If you are on Facebook, and want a steady stream of, well, epic, or funny, or cool, sailing images, then navigate your way over to the Epic Sailing Images Of The Week page.
Cuz you'll find pics like this:
Whatever you think about the Japanese whaling program, and Sea Shepherd's determined effotrs to impede and stop it, we can all agree that what is going on right now down in the Southern Ocean--ship collisions, water cannons, and flash-back grendades-- is extraordinary (and dangerous).
The latest in this annual fracas appears to have been precipitated by Sea Shepherd's attempts to interfere with a refueling attempt by the Japanese. And that's when things got crazy:
Here's another video, showing the use of flash-bang grenades, which appear to have been aimed at SeaMiscellanySea ShepherdJapanese whalingSouthern OceanBob Barker
Here's a piece of the HMS Bounty story that I had not yet seen: a scathing and emotional open letter written by Pride Of Baltimore II captain Jan Miles to HMS Bounty Captain Robin Walbridge a month after he lost his ship, and he and Claudene Christian lost their lives.
Miles, who knew Walbridge, posted the letter on Facebook, and it is a howl of anguish and anger from a professional mariner. It is the single most powerful indictment of Walbridge and his decisionmaking that I have read.
I've posted the whole thing after the jump, because it takes you step by tragic step through the flaws in Walbridge's thinking, but here is how it concludes:
And in a career at sea one cannot avoid every gale or nasty storm – but you set out with the BOUNTY with whatever her strengths and weaknesses into the biggest one some of us have ever seen dominating the Western North Atlantic. Many stronger, faster ships than BOUNTY chose to stay in port for this one. What was your need?
Well my very recklessly cavalier friend. I cannot say I told you so. But I sure can say I am surprised! Not Robin! This stunt is so amateurish as to be off the scale! But stunning surprise of surprises! It is Robin! Heading directly at a hurricane in a small, slow boat. Instead of running and hiding...or not venturing out at all. You have provided everyone with a great deal of hurt and sadness and consternation as well a firestorm of gossip nearly full of blame and foolishness directed at the whole of our sailing community.
That is an inestimably be-damned legacy my friend.
Wow.MiscellanyHMS BountyHurricane SandyRobin Walbridge
In case you’ve never noticed, when we post pictures we almost always just post them in the order they happened that day. Basically when I’m editing photos I start at the beginning, flip through and say, “That’s a nice one, I’ll number it 1. Oh look, there’s number 2.”
We are almost four weeks into our temporary time ashore, and what, you may ask, are our cultural sticking points? Is it that we haven't heard of a single film/singer/celebrity which has cropped up in the past two years? Are the girls ridiculed for not owning an iPad? Do we feel strange about our (often-commented-on) Canadian accents?
No. Our biggest problem is, "good morning." More accurately, the lack thereof.
So Clark has been telling you all about how the US Coast Guard can trample all over your 4th amendment rights, and doing a great job either scaring the cr*p out of you, or pissing you off, or both.
If this story about the Department Of Homeland Security is true, then we should all go to even greater extremes of anger and paranoia (and we can see where the Coast Guard takes its lead). When I see this sort of thing I can only conclude that the terrorists won, by shredding our Constitution and somehow getting us all to accept it.
Read the full story, but here is the nub of it (note: "Buddy" is the name the prospective boat owner had taken to calling the boat he bought):
Buddy has to clear customs, part of the DHS, since she was built in Canada.
My job was to show up and sign forms and then leave with Buddy (WA sales tax and registration fees come a week later).
DHS takes documents supplied by the builder and creates a government form that includes basic information about the boat, including the price.
The primary form, prepared by the government, had an error. The price was copied from the invoice, but DHS changed the currency from Canadian to U.S. dollars.
It has language at the bottom with serious sounding statements that the information is true and correct, and a signature block.
I pointed out the error and suggested that we simply change the currency from US $ to CAD $ so that is was correct. Or instead, amend the amount so that it was correct in U.S. dollars.
I thought this was important because I was signing it and swearing that the information, and specifically the price, was correct.
The DHS agent didn’t care about the error and told me to sign the form anyway. “It’s just paperwork, it doesn’t matter,” she said. I declined.
She called another agent and said simply “He won’t sign the form.” I asked to speak to that agent to give them a more complete picture of the situation. She wouldn’t allow that.
Then she seized the boat. As in, demanded that we get off the boat, demanded the keys and took physical control of it.
So there you have it. Your modern, post-9/11, security state in action. Any questions?MiscellanyDepartment Of Homeland Securityboater rightsUS Constitution
There are a few sailing events around the globe that seem designed to make everyone who is not there feel waves of envy and rage. Like the St. Barths Bucket Regatta. Or the Newport-Bermuda Race. And especially the newcomer to this class, the RORC Caribbean 600. It's a breezy 600-mile, warm weather, warm water, tour of the Leeward Islands, from Anguilla in the north to Guadeloupe in the south. And all the prettiest toy boats show up.
Just a look at the start highlights is enough to make me want to tear down my cubicle and become an investment banker:
One of the boats that has had this thing figured out from the start, and made repeat appearances, is theRacingRORC Caribbean 600PhaedoParadoxICAP LeopardBella Mente
There’s a pretty good north-west wind blowing through town right now, dragging some cool air down with it (I love that I live in a place where 79 degrees can be considered cool) and emptying the beaches of all but people with kids who just want to get outside and don’t give a crap what the weather is doing.
It's always very hard to tell what is going on inside America's Cup syndicates, unless they, um, break their boat. But sometimes you can get a feel for things by looking at the media they put out. So let's take a video tour.
First up is Oracle, finally back on the water and happy to emphasize that they've got the foiling thing going. They are clawing their way back from their unwelcome sailing hiatus, but if there is a team that has the players and resources to play catch-up, it is Oracle:
Nice to see Artemis out there with them. But if you check in on Artemis' latest video, it seems clear that ArtemisRacingamerica's cupOracleTeam New ZealandArtemisLuna Rossa
We’ve been talking about hanging a swing up on deck for months, but for some reason just hadn’t done it. Then a couple days ago the boat across the dock hung a hammock up on their deck—Ali saw it, the kids saw it, and just like that it was time to get a hammock swing.
I told Ouest to hang on and I would pull her to the top of the mast, but she declined. I thought sure she was going to say okay. Give the two of them a year and they’ll probably work out a way to do it themselves when we’re not looking.