Sean to go away and then for a cold front to pass through, the rally organizers launched their ducklings the Friday before last (Nov. 11) into the heart of a big high-pressure cell. The fleet enjoyed one good day of wind, but then burned much diesel fuel as it worked its way south looking ... Read More
We’ve already discussed how beluga whales like to groove to mariachi music, so I’m not too surprised to learn that they might also enjoy swimming with naked ladies. The lady in question here is Natalia Avseenko, a yoga expert capable of free-diving for extended periods in sub-zero water temperatures. The goal of this exercise is to “tame” the whales.
The venue is the Utrish Dolphinarium in northwest Russia, an entirely suspect organization that apparently domesticates wild cetaceans for export.
If you ask me, these whales don’t seem to be enjoying Natalia as much as that other whale enjoyed the ... Read More
For some sailors this is simply a rhetorical question, but to many others it may seem like heresy. It is, however, a question worth discussing given recent events in this year’s NARC rally. It should also help put some comments made by NARC rally organizer Hank Schmitt, which I published earlier here on WaveTrain, into a larger, more useful context.
Let’s start by noting that Herb is, without doubt, one of the more reliable weather forecasters working the North Atlantic. Though he is a self-taught amateur, his forecasts often prove more accurate than those generated by NOAA and are certainly ... Read More
Did I call it, or what? In my last post on the mysterious whereabouts of Dutch teen sailor Laura Dekker I predicted she would next appear in Durban or Port Richards, South Africa. And now comes word that she has in fact safely arrived in Durban after sailing 47 days non-stop (over 5,500 nautical miles) singlehanded from Darwin, Australia.
First things first: Good on ya, Laura! This is a very significant achievement for any sailor, regardless of their age or gender. I encourage all WaveTrain riders to read the blog on Laura’s website for a (more or less) complete account ... Read More
I decided I had to pull the plug on my participation in this year’s Caribbean 1500 on Wednesday afternoon after rally HQ announced they were postponing the start once again until this morning. I was reluctant to do this, but the “squash zone” between my prospective arrival time in the BVI and the Thanksgiving holiday was getting a little too tight for comfort. I flew home yesterday, and today I’m following the rally start a bit wistfully via the tracking feature on the rally website.
I felt especially bad leaving Larry and Cathy on Katahdin short one crew member ... Read More
I’ve never seen this before… a subtropical storm with a name. But there you have it–sub-storm Sean, reportedly packing max winds of 40-50 knots, is stalled right over the Caribbean 1500 route and is going nowhere fast.
By midday yesterday we had word aboard Katahdin that the rally start was officially postphoned until Wednesday. The skinny then was that the low squatting north of the Bahamas had a 40 percent chance of going tropical (according to the National Hurricane Center), or maybe even 50 percent (according to Jeff Masters at Weather Underground). This morning it has officially achieved ... Read More
I should mention that I’m in Virginia right now, and will depart today (maybe) in this year’s Caribbean 1500 cruising rally to Tortola, BVI. I’m crewing on a Cambria 44, Katahdin, which you see here, as of yesterday evening, all ready to go. Sort of.
We launch this a.m. at 0900 and will be praying that the new rudder bearing packing gland does not leak.
Larry and Cathy Clough, Katahdin‘s owners, have been running around all over Chesapeake Bay like the proverbial headless chickens trying to cope with this rudder problem for a couple of weeks now. As ... Read More
Lunacy was hauled for the winter on Friday, which means at last I have answers and evidence to share with the several people who’ve been asking me about the Ultrasonic Antifouling system I installed toward the end of the season last year. When Lunacy was hauled last year, after two months with the Ultrasonic unit running, there wasn’t a speck of growth on her anywhere. This year, after a full five months in the water, the results are decidedly different.
I couldn’t attend the haul-out, but once again, Jeff Stack, the service manager at Maine Yacht Center, was ... Read More
That’s right–this is a dedicated cruising boat with a canting keel. Not only that, the keel lifts, too. Not only that–this puppy’s for sale right now. All yours for just a tad over $2 million.
It is, needless to say, a quite sophisticated one-off job. The commissioning owner, a big fan of Ellen MacArthur and IMOCA Open 60 racing, initially sought to acquire an existing Open 60 and convert it to a cruising boat, but then turned to Owen Clarke Design, which had designed MacArthur’s Kingfisher, to create a new purpose-built vessel. Constructed by New Zealand-based Marten Yachts... Read More
I haven’t mentioned teen sailor Laura Dekker in quite some time, because, as I expected, her voyage–a standard westabout milk-run circumnavigation–has so far been largely uneventful. But now she’s in the Indian Ocean. She left Darwin, Australia, headed west over a month ago and soon should be arriving at her destination.
Only thing is… we don’t know where that is.
On leaving Darwin, Laura refused to say where she was going, and since leaving has not posted position updates on her website. She has maintained a written blog, but publication of her posts has been intentionally delayed by ... Read More