Swimmers, surfers, and sailors worry about them. But science knows surprisingly little about where they go and what they do. That's why a research group called Ocearch is out putting sophisticated tracking tags on great white sharks.
Here's the latest tagging operation:
As you can see, the tagging procedure is a big deal, and not an easy experience for the shark. But the teamMiscellanygreat white sharkOcearch
We have a friend on another boat who is obsessed with "keeping the weight down". This isn't directed at any of the crew (luckily for him - you take your life in your hands with that kind of action,) but rather at the boat itself. Every few months, a sort of fever grabs Mr Light Boat, and he starts sorting through their possessions with a grim and critical eye.Categories: Cruisingbooks
Once upon a time ocean racing was going gangbusters. Every new boat seemed important, and the new boats kept on coming. In the 1970s, the racing yacht Imp was born in a sketch on a napkin at the bar at The San Francisco Yacht Club. No one could have imagined what was coming.Categories: RacingImpSan FranciscoCal Maritime
I HAVE ALWAYS been very attracted to junk rigs, first, I suppose, because they seem so very strange and archaic. As one early Western proponent, a British cruiser named Brian Platt, who sailed from Hong Kong to California under junk rig in the late 1950s, once wrote: "Nobody could have designed the Chinese Sail, if only for fear of being laughed at. A device so elaborate and clumsy in conception, yet so simple and handy in operation could only have evolved through trial and error."Categories: Boats and Gearsails and rigging
Let us call this the official start of my marathon training blog. And my marathon training in earnest. I tried doing this last year a bit, when I had the brazen idea of running a marathon in under three hours. Which I now realize is downright impossible unless I totally change my lifestyle to accommodate it. Which I do not really want to do. But that effort (both the training and the blog), quickly faded. Time to start over.Boats and GearriggingDynex Dux
There are many perks to being a billionaire. One of them, apparently, is that if you get a crazy-ass idea to build a replica of the Titanic you can, well, go ahead and build a replica of the Titanic. And that's exactly what Australian mining magnate Clive Palmer is doing (with launch slated for 2016):
The ship will largely recreate the design and decor of the fabled original, with some modifications to keep it in line with current safety rules and shipbuilding practices, and the addition of some modern comforts such as air conditioning, Palmer said at a press conference in New York.
The three passenger classes, however, will be prevented from mingling, as in 1912, Palmer said.
“I’m not too superstitious,” Palmer said when asked whether recreating a ship best known for sinking was tempting fate.
Palmer will not claim that Titanic 2 will be unsinkable, but he does say it will have adequate lifeboats. Ironically, however, the first plans for Titanic 2, and its lifeboats, didn't quite hit that mark:
No discussion of the Titanic II is complete without a mention of the lifeboats. The lack of adequate lifeboats on the original Titanic was a major contributor to the deaths of over 1,500 passengers. Unfortunately, as reported in the press, it appears that the new ship will not have adequate lifeboat capacity to meet the current Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) rules. Frankly, we think that this is carrying authenticity a bit too far.
As reported by the Daily Mail and elsewhere:
There will be capacity for 2,435 passengers and 900 crew. There will also be lifeboats that can carry 2,700 and a life rafts with an additional capacity of 800. The original Titanic had just 16 wooden lifeboats that accommodated 1,178 people, one third of the total capacity. Some 1,502 people died when it sank on April 15 1912.
So here is how the math works out. 2,435 passengers + 900 crew = 3,335 people. The advertised lifeboat and raft capacity is 2,700 + 800 = 3,500. The problem is that SOLAS regulations require that there are sufficient lifeboats and life rafts to accommodate 125% of the total number of people on board, which in this case would be 3,335 *1.25 = 4,169. So based on the press reports, the new ship would be 669 lifeboat/liferaft spaces short.
Oops. Well, that shortcoming is being rapidly rectified. And one presumes that the new Titanic will be able to avoid hitting any icebergs. That leaves us with a very cool project, that will give the modern public a taste of the extraordinary romance and appeal of the original ship.
The Daily Mail gets into it by comparing a series of artist renderings of the new ship with photographs from the original:
If Palmer is to be believed, lots of potential passengers are very excited. he claims that so far 40,000 peopleMiscellanyTitanicClive Palmercruise ship
SpeedDream is definitely worth following. But I wonder if there is a path to superfast that goes through foiling instead of the slim, wave-piercing, swing keel approach SpeedDream is chasing. Because this foiling businessBoats and GearSpeedDreamMurnikovTED
Frostbite sailing is a cherished institution wherever there is winter weather, a body of water, and diehard sailors. So cherished, apparently, that a film-maker called Thurston Smith (why, oh why, couldn't his last name be Howell?) saw fit to make a documentary about it.
Sure, it's a limited audience. But for anyone who is part of that audience it looks like a pretty cool project. Here's the trailer:Miscellanyfrostbiting
Scuttlebutt has published more from the surprisingly informative interview with Artemis honcho Paul Cayard (scroll down to find Part 2 if you have already read Part 1), and he digs even deeper into foiling, and the tradeoffs between losing displacemnt downwind and adding drag to your boards upwind.
This is the classic sort of America's Cup discussion, which could easily involve more than a few head fakes, so it's hard to know whether to take it all as gospel. But it's still pretty interesting, in a Kremlin-ology sort of way.
Here's a taste (but read the whole thing):
With the focus on full foiling, it is important to recognize there are wind crossovers that impact the equation. If the winds are too light to fully foil, then the excessive drag caused by the foiling blades will be a big problem. While July and August are windy months on the Bay, September can offer a wider range of wind strength. The foiling package that works in the Louis Vuitton Cup (July 7 - Aug 31) may not work in the America's Cup (Sept 7-23).
So far no team has been able to fully foil upwind. We see it when reaching and running, but not closed hauled, and I don't think we will see it in this America's Cup. But remember, even if the boats are not fully foiling upwind, they are still foiling to a less degree. A good estimation is that about half of the boat's displacement is getting lifted when sailing upwind.
Meanwhile, here's Team New Zealand showing what it all means out on the water, and showing how the whole foiling thing is done, in a video shot by some non-spies (i.e, a couple of guys out for a fun day on the water). Note: the breeze was 12 knots.Racingamerica's cupArtemisPaul Cayardfoiling
This is what happens to the freezer when we plug into shore power for a few weeks. That’s the freezer—the fridge looks the same. We thawed them both out yesterday so they’ll hopefully work better when we get underway again. Our freezer is so ridiculously large and deep that we’ve filled the bottom half with big bottles of water. Our permanent ice box.Categories: CruisingMaintenancechildren
I really dislike cleaning this boat. There are just way too many nooks and crannies. This morning I spent ninety minutes washing it and when Ali got back with the kids she stepped aboard, looked around, and asked, “Did you clean the boat?”
Okay, so I missed half of the dodger, and that half had a big pile of bird shit on it, but come on—did I clean the boat.
After the washdown I single-handed the boat a hundred yards to the fuel dock. Yep, you know what this means—time to go. Ali and the kids were off on their morning adventure and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t briefly consider filling up and sailing right out into the Pacific, but instead I returned to the dock, and in a couple of days we’ll all set sail again together.Categories: Maintenance