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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.

  This really, really sucks. Teen circumnavigator Abby Sunderland is in serious trouble deep in the Southern Ocean well east of Madagascar. Reportedly her shore team lost sat-phone contact with her very early this morning when they were helping her troubleshoot some engine problems. Shortly afterwards two of her EPIRBs were manually ignited. Evidently she...
Sorry, folks. I couldn't help myself. To see the rest of this sordid tale, click here.
Preparations for the return of marathon solo sailor Reid Stowe and the schooner Anne are proceeding apace. You can see a detailed float plan for Reid's June 17 re-entry into New York City at his 1,000 Days at Sea website. If you have a boat at your disposal and are in the area I urge...
What the heck is it about a yard arm that sets the public to salivating so? Over the holiday weekend we had a Tall Ship invasion just around the corner here from where I live in the South End of Portsmouth, NH, and, per usual, hordes of people turned out to wait in line forever...
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...
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...
  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.
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...
  Not much information on this one, but the few details available are chilling. Evidently Don Stollmeyer, who runs the famous Power Boats yard in Trinidad, has confirmed via the local Coast Guard there that a German woman, Angelica Ropke-Wiels, was picked up on April 16 by a merchant vessel that found her alone, adrift...
I know, I know. The Aquatic Miracles angle on this one is a little attenuated. But the sun, as our primary heat source, is ultimately responsible for all our weather, and of course keeps our oceans liquid as opposed to solid. Which is a nice feature when it comes to oceans. Besides, I have always...
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