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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.

Some Australian news outlets reported yesterday that Plastiki, the unique 60-foot plastic catamaran constructed of 12,500 plastic bottles, had "come to grief" some 200 miles off the east coast of Oz and was in the midst of being rescued. The crew of Plastiki, meanwhile, have adamantly insisted they are fine and merely called for a...
  Marine biologists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have announced the discovery of a bizarre and extremely dangerous species of man-eating shark. Designated formally as Lamniforma Octopoda, the sharktopus, as it is referred to colloquially, has been cited in a number of lethal attacks on swimmers over the past month. Officials at WHOI have...
  Should taxpayers have to spend large sums of money rescuing overzealous sailors who get into trouble they might easily have avoided? Should they pay to rescue sailors who don't actually need rescuing in the first place? Questions like this are bubbling up into the public consciousness, thanks to teen sailor Abby Sunderland, who was...
  Here's one interesting weirdness about this tragic Mike-Got-Mauled-On-His-Boat tale: initial reports, which basically came verbatim from the victim himself, had the location all wrong. First it happened in Martinique, or in Guadeloupe, then finally it was St. Martin. The Aussie Sail-World site (which I believe originally reported the location as Guadeloupe, though they seem...
  Some very ugly news from the W'Indies. Latitude 38 has just published a grim first-person account by bluewater cruiser Mike Harker, who was recently assaulted aboard his Hunter 49 Wanderlust 3 while anchored at St. Martin. Mike, who was grievously injured in a hand-gliding accident two decades ago and was told he would never...
Having spent a full day of my July 4 weekend moving Lunacy north from Portsmouth, NH, to her summer quarters in Portland, ME, I was reminded for the umpteenth time of several things I love about sailing in this part of the world. I was reminded, too, of a few things I don’t love so...
  Twas about 6 a.m. yesterday when we aboard the good ship Avocation arrived at Sandy Hook and found Reid Stowe aboard the schooner Anne getting ready to hoist anchor and head up the bay to Manhattan for his big homecoming. The wind had been southerly when Reid first anchored two days earlier, but now...
For marathon sailor Reid Stowe, as for many of us, the Internet is very much a two-edged sword. In Reid's case, it has on the one hand allowed him to document and verify his record-breaking 1,000-day voyage to the world as it has unfolded. Through his 1,000 Days website he has been able to connect...
  If I wanted to I could now blog about this almost hourly and seem relevant, but really I have better things to do with my time. Abby's rescue in the Southern Ocean has unleashed a firestorm of publicity and commentary, with one legion of critics denouncing Abby's voyage and her family and another smaller...
  Abby has been taken off Wild Eyes and is now aboard F/V Ile De La Reunion. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has released the following statement: The rescue of 16 year old US solo sailor, Abby Sunderland, from the yacht Wild Eyes to the fishing vessel Ile De La Reunion was successfully conducted at...
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