Month

May 2010
Over the millenia people have built boats out of all kinds of stuff. Bamboo, leather, paper, concrete. You name it, someone somehwere has tried it. But by far the most popular contemporary boatbuilding material is a strange substance known as fiberglass. Once derided by traditionalists as being nothing more than “frozen snot,” it now absolutely...
Ever since they start selling 406 MHz EPIRBs with built-in GPS units (the so-called G-PIRB) just a few years ago I've been thinking search-and-rescue (SAR) technology is just about as nifty as can be. Turns out I was wrong. NASA just announced this week it is developing and testing a new technology, called the Distress...
You may recall I threatened to abuse you with knowledge of celestial navigation back when they shut down the Loran system in February. I have long preached the wisdom of learning and practicing a bit of celestial nav, and once upon a time I actually practiced what I preached (as you can see in the...
Sorry to inflict more space news on you guys, but this is truly noteworthy. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) succeeded today in launching the first spacecraft to be propelled by solar sails. Described by the Japanese as a "space yacht," the craft, called IKAROS (for Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation Of the Sun), will...
Lunacy is the first boat I've ever had that is equipped with radar. Initially I didn't use it much. I know some curmudgeons who still swear it's their first choice when it comes to navigation electronics, but in the age of GPS this just seems perverse to me. Interpreting glowing globular clusters for clues as...
Only once before have I departed the W'Indies for Bermuda from the BVI. That was in '97, on Crazy Horse, out of Jost Van Dyke (or Just One Dike, as the famous Foxy Callwood sometimes refers to it). I remember Jost as being a perfect orifice from which to excrete oneself into the North Atlantic....
Here’ s a fantastic opportunity for someone to pick up a very swell boat for a fraction of what it’s really worth. This custom one-off cruiser/racer was designed by Chuck Paine for a private client and was first launched back in 2002. I test-sailed it soon afterwards and persons involved in its creation advised me...
  This 18-minute talk (click here to watch) by reef ecologist Jeremy Jackson on the degradation on the marine environment is compelling, persuasive, and profoundly depressing. You owe it to the planet to give it a look.
Of all the deities we sailors must cope with while messing around on our boats none are more ravenous than the dreaded Bilge Gods. As long as there have been bilges on boats, these bogeymen have been lurking down there, waiting patiently to consume any Very Important Object an innocent mariner might temporarily hold in...
I wasn't going to blog about this again until Jessica Watson actually completed her circumnavigation, but events (plus the fact that I'll soon be incommunicado on the blue yonder again myself) have forced my hand. News Tidbit Number 1 is that Abby Sunderland has been forced to put into Cape Town, South Africa, to fix...
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