America's Cup: Valentine's Day Massacre

 

I am back from Miami and have lots to share with you, but first we should wrap up the AC coverage. As predicted here on WaveTrain, Larry "the Oracle" Ellison has crushed Ernie "the Alinghi" Bertarelli 2-zip in the best-of-three series. The first race didn't get sailed until Friday morning ET (our hero intended to file a gear post at that time, but instead watched the race on his laptop in the boat show press room), and the second race only got off yesterday after the Principal Race Officer Harold Bennett reportedly quelled a mutiny aboard the committee boat (big kudos to Scuttlebutt's Cory Friedman on that mega-scoop). But the outcome was never in doubt. Ernie and his cat were little more than bullet-riddled corpses by the time it was all over.

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Heat of the Night: Am I in Miami???

Yes, children... THAT is a rhetorical question. I got out of Boston on what might have been the last flight to leave Logan before the predicted snow-bomb hit and made it here in plenty of time to enjoy FLIR's Annual Thermal Imaging Tour of the Miami waterfront. Tis a brilliant bit of marketing. Movers and shakers and evenly lowly journalists get to eat and drink at FLIR's expense on a posh dinner boat while viewing their nocturnal surroundings through a thermal lens.

The gear truly is amazing. Unlike more pedestrian "night-vision" technology that simply amplifies what light is available, FLIR's "cameras" ignore light and just read heat instead. Which means they not only work in low-light situations, but literally in no-light situations. One thing they are very good at is spotting life forms in the water. In the photo here, for example, revelers have just identified a dolphin that was trying to sneak up on us.

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Driving Miss Gipsy (Moth IV)

 

My recent foray into Chris Eakin's A Race Too Far inspired me to re-read Gipsy Moth Circles the World, Sir Francis Chichester's account of the one-stop solo circumnavigation he undertook in 1966-67. As Eakins relates in his book, there was a great media frenzy in the U.K. on Chichester's return, and this led immediately to the launching of the Golden Globe Race of 1968-69 by the Sunday Times newspaper. Over here in the U.S., some may recall, the echo of that frenzy landed Chichester on the cover of Life magazine. I am just old enough to remember that little publicity bomb well, and Chichester's book was the first I ever read about a voyage of this type.

I always remembered it as being a bit dry and boring. I have not read it since and am pleased to report I liked it much better the second time. Chichester's prose is indeed dry, but is also precise and very intelligent. With it he carefully documented, and modestly understated, what was truly a remarkable voyage.

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For Whom The Bait Trolls



A lot of bluewater sailors I know complain that they never catch fish while on passage. Once upon a time I had this same problem, but since perfecting my technique I've never once been skunked on a passage during which I have tried to catch a fish. It's really not very hard and is great way to vary your diet at sea.

Some veggie-lantes I know do like to argue that it is immoral to catch and eat fish. But the way I see it you have to look at things from the fish's perspective. A fish that is bigger than you normally will not hesitate to eat you if it is hungry. But it also probably won't kill you for sport and prominently display your remains in its home. Thus, rule number one in my guide to ethical fishing: Never kill a fish for fun.

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Let's Have a Tea Party for Loran

While celebrating the start of America's Cup racing come Monday don't forget to shed a tear and hoist a cold one for our old friend Loran, which is scheduled to get shut down the same day. For you Sarah Palin fans who like to rail against the idiocy of the federal government, this should make an excellent talking point. Having spent $160 million over the past 10 years to upgrade Loran to "enhanced" eLoran status so it can serve as an effective back-up for the GPS system, the government will now flush that money down the toilet, in spite of the fact that shutting down the Loran system will probably cost more than finishing the upgrade.

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America's Cup Predictions

 

Get ready to set your alarm clocks, sports fans. The good news is you will (finally!) be able to watch Race One of the Great AC Showdown live via the Internet at ESPN360.com next Monday. The bad news is you'll have to get up at 0-dark-hundred (3:45 a.m.) to do it. If you're too lazy to manage this, I'll save you some trouble and make a bold prediction: Larry is going to take Ernie down in two straight races.

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Island of the Tripping Squirrels

 

On returning from a solo cruise to Mt. Desert Island in Maine some years ago, I stopped and anchored for the evening next to an uninhabited islet off the northwest corner of Swans Island. (At least I thought it was uninhabited...)

The sun was already low in the western sky, with (perhaps...) just enough daylight left for an expedition ashore. The tiny island beckoned to me. I hurried through my chores--rigged a snubber line on the rode, snugged the sails down for the night--then jumped in my tender and pulled for a thin stone strand I could see at the foot of the low cliff that ringed the island's shore.

Facing the anchorage there was a shallow ravine that cut through the cliff, up which I scrambled once I shipped my oars and secured the tender. At the top of the ravine I found a well-worn trail leading inland. And just a few yards down that trail I found a doorway standing alone at the edge of the forest that stretched across the middle of the island.

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Used Diesel Engine For Sale

 

I made an offhand offer to sell my old engine back when I wrote up the installation of Lunacy's new engine, but now I'm getting serious. I'll be listing the engine for sale with Trans Atlantic Diesels, Inc., but will happily sell the beast to any interested WaveTrain riders.

The beast in question is a Lister-Petter LPWS4 4-cylinder marine diesel, rated at 40hp @ 3,000 RPM, serial number 4000021LPWS4A-42. It comes with a Hurst transmission, HBW150-2R, serial number 1746267 (not pictured here, but I assure you it does exist). The engine was built in 1991 and has approximately 3,500 hours on it. As I described in my earlier post, I thought the engine had fuel issues, but it turned out it didn't. It does leak oil and could use a rebuild, but you might be able to put it into service as is.

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Subcategories

  • Boats & Gear

    Evaluations of both new and older sailboats (primarily cruising sailboats) and of boat gear.

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    Longer articles by me that treat sailing and the sea in a more literary manner, short reviews of nautical books I think readers might enjoy reading, plus occasional excerpts from nautical books that I’d like to share with readers.

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