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News & Views

Updates on what’s going on in the sport of sailing generally (most usually, but not always, relating to cruising under sail) and in the sailing industry, plus news nuggets and personal views on all manner of nautical subjects.

Sept. 5/2022: I wrote about the advent of unmanned sailing drones back in January 2014, when a robot sailboat completed a passage from San Francisco to Hawaii, and haven’t given the subject too much thought since then. Turns out a lot has been happening! The California-based company Saildrone has been successfully putting drones into action...
You’ve seen the ugly images. A so-called derecho, with winds peaking at 140 mph swept across Corsica on the morning of August 18, killing at least eight people, injuring several others. Wasting countless boats. An ugly sky indeed   Now here’s the video… the most graphic one I’ve found so far. Click on the “Watch...
June 22/2022:  We need some closure on this, I think. I twice transited the wreck site where the 656-foot car carrier Golden Ray lay on its side in St. Simons Sound in Georgia—first in November 2019, just two months after the giant brick of a ship capsized. Then again in May 2020, as I departed...
Apr. 7/2022:  It’s been a long strange trip, my friends—researching, writing, and finding a publisher for this story—but at last it is happening. My third book will be published this coming October by Latah Books. Faithful WaveTrain riders will recall that I first “rediscovered” Thomas nine years ago, in the spring of 2013, while noodling...
Dec. 19/2021:  This isn’t much of a surprise, that the great catamaran pioneer James Wharram has passed away, as he was, after all, 93 years old. Reading his recently published autobiography, I did get the sense that he and his partner Hanneke Boon were looking to get the story told in full before it was...
Oct. 27/21:  Inevitably, I suppose, I’ve been driven to dive deeper into the question of what happened to my old Ruta de Morgan skipper, the inestimable Eric Thiriez, on his last voyage in 2017. I have been in touch with some of my contacts in Cartagena, Colombia, Eric’s homeport, from which he set out for...
Oct. 12/2021:  Here we have another sad tale of mortality. On the last day of last month, as I understand it, the well-known yacht designer Ted Brewer passed away peacefully at his home in British Columbia. Born in 1933 in Hamilton, Ontario, he certainly had a good long run on this planet, both as a human...
Sept. 13/2021:  In one sense we’ve been here before. Back in the 1970s, when the Arab oil embargo sparked a big increase in fuel prices, the market for recreational sailing vessels got a big shot in the arm while powerboat sales slumped. Now that fossil fuels are leading us into a different sort of impasse–ecologically,...
May 25/2021:  Ahoy peeps! I should have mentioned this earlier. Tomorrow, Wednesday May 26, at 5:30 pm I’ll be giving a presentation on Maine Island cruising on behalf of the Maine Island Trail Association. The event is being co-sponsored by the Blue Water Sailing Club. Unfortunately, my co-presenter and good buddy Ben Ellison, per the...
May 6/2020:  Here is an amazing guy, who led an amazing life, and exited this world in a way any serious sailor might envy. Drowned, at age 90, after his 30-ft sailboat was caught by a wave and rolled as he attempted to cross the Ballina Bar at the mouth of the Richmond River in...
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